Frequently Asked Questions

This page is a collection of questions that occur from time to time (some, every year).

Before The Start

Can I leave my vehicle at the start?

The car park at the Community Center in Ingleton (where the event usually starts) is a public Pay and Display car park, so the simple answer is yes.

The car park at the Community Center in Ingleton (where the event usually starts) is a public Pay and Display car park, so the simple answer is yes.

There are a couple of drawbacks to doing this:

  • It will be expensive (from a Yorkshireman’s perspective anyway!).
  • Since the route is not circular and there is no direct public transport service between the finish and the start, getting back to your car may be a problem.

The organisers do have a solution to this. First we arrange the use of a local quarry close to the finish at Threshfield and allow competitors to park there for free. We then provide coaches to transport people from the finish to the start on Saturday morning (this can be booked when you enter). The one drawback to this is that the coaches leave Threshfield starting from 05:45 on the Saturday morning. You can find out more details on the Parking and Transport page.

We suggest you book a seat on the coach when you enter the event as we base the number of coaches to order on the number of pre-booked seats.

Equipment

What maps do I need?

This is a tricky question to answer as the current sheets keep changing. To simplify the rules only the current sheet references have been included, if you have older maps these are acceptable so long as they cover the route. The following map combinations are acceptable:

  • Ordnance Survey Landranger sheet 98 (1:50000 scale)
  • Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure sheets 2 (Yorkshire Dales Western area), 10 (Yorkshire Dales Southern area), 30 (Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas) (1:25000 scale)
  • Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure sheets 2 (Yorkshire Dales Southern & Western areas), 30 (Yorkshire Dales Northern & Central areas). These maps have since been renamed Ordnance Survey Explorer OL2 and OL30. (1:25000 scale)
  • Harvey Outdoor Maps Dales West and South. (1:40000 scale)
  • The Fellsman Map
    The sections in bold are the currently available maps (at the time of writing).

Route cards printed from your PC mapping software are not acceptable, nor are strips of maps cut down to save weight or space. If you are carrying the complete map and get lost at least we are confident your location is still covered by your map, carrying A4 printouts and the like will not guarantee this.

Can I carry a GPS device?

The rules do not prohibit the use of GPS devices on the event.

However, the rules do state you must carry the relevant maps and compass and know how to use them. So whilst you will not be disqualified for carrying and using the GPS you can not use it as an excuse to not carry the maps and compass.

Obviously we can not test everyone’s knowledge in this area, should your batteries run out or the device get damaged, we at least know you have a reliable backup to get you to safety.

My boots/shoes are [insert make/model here], are they OK?

It is impossible to give an answer to this on a website, via email or over the phone. Rule 3 states:

Footwear must satisfy the requirements of the Equipment Check Officer. The criteria are as follows:
– They are in first class condition. Footwear which is misshapen or worn will not be accepted.
– They have been manufactured for the purpose of fell walking, fell running or have an acceptable type of studded sole. Plimsoles, Road Running training shoes, etc. will not be accepted.

We think the rules are fairly clear but obviously the condition and the level of wear is always open to interpretation. Basically the best advice we can give is, if you are not sure whether your footwear is of a good enough quality, bring a second pair just in case your favourite pair are deemed not good enough.

There is really no way we can pass judgement before the weekend, sorry.

Around The Route

I have special dietary requirements, will there be suitable refreshments available at the Checkpoints?

We try to accommodate as many people as possible on the event. Refreshments are available at each roadside checkpoint. The catering list is updated for each event at the beginning of April. 

Vegetarian options are available for all meals and all checkpoints – please check the vegetarian option box on the entry form if you would like to order these.

Some vegan options are also available – please contact the Organisers to discuss these.

All the checkpoints that serve hot food will have a hot gluten-free option (even if only cuppa soup!) – please see catering page for details.

N.B If you have a special dietary requirement, please get in touch to discuss options with our Catering Co-ordinator via the contact us page.

The grid reference you supplied for checkpoint [insert name here] is incorrect.

We get at least 2 or 3 emails a year along these lines, informing us of mistakes in a checkpoint’s grid reference, in the handbook. We think this is mainly due to some of the grid references no longer being close to the checkpoint name on the map, this can occur for a number of reasons.

  • The event has been running for over 40 years so the original checkpoint locations and names were taken from imperial scaled maps. When the maps were rescaled to metric some of the place names were relocated.
  • The checkpoint location has had to be moved due to landowner requests or a better location being found. This occurs from time to time, since the new location tends to still be in the same general area it is felt that the name should stay the same.

Obviously changing checkpoint names is not a simple task, the tally artwork needs amending, all the paperwork needs changing and finally all the staff need re-educating (if you have been calling a checkpoint ‘fred’ for the last 30 or 40 years it’s hard to change overnight).

Transport Questions

What happens if I can’t complete the event?

