James Gibson completes first winter round of the Wainwrights Lakeland fells

James Gibson completes first winter round of the Wainwrights Lakeland fells

10th December 2021

Athlete James Gibson has completed a round of all the Lake District’s Wainwright fells.

It is believed to be the first winter completion of the 214 peaks.

Gibson, who works at the Climbers’ Shop in Ambleside and is also a member of Lakeland Mountain Guides, arrived back at the Moot Hall in Keswick on Thursday afternoon, 8 days 6hrs 43mins 49secs after setting off on his quest.

He faced severe weather during the challenge, with deep snow on some of the fells and the arrival of Storm Barra. Gibson paused his run by diverting to Mungrisdale on Tuesday while the worst of the weather passed, resuming with an ascent of Carrock Fell in the early hours of Wednesday.

Runner Tom Hollins, who began a similar attempt on the Wainwrights an hour before Gibson’s start on the morning of 1 December, ended his challenge in the early hours of Sunday, defeated in part by energy-sapping deep snow on the fells, as well as difficulties for support staff after the earlier Storm Arwen.

James Gibson summited the final fell, Cat Bells, at 12.48pm on Thursday before heading on the final few kilometres to the centre of Keswick.

Completing all the peaks described by Alfred Wainwright in his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells involves a distance of 318 miles (512km) run, with 36,000m (118,110ft) of ascent.

Sabrina Verjee holds the record for a solo continuous Wainwrights round, with a time of 5 days 23hrs 49mins 12secs, set in June. Long-distance expert John Kelly abandoned his attempt on the record the following month.

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