Bob Graham Round: 2 Threlkeld to Dunmailby Bob Oct/2011
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A broad ridge provides easy peak bagging but with a sting of a series of big ascents and descents towards the end. It is usually fairly quiet on the northern half but gets increasingly busy around Helvellyn.
The Bob Graham Round is the classic (and probably easiest) British 24hr challenge and is attempted by around 200 fell-runners each year with around 1 in 3 attempts being successful. Though it may be done in either direction it is currently most commonly attempted clockwise which means that this is the second leg.
The Helvellyn and Dodds ridge has long been a favourite peak baggers target with its broad grassy ridges though it is no less interesting in winter when under the right conditions, unfortunately rare, it is a great ski-mountaineering expedition. Probably the best conditions to do it in is under light snow when you get a definite top of the world feeling without the hard work of deep snow.
On my first attempt at the Bob Graham we had driving wind and rain ( it was also at night) but somehow we managed to stay on schedule only to falter at Scafell. On my second attempt the weather got the better of us as we climbed towards Helvellyn Lower Man and it was all we could do to get down to Wythburn. Lakeland summers!
If the visibility is poor then make sure your navigation is up to scratch as it's surprisingly easy to lose the paths.
Finally a short climb up on to Seat Sandal and the final descent down to Dunmail Raise, keep right to find the best line otherwise you end up on steep boulder covered ground.
Distance: 12.87 miles (20.71 km)
Total ascent: 1,835m
Steepest Gradient: 46% (1 in 2)
Time: 3:45 – 4:30 hours (Trail running)
SummitsClough Head 726 m
Great Dodd 857 m
Watson's Dodd 789 m
Stybarrow Dodd 843 m
Raise 883 m
White Side 863 m
Helvellyn - Lower Man 925 m
Helvellyn 950 m
Nethermost Pike 891 m
Dollywaggon Pike 858 m
Fairfield 873 m
Seat Sandal 736 m
Start Threlkeld, NY324254; Finish Dunmail Raise, NY327115
Generally easy terrain underfoot though there are some rocky sections most notably the ascent to Helvellyn Lower Man and the areas around the summits of Nethermost Pike and Fairfield. The path leading to and from the summit of the latter from The Hause is very worn as well as being steep.
Not really affected by adverse weather, dry underfoot with no river crossings.
Note that there is little water available on the route.
Weather and Hill Conditions:
mwis: Lake District – Met Office: Lake District
Bus service X4-5-50 will get you to Threlkeld and service 555 will get you back to Keswick. See http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/roads-transport/public-transport-road-safety/transport/publictransport/busserv/timetables/default.asp
Wainwright: - Eastern Fells
For more info on the Bob Graham Round -
Others in this series:
Leg 1: Keswick to Threlkeld - http://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/r/?i=145
Leg 3: Dunmail to Wasdale - http://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/r/?i=147
Leg 4: Wasdale to Honister - http://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/r/?i=148
Leg 5: Honister to Keswick - http://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/r/?i=149
OS Explorer OL5 (1:25,000), Harvey/BMC Lake District (1:40,000), OS Landranger 90 (1:50,000)