George Fisher Tea Round

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Catbells summit for sunrise

When myself and Tom originally planned to tackle the Montane George Fisher Tea Round this weekend, we hadn’t expected to be tackling 30 degree heat as well as the 30 miles and 12,000+ feet of elevation!



The challenge set by a former George Fisher employee is to set off from the shop/cafe and return after visiting the 10 peaks that can be seen from the window of the top floor cafe: Catbells, Robinson, High Style, Hobarton Cragg, Grisedale Pike, Eel Crag, Sail, Causey Pike, Rawling End, and Barrow.


After setting off before 5:30 on Saturday morning to try make the best of the slightly cooler temperature (which did not last), we managed to get to the top of Catbells just after sunrise to quite a crowd that had made the hike to enjoy the view. We had to crack on and head to Robinson however, which involved a long thankfully steady climb to the summit before a tough descent to Buttermere where wild swimmers and paddle boarders relaxed in and on the water in the morning sun. We weren’t jealous at all as we begin the climb of High Style, the biggest climb of the day.

Overlooking Buttermere from High Style


By this point – around halfway in mileage and elevation – we made a scrambled descent off Red Pike after High Style to Bleaberry Tarn for a little dip to cool off before the final descent into Buttermere village as families poured to the lake shore like it was a day on a beach in Saint Tropez. Here we decided to restock on fluids and – as an extra treat – a strawberry ice cream as other solid food was not going down so well for either of us.


Leaving Buttermere in the high temperature feeling a lot more refreshed, we then began the long but fairly steady climb to finally reach the end of an out and back section that takes in Hobarton Cragg and Grisedale Pike before turning back around to head for Eel Crag where a tough scramble to the highest peak on the route awaited.

View towards Keswick en route to Griesdale Pike

From Eel Crag the final four peaks come pretty close together but certainly still have their challenges as we snaked down the side of Sail towards Causey Pike. Tom hit a wall at this pint which he described as ‘his lowest point in running’. The effects of time on our feet in the summer heat had clearly caught up with him. He managed to plod on to another little out and back section to Rawling End where I waited until I was attacked by a swarm of flying black ants. From this point we headed back from where we came and down a steep heather-covered descent to a stream in the valley bottom where we had a final refill of water and a quick dip which gave us a new lease of life for the final peak of Barrow and the gradual descent into Braithwaite.



Back on the road after 10 hours, we were clearly not thinking straight and took a footpath that was not on the route and ended up adding another mile to the challenge to get back on track and head for Keswick; the way we’d come in the dark that morning.


We then finished with a final “sprint” up Keswick high street dodging pedestrians all the way back to the doors of George Fisher to complete the round in under 11 hours!

Back at the shop after a long day on the fells

We entered the shop to show our recorded time to the sales assistant and claim our tee shirt, buff and patch, before heading to the pub for a well earned beer and to bore random people about what we’d done that day!


On reflection even after the tough low points we experienced I’d certainly recommend giving the round a go, maybe on a cooler day. I do hope to return to George Fisher and try beat the time we set but not too soon!


Curtis Firth.











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