James Gibson has completed the first winter Wainwrights Round - a traverse of all 214 Wainwright peaks that takes in 325 miles and 36,000 metres of ascent. There have been several summer rounds in recent years but this is the first time it has been completed in winter conditions.
Setting off from Moot Hall, Keswick on December 1st, James travelled clockwise on a route that was originally conceived by Steve Birkinshaw in 2014, which has since been refined by a number of other runners. There has been no continuous round of the Wainwrights in winter but Mingma Tshering Sherpa completed all 214 over a 14-day period.
With only a named storm to contend with, James spent the first few days unofficially 'racing' another runner, Tom Hollins, who sadly pulled out on Saturday night.
By day 4, there were undoubtedly winter conditions in the Lake District and James had to make tactical decisions to rest when the weather was at its worst. On the 7th of December, Storm Barra hit, leaving James and his team with some safety decisions. James descended Blencathra before the worst of the storm struck and waited for the weather to improve in Mungrisedale.
James and his support crew were back running again on the 8th and the extra rest looked to have paid dividends as he flew around the Northern Fells. More deep snow overnight slowed him down slightly but despite this at 13:44 on the 9th, he was running up to Moot Hall to finish with an unconfirmed time of 198:44:59.
Sabrina Verjee currently holds the fastest known time for a continuous round of the Wainwrights. She set the record in June 2021 with an incredible time of 5 days, 23 hours, 49 minutes and 12 seconds.
Watch the excellent film of Paul Tierney completing his Wainwrights Round:
James is sponsored by: Mountain Equipment and The Climbers Shop