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Joss Naylor MBE and the Lake District Mountain Trial

by Editor
Wednesday 22nd May 2013

Following our article on how Joss Naylor MBE intends to take to the peaks of Cumbria again this summer in an attempt to complete a full series of runs in the Lake District Mountain Trial (HERE), we have taken a closer look at the event:

For a closer look at the King of the Fells check out this article (HERE)


The Lake District Mountain Trial was started in 1952 by the Lakeland Regional Group of the Youth Hostels Association as part of their twenty-first anniversary celebrations.

The first Trial started in Langdale, the runners ascending Bowfell, Esk Pike and Scafell Pike in turn and then descending by the corridor route to Styhead. From Styhead the route went up Great Gable, with the return route to Langdale by way of Rossett Gill. Later Trials took a different fixed course, but this was known in advance by the runners. The distance was normally about 29 kms and competitors were started at intervals. Most competitors wore heavy footwear. A women's race was also organised in 1953 and 1954, the route going up Rossett Gill to Esk Pike, over Bowfell and down the Band.

In 1956 the Lancashire Evening Post sponsored the event and a new organising committee was formed by the late A H Griffin. Representatives were drawn from mountain rescue teams, the Outward Bound Schools, mountaineering clubs and the Youth Hostels Association. The objective was 'to encourage among fell walkers and mountaineers the highest possible standard of safe and fast traverse of difficult mountain country'. The course was lengthened and the rule that competitors had to be members of the YHA no longer applied. A radical change in the event was made by keeping the course secret. The competitors were given an Ordnance Survey National Grid Reference for the first checkpoint. The other checkpoint references were revealed as they made their way around the course. In later events the competitors were started at intervals and given the grid references for the whole course a little way after the start In 2003 maps were issued already pre-marked with the course. The Lake District Mountain Trial became the first event in England to be run regularly on orienteering principles, a decade before the sport became firmly established in this country.

The Trial is now organised by the Lake District Mountain Trial Association which was formed in 1965. Membership of the Association is open to everybody who has an interest in the event. The Trial has grown from fewer than 50 competitors in the late Fifties to the present numbers. The women's event was revived in 1978 as a separate race. The severity of the event demands that all competitors are required to have the experience to cope with poor conditions. 


Joss’s mountain trial history in brief:

1960 Went round course “Non Competitively”
1961 Could not find checkpoint 4 Seatallan
1962 Tore thigh muscle and stretchered down
1963 2nd
1964 Did not start
1965 4th
1966 1st
1967 5th
1968 3rd
1969 1st
1970 2nd
1971 1st
1972 1st
1973 1st
1974 1st
1975 1st
1976 1st
1977 1st
1978 2nd
1979 1st
1980 3rd
1981 3rd
1982 4th
1983 10th
1984 4th
1985 10th
1986 49th

1987 38th
1988 37th
1989 21st
1990 26th
1991 23rd
1992 54th
1993 66th
1994 49th
1995 40th
1996 53rd
1997 37th
1998 43rd
1999 55th
2000 44th
2001 No trial - Foot & Mouth
2002 66th
2003 57th
2004 103rd
2005 58th
2006 103rd
2007 (Short Trial) 69th
2008 No trial - field waterlogged
2009 (Short Trial) 46th
2010 (Short Trial) 60th
2011 (Short Trial) 44th
2012 (Short Trial) 35th


Joss will be very grateful for all donations received at: www.justgiving.com/Joss-Naylor (or phone 015394 39728 to make an offline donation). Thank you.

To help him raise the cash Joss is appealing for four runners to join him on route. He’s looking for two runners to accompany him from Glenridding to Dunmail Raise and a further two to complete the run from Dunmail Raise to Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. In return Joss is asking that interested individuals place an auction bid at:  http://goo.gl/MhI10 (27 May, 2013 10:46:14 BST)



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