The round is split into legs and legs are split into transitions between two or more points (usually peaks).
For each transition, a table provides simple statistics. It summarises the distance and gross ascent of each route option.
The table also describes the shortest possible distance and least possible ascent required to get from point to point. In other words, if terrain and paths were not factors, what would be the minimum degree of travel between the two points? For distance, this is slightly longer than “as the crow flies” because the ups and downs must be taken into account. Where water or the law blocks the way (e.g. a lake or private land), a figure for “minimum accessible distance” is given. For ascent, the figure is gross (i.e. aggregating all the ups) and no account is taken of distance.
These minimums – direttissima – are of course wholly theoretical. But they give a sense of the extent to which a route costs or saves miles on the ground and metres in the air. And where terrain and the law permit, some will prefer to strike out their own way.
Descriptions for each transition should be self-explanatory. But it must be emphasised that this is not a route guide, it is a description of the options. Better route guides are available and one should question the need for anything more detailed.
Units of measurement are miles for distance and metres for altitude. While inconsistent, this simply reflects what the author “thinks” in.