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Countrystride #118: JAMES FORREST: Record-breaking round of the 214 which we're defeated by weather, so shelter indoors to hear from one of the UK's great adventurers: Cockermouth-based James Forrest, who has bagged all 1,001 mountains in the UK and Ireland, and broke records walking both the 446 Nuttalls and 214 Wainwrights. An escape from the nine-to-five was, James tells us, the drive for his first challenge – to conquer every mountain in England and Wales in the shortest documented time. But his heart was always in Lakeland, which led to his 2020 self-supported round of the Wainwrights. In a reflective interview, we hear about the highs and lows of an epic walk; we ask whether 'adventure' can be a ruse to escape everyday life; we consider our changing relationship with the fells as we spend more time in them; and we learn why James is "never, ever, ever" returning to the Brecon Beacons.

Hopegill Head - James' favourite fell.

James on his Wainwrights expedition. Credit: Dave MacFarlane.

Wild camping near Little Hart Crag.

Above Loweswater during James' 214 challenge. Credit: Inov8.

Credit - Dave MacFarlane.

James leaves Moot at the start of his challenge. Credit: Inov-8.


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