Recent years have seen an increase in those interested in achieving a Bob Graham Round in winter. What constitutes "winter" is an interesting debate and one that has consumed much traffic on the FRA Forum and produced much hot air in the pubs of Lakeland and elsewhere.
Those people wishing to undertake a winter round (members or non-members) often seek guidance from the Club as to the "rules" which apply. The short answer is that the only rules that the Club has are those contained in its Guidance Notes available elsewhere on this site which apply equally to winter rounds. It goes without saying that the level of all things required to achieve a summer round is greatly magnified for winter rounding.
Winter rounds were discussed most recently by the BG Club committee at its meeting in May 2008. It seems appropriate to produce some guidance on what the Club accepts as a winter round. One of the main functions of the Club is to monitor and record attempts, so it is right that it should do its best to set out the parameters of that record-keeping.
The Club perceives that there are 2 distinct types of winter Bob Graham Round which are:
- the "Mid-winter" round which, taking its inspiration from the earliest attempts on a winter round by Pete Simpson and Martin Stone in the early 1980s, is attempted at any time from the weekend before the shortest day through to the first period of decent weather after the shortest day but to be completed no later than 10 January; and
- the "Winter" round, which is a round not falling within the definition set out above, attempted during the period starting on 1 December and finishing on the last day of February.
Even this distinction is artificial, because conditions on the shortest day could be quite benign, whilst full winter conditions could well be experienced at any time before or after within the wider definition of "winter". Ultimately, though, if records are to be kept, someone has to set parameters to keep them by. The Club is persuaded by the view of the early winter pioneers that the challenge represented by maximum hours of darkness puts the "Mid-winter" round into a category of its own.
For those motivated to attempt a winter round, the distinction drawn above will either be relevant or important to them, or it won't be. That will be up to them.
Whatever the motivation, completing a successful winter Bob Graham Round is a fabulous experience and achievement and those who have done so should rightly be saluted. Those who have completed a Mid-winter or a Winter round for which the Club has details are recorded in this document (This list is to end of 2020).
If the list is in any way incomplete or incorrect, please send any additions or corrections to the Membership Secretary by email (see the Contacts page).