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Discussion Forum - Events - The Fellsman Hike


Author: Garfield & Helen Southall
Posted: Fri 2nd Jun 2006, 15:59
Joined: 1991
Local Group: Merseystride
John, the post above you is May 8th 2006. When they drop the grouping rules, I'll return to the Fellsman. - Garfield
Posted: Tue 30th May 2006, 13:24
Joined: 1986
Why are all these posts dated 2005 and yet the index page shows the last post as 2006?
Never done the Fellsman before, might be coming round to having a go but some of the rules referred to here have put me off in the post and continue to do so now
Author: Chris Boden
Posted: Mon 8th May 2006, 11:56
Joined: 2005
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
Well, that time of year is nearly upon us again - with promises of improved food this year in the handbook to boot! Anyone checked out the conditions underfoot in the Dales recently?
Posted: Sun 22nd May 2005, 12:44
Joined: 2000
It was relatively uneventful from my point of view. The weather was great, a bit too windy early on and a little too warm in the afternoon but near perfect apart from that. There were some great views at sunset and sunrise, wish I'd taken a camera. I managed to get round in 21 hrs, nearly 6 hrs faster than last year, which I was very pleased with. I know of at least one person that was disqualified for failing to stick to the grouping rules during the night. I dont think he was very enamoured by the behaviour of his group in terms of team bonding etc!
Author: Philip Clarke
Posted: Thu 19th May 2005, 21:52
Joined: 1995
Local Group: Marches
Anyone any tales to tell?
Author: Garfield & Helen Southall
Posted: Fri 1st Apr 2005, 12:09
Joined: 1991
Local Group: Merseystride
Re Photo. I think it's at the foot of the descent from Whernside. Just before you cross the (frequently dry) river before the Kingsdale checkpoint. .... but I could wrong !
Author: Paul Miller
Posted: Fri 1st Apr 2005, 11:42
Joined: 1986
Re the Fellsman Handbook for this years event. Does anyone know where the front cover photo was taken. I've done the Fellsman 11 times and can't for the life of me put a location to this spot. There is nowhere (that I know of) where you walk up a shallow valley on a grassy path with a small stream on your left. Can anyone help as it's 'doing my head in'. (To use a good Scouse expression).
Cheers, Paul
Posted: Tue 22nd Mar 2005, 21:16
Joined: 2004
Cheers for the replies - the basic message I'm getting is 'save the chocolate for middle tongue, don't scoff it all on the first hill and don't go haring off at the start'. It goes a bit counter to my usual tactics, but I'll give it a go :-).
Posted: Tue 22nd Mar 2005, 15:15
Joined: 2000
I totally agree with your sentiments although I was under the impression that all organisations, regardless of type, had a duty of care to their "customers". Potentially this leaves the door open to organisations being sued because they hadnt taken "reasonable steps" to ensure the safety of participants. An inexperienced walker "might" have a case that he should never have been let loose on Fleet Moss because he didnt have the skills to deal with it and the organisers hadnt taken steps to assess his competence. I agree that all of this is very sad and counter to the culture of self reliance that I'm sure the vast majority of us have.
Author: Paul Miller
Posted: Tue 22nd Mar 2005, 10:58
Joined: 1986
Ah, there you mention litigation. This is another one of my bug-bears concerning events. After the Lyme Bay tragedy, LDWA/Scout events appear to be running scared of any possible litigation and are covering themsleves every which way. However tragic this was, there is one huge difference between Lyme Bay and LDWA type events. People who go to activity centres etc are paying for leadership and tuition, and the organisers have a duty of care to their 'customers'. We on the other hand are paying to cover the cost of hiring halls, provision of food, certificates and badges. At no time are we under direct tutorage (sp) of the organisers. We even sign disclaimers to that effect. So,if you are entering an event that involves difficult terrain and requires accurate night time navigation, then why should that person expect to have their hand held through the night ? You can often get people forced upon you who have taken too much out of themselves early on, and are struggling when the going gets tough. As I said previously, it is hard enough getting yourself round without having to cajole others across Middle Tongue.
Posted: Tue 22nd Mar 2005, 8:50
Joined: 2000
Theres no doubt that the Fellsman is a classic event that deserves to be succesful but I do agree that many of the attitudes and organisational quirks do seem like a bit of a throwback in time. At the risk of being controversial though is'nt that often the case for scout organised events? I think that at least one of them still insists on "stout leather boots" and bans trainers.

As for the grouping thing I'm less sure about that. I'm sure that there are lots of people that can safely navigate themselves across miles of featureless bog in the middle of the night when they're cold and tired. On the other hand I'm fairly sure that there would be a fair few that would get into difficulties. Its all very well if you've done it a few times before and know all the navigational tips and shortcuts. I think its almost inevitable though that a proportion of first timers or less experienced walkers would get into trouble on some of the trickier sections if left to their own devices. The problem the organisers have is how to deal with entrants of widely differing skill and experience levels. Currently they are retaining a safety first attitude which given the increasingly litigious nature of our society is perhaps understandable?
Author: Paul Miller
Posted: Mon 21st Mar 2005, 22:34
Joined: 1986
Another thought on the Fellsman. Having completed 12 of them between 1988 and 1999, I always had the feeling of going through a time-warp back to the 1960's when on the event. The whole organisation / attitude / catering just seemed very dated. If one event needs an injection of the 21st Century, it's this one. I'm back again this year after 6 years absence, so I'm hoping to see a big improvement. My breath is certainly well bated !!
Author: Paul Miller
Posted: Mon 21st Mar 2005, 22:20
Joined: 1986
I'm inclined to agree there Garfield. For an event that you enter as an individual, you end up doing half of it in a group, often not of your own choosing. Even if you have a group of 4, you often get additional people forced upon you. It's hard enough getting yourself around the course without having to drag and cajole othes up Buckden Pike at 2 in the morning ! De-grouping is also a problem, as depending on timings, I have asked to de-group on Gt Whernside or Capplestone Gate, only to be refused. So, you often end up having to walk slow / getting cold / waiting when all you want to do is finish it.
Author: Garfield & Helen Southall
Posted: Mon 21st Mar 2005, 22:09
Joined: 1991
Local Group: Merseystride
I'd be interested to hear opinions on grouping. I feel the times on the Fellsman are too early - if they are needed at all. I must admit that in last years pea-soup fog in the Dodd Fell region walking in a group was sensible but in other years we have still had to group at 7pm in perfect conditions on a bright summers evening.

