Solo, Self and Unsupported Attempts

This list comprises all attempts that were not fully supported rounds, incorporating solo, self-supported and unsupported endeavours.

Contents:

SIMON BARNETT – May, 2017

 

'Fast hike' completion

 

Start date and time: Friday 19 May 2017

Finish date and time: June 2017

Overall duration: Around 15 days

Start and finish point: Moot Hall, Keswick

Form: Supported [although majority solo]

Many walkers have completed the Wainwrights in relatively short, intensive periods, but, to the best of my knowledge, Simon Barnett was the first to do so as a continuous challenge. He used Steve Birkinshaw’s 2014 route, was supported at road crossings but was often solo on the fells.

JACK ROBERTS - June, 2017

 

'Fast hike' completion

 

Start date and time: 21 June 2017

Finish date and time: 15 July 2017

Overall duration: 25 days

Start point: n/k

Route: Own route

Form: Hiking (equivalent to solo, self-supported)

Jack completed a continuous traverse over 25 days with no transport support. He carried his own equipment.

COLIN IBBOTSON - April, 2018

 

Continuous traverse of Wainwrights, including Outlying Fells

 

Start date and time: 23 April 2018

Finish date and time: May 2018

Overall duration: 42 days

Start point: Kendal

Route: Own route

Form: Hiking (equivalent to solo, self-supported)

 

Colin Ibbotson’s achievement is most notable for the fact that he adapted the Wainwrights Round route to include the 116 Outlying Fells. This is the only continuous round to have included this large additional set of fells. All told, it made for a 42-day round of 330 fells.

JAMES FORREST - August, 2020

 

Solo and self-supported record / Self-supported record held: 2020 – 2021

Start date and time: 24 August 2020, 9.28am

Finish date and time: 7 September 2020, 10.34pm

Duration: 14 days, 11 hours and 6 minutes

Start and end point: Moot Hall, Keswick

Form: Solo, self-supported

 

James was the first person to seriously set out to record a fast time for a self-supported round. He carefully planned the attempt, including through depositing caches of supplies at various points along the route. He finished in just over two weeks, making it through some tough conditions.

MINGMA TSHERING SHERPA - January, 2021

 

Non-continuous winter completion

 

A brief honourable mention is merited for this non-continuous winter completion. Over two weeks in January, Mingma Tshering Sherpa bagged all the Wainwright fells. Each outing was completed solo. The total moving time was five days and six hours.

LAURIE CRAYSTON - 2019 to 2021

 

Five attempts at a solo, unsupported completion

 

Between 2019 and 2021, Laurie Crayston made five separate attempts at a solo, unsupported completion of the Wainwrights attempt. To the best of my knowledge, no other person has made so many attempts on the round (Sabrina Verjee comes next with four starts).

Laurie’s fourth attempt is of particular note because he managed to complete 150 Wainwrights before having to abandon due to poor weather. He started on Monday 26 April and ended the attempt on Monday 10 May.

His fifth and final attempt came after Christopher Gaskin set a solo, unsupported record of eleven and a half days – see below.

CHRISTOPHER GASKIN - May, 2021

 

New solo and unsupported record / Unsupported record held: 2021 – present

 

Start date and time: Tuesday 18 May 2021, 8.39am

Finish date and time: Saturday 29 May 2021, 7.40pm

Duration: 11 days, 10 hours and 58 minutes

Start and end point: Moot Hall, Keswick

Form: Solo and unsupported

 

Veteran Christopher was using his attempt to support armed forces charities. Consistent with the unsupported nature of the challenge, he carried all his food and equipment for the entire journey (estimating it at 14 days). Like many others, he was affected by the unseasonably poor weather during the late Spring season. He was able to finish a good amount ahead of schedule.

DOM AND JASON AINSLEY - July, 2021

 

Unsuccessful unsupported attempt

 

Start date and time: Thursday 1 July 2021, 8am

Attempt ended: Thursday 1 July 2021, around 6pm

Start point: Moot Hall, Keswick

Form: ‘Solo’ (pair) and unsupported

 

It is unclear, but the available information suggests Dom and Jason Ainsley were attempting an unsupported round as a pair. The tracker suggests it was aborted very early in the round.

JAMES FORREST - May, 2022

 

Unsuccessful solo, self-supported attempt

 

Start date and time: Wednesday 1 June 2022, 5.03am

Attempt ended: Sunday 5 June 2022, around 5pm

Start point: Moot Hall, Keswick

Form: Solo, self-supported

 

While James set a new solo, self-supported record in 2020 (see above), Christopher Gaskin’s solo, unsupported time took his crown because a self-supported time must be quicker than the equivalent unsupported time. Perhaps this is what inspired James to set out again – to see if he could make self-supported quicker than unsupported.

Back in 2020, he had generally suffered from poor weather on his first round, so a faster completion was potentially on the cards. He took a similar approach to preparation, including stashing a number of boxes with supplies at various points along the route.

James’ target was to beat 11 days, but unfortunately he had to call time after 4 days and 75 Wainwrights.