The route-vetting process

What happens after you plan your route…

When you submit your Challenge route, it is sent to a route vetter for checking. The vetters are all very experienced and have many Challenge crossings to their name. They naturally have different areas of expertise and the coordinators try to match the route with the most suitable vetter where possible.

Vetters will primarily assess your route sheet for:
(a) safety
(b) accuracy
(c) whether it can accurately be followed by Challenge Control.
(d) suitability for the experience of the Challenger(s) concerned
They will offer comments which are aimed at helping you to complete the Challenge safely and enjoyably.

Vetters will also offer comments based on their shared knowledge with regard to problems you may encounter, e.g. rivers that may be difficult to cross when in spate, and also any ongoing developments such as wind farms that we are aware of if they might affect your route. Your route will also be checked for accuracy and any significant discrepancies in distance or ascent figures will be pointed out to you.

Vetting process

Taking into account the experience of the Challenger(s) submitting the route, vetters will offer advice on any planned days which they feel are excessive in terms of length and/or difficulty and can usually suggest alternatives. They will also point out any hazards on the route that you may not have been aware of.

Vetters take a great deal of time and trouble to provide a full and fair assessment of your route. Please consider the comments you receive carefully and take heed of them. It is relatively uncommon for a route to be rejected outright but it has happened and if this is the case, the reasons for rejection will be given. As far as alternatives are concerned, vetters can only offer suggestions based on their knowledge and experience. Whether you accept their suggestions is largely up to you, but on occasion the vetters and coordinators may insist on changes if they feel elements of the route are unsafe. Experience over the years has shown that taking your vetter’s advice will generally lead to a more enjoyable and safer route.
Roger Smith