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Thread: Keep it simple.

  1. #1
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    Keep it simple.

    Hi I have been running on and around the BG route recently, and I am starting to get alarmed at the wear and tear being put on the fells.

    Whilst I feel it is great many folk are getting round and enjoying the challenge, is it starting to come a bit of a circus? Dunmail pass is certainly one spot of concern as is Wasdale. The amount of vehicles just to support one person is getting a bit daft largely due to yet bigger and bigger support crews.

    It is inevitable that as running gets more popular more people were going to do the BG, I myself have encouraged friends to have a go. This of course leads to the trods and paths getting more foot fall, this is very apparent on Clough Head.

    However is it necessary to have so many people supporting you on your round? 2 supporters per leg is ample one for navigation one for food. Car share to Dunmail and Wasdale. Do you really need all the dining facilities for all of 5-10 minutes rest. For legs 3&4 can you use the same pacers to save the environmental impact of cars getting to and from Wasdale?

    Just some ramblings and thoughts on the BG, maybe folk should consider their impact on the round before setting out. It is fantastic but it is even better when it is kept simple.

  2. #2
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
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    One thing I'd mention is that the impact of 3-peakers upon Wasdale is (likely) much greater than that of BGers.
    Nic Barber, Pennine. Downhill Dandy

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    Master Martyn P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ba-ba View Post
    One thing I'd mention is that the impact of 3-peakers upon Wasdale is (likely) much greater than that of BGers.
    I'd say that's a racing certainty. The BGR community have a miniscule effect on Wasdale compared to the hoardes of 3 Peakers that descend on the place.

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    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    I was utterly appalled at the N3P debris left behind last time I was at Wasdale
    Poacher turned game-keeper

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    I see how many supporters successful contenders have on each leg, there's only room on the ratification form for two per leg as a hint. Most people have two or three per leg but there's often a long list on the final leg where everyone gets mentioned even if the names are only supposed to be for "fell support" rather than running along the road to the finish with the contender. (I might add a note to the form to that effect). I had either one or two supporters per leg on both my attempts and my successful round.

    Cars: I can see the thought process behind two per attempt - one for the actual support and one to bring in/take back the support runners, especially if some form of accommodation is being used as a "HQ". I'm not sure of mobile phone coverage these days in Wasdale but you used to have to drive down to the end of the valley to get a signal so it can be quite awkward to get things sorted there. My leg 4 support camped at Wasdale, ran with me to Honister then ran back to Wasdale. It's easy enough to run/walk from Honister to Wasdale to avoid support runners having to drive there - I used to do this when reccying that leg. The support runners from the previous leg can get a lift back with the main support car.
    Bob

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    Master MorganW's Avatar
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    Not "ramblings" from the OP, but a range of highly relevant points. Let's not change the subject on to 3 Peakers, appallingly though some behave.

    Many of the points made by the OP (some reinforced by Bob) form the advice I've given to contenders over the last 12 years.

    Keep the challenge simple. Prepare well. Have the necessary skills. Keep the numbers down. Behave properly. Respect the landscape. Respect those who live and work there.

    My friend Meghan Hicks completed a successful round in May. Part of her write up raises a series of points about over-use and environmental ethics. It's deeply refreshing to see someone reflecting on what they saw in the landscape and worrying about the effect of their actions.

    http://www.irunfar.com/2017/07/on-th...nd-report.html

    Meghan was led down the Parachute descent one evening. We discussed the route at length. She doesn't refer to this but she all but dismissed using that descent exclusively for environmental reasons. The steepness and looseness of the route, in her view, will with over-use result in major erosion and scarring. Meghan worked for years in the US National Park Service in some honeypot locations.

    For me, it's time to put the landscape first and foster a culture for this challenge that thinks much harder about the consequences of our collective actions and changes the way we do things.
    Last edited by MorganW; 28-07-2017 at 04:06 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganW View Post
    Not "ramblings" from the OP, but a range of highly relevant points. Let's not change the subject on to 3 Peakers, appallingly though some behave.

    Many of the points made by the OP (some reinforced by Bob) form the advice I've given to contenders over the last 12 years.

    Keep the challenge simple. Prepare well. Have the necessary skills. Keep the numbers down. Behave properly. Respect the landscape. Respect those who live and work there.

    My friend Meghan Hicks completed a successful round in May. Part of her write up raises a series of points about over-use and environmental ethics. It's deeply refreshing to see someone reflecting on what they saw in the landscape and worrying about the effect of their actions.

    http://www.irunfar.com/2017/07/on-th...nd-report.html

    Meghan was led down the Parachute descent one evening. We discussed the route at length. She doesn't refer to this but she all but dismissed using that descent exclusively for environmental reasons. The steepness and looseness of the route, in her view, will with over-use result in major erosion and scarring. Meghan worked for years in the US National Oark Service in some honeypot locations.

    For me, it's time to put the landscape first and foster a culture for this challenge that thinks much harder about the consequences of our collective actions and changes the way we do things.
    What other routes than the Parachute would you recommend avoiding for low environmental impact?
    Trying to plod up hills every day slightly faster than the day before

  8. #8
    Master MorganW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboTom View Post
    What other routes than the Parachute would you recommend avoiding for low environmental impact?
    I guess at best it's "lower".

    I know the LDNP have had the following parts of the Round under observation:

    1. The line down to Hare Crag from the fence crossing below Skiddaw summit.
    2. The drop into and climb out of Dunmail Raise.
    3. The contour under Black Crags in the vicinity of Pillar.
    4. The drop into Honister from Grey Knotts avoiding the fence line path.

    You can argue the toss that people other than BG parties use these routes, but I don't think you can dispute the fact that the reason these "paths" exist is to a huge extent because of the BG.
    Last edited by MorganW; 28-07-2017 at 04:07 PM.
    The only one who can tell you "You can't" is you. And you don't have to listen.

  9. #9
    Master Bob's Avatar
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    The line over Hare Crag (and up Great Calva) has changed massively over the last fifteen years.

    When I did my round in 2005 the line was very faint on the ground. The section down from the fence on Skiddaw was almost on trust for the first couple of hundred metres as there simply wasn't anything to follow, it only became distinct lower down. Distinct being a relative term as it was really only like a very low use sheep track. Once you got into the heather on Hare Crag and across to the vehicle track then you couldn't see your feet as the path was hidden. Following it at night took good navigation.

    The last time I was on that section, the section below Hare Crag was wide enough for two people to run side by side. The direct path up Great Calva is visible from the fence on Skiddaw, mostly true in the opposite direction too.

    Ultimately we can't move in the fells without causing "some" damage.

    In years past more people went anti-clockwise than clockwise so by the time people got to the Skiddaw section at least half the attempts had given up so it didn't get the wear and tear that it does now.

    There's only so much food and kit a person needs on any individual leg and it's easily carried by one helper so at most you need that person plus a navigator. There really is no need for four, five or more helpers on each leg. Sure, friends and colleagues may want to help but it's just causing problems down the line so the contender should make clear that they only want one or two helpers per leg.

    In response to TurboTom: I'd suggest any section of the round that isn't a recognised footpath should be considered environmentally sensitive.
    Bob

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  10. #10
    Master Stagger's Avatar
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    It appears to be a problem that is only going to get worse.
    There is no way around it and no use saying "when I did it".
    Yes people have to respect sensitive areas but as numbers completing or evening attempting, it will only get worse.
    But what is wrong with a slight footpath that you will only see from a helicopter?
    A quote,

    "The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall."

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