Ursula Moore is first member of YKH to complete the Bob Graham Round.

Bob Graham achievement 

Setting off from Keswick Moot Hall at 2 am

Club member Ursula Moore successfully completed the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District on Saturday 1st August.

Ursula set off at 2 am on her epic quest to traverse 42 fells within a 24-hour period, starting and finishing at Keswick Moot Hall, covering 66 miles (106 km) with 26,900 feet (8,200 m) of ascent.

Ursula celebrates a successful round with her support crew

Aiming for a time of 22 hours, Ursula was strong throughout and was ahead of schedule with a great time of twenty one and a half hours. Earning a celebratory pint of beer on the steps of the Moot Hall in Keswick.


She is the first member of YKH to join the exclusive Bob Graham club.

 

A few of our club members were a part of her enthusiastic support crew:
Tom Ratcliffe & Barry Atkinson (leg 2), Grace Kelleher (leg 4), Giles Hawking (bits of 4 & 5) and Mel & Glynn Ellwood on the final leg .

Ursula’s account of the day:

Had a bit of time to collect and written a summary of the day: Awesome day out with lots of wonderful people to support me. Very grateful to everyone who came to help make it such a fun day.
Leg 1:

Setting off at 0200 with Kim and Mike from Moot Hall and off up Skiddaw. At first we thought we were going to be lucky with a clear and starry night…but then we plunged head first into the clag. Headtorch light bouncing off the enveloping cloud we were grateful for the good path to the top and enjoyed ‘popping’ back out on the way down to the bog across to Great Calva. Not the best line around the little crag in the middle but we soon found the right bit of bog and swam our way up to the stream and ploughed on up. Kim paused at the out and back (hence the missing GPX section) while I bagged the top and then we barrelled down the fence line towards another bog snorkel and a welcome crossing of great Calva. At this point the world started to get light and, again, we brought our hopes of a glorious sunrise on Hall’s fell decent. But it wasn’t to be. With the top of Blencathra came a return of the clouds and we slithered our way down the scramble, only losing about 10 minutes, to bring us in to Threlkeld almost bang on schedule.

stop 1: Meeting Robbie for a very welcome brew (Yorkshire tea), not so welcome bacon butty, change of shoes and a Danish in hand and packed off on leg 2.

Leg 2:

Baz and Tom were the next victims and chatted me up the first big climb. Despite the Danish I was feeling good and looking forward to stretching out at the top. Unfortunately the clouds were back so the stunning views of the rolling Dodds never quite appeared but it was great running all the same. On through the mist we passed the haunting ski lift on raise and continued up towards Helvellyn. Even at 0700 there were a few early walkers around to tell us we were crazy. From Dollywaggon we plunged down towards the tarn, nearly loosing Baz in a many commando roll tumble down the steep stuff, before the vicious out and back to Fairfield. On the way down we passed another group of ‘Bob-ers’ on their way up and expected to see them pass us fairly soon. The last decent from Seat Sandal was a joy – out of the mist on soft ground and knees still going well I barrelled down with Baz leading the way.

stop 2: Mum and Dad, Jeff, Kim and Mike all sat me down, changed my socks, fed me (more bacon rolls and a massive chocolate milkshake) and packed me off again.

Leg 3:

Kasia and Dad took me up steel Fell before Dad peeled off back to the car (very strong hill legs!) and Kasia and I carried on towards calf crag. My nice dry socks were soon soaked again as we squelched past calf crag and scrabbled up the gill to Sergeant Man. A minor nav error setting off from sergeant Man then a welcome trod took us to High Raise and a meeting with Jeff, Alex and Beinne the dog – welcome strangers in the mist and an unexpected bonus for Kasia, who knew Alex from previous adventures. On to the atmospheric Langdale Pikes and down for another squelch across towards Rosett Pike. I was pleased to find the ‘obvious cairned path’ that I had missed on so many recees and then to find Martin at the top – with water and a very tasty brunch bar! Bowfell through to Scafell Pike felt fabulous, with the clouds starting to clear and the views opening up. Down at broad stand we met Robbie and Sophie who had had more of an adventure trying to rig broad stand in the clag and instead passed on some incredibly tasty dairy milk and a very valued (COVID secure) hug. With no broad stand we dropped down a little for the atmospheric scrabble up Lord’s Rake and the west wall traverse to pop out on Scafell. Goodbye to Martin here and off down the scree for a fabulous slide into Wasdale, all rounded off by a not so intentional flop in the river at the bottom.

stop 3: Mum, Dad and Jeff got me set up with new socks, Iced Latte (oooo fancy) and a big tub of pasta before sending me on my way with lots of encouragement.

Leg 4:

Grace joined and we headed off up Yewbarrow, with Dad and Jeff bringing some chat for the first climb. The new faces and conversations (or was it the pasta?) drove me up the climb and I felt that the top arrived quite soon. Wahoo! It was a relief to be up the ‘death of many a Bob Graham Round’ and off into the rest of leg 4, which is stunningly beautiful. Thankfully the clouds had now cleared and I could enjoy the views (well, when not trying to balance on pointy rocks). I’m very glad this is such a lovely leg as I think otherwise I’d have been starting to flag but the changing terrain kept me going and happy. At the top of black sail it was awesome to meet Giles, who had made his way up from Honister and added to the fun! Great gable soon arrived and then we were on the way down – now slightly slower zooming on the soft ground past green gable, Brandreth and Grey knotts via a questionable trod to the waiting van at Hosister.

Stop 4: Robbie, Glynn, Mel, Louise, Kasia, Jeff and lots of cheers from other BG supporters made for a fantastic atmosphere while I guzzled some soup and a roll and downed a coffee before setting off on the last leg.

Leg 5:

Heading off up the last climb with Ellie, Mel, Glynn, Giles and Kasia felt like a party before some peeled back to Honister and we continued on the after-the-party wobbly legs. My eating had slowed down and I decided just to go with gels and Jelly Babies from here and was popping them like smarties to the final summit on Robinson. Torches on and down the scrably ridge to the waymarked tree and a very steep grassy decent to the river bed. Managed without resorting to the bum slide it was a relief to be down on the flat and back amoungst the sheep. We hit the road and I switched to road shoes – patiently carried by Ellie from Honsiter – before starting the slog/shuffle to Keswick. The party atmosphere continued with the glow sticks Ellie had brought (so cars could see us, but also for the rave) and they kept me going as the tarmac started to bite in the last few miles.

As we hit the Keswick streets the very last of the jelly babies gave me a spike of energy allowing a speed up for the final run to and up the steps of Moot Hall. Tap the door, smile for a photo and struggle back down the stairs again!
Thank you Bob for a fantastic day in the hills, and thanks to my amazing pacers, supporters and friends who kept me on track, took my poles when I was sick of them, fed and watered me when I didn’t know I was thirsty and have been out running with me in all of the weathers of the last 8 months (with a little COVID gap). I definitely couldn’t have done it without you, but also wouldn’t have – because it would have been no fun!
NB – GPX is slightly short as it’s a mix of a few watches when recorded. I promise I did go to great Calva summit and didn’t fly half way up clough head (although would have been nice).
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