The Gerry Charnley Round

Memorial Challenge


In March 1962 a tragedy on Saddle Fell led to the establishment of South Ribble Fell Search and Rescue Team with HQ in Penwortham. The men involved in this went on to become founder members of SROC. One of those was Gerry Charnley. In 1964 he became secretary of the newly formed Lake District Mountain Trial Association, which had only a few years earlier stopped publicising the route in advance. Gerry discovered orienteering when he went to the 1951 Helsinki Olympics. He realised that it was starting to be introduced in Scotland and wanted to do the same in England. In 1963 he bought a map, marked on some control sites and with friends went out to navigate using direct bearings. In 1963 they organised the first orienteering event in England near Whitewell in Lancashire. Gerry, with Mike Parsons, went on to conceive of the KIMM/OMM to test orienteering skills in extreme conditions in 1968. Sadly Gerry died on Helvellyn in December 1982. SROC held a memorial service and placed a plaque on a cairn. They then set up the Gerry Charnley Way in his memory and a special Harvey map was produced. In 1985 a relay event was held for teams of six pairs. Each team ran half of one of the three loops. Each loop visited the memorial cairn on a small crag below Esk Pike and one of the three youth hostels in the valleys. The cairn site was chosen for the KIMM event he organised in 1981.

As part of our 50th birthday celebrations Harveys will produce a new version of the map. The club is also setting up an anytime challenge. This will only have 3 teams of pairs to avoid waiting for a change over at the cairn. With some car sharing each team should be able to start at one of the Youth Hostels. There is of course nothing to stop individuals running this in its entirety. It makes a great day out. Contact Karen Nash for more information.

Copies of the map are now available priced at 12. There will be a discount offered for SROC members although of course the challenge is open to all.

Contact for more information or to order your copy.


Last Updated : 07.04.14