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Friday, 14 October 2016

The Longest Walk

Gayle drew my attention in my last post to a minor alteration to the English Marilyn, Muncaster Fell. The highest point has been relocated to a different lump on the ridge.

My claim to that ascent arises from the longest walk I  ever did which included a traverse of Muncaster Fell, so I am counting it as "done", but it all brought back memories.

Here is a letter I sent to Dave Hodgson, a prominent member of the Fell Runners Association and a senior colleague of mine during my career with Yorkshire Bank.

The walk was from Shap to Ravenglass, gleaned from, The Big Walks, Ken Wilson and Richard Gilbert.

If you click to enlarge it should be readable, but below I summarise the route.

17th June 1991

Depart Shap - 5:20am
Long Sleddale
Old Corpse Road
High Street
Dunmail Raise
Steel Fell
Angle Tarn 
Eskdale to bottom of Hardknotts
Muncaster Fell

42 miles - 17.5 hours.

As I walked into Ravenglass a guy was tending the garden of his guest house. He enquired as to where I had walked from - his reply, "Oh! My friend put that walk in the book. We often wondered if it could be done in one day!"

He turned out to be Roger Putnam and had been at Oxford with my friend Gimmer who comments here. I was informed that there were no trains home on Sunday, so Barney, my Springer, and I stayed the night with Roger.


AlanR said...

Thats a hell of a walk Conrad. I am impressed. I remember a Putnam running the Outward Bound centre in Eskdale, i wonder if its the same chap? I know his son Nick runs the Olive Press restaurant in Gosforth which is only a stones throw away from Ravensglass.

Gayle said...

I thought you would likely have walked that ridge at some point, but wasn't expecting that route description! I'm guessing that, aside from being 42.5 miles, there was a reasonable smattering of ascent involved too.

gimmer said...

AR - yes, it is/was the same chap - kind and thoughtful:
i remember one day, long, long ago , as we were recovering from some epic near Zermatt, his advising me to say 'I think it is', rather than 'it is': cannot remember why but at least the general lesson stuck.

Sir Hugh said...

Alan R - Yes, it was, but that was 24 years ago (I can't believe that), and I was only 52. I couldn't do it now. The key was being able to jog down all the downhill bits thus maintaining a good average speed. your Putnam query has now been answered below.


Gayle - The source book doesn't give that stat., but here are quotes from the contributor of this walk, Tom Price:

"An exceptionally long and arduous mountain walk - 18 hours."

And: "Only those with a powerful streak of sanity (sic) in their make-up can resist the occasional very long walk. It is that heroic dream of fluent, tireless movement over hill and dale that drives us to these excesses."


Gimmer - Thanks for the up date.