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.

Monday, July 4, 2011

25 miles and 8000ft

Plan A was to run the Patterdale Parish Boundary event, a 30 mile route covering some high peaks including Helvellyn. It was for teams of three and I only had three if I counted Scamp so I had to break open the envelope that contained plan B. 

Kayaks on Derwentwater. Blencathra, Clough Head and Gt Dodd on the Skyline

The Derwentwater watershed is a route I had ran round once before with Iain Kelly. On that day it was my longest ever run (timewise). This time it was to be my longest since the 2009 Lakeland 50. 
Looking back to Keswick and Skiddaw from the ascent up to Dalehead
We parked under the nose of Catbells which meant some fierce climbing from the outset. We simply followed the 'tourist path' South over Maiden Moor and High Spy to then drop down to Dalehead tarn for a refreshing drink of Cumbrian fellwater, followed by the stiff climb up to Dalehead.

Taken from  between Green Gable and Great Gable. Buttermere valley overlooked by Grassmoor (but dont ask me to name any others in shot)
The miles ticked by, the summits ticked off. Scamp bagged some new ones with Green and Great Gable.

IWC taking better photos than SPA

My companion this day was Ian charters. I don't know what the W stands for. He never said. Perhaps he was being enigmatic? Also, I didn't ask him!

Styhead Tarn. Blencathra far far off in the North
We ran on. Past Styhead Tarn and Sprinkling Tarn where numerous children were sat, resting with huge packs, no doubt on a school trip. Up towards Esk Hause, familiar to me from just days earlier, though much warmer and sunnier this visit.
IWC. Great Gable behind.
At Angle Tarn we began to meet a lot of pairs competing in the Saunders event. I know little of this but I gathered it to be orienteering on a huge scale with overnight camping thrown in. IWC knew many of these Saundersers and learned that Nicky Spinks, who was on a 24hr womens record peaks attempt, was due in the area imminently. So we whizzed up the short climb to Rossett Pike to await her arrival. More can be read of this on IWC's blog. From Rossett Pike we dropped a little height to reach Stake Pass. From there we contoured below High Raise to reach Greenup Edge which we then followed more or less North  over Ullscarf, past Blea Tarn to High Tove.
From somewhere along Greenup Edge we see Skiddaw, Blencathra, Clough Head and Gt Dodd (just)
At High Tove we had a board meeting. Scamp was supposed to be taking the minutes but has since mislaid them. Nonetheless, the outcome of that meeting was a decision to leave the mountains behind us and descend to Watendlath. I think this route choice added a mile or so to our day, but it also afforded us a refill of fresh water which was most welcome as we both had all but ran out. From Watendlath we used the riverside path which is very stony and rough in places. Perhaps the road which ran parallel to our choice would have been a better option but it seemed a shame to end such a great day in the fells with several miles of tarmac.

At Surprise View I noted an elderly couple sitting in foldup chairs. In my mind I formulated an hilarious sketch whereby they kept nodding off in the sun only to be surprised at what they saw before them each time they woke (Yeah, I've already go me coat)

Reaching the main road South to Borrowdale (or North to Keswick depending on where you live and whether you are going out for the day or going home from a day out), we plodded along the narrow path praying for Keswick to come soon. We were both quite tired by this time, but I was pleased to be able (and wanting) to jog rather than walk.  We reached my van eight and a half hours after starting out. All that remained now was to drive back to Catbells where IWC's car was parked, so we could begin lap 2. Because the chip shops would all be closed by the time we completed the second lap we decided to go home instead.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Epic days running and the scenery looked awe-inspiring :0]