Sunday, 16 December 2007

Pioneers' 55 at 55

"Well, it depends if you want to do just any 55. I mean, you could do just any 42 but it wouldn't be a 'Bob Graham', would it? If you are going anti-clockwise it is not really a 55 without the North Western fells but it is up to you."

So where do the North Western Fells come into it, I wondered?

From the Moot Hall to -

Causey Pike;Scar Crags;Sail;Eel Crags;Grasmoor;Wandope;Whiteless Pike;Robinson;Hindscarth;Dale Head;Honister

Grey Knotts;Brandreth;Green Gable;Great Gable;Kirk Fell;Looking Stead;Pillar;Scoat Fell;Steeple;Red Pike;Yewbarrow;Wasdale

Scafell;Scafell Pike;Broad Crag;Ill Crag;Great End;Allen Crags;Esk Pike;Bowfell;Rossett Pike;Pike O'Stickle;Loft Crag;Harrison Stickle;Pavey Ark;Thunacar Knott;Sargeant Man;High Raise;Calf Crag;Steel Fell;Dunmail Raise

Seat Sandal;Fairfield;Dollywagon Pike;Nethermost Pike;Helvellyn;Helvellyn Lower Man;White Side;Raise;Stybarrow Dodd;Watsons Dodd;Great Dodd;Clough Head;Threkeld

Blencathra;Great Calva;Skiddaw;Skiddaw Little Man; Moot Hall

The additional summits are in bold and now it is obvious where the North Western Fells come into it. As ever, there are one or two surprises - Looking Stead & Scoat Fell seem too easy in comparison with the extra distance and climbing the first seven add but this isn't the time to complain.

On June 2nd 1988, George Brass left the Moot Hall after 1,000 miles and 150,000 feet of training in the first 5 months of the year with high hopes of a 55 at 55. After 20 hours and nearly 50 peaks the weather turned and the attempt abandoned at Threlkeld. 23 days later back at the Moot Hall just before 9 am George was back for a second attempt. The weather was almost as unkind, having baked the ground, dried up many becks and it wasn't long before both blisters and a lack a water became problems. By Threlkeld the weather had had enough of being reasonable and reverted to rain and low clouds but it wasn't to stop George Brass reaching the Moot Hall within 24 hours having visited the 'standard 42' plus another 13 for a new 'peaks for years' record.

Repeated subsequently by Paul Murray the route has been referred to as that of the "Clayton Pioneers" and to distinguish it from any other 55 summit route I'll refer to it as a "Pioneers' 55". Denis Lucas who who was second to complete a 55@55 preferred a clock-wise round adding extra peaks without the North Western Fells and his route and schedule can be found on Mike Sadula's BG website - clockwise 55 at 55

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