As a youngster, I would get home from School, get changed and go out to play with my pals.
Now I'm older, I get home from work, get changed and go out to play with my pals, but now I call it training.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Last years news

I cant remember which day it was now. Being away from work over Christmas means the days lose identity. Especially if you go to the Lake District most of them, as I did. The best day was probably the day I went out early and ran up Blencathra.....

As I drove South I noted that fresh snow had fallen overnight. I figured it would be soft and runnable as it hadn't also been freezing. As for most visits to my favourite mountain I parked along the track from Scales and ran up via Mousthwaite Coombe then Scales fell. This was a training run, not a photography trip so I didnt take a camera with me. It would have been nice to record the view I witnessed as I looked behind me however. The sun was just up, but still hidden from view by cloud which was more or less covering the whole sky. But a few breaks and the low angle of the sun meant that lights was reflecting pale red from the underside of the clouds, illuminating the freshly snow dusted tops along the High Street line. At the same time I could also see ominous dark clouds further out to the West, adding drama to what I saw from high on my mountainside.  Within the space of about 20 minutes this scene had come and gone. The sun, still unseen, now too high to cast the red ambience. The fells saddened and took on their day clothes.

I took a few seconds inside 40 mins to climb to the summit. 

At the summit I took a couple of iPhone photos

Ok so I took more than a couple.

My rules for timing the run up and down Blen are....
Up- take every footpath, including zigzags. Cut no corners.
Down - shortest possible route, cut every corner.

So I set off down in the hope of beating 20 minutes and therefore the hour for the whole run (not including the time spent taking the 4 photos). This was achieved. By 10 seconds.

As it was still reasonably early I drove to Keswick and sought out a cafe for a full Cumbrian breakfast. It was the same as a full English as far as I could see but they called it a Cumbrian. I realised too late that Black Pudding was included. I dont like that so left it. I ate everything else though.

After brekky I had a mooch round Keswick

not much going on really

Plenty of walkers


I took a drive to the Lakeside

Then I drove to Castlerigg and captured the Blencathra Centre (lower LHS). Unsure how it got that name

Gr Calva. Top 2 (or 41) in a Bob Graham Round

St johns Vale
Next, I drove up to the Youth Centre which sits on the little known road between High and Low Rigg. I had never been there previously. Its a great wee spot for taking photos of Castlerigg, Blencathra, St Johns Vale, and even Thirlmere from High Rigg Summit.

The twisty steep road up to the Youth Centre.

Castlerigg Stone Circle (in the field)

What a great day out. I've had plenty more besides since then, including a race. Stay tuned.


  1. Like the rules for the up and down on Blencathra - ties in with my running philosophy - do you have a Garmin trace of the route - wouldn't mind trying it next time I'm up in the Lakes.

    1. no garmin. but parking at 3491,2721
      use the gate at 3486,2719
      and run up the obvious path which hangs round to the right, under the fell to reach 3463,2787 which is the top of Mousthwaite Comb and the low point between Scales and Souther Fell
      Turn left, (West) and keep following what is a well defined (if boggy in places) pathway up onto Scales Fell. On Scales there isn't really anywhere to go but to follow the well troddedn path all the way up.
      There are numerous trods to the Right missing out bits but stay on track, use the first set of zigzags which are just above the incoming path from Doddick Fell ridge.
      Then you have a little respite from climbing (so run faster) and may also note Scales Tarn down below to your Right.
      Once you hit the final zigzags you have 7 hairpin turns to make, then just continue the line from the 7th to pop out onto the summit ridge.
      Clocks stop when you fill the circle.

      Down? Anyhow you like but initially to the RHS of the 7 zigzags, then I like to keep well Left of the path you came up on.
      Dropping straight into Mousthwaite Comb (rather than the partial doubling back) is possible but treacherous.

    2. Thanks Steve.
      Had a look on the Harvey's map and then a satellite image via Google - the latter showed your route perfectly. Will try next time I'm up in the Lakes, probably March now.