Summary table

As noted on other pages, the bulk of my research to date has been in relation to the early history of the 24-Hour Fell Record. The period from 1832 to 1903 covers a period before the record was codified (initially by Dr. A. W. Wakefield). This makes it difficult to compare endeavours, or even to assert what was the record at any given point. For this reason, this is a summary table and not a record table.

For the modern day table, please visit the Bob Graham Club website here.




Note: the term 'substantive peaks' is simply an invention of the author, reflecting my subjective assessment of the number of peaks which would have required hard graft to bag over a round.


As noted above, Dr. A. W. Wakefield provided the first formal codification for the record when he wrote it should be based on the most number of peaks over 2,000 feet which can be gained within 24 hours - "to exceed this time should not be encouraged" [id31].

Up until that point, it had never been clear whether it was a distance record, an ascent record or a peaks record. Going by the literature of the time, it was almost an unwritten equation involving all three. And the parameters of the equation depended on who was writing! A combination of this and poor record-keeping meant the term 'record' was dispersed liberally and without any rigorous underpinning. What is clear is that the sheer number of peaks did not begin to be the main currency until the turn of the century, in fact not until Wakefield entered the scene. 

Wakefield's rules stood until Bob Graham's round (which was the 24-Hour Record for around three decades). At this point, the '2,000 feet criterion' appears to have been quietly dropped, as many of Graham's additional peaks were in fact below this elevation. As the Heatons traded records between them, it then became the unwritten rule to include Bob Graham's summits in any record. This was not without precedent: Wakefield deliberately built on Johnston's round; Eustace Thomas on Wakefield's and Graham on Thomas'. In 1971, the newly-formed Bob Graham Club formalised this tradition and stipulated that a new record must at least include the summits gained by the previous record holder.

In 1978, a minimum degree of prominence was set for any peaks: that there must be at least a 50 foot drop in all directions. In 1989, the prominence threshold was increased to 250 feet and a minimum distance of 0.25 miles (between an existing peak and any new peak) was introduced.

When the modern rules are applied to the modern record, there is little room for manoeuvre. There is only the very highest hanging fruit remaining. One cannot start with a blank sheet of paper and the remaining peaks for inclusion are listed on the Bob Graham Club website. 

Interestingly, there has never been any rule on where a round must start; it need not be the Moot Hall.