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Thread: Bob Graham Route Choices

  1. #21
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    I took 23hr 48min for my BG. I am a very average fellrunner who really comes from a fellwalking background. My rule was to run the descents where possible. There are relatively few flat bits but generally they need to be run. After about halfway however the definition of "run" changes to something akin to a "shuffle" at best. On the clockwise round (which I would always recommend) there is relatively little running after Stake Pass, apart from after Robinson when fortunately for me I had plenty of time and therefore could walk most of the way back into Keswick (except most of the downhill bits).

    One of the keys to a successful BG is to not to go off too fast on the first 2 legs where the ground is generally pretty runable. Certainly you shouldn't be running any of the uphills unless you want to do it in less than say 22hours.

  2. #22
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Chas View Post
    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).

    re the western routes to skiddaw.
    (a) I think the difference is at least 5 minutes - I reckon 6-7: there is at least a K in distance, so I dont think it as easily dismissed when the target is only 85-90
    (b) You had the choice of going slower on the climb, getting there at the same time, but less tired - it is about good pacing
    (c) The gradient on the main path is not as consistent as you make it sound. It kicks up steep after the top car park behind latrigg for example at least as steep as carlside.
    (d) I think it is more economical to have flat to run, then hill to walk, than trying to run an uphill gradient however shallow, which even if not physically destructive, running uphill is not good on the mind.
    (e) There must be at least 10 hills steeper than carlside on the BG: some a lot steeper: they go with the territory.

    I think everyone should try it, then decide. Certainly try the gully route in strong wind: it is a sheltered valley.

  3. #23
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    According to my map software in one mile from the dip after the monument on the Jenkin Hill route (the steepest part) you ascend 1167 ft. This compares with 1677ft in a mile up the steepest part of the Carlside ascent so it is significantly more severe as is the part from Carlside col (643 ft in 0.34 mile) to the summit ridge. My experience is that an angle of about 1000ft per mile is about the most efficient. Anything much steeper than this slows me down (and/or saps my energy) considerably.

    However I agree that any BGer should recci both routes and then choose.

  4. #24
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    [quote=Thatusernameisalreadyused;6499]Been wondering about some route choices for the BG. Has anyone got more details or ideas on any of the following please:-

    1) line up onto Clough Head from Newsham house. When I recced this earlier in January I went with Bob's suggestion of striking up left.

    The first time I reccied it and also the first time that I supported on this leg, I roughly followed the fence to the stile then basically straight up to join the skyline about 150m East of the summit. On future reccies and on my eventual round I went further left, both in the marshy field and once over the Old Coach road. This way is definitely much drier underfoot and also firmer. I felt that the ground on the direct line was "springy" and wasted quite a bit of energy.

    2) line off Grey Knotts to Honister.
    From the summit of GK, go over the stile close to the summit rocks then bear slightly left rather than follow the path to the right. This gets you onto a grassy line heading down and generally left until you come out onto broad grassy slopes. At the foot of these is an obvious sharp ridge between two gills with a path on top of it. Down this then traverse right to drop into the quarry (not the YHA) car park. Basically it joins the route of the Borrowdale race. The other alternative is to follow the fence but where it begins to bend left, head rightwards to follow grass ramps down between the rocks. Try both.

    4) route from Scafell to Wasdale. isn't there a scree run down somewhere, or is the best option the descent to the corpse road? Bob does mention on his site about cutting down right to some stile and then following a wall down to the bottom.
    I think that the scree run is quicker - Ali did the round the same day as me and was about five minutes behind - he took the scree run while I took the grassy line further left. He was in the car park before me. Note that all three descents off the fell here join up again at Brackenclose just before the NT car park. The scree run is fairly easy to find - it is about 100m to the right of the obvious kink in the edge of the ridge and roughly where you come to the edge when descending.

    With all these slight variations, the best thing is to get out and recce them and figure out what is best for you. Then let your pacers know what you want to do.

    Good luck!

    Bob

  5. #25
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    [quote=Thatusernameisalreadyused;7071]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?

    I think the only commonly known one is the ramp line on the Langdale face of Hanging Knotts, rather than going round by Ore Gap.

    As for the best way off Great Calva - I did the East Ridge once, suffice to say I've never been back! The advantages of taking the south ridge are that you are on faster ground for longer and have less *big* heather to negotiate. Also if the river is running high then about 200m upstream of the normal crossing area a fence crosses the river and you can use this Indiana Jones style to get across! On one of my attempts there was another party who left GC at the same time but went via the East Ridge and who were on a faster schedule than I was, yet despite taking a planned five minute break at the river we were on Blencathra between five and ten minutes ahead of them.

    The only other major decision is whether to go Calf Crag - Sergeant Man - High Raise or Calf Crag - High Raise - Sergeant Man. I reckon the former is quicker as you are on paths rather than striking across country to get to High Raise.

