Entries for the 69th Mountain Trial are now open – see the Entries page. 

The Mountain Trial is a severe test of fellrunners’ mountaineering ability and stamina. Competitors are required to traverse difficult and often dangerous terrain, rapidly but safely. Navigational skills and route choice have a direct bearing on each competitor’s safety. Evolving from a race organised by the YHA in 1952, it is run on orienteering principles and is the longest established event of its kind in Great Britain.

Classic Trial: around 18 miles and 7500ft climb (29 km and 2300m). Estimated winning time = 4.5hrs. Minimum age for entry: 18yrs
Medium Trial: around 13 miles and 5000ft climb (21 km and 1500m). Estimated winning time = 3.5hrs. Minimum age for entry: 18yrs
Short Trial: around 9 miles and 3500ft climb (15 km and 1100m). Estimated winning time = 3hrs. Minimum age for entry for single runners: 18yrs. There is a Pairs category in the Short Trial. Over 14’s may compete as part of a pair on the Short course if the accompanying runner is at least 21.
The distances shown above are as the crow flies. Actual distances covered may be up to 50% further.

No dogs may be taken with competitors on the courses.


The venue for the 2024 Mountain Trial will be Horsemoor Hills Farm Orthwaite Bassenthwaite Cumbria CA7 1HL.

OS Grid Ref: NY252333

what3words: successes.chiefs.sunbeam



A specially prepared, waterproof, full colour 1:40,000 pre-marked map (separate for each course) with all checkpoints will be provided for each competitor a short distance after the start line. The short course map is usually 1:25,000 scale.

Closing times

On each course there will be several checkpoints where you may be advised to retire if you arrive later than the closing time indicated on the checkpoint list. Checkpoint marshals will remain in position for 30 mins after the declared checkpoint closure time, or until all competitors have passed through, whichever is the sooner.

Electronic punching

Each competitor uses a SPORTident SI-card to record their times at the start, each checkpoint and the finish. If you own an SI-card, please record the card number when you enter online. Competitors failing to return a hired dibber will be required to pay for the cost of replacement (£30).
Controls will not be in beacon mode because some of the controls will be radio controls which require dibbing, and we want, if necessary, to be able to download the backup from the boxes. So you can use a SIAC but it will not work contactlessly.

Equipment and Food All three races are run under FRA Rules and FRA Safety Requirements. Minimum equipment to be shown at the start and carried throughout the event is:
  • waterproof cagoule with a hood
  • waterproof overtrousers
  • hat and gloves
  • compass and whistle
  • adequate food
Each member of a pair must carry their own minimum equipment. Additional clothing may be required in event of bad weather. “Waterproof” means the garment must have taped seams. The use of a GPS is not allowed for navigation and any competitor using one will be disqualified. Competitors accepting sustenance from supporters, or from checkpoint marshals, will be disqualified.

The Start/Finish

Starts will be at one minute intervals between 08.30 and 10.15. Your start time will be published in the final event information. Try to arrive at least 45 minutes before your intended start so as to give time to register and collect your electronic dibber. A short distance from the start line you will collect a map with your course on it. You will need to present your dibber at the start (for checking / clearing), at all checkpoints and at the finish. Refreshments will be available at the finish (included in the entry fee). Late arrivers will be allowed to start up to 30 minutes after their programmed start time but their race time will begin from the time given in the programme.

Prizes and Trophies (the exact number and value of prizes will depend on entries)

Each person can only win one prize plus a team prize

Classic trial

First 10 finishers, 3 x V50, 2 x V60, first 3 women and first 3 teams

First LDMTA member not having won another prize


1st overall – LDMTA Trophy
1st woman – Trophy
1st over 40 – Frank Travis Trophy
1st over 50 – Chris Brasher Pinnacle Trophy
1st Team – Frank Davies Team Trophy
Outward Bound school employee or completed a full OB course – The Mike Wilkinson Eskdale Outward Bound Trophy
Mountaineering Club member – Harry Griffin Mountaineers Trophy

Medium Trial

First 3 finishers, first 3 women, 2 x FV50, 2 x FV60, 1 x V50, 1x V60, 1 x V70 and first women’s team

First LDMTA member not having won another prize

1st Female – Ted Dance Trophy
Female Outward Bound school employee or completed a full OB course – Eskdale Trophy

Short Trial

1st individual Under 21 – The Harry Chapman Trophy
First 3 finishers, 2 x FV50, 1 x FV60, 3 x V60, 3 x V70

First LDMTA member not having won another prize

On request, the LDMTA will refund engraving costs.

Protest Procedure

The procedure to be followed in the case of a protest about the results is contained in the Lake District Mountain Trial Protest document. It describes how a jury should be assembled to consider the protest.

Responsibility The continuation of this traditional sport depends on the help and co-operation received from local landowners and farmers including the National Trust. In order to maintain our excellent relationship with these bodies we rely on all of our competitors to respect out of bound areas, not to climb walls or fences and to leave no litter. Take nothing but your memories and leave nothing but footprints.
Cancellation In the case of curtailment or cancellation of the event due to circumstances beyond our control, we reserve the right to retain all or part of the entry fees.