Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The idiot's guide to the Bob Graham Round

Who is Bob Graham?
Back in 1932, Bob Graham was a hotel owner who liked walking on the fells around his hotel in the heart of the beautiful English Lake District. 
Bob Graham's hotel - Image by 
Where did he walk?
Bob Graham's hotel is now the Derwent Water Youth Hostel in Borrowdale near Keswick. One summer's day Bob set out from his hotel and walked all day and all night to break a record. He covered 72 miles and 42 mountain tops in that twenty four hours as he was 42. This walk has become known as the Bob Graham Round. Many English Fellrunners now consider the Bob Graham Round to be the ultimate distance challenge that everyone needs to have a go at. And now even the new breed of Ultra Runner is starting to claim the Bob Graham Round as a challenge..
What is it?
  • 42 mountain tops in twenty four hours.
  • you must do a certain set of 42 mountain tops, the same ones as Bob Graham did in 1932
  • it's roughly 72 miles and involves 27,000ft of ascent.

It can be done at any time of the year but most like to have a go in the May/June months as these have the  longest daylight hours (more than 16 hours of daylight on the longest day) but having a go in the winter is a different matter. There are only 7 and a quarter hours of daylight on the shortest day (21 December) and conditions on the fells can be very difficult. The record for a summer 'Bob Graham' or 'BG' is 13 hours and 53 minutes (by the great Borrowdale runner Billy Bland in the 1980s). The record for a Winter Solstice BG (accepted as two weeks either side of 21 December) is 22 hours and 8 minutes.

Conditions in the Lake District on Saturday were quite wintery.

Because it's there!

The clockwise route
These timings are for a 23 hour completion setting off at 3am.

Leg 1 - Keswick to ThrelkeldTime
Depart Keswick03:00hrs
Great Calva04:55hrs
Arrive Threlkeld06:35hrs

Leg 2 Threlkeld to Dunmail RaiseTime
Depart Threlkeld06:50hrs
Clough Head07:34hrs
Great Dodd08:02hrs
Watson Dodd08:12hrs
Stybarrow Dodd08:23hrs
White Side08:45hrs
Low Man08:58hrs
Dollywaggon Pike09:24hrs
Seat Sandle10:21hrs
Arrive Dunmail10:41hrs

Leg 3 Dunmail to WasdaleTime
Depart Dunmail Raise10:56hrs
Steel Fell11:28hrs
Calf Crag11:50hrs
Sergeant Man12:23hrs
High Raise12:38hrs
Thurnacar Knott12:52hrs
Harrison Stickle13:00hrs
Pike O Stickle13:14hrs
Rossett Pike14:05hrs
Esk Pike14:59hrs
Great End15:29hrs
Ill Crag15:44hrs
Broad Crag15:54hrs
Scafell Pike16:06hrs
Arrive Wasdale17:17hrs

Leg 4 Wasdale to HonisterTime
Depart Wasdale17:31hrs
Red Pike19:05hrs
Kirk Fell20:47hrs
Great Gable21:30hrs
Green Gable21:45hrs
Grey Knotts22:15hrs
Arrive Honister22:35hrs

Leg 5 Honister to KeswickTime
Depart Honister22:55hrs
Dale Head23:30hrs
Finish at Keswick02:00hrs

If you want to know more....visit the Bob Graham club's website

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