Monday, 20 October 2014

Wasdale – 19 October

The morning after the “Joss Dinner” and with the weather poor and forecast to deteriorate we blew away the cobwebs with a walk around the end of the lake with a number of last night’s Dinner party including, of course, Joss.


20141019_001_jossdinner-89-EditYewbarrow and more shrouded in low clouds

20141019_002_jossdinner-92-EditYewbarrow again but with some of the screes more distinct on the right

Furness Fells – 18 October

The Furness Fells lie at the south end of Coniston Water and contain a collection of Wainwright’s Outlying Fell, Birketts and one of the four outstanding FRCC fells we have still to visit. Under heavy low clouds we visited the two ridges to the south of Top o’Selside, then drove over to Blawith Knott to visit the two summits there to give a total of 8 ‘ticks’ for the day. More would have been done but for the difficulty in finding the car parks on the east side of Coniston Water – they may well be there or they may have been closed since my map was published but either way they aren’t visible from the road, which is an odd characteristic for a car park.

20141018_001_jossdinner-3-EditMorecambe Bay




20141018_002_jossdinner-9-EditTowards Kirby Moor wind farm (just visible on the skyline)

20141018_004_jossdinner-61-EditChimney at Stanton Bridge

20141018_003_jossdinner-54-EditLane at Stanton Bridge

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Langdale Horseshoe – 11 October

With a week’s walking in Mallorca just around the corner and wet, slippery conditions almost certain in Langdale the only sensible decision was to look after my knee and not race. Although I should have made my “final” decision earlier I wondered and wondered until late Friday when I reluctantly accepted that not running was the best option. Doctor thinks I have some damage to the cruciate ligament but that physio and some strengthening exercises will sort it out. I can’t say I share his optimism but it has to be worth trying. With the Winter Hill fell race a thing of the past I don’t intend racing again until April which should be plenty of time to get things sorted.

20141011_001_langdale-15Rhys leads the field out on to the fells

20141011_002_langdale-106Towards the Crinkles

20141011_003_langdale-111-EditTowards the Crinkles (II)

20141011_004_langdale-116-EditTowards the Crinkles (III)

20141011_005_langdale-176The Bad Step

20141011_006_langdale-177-Edit-2Running away from below the Bad Step

20141011_001_langdale-198The Langdale Pikes beyond The Band

20141012_008_langdale-44-EditRaw Head (Sunday morning)

20141012_003_langdale-58-EditRobertson Lamb Hut (Sunday morning)

We watched the race, did some gentle peak-bagging and thoroughly enjoyed the day, especially when the clouds began to clear out as we were approaching the Crinkles. A misty start to Sunday morning created very atmospheric conditions before we left the Lakes to head to Buxton to see Charlie Ramsay at the mountain festival.


More photos here

Monday, 6 October 2014

White Hill & Burn Fell – 05 October

White Hill is one of our remaining two Marilyns on Lancashire, Easington Fell being the other and as on at least one previous occasion we planned to visit it on the way home but as before, time slipped away faster than planned. So having recorded what we didn’t do it is time to move to what we did do. From as far up the Hornby Road as it is legal to drive we ran up Croasdale to just short of the quarry and took the track on the right towards White Hill. The track soon finishes but there are bits and pieces of trods that take you to within site of one of the survey pillars. The summit and Trig Point are a little way beyond and this must be one of the few hills in England without a network of paths leading to its summit. Fortunately the heather isn’t particularly high and the bogs are pretty dry so the final stretch isn’t too bad.

20141005-1-bowland-9-EditWhite Hill Trig Point with a survey pillar in the distance

The return to Hornby Road was better because a faint trod follows the fence back to the road from where we took a wonderful, way marked path to Whitendale.

20141005-2-bowland-15-EditFarm house and cottages at Whitendale

20141005-3-bowland-17-EditLooking back down to Whitendale

The track climbing out of Whitendale is an easy way up on to Dunsop Fell from where there is a small trod leading to the Trig Point on Burn Fell. The path back to where we parked proved elusive (too many on the ground, more than on the map) so trudged back to Croasdale by the wall over wet tussocky ground. This is another wonderful corner of Bowland in its own right and because it provides superb views of familiar hills from an unfamiliar viewpoint.

20141005-4-bowland-23-Edit-EditBurn Fell Trig Point

20141005-5-bowland-26-EditLooking south towards Pendle Hill from Burn Fell

Monday, 29 September 2014

Totridge Fell – 28 September

The “Bagging Bug” has bitten and despite yesterday’s fell race and a dodgy knee we wanted to tick a couple more Trig Points, this time in Bowland. In the event we ended up with a little less time than we had originally hoped for so decided just to run round a loop from Hareden to Langden Castle and back over Totridge Fell. The ground is almost completely dry even along Totridge Fell and it was delightful to be back at Langden Castle where we haven’t been for a good few years.


