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
1986 13/14 Dec John Brockbank 23:06 Clockwise The first successful winter round. Done with the following...
1986 13/14 Dec Selwyn Wright 23:06 Clockwise Done with John Brockbank
1986 22/23 Dec Steve Parr 23:26    
1987 7/8 Jan Martin Stone 23:41 Clockwise Solo Unsupported. Already a club member.
1989   Martin Scrowston 22:08   Together with..
1989   Barrie Laycock 22:08   Did it with Martin Scrowston
1993   Alison Crabb 23:51   The first female winter round.
1999 19/20 Dec Scott Umbleby 22:48   Together with...
1999 19/20 Dec Brian Meakin 22:48   The temperature dipped to minus 16C at Dunmail Raise!
2000 1/2 Jan Nicky Lavery 22:45 Clockwise The second female winter round. Report here
2005 17 Dec John Fleetwood 23:54 Anticlockwise Dry underfoot - account
2005 Dec Mike Robinson 22:59    
2007 20/21 Dec Alex Pilkington 23:09 Clockwise Mainly solo, photos on Flikr Already a club member.
2007 22/23 Dec Simon Halliday 23:56 Anticlockwise Account
2008 16 Feb Simon Waller 22:47 Clockwise
2008 16 Feb Garry Beardwood 23:00 Clockwise
2008 16 Feb Paul Jackson 23:53 Clockwise
2008 19/20 Dec Eddie Winslow 23:56 Clockwise Apparently he and the support party met no-one on the fells on the entire round.
2011 1/2 Jan Jon Morgan 23:20 Clockwise Did it with Steve Watts.
2011 1/2 Jan Steve Watts 23:20 Clockwise Did it with Jon Morgan.
2011 21/22 Jan Iain Taylor 22:44 Anticlockwise The third fastest winter time to date. Short report here
2011 21/22 Jan Jason Hubert 23:04 Anticlockwise Short report here
2011 7/8 Feb Tom Phillips 23:19 Clockwise Light snow cover. Account here
2011 28 Feb/1 Mar Jim Mann 20:39 Clockwise Good weather with clear sky - very cold at night but good visibility. Solo for leg 2 at night.Account here
2011 22/23 Dec Andrew Graham 23:35 Clockwise Poor visibility, extensive snow cover often deep.
2011 22/23 Dec Mike Park 23:57 Clockwise Poor visibility, extensive snow cover often deep.
2012 7/8 Jan Dave Ward 23:02 Clockwise Hadn’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 .