Monday, 27 September 2010

Bob Graham Round – Leg 4 recce

Last December Mark Smith completed a mid-Winter Bob Graham Round in 22 minutes over 24 hours and I was lucky enough to share the sunrise on Leg 3 with Mark. The 22 minutes niggled away until Mark decided to have another go and get them back. Mark’s preparation for his 2010 attempt can be followed here and I’ll be joining him again; this time going north over Helvellyn and the Dodds in the early, but dark, evening. I know how difficult it can be to navigate these fells in the dark and I want to be thoroughly familiar with the nuances of the route before December. Saturday’s sunshine was too good to resist so Pauline and I went to have a look at the first part of the route and, in particular, the descent from Fairfield.

BGR L4-101 Lake Windermere at Ambleside

BGR L4-102 Grisedale Tarn with Fairfield on the right and St Sunday Crag beyond

The faint yellow blob near the start of the climb up Fairfield is another “Bob Graham” aspirant about to make his way to the summit. We caught up with him part way up the climb and learned he had originally set off two days earlier but somersaulted down Halls Fell Ridge and still had the 10 stitches in his head to prove it. Descending Halls Fell Ridge again, in the dark very early this morning when it was icy must have been a stern test of character. We wished him as we went our separate ways at the summit.

BGR L4-103 South west down Tongue Gill with the Coniston Fells in the distance

BGR L4-104 Cofa Pike and the ridge to St Sunday Crag

BGR L4-106Striding Edge and Red Tarn with Ullswater in the distance

BGR L4-107North face of Fairfield 

The descent route from the col between the summit and Cofa Pike looks quite distinct – I hope it is as easy to find in the dark as this photo suggests.


  1. Fab photos as ever Ian. 'Grisedale Tarn with Fairfield on the right and St Sunday Crag beyond' is particularly evocative. Reminds me of a great spring / early summer and unfinished business ;-)

  2. Another nice set of pictures Ian. Wasn't the weather fantastic on Saturday? You couldn't help but take great pictures in the clear air with everything in bold relief.
    It was good for running too, just the right temperature and a cooling breeze on the higher bits. I reckon we both had a pretty memorable day.

  3. Old Running Fox - the weather was wonderful and it was just a pleasure to be out on the hills, especially with Pauline. You are almost right, reckoning that we both had a pretty memorable day - I reckon not just us but our wonderful partners too.

  4. I'm always in admiration of the shots you capture Ian