20140928-1-totteridge-1-EditLangden Castle

20140928-2-totteridge-7-EditLooking up Beadale Water

20140928-3-totteridge-10-EditLooking back towards Langden Castle

20140928-4-totteridge-15-EditTotridge Trig Point with the plaque in memory of Bill Smith

Bill Smith
Fell Running Legend
Died In These Hills


20140928-5-totteridge-22-EditLooking down to Hareden

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Good Shepherd fell race – 27 September

If this hadn’t been a Club Championship race and I had already completed the four I need I am not sure I would have gone to Mytholmroyd for this race but it was and I hadn’t so there I was, knee strapped and just hoping to get round. I managed round, collected maximum points in the V60 category and did no more damage to my knee. This means the pressure is off at Great Langdale which is the last Club Champs race I can do this year which is, I think, just as well. I still hope to get round but it could be a severe test for my knee and doing more damage to it wouldn’t be good.


20140927-1-hebdenbridge-26Post-race refreshment with club colours

Huge thanks to Steve Woodhead and everybody else who helped on yesterday’s race, especially whoever made the wonderful soup!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Peak Bagging – 21 September

A couple of Marilyns with Trig Points today  - Freeholds Top, south west of Todmorden and Lad Law, north of Todmorden. Two pretty gentle, short runs from the car to the Trig Points and back but it was good to be out again without and pain from my knee.

20140921-1-trigs-5-EditFreeholds Top

20140921-4-trigs-22Boulsworth Hill

20140921-2-trigs-12-EditLad Law

20140921-3-trigs-14-EditBoulsworth Hill

Three Shires fell race – 20 September

Mid-September so my right knee must be poorly, and it is. Last week’s Mountain Trial (Medium) made it no worse (thankfully) but watching the Three Shires seemed like the most sensible option. It also gave us the chance to do a bit more bagging so we added Wetherlam to our third round of Wainwrights and 9 new Birketts on a 9 mile circuit from the Three Shires Stone.

Hell Gill Pike, Little Carrs and Great How are on the Swirl How side of the Prison Band while the others are in a cluster between Birk Man Fell, Blake Rigg and Great Intake. This is the first time we have been on this side of Wetherlam and we stayed below the low cloud but we were denied seeing Wetherlam because the cloud base dropped as we dropped down to Birk Man Fell.

20140920-1-threeshires-3-EditCairn on Wet Side Edge


20140920-2-threeshires-7-EditHalifax Memorial on Little Carrs

20140920-3-threeshires-21-EditPhil Davies



20140920-4-threeshires-25-EditSam Watson

20140920-5-threeshires-74-EditColin Valentine

More race photos here

Results here

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

The Mountain Trial – 14 September

This year from Patterdale with much speculation beforehand about whether the course would restrict itself to “only the Helvellyn ridge”. In fact it did but that still left the course planner with plenty of options. I wondered if I had made a mistake entering the Medium rather than the Classic but it didn’t take long on Sunday morning to realise that if i had made a mistake it was in not entering the Short! I struggled round the Medium in just over six and a half hours covering over 20 miles and in excess of 7500 feet of climbing. The weather was kind and there were route choices galore. I think I avoided some of the worst routes, enjoyed the day and, of course, seeing old friends. No camera en route, I am afraid, so these are from before the start and after the finish.

20140914_001_LDMT-6-EditGetting Ready

20140914_002_LDMT-11-EditSurvival Bag

20140914_003_LDMT-21Tony – still smiling at the end!

20140914_005_LDMT-26-EditPost Mortem (1)

20140914_004_LDMT-23-EditPost Mortem (2)

The Mountain Trial is a long tough day out for all but the elite and it has a very special atmosphere, not least because, the route is unknown until you look at the map and decide for yourself how you are going to get to each of the successive check points. This year is, probably, the first time I have stuck to my route choices between check points and I think also it is the first time I avoided any really bad choices – probably helped by the fact that almost all of the route was over familiar ground.

Huge thanks are due to everyone involved in organising and helping with the 2014 Lake District Mountain Trial.

Hodder Valley Show – 13 September

Another of the classic Lancashire agricultural shows with an equally good fell race which this year is an English Championship race. This meant there would be separate Men’s and Women’s races in addition to the Junior races. The day and show is about more than the fell race even although this is reputedly the best of the three race routes. The show rotates round three different sites, each with its own race.



























20140913_005_hvshow-237-Edit-EditVictoria Wilkinson leading the field on her way to a new course record

20140913_006_hvshow-241-EditMel Price (I think) in second place with Emma Gould behind

20140913_007_hvshow-247-EditCaitlin Rice in fourth place

20140913_008_hvshow-601-EditMorgan Donnelly leading the men’s race

20140913_009_hvshow-608-EditRob Hope in second place

20140913_010_hvshow-614-EditMartin Mikkleson Barron who finished fourth

Results are on the Bowland Fell Runners website, here.

More photos from the men’s race, here.

More photos from the women’s race, here.