If you reach a roadside checkpoint, and for what ever reason, feel you can not continue you have two options:

  • Retire from the event – If you choose to retire we will ensure you are transported to the finish via mini-buses we provide for this situation. We can not promise that you will be returned immediately as we keep the vans in the field to respond to emergencies as required. You may still spend a couple of hours on the bus and the bus may even relocate to another checkpoint before you are delivered to the finish. During this time you have not been forgotten about, but if you feel that you state is deteriorating let the driver know and he’ll have a word with the control staff to see what can be done.
  • Withdraw from the event – If you choose to withdraw you are saying you will arrange your own transport from the checkpoint and are effectively leaving the event at that point. If you choose to withdraw you will be asked to sign a form to say you are withdrawing and taking responsibility for yourself from that point on.

In both cases you will be asked for your tally which will be returned to you with your copy of the results after the event. We take your tally as part of our safety procedure as we use it to check that all hikers are accounted for at the finish.

Obviously the above can only happen at a roadside checkpoint. If you are taken ill or are injured on the hills we will try to locate you ourselves, but should the need arise we will not hesitate to call the Mountain Rescue and other emergency services.

Can the retirement bus drop me off at [insert place here]?

Unfortunately the drivers do not have the withdrawal paperwork with them. This can only be done at a checkpoint, but you can withdraw at another checkpoint if you wish, just have a word with your driver and he’ll take you to the Checkpoint Officer who can sort out the paperwork.

The Event Rules

What are these ‘chop times’ and why are they needed?

A time limit is imposed on entrants taking part in the event. Times are defined for some of the later roadside checkpoints, and anyone arriving at these checkpoints after the specified time will be compulsorily retired or withdrawn. These times are referred to as “chop times”.

The chop times for each of these roadside checkpoints are:

Checkpoint Time
Hill Inn 11:30
Kingsdale 15:00
Dent 19:00
Stonehouses 22:00
Redshaw 01:00
Fleet Moss 03:30
Cray 07:00
Park Rash 08:30
Threshfield 15:30

(PLEASE NOTE THESE TIMES HAVE BEEN ALTERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EARLIER START TIME)

There are no chop times applied to hill top checkpoints because it is not possible to retire or withdraw at a hill top checkpoint.

The reason for the chop times is that the staff operating the event still have a lot of work to do after the event is completed, and Threshfield School needs to be handed back in a good state. With these chop times, typically the last entrant will arrive back at around 13:30, so these times could not reasonably be any later.

In reality, anyone arriving at Cray just before the chop time is unlikely to make it to Park Rash in time to continue to the finish.

Grouping and Waiting Time Questions

Although mandatory grouping has ceased with the introduction of entrant trackers, the organisers reserve the right to reintroduce the grouping rule at any point of the event should they deem it necessary for everyone’s safety. Each entrant is responsible for being properly equipped for the duration of the event in exposed terrain at the end of April.

Why must I walk in a group during the night?

The grouping rule is an essential safety measure for entrants walking during the night time portion of the event Should the weather be against us.

After the defined grouping time, anyone arriving at a roadside checkpoint may only continue in a group of four or more. If there are not four entrants present at the checkpoint, then you will need to wait until more entrants arrive (waiting time will be allowed in this case). If you are at the rear of the event and there are not enough remaining entrants to form a group of four, then unfortunately you will not be allowed to continue.

During grouping, the whole group MUST remain within sight and sound of each other. Failure to do this will result in disqualification for the entire group.

You must stay in the same group and groups can only be restructured at a roadside checkpoint.

During grouping, long trousers must be worn.

It’s dawn so can we disband our group?

Degrouping on the Sunday morning takes place at roadside checkpoints only, and is at the discretion of the checkpoint officer. You will not be degrouped at a hill top checkpoint, the staff at these have no authority to do this, so please do not ask them.

We understand that grouping is something that some entrants do not like. However this is the best way we know to keep everyone safe during the night and we make no apology for having this rule.

When and how is waiting time awarded?

Every year when putting together the results we get people say they deserve waiting time which we cannot verify. So, how does it work?

Point 1 in ‘Instructions to Entrants’ states ‘No waiting time will be allowed whilst taking refreshments or resting at any checkpoint’. This little statement is expected to convey a whole lot more than it seems at first sight: hopefully by the time you read this it will have been expanded.

The idea is you arrive at a checkpoint after grouping, check in, get something to eat/drink, change your socks, apply more plasters, apply more Fellsman makeup (Vaseline to those not in the know) and powder your nose. Then you locate the member of checkpoint staff in charge of grouping (normally the Checkpoint Officer recognizable by his lime coloured hi-viz vest) and inform him you are ready to leave. He should make a note of the time and your number. Once the group is formed and ready to go the number of minutes that has elapsed will be noted and written on the back of your tally. You need to make sure this happens: if the paperwork does not make it back to the finish this is the way we confirm the time. If the time rubs off on your hairy chest/ample bosom we have no confirmation. This year we will inform checkpoint officers to write times on the grouping sheets which your team carries, hand these in at the finish and this will help confirm your claims.

You are in a similar situation if you need re-grouping at a checkpoint because one or more of your existing group are retiring. Wash your socks, etc, then, when your existing group is ready to leave approach the checkpoint staff member handling grouping and they will start your waiting time timer running. In this situation your arrival time is not when your waiting time starts from. If you do not want refreshments etc. when you arrive or are ready to leave before the rest of your group, then approach the checkpoint staff and explain you are ready to leave but are waiting for the other members of your group, they should give you waiting time.