The annual Rucksack Club Long, Medium and Short Score Event for orienteers and non-orienteers alike has been known as various things from the simple but mis-leading “fell race” to the “Navigation Challenge” which it almost always is, even without any element of competition. The element of competition is, of course, low key - right up until the course map is revealed!
This year we are helping Rae & Helen put out controls of Thursday and Friday and then, along with others, collecting them on Sunday. We collected Keith on the way north and let him have his first look at his Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge 22 hour schedule. The three of us had a wander over ground to the south of Harter Fell on Thursday afternoon before going to the hut at High Moss in the Duddon Valley. After a beer in the afternoon sunshine in Eskdale we headed for the club hut in Duddon, High Moss. More or less on a whim we went via Cockley Beck and on Hard Knott Pass saw the start of a magnificent sunset.
On Friday we went out separately, placing (or hiding as some competitors suggested) the remainder of the controls and I headed up Harter Fell into low cloud. Initially, I wasn’t too concerned because I thought I would reach the first control before reaching the cloud base and this turned out to be the case. Before I had time to worry about how to reach the location of the second control in the clag, the clouds lifted a little and blew away to reveal fell tops above an inversion.
Not completing meant we had Saturday to ourselves so we had a wander round the Turner Landscape fell race route, hoping for another day as good as Friday had been. The morning started well as we climbed Grey Friar but by the time we reached Swirl How the cloud had thickened and dropped, robbing us and everyone else on the ridge of the views we had enjoyed the previous day.
On Sunday it was back to Harter Fell to collect controls without the Dragonfly by the tarn. The morning mist failed to clear and the day remained hazy and atmospheric. Thanks Rae & Helen for another superb Navigation Meet – looking forward to next year’s already.