James Forrest hiking the wainwrights
Photo credit: inov-8/Dave MacFarlane

UK Hiker Sets Solo Record: 214 Wainwrights in 14 Days

Hiking 214 peaks is no easy feat. And this hiker did it for speed.

On Monday, U.K. hiker and author James Forrest, 37, set a new solo, self-supported record for the Wainwrights, a collection of peaks and trails in Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England.

Forrest walked 525 km (328 miles) to complete the peak-bagging feat in 14 days and 11 hours (camping along the route at night). The inov-8 ambassador ascended 36,000 m — the equivalent height gain of four times Mount Everest. All of the peaks or fells (except one) are over 1,000 feet.

The Cumbria resident hiked an average of 13 hours a day. “The atrocious weather transformed the journey into a rather grueling and traumatic experience — I’ve never felt so utterly miserable and unhappy on a mountain before,” said Forrest. “I am so relieved to have finished.”

A self-supported FKT means no outside help along the way. Forrest hiked alone with a backpacking and camping equipment, and occasionally re-supplied with food and gas he had earlier stashed along the route. He wore the inov-8 ROCLITE G 345 GTX with Graphene-Grip for the trip.

“I did it!!! 214 Wainwrights in 14 days 11 hrs!” he wrote on Instagram upon finishing. “I am now going to eat pizza while soaking in the bath.”

Setting an FKT in Lake District National Park

Forrest adhered to Leave No Trace principles during his trip: packing it out, never lighting fires, and pitching late and leaving early.

“It has been the challenge of a lifetime. I love the Lake District. If I can somehow forget the thrashings I took from the weather gods, I hope the enduring memories of my expedition will be the times [when] I relished the peace, beauty, and escapism of Lakeland,” Forrest wrote.

214 Peaks in 1 Week: Running the Wainwrights
214 Peaks in 1 Week: Running the Wainwrights
Inov-8 Footwear's latest feature film follows Paul Tierney's story of running the Wainwrights, his own personal challenge to summit all 214 Wainwright Lake District Peaks in a row. Read more…

The fastest supported — and overall record — is held by ultrarunner Paul Tierney who set a phenomenal record of 6 days, 6 hours, and 5 minutes in 2019. Forrest followed the official route documented on FKT.com, the route Tierney also took. “I have a newfound respect for the ultrarunners who have run the Wainwrights in under a week,” Forrest commented.

Forrest previously completed a Triple Crown of peak-bagging expeditions covering 1,001 peaks across the U.K. and Ireland. That included climbing 446 mountains over 2,000 feet in England and Wales in just 6 months. He lives in Cumbria, U.K.

zoe rom capitol peak speed
Capitol Peak FKT: Zoë Rom Conquers 'Knife Edge'
Running, speed mountaineering, and butt-scooting with purpose — this trail runner did it all to set the first women's FKT on the iconic Colorado 14er. Read more…

Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.