Gold Ultra Challenge: 100km
Featuring extra ascent (3200m in total), the Gold Ultra route is the ultimate Peak District Challenge, and should be attempted by teams of fit and experienced hill walkers who want to see the best that the Peak District has to offer. You’ll visit high points and viewpoints on your way between checkpoints, and there is a lot of climbing involved. If you fall behind on the Gold challenge, you could switch to the 75km Silver route, which follows the shortest, flattest distance between checkpoints. To be successful, you’ll need to average over 4kph to complete the Gold Challenge inside your 24 hour target.
The Peak District Challenge is an UTMB “Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc®” qualifying race.
Successful Peak District Challenge Gold Ultra finishers will receive 4 points towards their UTMB(r) entry.
The route: Detailed route information is be provided to entrants seven days before the event, but here’s a broad overview.
Your challenge begins with a walk up on to the Dark Peak moors. You will cross Stanage edge, site of Robin Hood’s cave, and Foulstone Moor to reach Back Tor. Next it’s a descent to Ladybower Valley and an easy flat section around Ladybower reservoirs where the Dambusters trained for their bombing missions in WWII.
As dawn breaks, you will climb to the geological oddity of Alport Castle, before descending to Edale and the next climb to Jacobs Ladder and stunning views over Hayfield.
You are given a short break in navigational difficulty as tracks and lanes lead to Peak Forest in the white Peak and the valley nature reserve at Hay Dale. Your map will come out again as a mixture of paths and tracks lead between a string of pretty villages in the undulating limestone landscape, finally leading to Baslow on the river Derwent.
The final section of the challenge takes you past the Eagle Stone and popular climbing venues at Curbar and Froggatt edges. Your challenge draws to a close with dusky views over the river Derwent as you descend back to Padley and a final grassy riverside leg back home to Hathersage.
Will you make it inside the 24 hour target?