Q: What’s this about washing my wetsuit?
A: As far as we know there are currently no invasive species in the lakes on the round and it’s critical we keep it this way. It’s therefore vital that you thoroughly wash, check and dry your kit before and after any training swims and attempts on the round. http://www.nonnativespecies.org/checkcleandry/index.cfm
Q: When is the Puddle Buckley Round held?
A: You can have a go anytime you like. The round is not regulated or constrained by a given authority, so any organisation and safety relevant to your attempt is down to you and you alone. However we strongly suggest attempting it in mid to late summer when the weather is likely to be better, daylight hours longer and water temperatures higher.
Q: What are the rules?
A: There is one rule which is: Always put your own safety and that of everyone else above the desire to complete the round.
If you want your round to be added to the role of honour then you should:
- Visit all the checkpoints under your own power with no mechanical or physical aid (no fins, paddles, bikes, sledges, being carried, etc)
- Swim between adjacent checkpoints on the water’s edge.
- Cross main roads (the A5, A498 and A4086) but not travel along them.
- Follow biosecurity best practice, the country code, and the wild swimming code.
Q: Can I attempt the Puddle Buckley Round in winter?
A: You can, but we don’t recommend it. Anyone contemplating a Winter Round should be a very experienced open-water swimmer who has trained and acclimatised to swimming in extreme conditions. You should also have experience of winter mountaineering and carry all the necessary equipment (ice-axe, crampons/microspikes) to ensure your safety. The Outdoor Swimming Society provide sound guidance on the realities of cold-water swimming as do the RNLI.
Q: Should I inform anyone of my intention to attempt the Puddle Buckley Round?
A: We would expect you to let a friend or family member know your planned route and timings, particularly if you are doing a solo round. They can then raise the alarm if they don’t hear from you before a certain time. We would also strongly recommend carrying a Personal Location Beacon (PLB) so you can raise the alarm if you (or anyone else) get into difficulties outside of phone signal.
Q: How do I report my successful completion of the Puddle Buckley Round?
A: Please send a GPX file of your round, a link to a GPS recording (Strava for example), or a list of the times you reached and left each checkpoint to PuddleBuckley@gmail.com
Q: Do I have to use a wetsuit?
A: You don’t, but it’s highly advisable. Even in the height of summer the lakes can be very cold and if you are not acclimatised to swimming in cold water it can be very dangerous. The extra few minutes to put on a wetsuit are well worth it.
Q: Are swim aids permissible?
A: Anything that aids your buoyancy and enhances your safety is fine, so pull-buoys, inflatable drybags and water wings are all permissable. What is NOT in the spirit of the Puddle Buckley are paddles or fins: these are performance-enhancing and shouldn’t be used.
Q: Do I have to be self-supported?
A: No. It’s up to YOU to decide how you are going to do it. As an example, some people prefer company with them on the fells, some like the assurance of a canoe/boat leading them in the water.
Q: Do I have to start at a specific place?
A: No as long as you close the loop i.e. finish where you started.
Q: Are there any restrictions as to route choice?
A. You are free to choose whichever route you prefer as long as you visit the prescribed summits and other features in the correct order. You should, however, ensure that you use gates and stiles wherever possible (never climb over dry stone walls) and respect the boundaries of private land. You should also take note of any erosion controls that are in place, they are there for a reason and all contenders should respect and observe their constraints. You should also fully consider the safety implications of any route choice and ensure everyone in the group is aware of the risks, especially on Tryfan, Glyder Fach, and if you choose to go through the quaries.
Q: What are acceptable methods of navigation?
A. The expectation is that a given contender will be competent with map and compass and be able to use them to navigate. That said, it is perfectly acceptable to use other tools such as a barometric altimeter and GPS devices (both handheld and wrist-mounted), although you should be aware of their limitations and the possibility of technical problems. What is absolutely NOT acceptable is for any kind of route-marking to take place. That means building cairns, marking with tape or paint or using any other type of physical marker.
Q: What equipment should I have?
A: The suggested equipment list is provided on the safety page, but this is far from exhaustive and is down to individual choice. Basically, anything that will enhance your personal safety and make the day a more enjoyable experience is a good thing.