Monday, 21 July 2014

Ingleborough Fell Race – 19 July

II should really have titled this post “Ingleton Gala” because the fell race is far too short, fast and furious to consider carrying a camera. I was surprised to find I haven’t been on Ingleborough for more than five years, not since we last did The Fellsman, and before I started this blog. The route up is the same although today, because of the poor visibility, the marshal at the turn round was close to the end of the summit plateau rather than at the Trig Point. This is an unrelenting climb, almost all runnable, and (probably) hugely enjoyable, if you like this sort of thing. The descent was much more fun although much of the path has protruding boulders to catch the unwary and those with tired legs. I wasn’t unhappy with my 75 minutes up and down although compared with the front of the field, it is a bit pedestrian. Perhaps I still had Wasdale “in my legs”?

The Gala had plenty to entertain and the Mountain Bike High Jump was particularly impressive as was the Egg Throwing but it is the egg catching that is the impressive part.



In the above sequence the bar is over 4 feet off the ground and to even get close to jumping a bike that high from a standing start is amazing and amazing to watch. Just to show it was done when the bar was just under 4 feet off the ground …

20140719-1-ingleton-21Just over with the front wheel beginning to descend

20140719-6-ingleton-54-EditEgg Catching

Huge thanks to David McGonigal (RO) and everyone else involved for the 2014 Ingleborough fell race

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Wasdale Fell Race – 12 July

I think it is possible, in days gone by, that I may have enjoyed parts of this race but after retiring in the heat of last year and worried (rightly so) about insufficient training this year I wasn’t expecting to enjoy much of this year’s race, and I didn’t, apart from pouring cold water over my head at Geendale beck. Compared with last year I was quicker to Whin Rigg, Greendale Bridge and Seatallan. I reached Pillar about 20 minutes ahead of the cut off and while I wasn’t feeling great I was still in the race. Getting to and getting up Great Gable took the allowed time plus the 20 minutes I had in hand which meant I was through the last cut off and still moving, just. I recorded my worst time, have no race photos (having decided there wouldn’t be time and I didn’t need the extra weight) but I finished, which was all that mattered yesterday.

20140712-2-wasdale-9-EditWast Water looking west

20140712-1-wasdale-4-EditWast Water looking towards Wasdale Head

Huge thanks to CFR and everyone involved in making the 2014 Wasdale fell race happen Smile

Sunday, 6 July 2014

A Fairfield Horseshoe – 05 July

From Ambleside clockwise to Dove Crag and then over to Red Screes for the descent to Ambleside. This was once a winter favourite, with good reason. The descent from Red Screes is easy under all conditions and Ambleside is seen from a good way up the ridge which may not be immediately appealing but after dark when the Christmas lights are lit it is magical.

20140705-1-fairfield-3South over Ambleside and Windermere

20140705-2-fairfield-11West towards the Coniston Fells

20140705-3-fairfield-13Windermere & Coniston Water

20140705-4-fairfield-16West again over Grasmere

20140705-5-fairfield-21Over Windermere

20140705-6-fairfield-26West again from higher on the ridge

20140705-7-fairfield-38Over Ambleside & Windermere

20140705-8-fairfield-39Over Ambleside & Windermere down the ridge

20140705-9-fairfield-43St Sunday Crag and the Far Eastern Fells beyond

20140705-10-fairfield-51Windermere and Coniston Water from Fairfield

20140705-11-fairfield-64Looking back to St Sunday Crag from Hart Crag

20140705-12-fairfield-69Looking west from Dove Crag


20140705-13-fairfield-72Geoff Briggs and his JNLC support arriving from Red Screes, near Dove Crag

20140705-14-fairfield-82Windermere from Red Screes

20140705-15-fairfield-88Balanced Stones on the way back to Ambleside

Meeting Geoff on his JNLC attempt was the main purpose of my extended Fairfield Horseshoe and I understand he left Dunmail ahead of schedule and running strongly.