    Bob

  6. #26

    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Thatusernameisalreadyused View Post
    4) route from Scafell to Wasdale. isn't there a scree run down somewhere, or is the best option the descent to the corpse road? Bob does mention on his site about cutting down right to some stile and then following a wall down to the bottom.
    I did a recce here with someone who had done a sub 19h BGR and he went via the corpse road but he is a fast runner, I prefer the scree run, its less tiring for me as I'm not a fast runner, just let gravity do its work

    My prefered route when you get to the fence is to turn right, then when you can follow a faint path down to Lingmell gill and follow the main path back to Brackenclose.

    Bill

  7. #27

    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    As for the best way off Great Calva - I did the East Ridge once, suffice to say I've never been back! The advantages of taking the south ridge are that you are on faster ground for longer and have less *big* heather to negotiate. Also if the river is running high then about 200m upstream of the normal crossing area a fence crosses the river and you can use this Indiana Jones style to get across! On one of my attempts there was another party who left GC at the same time but went via the East Ridge and who were on a faster schedule than I was, yet despite taking a planned five minute break at the river we were on Blencathra between five and ten minutes ahead of them.
    Bob
    Last week coming off Skiddaw went to the left of hare crag rather than over it, horrendous, I was bashing through knee deep heather most of the time or following ditches, I take it the way to go is over hare crag that would mean joining the road skiddaw house near the south ridge.

    I then went up Great galva between dead beck and the south ridge which was not much better, dropped off galva via the ground to the right of the fence, this was not too bad compared to where I'd been but looking back from Mungrisdale common the south ridge looked a better line.

    So is it quicker to use the south ridge for both ascent and descent or is there a secret dry path hidden in the heather.

    I'll read your notes next time Bob as I couldn't find a dry way across the river and had to strip off at least the freezing level was a couple of hundred feet higher

    Bill
    Last edited by Baggins; 27-01-2007 at 11:08 PM.

  8. #28
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    In studying the split times of Billy Bland, Stuart Bland and Mark Hartell (http://www.thebunyans.plus.com/mh/fe...fastestBG.html) there seem to be a few interesting variations, where Billy has moved significantly faster than the other two - suggesting maybe a somewhat different route?

    Major variations:-
    Steel Fell - Calf Crag
    Scafell - Wasdale
    Red Pike - Steeple
    Kirkfell - Great Gable

    Minor variations:-
    Green Gable - Brandreth
    Hindscarth - Robinson


    Also, Mark has several instances where he's significantly slower than the other two (eg. his descent to Thelkeld). Obviously he may have had a problem or stopped for a break or whatever, but maybe there's an alternative that the Blands knew that Mark didn't!

    I presume, as no one's mentioned (and I've not found) anything, that there is no proper writeup of Mark's, Billy's or Stuart's attempts?

  9. #29

    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Thatusernameisalreadyused View Post
    In studying the split times of Billy Bland, Stuart Bland and Mark Hartell (http://www.thebunyans.plus.com/mh/fe...fastestBG.html) there seem to be a few interesting variations, where Billy has moved significantly faster than the other two - suggesting maybe a somewhat different route?

    Major variations:-
    Red Pike - Steeple
    If you look at Billys time for Yewbarrow to Red pike I think he was taking a breather before he put a big effort in as there's not a great deal of variation possible between Red Pike - Steeple

    Bill

  10. #30
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    Re: Bob Graham Route Choices

    Quote Originally Posted by Thatusernameisalreadyused View Post
    In studying the split times of Billy Bland, Stuart Bland and Mark Hartell (http://www.thebunyans.plus.com/mh/fe...fastestBG.html) there seem to be a few interesting variations, where Billy has moved significantly faster than the other two - suggesting maybe a somewhat different route?
    It will probably be down to individual strengths and weaknesses.

    Major variations:-
    Steel Fell - Calf Crag
    Can't think of anything here that would shave significant time off the obvious route along the path.
    Scafell - Wasdale
    The major variations have already been discussed on this thread.
    Red Pike - Steeple
    Short of noting to go to the left of a particular boulder rather than the right there is nothing much to consider here, Maybe Billy recovered from the climb up to Red Pike better.
    Kirkfell - Great Gable
    There was something on here last year about the Ennerdale - Billy Bland was apparently at Beck Head pointing out some ramps to get up onto Kirkfell.

    Minor variations:-
    Green Gable - Brandreth
    You can either follow the path or keep to the Ennerdale side, not sure which is quicker.
    Hindscarth - Robinson
    The only real option here is whether to follow the fence up Robinson from the col or go direct. I've no times to compare for this.


    Also, Mark has several instances where he's significantly slower than the other two (eg. his descent to Thelkeld). Obviously he may have had a problem or stopped for a break or whatever, but maybe there's an alternative that the Blands knew that Mark didn't!
    I've heard mention of heading down one of the gills to the side of Halls Fell but don't know the route.

    I presume, as no one's mentioned (and I've not found) anything, that there is no proper writeup of Mark's, Billy's or Stuart's attempts?
    I'm fairly sure that there was something in the Westmorland Gazette about Billy's run - perhaps quarter of a page - I remember reading it at the time.

    Bob

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