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Britain's Greatest Routes?

Britain's Greatest Routes?


Postby dav2930 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:14 pm

"BRITAIN'S GREATEST ROUTE REVEALED" was the big red headline on the cover of this month's Trail magazine - and it suckered me into buying a copy, the muggins I am!

So, what is Britain's greatest route? According to a vote by Trail readers, it's Tryfan and the Glyders via the North and Bristly Ridges. A great route, certainly, but better than anything in Scotland? I think not.

This was Trail's top 10:
1. Tryfan and the Glyderau (via North & Bristly Ridges).
2. Helvellyn by Striding and Swirrel Edges.
3. The Snowdon Horseshoe.
4. Blencathra via Sharp Edge.
5. The Aonach Eagach Traverse.
6. The Fairfield Horseshoe.
7. An Teallach.
8. Crinkle Crags and Bowfell.
9. Suilven.
10. Liathach Traverse.

To my mind this tells us almost nothing about which routes are the greatest, and everything about which routes most folk have actually done. There are as many routes on the list from the tiny Lake District as there are from the entire vastness of the Scottish Highlands, which only serves to indicate that the Lakes are more accessible to a far greater number of Trail readers than the Highlands are. It would obviously be absurd to conclude from this list that Helvellyn by the Edges is actually a greater route than the traverses of Aonach Eagach, An Teallach or Liathach. It just shows what a meaningless exercise this was on the part of Trail magazine.

It would be very interesting to know what Walkhighlander's views are on this - I'm sure they would be happy to compile their own top-10 lists.
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby PerthAlly » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:25 pm

Had a flick through the mag in WH Smith the other day.

Agree that the Lake District is likely to attract more votes due to the fact it's a 3 wood off the M6. Whereas Torridon is way harder to reach. Hence Liathach is way down the list.

Everyone has their own favorites. Personally I'd include the Dalmally horseshoe
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:12 pm

I can only speak for the ones I've done; and much as I love Snowdonia, and indeed the Lakes, for me there's nothing there that can begin to hold a candle to the 1. Cuillin Ridge; 2. Torridon Ridge (Beinn Eighe/Liathach/Ben Alligin.
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby bootsandpaddles » Thu Jul 16, 2015 6:53 am

Amazing that nothing on Skye gets into the top 10!
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby basscadet » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:16 am

Yeah, where is the round of corrie Lagan? Surely the best, No?

All the magazine has proven, is that there are more folks living in England, which we all knew already :lol:
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby gaffr » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:26 am

Difficulty in defining what a route is and what is meant by Greatest?
While the first three on the list have given me very pleasant days out I guess that everyone living in Scotland and with the relatively easy access to what is on offer up here it would be difficult not to include several of these.
Quickly, for me, not to have the Cuillin traverse, the traverse of Belig /Garbh bheinn /Clach Glas and Bla Bheinn, The traverse of all the the Arran summits and Curved Ridge up to BEM would for starters be omissions. :)
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby Nigels3011 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:32 am

Suilven is not a great route. I did it as a traverse earlier this year. The summit is a fantastic, amazing place to be but the price is a long, tedious walk which is far from "great". It depends how you define great I suppose. By enormity, interest or asthetics. The Laven horseshoe certainly has all three and is not even on the list.
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:35 am

Yeah, a bit daft.


I do think that Tryfan and Bristly Ridge IS one of the greatest routes in the UK, but not THE best. Some of the others wouldn't register in my top 10 Lake District, let alone Britain.

My own list would probably be a bit scrambling orientated, and I do think a more rounded list should also include just beautiful walks (coast as well as mountain too).

Amongst my own, that I've done, and in no particular order, and way more than 10!

Coire Lagan round
Bla Bheinn via Clach Glas
Bruach na Frithe to Sgurr nan Gillean
An Teallach
Liathach
Beinn Eighe E-W traverse
Suilven
Round of Coire Lair in the Coulin Forest
North ridge of Tryfan and Bristly Ridge
Snowdon Horseshoe
Climber's traverse to Sty Head then Corridor route to Scafell Pike (with added scrambling), then Broad Stand to Scafell.
Ennerdale horseshoe
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby Sunset tripper » Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:32 pm

Nigels3011 wrote:Suilven is not a great route. I did it as a traverse earlier this year.