Geoff reached Greendale Bridge comfortably within his allowed time to successfully complete the “Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge”.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Tony’s Bob Graham Round – 28 June

As always, it was a wonderful day out for everyone involved apart from the Contender who didn’t really begin to enjoy it until about 200 yards from the Moot Hall. That probably isn’t true because the whole day went well and only towards the end did the clock become a problem and then only for Tony. The camaraderie can’t be beaten and I am sure we all feel the same, it is very special to be part of something as demanding as this and it was a particular privilege to be part of the Leg 5 team and enjoy the celebrations afterwards in a truly family affair.

Road Crew at Honister

20140628-keswick-16Mark (no relation)

20140628-keswick-20Amie (daughter)  with Lewis (daughter’s boy friend) and Heather (wife)

20140628-keswick-107Mark & Heather

Robinson the 42nd and final summit

20140628-TM_BGR-2Tony – 42 done

20140628-TM_BGR-4Albert & Josie heading towards the final descent


20140628-TM_BGR-5Amie & Niamh (daughters) with Tony


20140628-TM_BGR-6Amie & Niamh (daughters) with Tony


20140628-TM_BGR-8Tony & Heather




20140628-TM_BGR-15Heather, Amie & Tony

My own favourite, in mono, of course

20140628-TM_BGR-3Tony on Robinson

Sunday, 22 June 2014

White Bear Way – 21 June

Like many similar events the White Bear Way and a variety of routes, each of a different length and the 21 mile route climbs out of Adlington to the West Pennine Moors before dropping back down the Leeds–Liverpool canal back to Adlington. That was just what I had in mind when I set off but not paying attention at a critical junction of footpaths meant I found myself on the 10 mile route. The realisation dawned only slowly and it was too late to sort out by the time I was completely sure. So no West Pennine Moors, no photos and not enough miles for a Saturday morning.

The first was more or less impossible to sort but after finishing I went back to do another 10 miles on the canal and took a couple of photos. Ah well, there is always next year. Although in this instance there might not be a next year because the organisers are standing down and there is, as yet, no-one willing to take over.



Sunday, 15 June 2014

Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge – 14 June

The original plan had been to support a contender from Sty Head to Greendale Bridge but, sadly, the attempt had to be postponed so we worked out a cunning plan to meet some contenders at Sty Head and some others at Greendale Bridge as they were finishing. In the event, the plan wasn’t quite cunning enough because all were so far ahead of their schedules that by the time we reached Sty Head they had all left. By the time we reached the summit of Great Gable they were still ahead and out of sight. At Beck Head we saw the last of a group disappearing up Kirk Fell and so decided to cut round the back of Kirk Fell for Black Sail Pass. In doing so we reached there ahead of the last of the “last night” contenders. Mandy Calvert was behind them but on a much faster schedule and we weren’t planning to see her until Greendale Bridge, at the finish. Mike Langrish and Bob Brandon had come up from Black Sail YH to meet the “last night” contenders but encountered the same problem we had at Sty Head – they had gone through already.


20140614-1-wasdale-21Jenny & Carol with their support team

We saw Mike & Bob and then decided to carry on over Pillar with Jenny & Carol.

20140614-2-wasdale-24Pillar summit

20140614-3-wasdale-26Talking Tactics

20140614-4-wasdale-34Sorting the descent route

20140614-5-wasdale-36-EditDropping down to Wasdale Head


We dropped down to the hause with Jenny & Carol and then all the way down to Wasdale Head where we left our bikes. Back down the road to Greendale with just enough time to get changed and stow the bikes before Mandy Calvert arrived to finish in well under her 14 hours.

20140614-6-wasdale-109Mandy Calvert arrives well inside her allowed 14 hours

20140614-7-wasdale-11120140614-8-wasdale-11320140614-9-wasdale-11420140614-10-wasdale-117Celebrating with Joss

20140614-11-wasdale-11820140614-12-wasdale-120Two attempts at a Team Photo

20140614-13-wasdale-128Carol & Jenny finishing


20140614-14-wasdale-131With Joss


20140614-15-wasdale-136With Joss