The Bob Graham Round #BG20 – December

Weekly Average Ascent: 7,700ft of climbing.

For once, a lack of snowfall in the Alps was not the end of the world. A light, high and stable snow-pack allowed for a running-packed few weeks in the Ecrins over Christmas, interspersed with a small amount of skiing and ice-climbing. Laps around the forests high above Vallouise coupled with a lung-busting ascent of the Tete D’Amont provided some valuable altitude training.

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Training on Christmas Day. After a morning’s skiing, a run with 700m of vertical ascent to earn that Turkey.

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Training on Boxing Day. Running to the summit of Tete D’Amont.

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Making the most of the sunshine and high snow-level in the Ecrins Massif


As November went and December came, winter finally began to arrive on the Lakeland Fells. Temperatures finally started falling below freezing and with daylight in short supply my mid-week training concentrated on rounds of Red Screes as well as the occasional run around High Street from Hartsop. Both of which could be squeezed into extended lunch-breaks twice a week. My plan was to focus solely on climbing hills and running as much if not all of every route I went out on. Distance could come much later.

Mid-month saw the first proper snow-falls of winter and some seriously tough but fun running ensued but no sooner had winter proper arrived than it went again in the run up to Christmas as gales and milder / stormy weather returned.

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Very snowy and slow conditions on Pike O Blisco mid-month

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The week before Christmas and it was VERY WET. On Silver Howe.

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Definitely winter. Looking North across to Pike O Stickle

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Thornthwaite Crag can be a lonely place at night. Just Seren for company.

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The fells start to become a cold and bleak place

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The summit of Red Screes…..my most visited fell-top of the whole winter.

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About Richard Talbot

An accomplished fell-runner as well as being a keen climber and mountaineer. Since 2005 he has worked for the UK based manufacturer Mountain Equipment and is currently Director of Product. He has worked in the outdoor industry for over 15 years.
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