The Bob Graham in Winter

As if a summer round of 66 miles and 26,000 feet of ascent wasn’t enough, some people have to decide to try it during winter when the ratio of light and dark s near enough reversed to midsummer.

Along with the shorter hours of daylight come the additional hazards associated with winter: snow, ice and the debilitating effects of the cold.

I’ve helped out with a couple of winter rounds. Here are some slides of the Bowfell to Scafell section of an attempt in December 2009 by Mark Smith. Unfortunately he was outside the 24hrs by just 20 minutes.

The table lists all known winter rounds including those that don’t meet the criteria for membership of the Bob Graham Club. These are noted as not ratified. Solo rounds by club members are indicated by text stating they had previously done a summer round.


The List

I’ve put as much information as I know in the following table but if anyone knows details to “fill in the gaps” or errata in the information presented then please get in touch.

Those rounds considered by the Bob Graham Club as mid-winter rather than just "winter" have a darker background.


Year Date Contender Time Direction Notes
198613/14 DecJohn Brockbank23:06ClockwiseThe first successful winter round. Done with the following...
198613/14 DecSelwyn Wright23:06ClockwiseDone with John Brockbank
198622/23 DecSteve Parr23:26  
19877/8 JanMartin Stone23:41ClockwiseSolo Unsupported. Already a club member.
1989 Martin Scrowston22:08 Together with..
1989 Barrie Laycock22:08 Did it with Martin Scrowston
1993 Alison Crabb23:51 The first female winter round.
199919/20 DecScott Umbleby22:48 Together with...
199919/20 DecBrian Meakin22:48 The temperature dipped to minus 16C at Dunmail Raise!
20001/2 JanNicky Lavery22:45ClockwiseThe second female winter round. Report here
200517 DecJohn Fleetwood23:54AnticlockwiseDry underfoot - account
2005DecMike Robinson22:59  
200720/21 DecAlex Pilkington23:09ClockwiseMainly solo, photos on Flikr Already a club member.
200722/23 DecSimon Halliday23:56AnticlockwiseAccount
200816 FebSimon Waller22:47Clockwise
200816 FebGarry Beardwood23:00Clockwise
200816 FebPaul Jackson23:53Clockwise
200819/20 DecEddie Winslow23:56ClockwiseApparently he and the support party met no-one on the fells on the entire round.
20111/2 JanJon Morgan23:20ClockwiseDid it with Steve Watts.
20111/2 JanSteve Watts23:20ClockwiseDid it with Jon Morgan.
201121/22 JanIain Taylor22:44AnticlockwiseThe third fastest winter time to date. Short report here
201121/22 JanJason Hubert23:04Anticlockwise Short report here
20117/8 FebTom Phillips23:19ClockwiseLight snow cover. Account here
201128 Feb/1 MarJim Mann20:39ClockwiseGood weather with clear sky - very cold at night but good visibility. Solo for leg 2 at night.Account here
201122/23 DecAndrew Graham23:35ClockwisePoor visibility, extensive snow cover often deep.
201122/23 DecMike Park23:57ClockwisePoor visibility, extensive snow cover often deep.
20127/8 JanDave Ward23:02 ClockwiseHadn’t done a summer round before.


Credits: Thanks to the following for updating some of the information: Martin Stone; Garry Beardwood; Jim Mann; Jason Hubert .