Thursday, 30 December 2010

Edgeworth Reservoirs – 28 Dec

You may remember we have a long standing tradition to walk across the moors, on Boxing Day, with our friends Steve & Eileen for lunch at the Strawberry Duck. Last year we were blessed with very fine weather but had to find an alternative hostelry but since then the Strawberry Duck has re-opened. Family commitments and the difficult road conditions conspired against us and we had to delay our visit to the Duck by two days which was just long enough for the thaw to begin – transforming the delightful dry powder snow into ankle deep slush. Not content with providing the worst ground conditions we have ever experienced on this outing the weather added low clouds so that we could see very little on the long, especially long, slog over the moors.

Edgeworth-001Turton & Entwhistle Reservoir dam 

 

Edgeworth-002The last of the eight miles of slush leading to the Strawberry Duck

Last year was such a complete contrast (Edgeworth Reservoirs) and we were able to stroll back to Belmont in the late afternoon sunshine while this year we had to scuttle beck along the roads to avoid being benighted on the moors. Ah well, it is always good to see old friends, break bread and have a beer and there is always next year to look forward to.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Christmas Day & Boxing Day

CD-100Christmas Eve sunset from Blackrod

So “full of the cold” were we that plans for a run over Winter Hill on Christmas Day were reduced to a gentle stroll up to the Two Lads and back – about 3 miles, perhaps. The sky was was heavily overcast and with most of the Lancashire plain covered in low lying cloud we found ourselves “between layers” and looking at a narrow slot of sunshine off to the south west, towards north Wales.

CD-1000Towards North Wales

“Towards North Wales” shows the town of Horwich and beyond it the inversion begins. The ridge containing Ashurst Beacon pokes through the clouds in the middle distance with the mountains of north Wales in the far distance.

 

CD-1001Looking South West where the band of sunshine is perfectly placed to silhouette the steam from Fiddlers Ferry power station.

Feeling little improved on Boxing Day we contented ourselves with a late afternoon wander through the woods and across the fields at the back of the house. The snow on the ground is still all powder but the once fluffy snow on the trees has been through some freeze/thaw cycles to produce some interesting shapes.

 

CD-201Borsdane Wood

CD-200“Draped Snow” on branches

CD-202Hanging Loop of snow

Friday, 24 December 2010

Great Hill – 24 Dec

A gentle run out over Great Hill from White Coppice with some Preston Harriers and other fell runners in glorious sunshine before retiring to a local hostelry.

Great Hill-1000White Coppice cricket ground

Great Hill-1001Warming up (with a flask of coffee)

Great Hill-1002Icicles – the tallest are about 1.5 metres

Great Hill-1003Frozen waterfall

Great Hill-1004Great Hill on the skyline

Great Hill-1005Drinkwaters Farm (ruin in the trees to the right)

Great Hill-1006Mark approaching the summit

Great Hill-1007Approaching the summit of Great Hill

Great Hill-1008Approaching the summit of Great Hill (II)

Great Hill-1009Approaching the summit of Great Hill (III)

Great Hill-1010Summit photo (thanks Mark)

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Aspull – 23 Dec

A late afternoon stroll across the fields to mark the start of the Christmas break.

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Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Winter Hill – 19 Dec

Tempted out by the winter sunshine we had a sedate walk over Winter Hill, nursing both our colds and the little strength we could muster. The crisp snow and blues sky made it worth the effort until low clouds enveloped us.

Winter Hill -1000Rivington Pike in the distance beyond the quarry

Winter Hill -1001Snow covered moor

Winter Hill -1002Rivington Pike

Winter Hill -1003Looking south west from the Two Lads as low clouds drift in

Winter Hill -1004Looking west as the clouds drift upwards to obscure the sun

Winter Hill -1005Looking west into the setting sun, enveloped by the clouds

Monday, 20 December 2010

Aspull – 19 Dec

Without yesterday’s grey clouds the Sunday morning sunshine flooded into the day to produce sparkling winter landscapes around Aspull. My decision to take a camera when I went for a run to get a Sunday newspaper was amply rewarded.

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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Aspull – 18 Dec

No running this weekend as we are very nearly confined to quarters by a cold, Pauline affectionately shared with me earlier in the week, and not even up to a gentle jog over our beloved Winter Hill. A gentle stroll across the fields in the snow was more than enough.

Aspull 052Footpath sigh with a “hat”

 

Aspull 073Borsdane Wood

 

Aspull 064Berries

Aspull 071The Leeds – Liverpool canal at New Springs

Aspull 068Fishing at Top Lock, New Springs

Aspull 056Winter Sky

Aspull 058Winter sun shines on Wigan

Monday, 13 December 2010

Mark Smith’s Winter Bob Graham Round – 11 Dec

Last year, about this time, I met Mark at Dunmail Raise before daybreak, in sub zero temperatures, for the start of Leg 3 of his 2009  mid-Winter Bob Graham Round. Last weekend I met Mark at Dunmail Raise after sunset at the end of Leg 3 of his 2010 attempt to get back the 22 minutes that went astray in 2009. Dave Hindley was back again as were many others. Better than most, Mark’s blog, captured the essence of preparing for a long day (and night) in the hills and shared the intensity, nervousness and emotional commitment that are intrinsic parts of the preparation.

Arriving in Ambleside just before sunset I had time to watch the daylight leak away over the horizon as I wondered how the long crossing from Wasdale to Dunmail was going.

 

MS_WBGR_2010 (1 of 7)West across Lake Windermere

  MS_WBGR_2010 (2 of 7)South across Lake Windermere

MS_WBGR_2010 (3 of 7)

Towards the Langdale Pikes

MS_WBGR_2010 (4 of 7)Getting ready at Dunmail Raise

MS_WBGR_2010 (5 of 7)Tucking in at Dunmail Raise

MS_WBGR_2010 (6 of 7)Flasks of hot tea at Grisedale Tarn before the climb up Dollywagon Pike

The first three legs went well and although a few minutes had been lost since Wasdale there were plenty left for the last two legs. As we were approaching “The Post” on Dollywagon Pike, almost at the end of the three big climbs on this leg Mark tore a calf muscle, quite badly, and after 17 hours (and many months) from the start the attempt was over.  Mark’s blog has some details.