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Thread: Bob Graham Route Choices

  1. #11
    alwaysinjured
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    An issue you havent discussed.

    Several reccies have proved to me that the best route up Skiddaw is to go up either the gully to the north of millside and west of little man, (sheltered) which is faster than the main latrigg path, and a recent reccie said going up the path to carlside is faster still. Not surprising. It is the best part of a mile shorter. But if you try this, dont be tempted by the footpaths to millside, they are bad. Head far enough up the A591 to take the road to millside.

    The heather off calva is a lot worse than it was 3/4years ago, particularly if you head straight for the sheepfold: but I am still convinced the best line across martcrag, and the caldew valley floor for that matter, is to skirt it on the west side then take a dead reckon beeline for the RH bank of the stream gully that points SE heading just east of blencathra summit. (dont have my bearings with me) I noticed in a reccie a couple of weeks ago, that for as long as you follow the spur line just west of south of calva more towards skiddaw house, the running is really fast and the heather is short, it is only when you turn for the sheepfold the problems start.

    So I am guessing, but I think following that ridge almost to the bottom before turning for blencathra might give a good line of fast running to the bottom. It is certainly less steep than E of Calva, and the caldew is narrower.

    Clough head: I have tried a couple of routes and never improved on going just left.

    One more to consider is the route to red pike from yewbarrow

    Conventional wisdom is to find a long traversing rake across patches of scree that hits the yew barrow/red pike col: Ive had a couple of goes at dropping straight down one of the steep grassy slopes between the screes from a couple of hundred feet height above the col, heading straight for red pike. It is shorter by a couple of hundred m but loses and extra 50 feet height. The descent is no worse than some of that scree crossing, and it can be wet after rain. Im guessing that it is quicker on a dry day.

    Grey Knotts, just head straight north, it is fast all the way down! when low down stay on the ridge of one of the spurs, before dropping to the rough road to the quarry hitting it about 300m west of the quarry.

  2. #12
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysinjured View Post
    the best route up Skiddaw .....
    An excellent variation that I've not heard of before. I think you mean Millbeck, not Millside?

    So the proposed route is: A591, road to Millbeck, somehow through to the dams, up Slades beck to reach Carlside tarn, then up to summit?

    Two qs.: is it obvious through Millbeck to get to the start of the fell eg. the dams; and once at Carlside tarn do you aim across the hill to hit the summit directly, or just go straight up to 261285 then along the ridge to the summit?

  3. #13
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    When Billy Bland did his walk of the Bob Graham in 18h or so he apparently studied the map in earnest and presumably worked out some shortcuts. Are any of these known?

    And what about the actual route taken by Mark Hartell when he attempted to beat Billy's record - is that published anywhere (I have the summit time splits, but no detail of the specifc route between them).

  4. #14
    alwaysinjured
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Thatusernameisalreadyused View Post
    An excellent variation that I've not heard of before. I think you mean Millbeck, not Millside?

    So the proposed route is: A591, road to Millbeck, somehow through to the dams, up Slades beck to reach Carlside tarn, then up to summit?

    Two qs.: is it obvious through Millbeck to get to the start of the fell eg. the dams; and once at Carlside tarn do you aim across the hill to hit the summit directly, or just go straight up to 261285 then along the ridge to the summit?


    Yes Millbeck. Bad memory!
    To go up the beck, you go straight on at the roadcrossing in milbeck. it says private, but dont worry about it. The map is spot on. You cross left at a dam, back right higher up. Look for the path. It goes all the way up but every now and then you lose it for a few yards and have to look. Kicks up at steeper at the end, but not for long.

    Just use the tarn path to skiddaw, which hits the ridge 400m short of the top. It is better than bolder hopping.

    But having done both of them, try carlside first - the gully is good to keep out of wind.

