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.
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.
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.