I tend to spend very liitle time at a checkpoint and it can be quite frustrating - and cold - hanging around for people to go through various rituals at each watering hole.
Author: Carole Elizabeth Engel
Posted: Sat 19th Mar 2005, 22:35
Joined: 1998
Local Group: Calderdale
Carole Engel 19932 Calderdale Group Joined LDWA 1998

The BEST walk in the calendar. If you like a bit of wilderness and a few hills, this is the walk for you. Don't be put off by all the "it's hard" comments. This, for most entrants, is a walk - enjoy it - we do! Yes it takes stamina and endurance, Fleet Moss and Middle Tongue are a challenge, the kit is heavy but necessary, the food is (hopefully) improving but most of all it is in some of the greatest countryside possible. A MUST on every walkers CV. Give it a try and let it become YOUR favourite walk too!
Author: Paul Miller
Posted: Thu 17th Mar 2005, 23:53
Joined: 1986
The important thing to remember; it's not what you do in the first 10 miles, but in the last 10. Don't go rushing off with the crowd up Ingleborough. You've got 3 big climbs early on, so take it easy and don't take too much out of yourself.

Route finding across Fleet Moss - Middle Tongue - Cray is most important. There is nothing worse than spending hours floundering in the mist/dark/peat trying to find the checkpoint on Middle Tongue, as this can be very demoralising.

I'm sure that there must be more retirements at Cray than anywhere else on route because people can arrive there totally demoralised.

Experienced Fellsman know the secret routes across this area. Points to look out for; ie wall corners, fence posts etc. One tip; don't go straight across Fleet Moss as it is awful. But take a more southerly route following old walls and fences.

If you want any further advice then don't hesitate to contact me either via the forum or by email; pbmiller@nildram.co.uk
Posted: Wed 16th Mar 2005, 9:18
Joined: 2000
Paul,

Fellsman is definitely tough but its do-able as long as you pace yourself properly and keep plugging on. I think that for many people the section between Fleet Moss and Cray must count as a definite low point. By then you've done about 40 miles, its dark and the terrain is pretty awful, miles of endless peat bog and mud. Enjoy!
Posted: Tue 15th Mar 2005, 21:38
Joined: 2004
About to send my application in. I went to 'Ell and back on Sunday and walked a bit with a couple of people who were getting some mileage in for the hundred. Mentioning that I fancied trying the Fellsman this year I was met with sharp intakes of breath and comments like 'that's a bit tough that is'.....

Starting to wonder what I've let myself in for if veterans of hundred's have that reaction.

I haven't got a detailed route of the walk yet, but I'd be interested in where peoples low points are so I can schedule a big hit of chocolate just before.
Author: Paul Miller
Posted: Wed 9th Mar 2005, 23:33
Joined: 1986
I only sent my Fellsman application off today, so have yet to receive my handbook. I take it that they have moved the Hell Gap CP higher up the track, to the point where the broken wall (heading NE) meets the track?

Yes the Fellsman is a wonderful/masochistic walk. Oh the joy of floundering throught peat bogs in pitch dark and pouring rain. But we keep going back. It's my 12th this year. And my friend will be completing his 30th. MADNESS I TELL YOU !
Author: Garfield & Helen Southall
Posted: Wed 9th Mar 2005, 21:24
Joined: 1991
Local Group: Merseystride
Interesting. This topic is read by the most people, yet very few contribute. The entrants handbook for this year arrived today and along with it a completely new location for Hell's Gap - adding one mile to the route !

Methinks this does make navigation a touch easier, since finding the 'nick' in the crag above the row of orange lights was always a problem for me. (Non-Fellsmen will think I'm taking hallucinatory substances after reading that last sentence!)
Author: Philip Clarke
Posted: Mon 21st Feb 2005, 9:10
Joined: 1995
Local Group: Marches
A really tough event, especially the moonscape over Fleet Moss, crikey I tremble when I type it! Down to less than one mile per hour between Fleet Moss and Cray, needless to say we were completly lost.
Already training for this year, would like to get over that section in the daylight.
Author: Mike Buckley
Posted: Tue 15th Feb 2005, 1:49
Joined: 1989
Local Group: Heart of England
Don't know, never done it. Thank Garfield for getting the new site up and running (sorry, walking). Spell checker not working? Two m's in accommodation and in my group we put our heart and sole in, sounds like the Fellsman captured your glasses too. Was in Fellsman country last week with that excellent group, Staffordshire, a weekend in Dentdale - magnificent scenery, wonderful walking and good company. You can't help but fall in love - with all three. Yes, it does capture your soul, and heart. Happy Valentines Day. ps send me a FH form Garfield. please.
Author: Garfield & Helen Southall
Posted: Sun 13th Feb 2005, 18:40
Joined: 1991
Local Group: Merseystride
After breaking my spectacles on Great Knoutberry and retiring at Redshaw, before groping in the mist to Fleet Moss where my daughter could pick me up, I said "Never Again !"

Why is it I didn't hesitate to send my form in again this year ?

What is it about this event that captures a walkers soul?

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