Sunday, 10 July 2011

Wasdale Horseshoe fell race – 09 July

One of the toughest races in the calendar, Wasdale Horseshoe involves 21 miles and 9000 feet of climbing over the highest ground in England. This year the forecast looked good even if a little warm later in the day and there would be no doubt that I would still be out, even if not still running, later in the day. The roughest ground comes late in the race along with a big climb or two so there isn’t a shortage of excuses for a bit of walking.

The cloud cover was just burning off as we arrived, more or less confirming the forecast.


wasdale-3-100Wast Water and the screes – the first leg of the race is along the top of this ridge

wasdale-7-101Yewbarrow on the left, Great Gable in the centre and Lingmell (where the final descent is) on the right

wasdale-8-102Buckbarrow with Greendale Bridge in sunshine

wasdale-1-200Bill and Chris and a few others relaxing before the start

20110709-wasdale-3-2Almost ready to go

wasdale-3-103Climbing out of Wasdale towards Illgill Head

wasdale-4-104Still climbing out of Wasdale towards Illgill Head

wasdale-5-105Greendale Bridge where Joss hands out drinks and encouragement in equal measures

wasdale-7-106Mosedale with Wasdale beyond

wasdale-10-107Looking back to Kirk Fell with Ennerdale beyond

wasdale-12-108Starting the descent from Great Gable

Pauline was at a couple of places on the route and captured Ben Abdelnoor (who won) and a number of Bowland club mates.





By Sty Head I had very little left in my legs and the long drag to Esk Hause and on to Scafell Pike was pretty unappealing but having got that far ……

wasdale-13-109Ali with Great Gable and Green Gable in the distance

wasdale-14-110Esk Hause Shelter with David Powell-Thompson (grey hat), Ali and another marshal

wasdale-15-111Esk Pike and Bowfell

After Esk Hause there is still plenty left to do and it is time to put away my camera and concentrate on getting over the rough ground and down the final descent. Fortunately Pauline and Mark and moved round to Lingmell and so the final photos are hers.

20110709-wasdale-55Lingmell and the start of the final descent

20110709-wasdale-52About to start the steep drop back down into Wasdale and the finish

Sitting down in the sunshine, trying to recover and a little removed from the prize giving I was more than surprised to hear my name being called, more than once, – initially I was fairly certain there must be another “Ian” and look round only to realise everyone else was looking round – at me. Stu Stoddart captured the moment when Joss presented my first ever race prize – 2nd V55. A grand day out, indeed!


Finally, huge thanks to the marshals and, this year in particular to the last minute race organiser Rhys Findlay-Robinson.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Around Borrowdale – 02 July

After a plethora of collapsed plans for this weekend I joined A Cumbrian Runner and Scamp for a round of Borrowdale on Saturday morning. A quick stop in Ambleside on the way to Keswick for the views and reflections.

20110702-Ambleside-4Waterhead and there is another one here on blipfoto

Setting off from the foot of Catbells and going anti-clockwise meant we should get the big climbs done before our legs became too weary.

20110702-Borrowdale-3North west over Derwent Water with Blencathra and Clough Head on the skyline

Over Catbells, Maiden Moor, High Spy, Dale Head, Grey Knotts, Brandereth, Green Gable and Great Gable to complete the outward leg.


20110702-Borrowdale-7Scamp and the Catbells ridge with Skiddaw and Blencathra in the distance

20110702-Borrowdale-13The screes below Green Gable with Grasmoor in the distance

20110702-Borrowdale-14Sty Head tarn

Coming off Great Gable on our way passed Esk Hause, heading for Ullscarf, I realised we might just meet Nicky Spicks on her attempt to break the Woman’s Lakeland 24 hour record. We then ran into a stream of SLMM competitors, a couple of whom confirmed Nicky was due at Rossett Pike imminently. Finding Yiannis confirmed we hadn’t missed her and that was our lunch spot selected.

20110702-Borrowdale-19 Nicky on her way to complete 64 peaks inside 24 hours (more here)

From here we slogged across to Ullscarf via Greenup Edge and set our heading for Keswick to complete the round.

20110702-Borrowdale-21North from Ullscarf

By High Tove we had a water problem – not enough in our bottles and way too much under our feet so we dropped down into Watendlath and we ran back down the valley to Keswick. Not quite what we had in mind we we set off although it was probably further and gave us 26 miles and just over 8000 feet of climbing.

20110702-Borrowdale-24A Cumbrian Runner


20110702-Borrowdale-23A weary Scamp

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Nicky Spinks – New Woman’s 24 Hour Record – 64 Peaks

On Saturday Nicky Spinks broke Ann Stentiford’s 1994 record of 62 peaks by adding a further two to achieve 64 Lakeland peaks within 24 hours.

20110702-Borrowdale-18Approaching Rossett Pike

20110702-Borrowdale-19Nicky at Rossett Pike

20110702-Borrowdale-20Nicky on her way to Bowfell

Huge congratulations to Nicky!