    PS If you are after trying novelties, i once turned right 100m at blencathra then dropped down the gully to the right of halls fell ridge. I got down a couple of minutes quicker. A couple of hairy bits - but they can probably be avoided right. ANd you dont run the risk of tripping headlong...which I have done before on the ridge at night in rain.

  5. #15

    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by alwaysinjured View Post
    Yes Millbeck. Bad memory!
    To go up the beck, you go straight on at the roadcrossing in milbeck. it says private, but dont worry about it. The map is spot on. You cross left at a dam, back right higher up. Look for the path. It goes all the way up but every now and then you lose it for a few yards and have to look. Kicks up at steeper at the end, but not for long.

    Just use the tarn path to skiddaw, which hits the ridge 400m short of the top. It is better than bolder hopping.

    But having done both of them, try carlside first - the gully is good to keep out of wind.
    I'm going to try this when i next recce leg 1. I'll compare it to my 'orthodox' time/experience and let you know how they compare. Won;t be back there until march though. Never thought to change that bit...

  6. #16
    alwaysinjured
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Swiss Toni View Post
    I'm going to try this when i next recce leg 1. I'll compare it to my 'orthodox' time/experience and let you know how they compare. Won;t be back there until march though. Never thought to change that bit...
    If you want a weekday recce partner for BG legs , Im game , if the weather looks ok

  7. #17
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Re the Millbeck way up Skiddaw. We tried this and although we got to the top of Skiddaw a couple of minutes quicker than via Jenkin Hill we felt that it was far more tiring particularly at the start of such a long run as the BG. Firstly there is the 2 mile road run to Millbeck when it is so easy to go too fast. Secondly the path up Carl Side and then again up to the summit is at a significantly steeper angle than Jenkin Hill route. Again this is personal preference but not many go the Millbeck route so I suspect that most find the more gentle Jenkin Hill route preferable. BG is about preserving energy more than trying to do things as fast as possible.

    One other significant route variation is of course Dollywaggon to Fairfield. I don't like trackless tussocky descents so the route round the back of the tarn and out and back from Grisedale Hause was always dropped in favour of the path down to the Tarn outflow and then the path up to the right of Cofa Pike. We once timed it and the Cofa Pike route was 3 mins quicker (and easier on the ankles on descent).

  8. #18
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Chas View Post
    Dollywaggon to Fairfield: the path down to the Tarn outflow and then the path up to the right of Cofa Pike.
    This also offers a chance to get some water too!

  9. #19
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Another significant alternative is between Pike o' Stickle and Rossett Pike. Most BGers go via the Martcrag Moor, the stream and Black Crags. However I always found that very wet over Martcrag Moor, slow down to the stream (no path and bouldery) and slow and tiring up the paths below Black Crags. I eventually went round on the path by Stake Pass. It is much further this way but saves a few hundred feet of ascent and is on goodish paths all the way is generally runable. My advice is to try both and see which you prefer. I reckon the difference in time is minimal.

  10. #20
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Chas View Post
    Another significant alternative is between Pike o' Stickle and Rossett Pike.
    I agree with your assessment of that Chas. But I prefer the shorter route, as generally I'm looking to walk more and run less on the BG. Thus my interest in shortcuts. I'm coming from a strong walking background, and have been training on the running side of it as I see the need to cover ground fast when applicable. Problem is the pounding takes its toll when the body is not used to it .

    As a generalisation, how do most people approach their BG in terms of walking/running?

    I've heard a general rule that most 'walk all the uphills and run the flats and downs'. But clearly if one were to take the longer but easier path each time, then a run would be essential. Thus in the case you mentioned above, one would have to run from Stake Pass to Rossett Pike. And let's consider the Helvellyn ridge: is everyone running the Clough Head to Helvellyn, or do they walk most of that when it's uphill? How strictly is this maxim adhered to on 22/23hr BG attempts?
    Last edited by Thatusernameisalreadyused; 26-01-2007 at 02:43 PM. Reason: a thumb icon appeared from nowhere?!?

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