Ive been on Suilven from Inverkirkaig and Lochinver. When you say you did a traverse do you mean from Elphin to the top of caisteal liath following the full ridge. If so or if anyone else has info i would be interested to know what the section coming off Meall Beag is like where the shear drop is. How high? Is it an easy abseil or is the exposed scramble round the side straightforward?

As for trail magazine "No Comment" :D
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby malky_c » Thu Jul 16, 2015 3:27 pm

Sunset tripper wrote:
Nigels3011 wrote:Suilven is not a great route. I did it as a traverse earlier this year.


Ive been on Suilven from Inverkirkaig and Lochinver. When you say you did a traverse do you mean from Elphin to the top of caisteal liath following the full ridge. If so or if anyone else has info i would be interested to know what the section coming off Meall Beag is like where the shear drop is. How high? Is it an easy abseil or is the exposed scramble round the side straightforward?

As for trail magazine "No Comment" :D


Good fun is what it is :) . Had a great time doing the traverse about 12 years ago, but can't remember any specific details, other than we didn't need a rope. Given my gradual regression from scrambling, I can't say whether I'd still find it easy now. It was a bit exposed in places I think.

I think Suilven is a great route personally, but it depends how much you like water and bogs I suppose.
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby dav2930 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:38 pm

Alteknacker wrote:I can only speak for the ones I've done; and much as I love Snowdonia, and indeed the Lakes, for me there's nothing there that can begin to hold a candle to the 1. Cuillin Ridge; 2. Torridon Ridge (Beinn Eighe/Liathach/Ben Alligin.

bootsandpaddles wrote:Amazing that nothing on Skye gets into the top 10

basscadet wrote:Yeah, where is the round of corrie Lagan? Surely the best, No?

Totally agree that the most glaring omission is the Cuillin of Skye! :o The complete ridge is surely the greatest single "route" in the British Isles, in every conceivable way - and I say this having only done most sections of it on separate occasions. Of those sections I agree with basscadet that the Coire Lagan round is probably the best/grandest/greatest.

gaffr wrote:Difficulty in defining what a route is and what is meant by Greatest?

Good point. Not clear what can and can't be included in a "route", or how long it can be - single day or multi-day. Climbing (as on Cuillin Ridge) doesn't appear to be ruled out. Trail mag should have said "Britain's Favourite..." or "Britain's Most Popular..." "Greatest" implies a more objective judgement than "favourite", in which case, I suppose, it should be defined by certain criteria (which there would be much disagreement about!).

RTC wrote:...Having the Fairfield Horseshoe, a pleasant walk, between the Aonach Eagach and An Teallach hight's it's daftness. ...shows that people like what they know rather than know what they like.

I couldn't agree more with both those statements. Well said.

Mal Grey wrote:I do think that Tryfan and Bristly Ridge IS one of the greatest routes in the UK, but not THE best. Some of the others wouldn't register in my top 10 Lake District, let alone Britain.

Totally agree on both counts. What is the Fairfield Horsehoe doing on that list? Maybe it's the only hill walk a lot of voters have ever done. I like your list - mine would be very similar, though I haven't done Suilven or the round of Coire Lair (I look forward to doing both one day!).
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby malky_c » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:34 pm

Oddly, the Fairfield Horseshoe (the traditional route from Ambleside) probably isn't even the best horseshoe on Fairfield :lol:
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby katyhills » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:57 pm

Like most lists of this type, best seen as a source of amusement only!
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby Mal Grey » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:11 pm

malky_c wrote:Oddly, the Fairfield Horseshoe (the traditional route from Ambleside) probably isn't even the best horseshoe on Fairfield :lol:


Very true!
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Re: Britain's Greatest Routes?

Postby dav2930 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:26 pm

Mal Grey wrote:
malky_c wrote:Oddly, the Fairfield Horseshoe (the traditional route from Ambleside) probably isn't even the best horseshoe on Fairfield :lol:


Very true!

Absolutely. The real Fairfield Horseshoe is the Deepdale Horseshoe! :lol:
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