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Thread: BGR Clockwise, 1/6 17:30

  1. #1

    BGR Clockwise, 1/6 17:30

    Hi all,

    Myself and three ultra runners from Ireland will be attempting the Bob Graham Round on Friday 1 June. We intend to start at 17:30 but have a little flexibility built into our travel plans in case the weather doesn't play ball. We're still fine tuning/ figuring out our plans but we'll be aiming for 23hrs30 completion time.

    We're experienced 100miler runners, and love getting into the rough stuff here in Ireland, but we're very mindful of the unique and difficult challenge that the Bob Graham Round presents. We'll have one crew member in a vehicle providing us with basic support as we go but we'd really appreciate any local help or support you can provide us with.

    Although we can navigate, we're mindful that we have not had an opportunity to travel over and recce any sections. We're especially keen to get our route right on the more technical and difficult night sections so help here is especially welcome:

    1. Any offers to accompany us from people who know sections of the route would be most welcome.
    2. I'd also love to get a GPX of a good BGR route if someone has one.

    I'm not on Facebook but will ask one of the others to post something there. You can email me on briankitson at yahoo dot com. We'd be delighted to reciprocate by helping out if you were to ever attempt the Wicklow Round (FYI a new CR just set last weekend by Boston runner Joe McConaughy).



  2. #2
    Senior Member Knightrunner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Wits' End
    I'd love to help but can't do that date unfortunately.
    On a 23:30 schedule you have no wriggle room for nav errors or dithering so without route knowledge GPX is definitely your best friend. The points to watch especially I think are Skidaw to Gt Calva and then to Blencathra, the choice off Blencathra (two tricky scrambles on Halls Fell Ridge but probably best option), which route up Fairfield (round the right of Grisedale tarn then up and back is easiest for the unfamiliar), route off Seat Sandle (head at roughly 1 o'clock til you pick up the steep path down), the first couple of tops on leg 3 (best tip is thread your way through the knolls and bogs but use your GPX here!), do Sgt Man before High Raise, after Pike o Stickle run round North side of valley head instead of more direct line to Rosset, take the trouble to get the line up the rakes to Bowfell it's much quicker than going round by Angle Tarn, from Scafell Pike to Scafell Lord's Rake is probably quickest for the unfamiliar (right from the buttress on the saddle where you make your choice) but Fox's Tarn (left from the saddle) might be easiest to pick out, descending from Scafell go straight after the scree zig zags then from the path turn left and then a minute later steep right down a gully to a scree shoot, leg 4 is quite straightforward except maybe note off Yewbarrow after the obvious ridge path drop slightly to left down a line across screes and rocks. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Interesting exam question to consider route choices from the perspective of sheer navigational ease.

    To approach Blencathra, surely the western fence line off Calva. Then Hall's or Doddick in descent.

    The Fairfield transition will be in darkness and things can get confusing around the tarn. Taking the tourist path down to the tarn outflow rather than the southerly steep grass ensures it's impossible not to hit the circumnavigating path.

    V much agree with Knightrunner on getting to Rossett. And Lord's Rake for Scafell. For the descent, it may just be easiest to keep going on Green How to the coffin route - the time saved by the Rakehead gully could quickly disappear if unfamiliar with the way.

    By leg 4 you'll be in the light (all being well). Be sure to follow the GPX for the grassy descent from Grey Knotts to Honister as the stepped path will make for a slow way down.

    Best of luck. Always interesting to hear what experienced fellrunners make of the round when doing it "blind"

    (a few other reflections on route choices are written up here: )

  4. #4
    Folks, I really appreciate the route information. That is the kind of local experience that will make a big difference to our attempt.

    I agree that 23:30 leaves little room for the inevitable nav error but this is really our backstop, we hope to make up a few minutes on each leg to give us some breathing room.

    Don't suppose anyone out there is around to run with us, especially through the night / trickier sections? We'll offer any helpers more post Round ale and whisky than you can shake a dirty old hiking pole at..

  5. #5
    Senior Member Adnan Khan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    All the best Brian. I would have said yes but my Achillies aren't up to it yet. I love legs 2 , 4 and 5. I personally think knowing all the grassy lines on leg 4 and off Robinson alone can save at least half an hour and then you have legs 2 and 3. The trickiest on a night leg 2 can be Stybarrow Dodd and Nethermost Pike tops if the clag is down. Hope you manage to get the gpx files. If you are still after I can dig mines out.


  6. #6
    Master DrPatrickBarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Marple, Manchester
    17:30 is quite an early start. You will be hitting leg 3 in the dark. It is quite a featureless area between Steel Fell and Sargent Man.

    Seven and Midnight are the two popular start times.
    Midnight - Leg 1 in the dark is pretty straightforward with navigation. You would be needing the torches again midway though the last leg, but by that stage you won't care if you are on schedule.

    Seven - The pubs are still open when you finish.
    Last edited by DrPatrickBarry; 14-05-2018 at 02:40 PM.

  7. #7
    Master ba-ba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Captain Cook's Great Ayton
    yep, if it's misty around there it can be very confusing - every bump looks the same and like it's the summit.
    Nic Barber. Downhill Dandy

  8. #8
    Member martynj's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Here's the route that I used You can download the KML for the "Route" layer then convert to GPX with an online tool - just Google kml to gpx converter.

    Will also see if I can attach the GPX somehow.

    Good luck!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    have you considered a 2 am start? leave Skiddaw summit at 3:30 ish in light and get to Robinson as darkness takes hold. No real nav issues if weather good! Just route choice considerations.

  10. #10
    I can help Brian. Have sent you an email.

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