Review: The Big Rounds by David Litern – Published by Cicerone - £18.95

MANY people, especially fell walkers and runners will have heard of the Bob Graham Round in the Lake District - 42 peaks covering 61½ miles of running with 26,778 feet of ascent to be completed in less than 24 hours, but I suspect fewer will have come across the Paddy Buckley round in Wales and the Charlie Ramsay Round in Scotland.

This guide by David Litern covers Britain’s three most challenging long distance mountain rounds and includes stories from the people who love them and have completed them over the years.

After an introductory chapter, the next three chapters concentrate on each of the rounds with a map of the route to start with and then a comprehensive step by step route guide split into the sections of the round (five each for the Bob Graham and Paddy Buckley and three legs for the Charlie Ramsay) and finally a brief history of the round. Each chapter also has a section entitled “practicalities” with details of road crossings where support staff can meet and feed the runners, where to find water on the fells during the run, accommodation for support staff and where to obtain supplies.

The final chapter in the book is entitled “People of the Rounds” and there are also five appendices – Hills and their heights, Distance and elevation at a glance, Firsts on the Rounds, Round extensions and other eye-watering long challenges and finally Further reading and viewing.

David Lintern has done a terrific job putting this comprehensive guide together. He is an award winning photographer and writer and he describes himself as “an average mountaineer and below-average runner”. For any runners or fellwalkers this is a must-read book covering these three most difficult 24-hour challenges in the world.

John Burland