’23 Before Tea’ is a fell running challenge with Elterwater Hostel at its centre. The task is described as, ‘…a verified circuit of any 23 Wainwright summits, from the hostel sign at the gate and back, so you’re free to chart your own route.’
Why 23? This is described in more detail on the hostel website, but the idea was that 23 Wainwright summits were thought to be ‘within reach’ of the hostel – whatever that means! Unlike the more established Rounds, both the summits chosen and the routes taken have varied significantly between attempters and are evolving over time – the creators believe that a consensus as to the optimum route has now been reached and that further significant variation is unlikely, however this is open to debate. The Strava record of the route followed by the FKT-holder (as at October 2023) can be found below. Above is an example of one of the best views of this Round – this one from Tarn Crag.
The 23 Wainwrights, in the order visited, were:
Silver How, Blea Rigg, Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Loft Crag, Pike of Stickle, Thunacar Knott, High Raise, Sergeant Man, Tarn Crag, Calf Crag, Gibson Knott, Helm Crag, Nab Scar, Heron Pike, Stone Arthur, Great Rigg, Fairfield, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, High Pike, Low Pike, Loughrigg
The Westmorland Gazette published an article about the record being broken – you can read it about here. There’s still a chance to snatch the FKT for yourself this year before the days get too short/the weather becomes too miserable for a quick time to be viable! But equally, it’s a great route however fast you attempt it. So let’s get some more Macclesfield Harrier completions on the leaderboard!