Thursday, 29 September 2011

Summer reaches Winter Hill – 29 September

Another warm evening, perhaps the best of the summer, and while most of tonight’s miles were run with head torches we were treated to a spectacular sunset.

20110929-winterhill-1Sunset from Winter Hill

Monday, 26 September 2011

Duddon Valley – 24 September

Earlier in the year than usual but not early enough to avoid the rain and low cloud that seemed to plague the Rucksack Club fell race when it was held in October. The format seems to be settled as a score event which allows everyone to bite off a little more than they can chew, generally. Clearing weather was forecast although it seemed late in arriving which ensured we were pretty well soaked by the time the rain went off.

20110924-RCFR-3The front garden at High Moss with plenty of rain and low clouds

20110924-RCFR-3-2Some hours after setting off we dropped out of the clouds by Seathwaite Tarn

20110924-RCFR-5The dam wall at Seathwaite Tarn

20110924-RCFR-6Seathwaite Tarn

20110924-RCFR-13Pauline slogging up the final climb

20110924-RCFR-18Stream by the side of Walna Scar Road

20110924-RCFR-16Walna Scar Road – almost done

After almost 5 hours, with about 10 minutes to spare, we reached High Moss and the finish. We failed to find two of the controls we went looking for and decided not to try for the furthest three but probably ended with our highest score. Whatever happens, this is part of a great Rucksack Club weekend with a communal meal after a visit to the pub and plenty of opportunities to discuss the day’s exploits in front of a roaring fire. Huge thanks to Dick Pasley for making it all happen as well as providing excellent victuals.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Winter Hill weekend – 18 September

After a particularly hard day at last weekend’s Trial and a dire forecast for Saturday I was already having doubts about the Three Shires fell race on Saturday when I had to make a one day dash to Glasgow to see my Dad who is struggling with a gamy knee. This isn’t the best race preparation so I decided to give it a miss this year. The local forecast for Saturday wasn’t any better so while Pauline was out, getting soaked, on Winter Hill with some other runners I made an out and back dash to the summit from home – but not quick enough to avoid getting soaked. With better weather forecast for Sunday we had a run together over Winter Hill and even saw some sunshine.

20110918-winterhill-1Bolton with Manchester beyond

20110918-winterhill-10Looking north west passed Rivington Pike towards Blackpool and Cumbria

20110918-winterhill-102Gilligant’s Farm

20110918-winterhill-7Now barely runnable in Shaly Dingle

20110918-winterhill-12Winter Hill mast

20110918-winterhill-14Bench in Walker Fold Woods

20110918-winterhill-16Fungi in Walker Fold Woods

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Lake District Mountain Trial 2011

Sunday (11th September) saw the 58th running of the Lake District Mountain Trial and on the way to Mungrisdale some early sunshine suggested the weather might be better than forecast.

20110911-ldmta-1The first, and last, of Sunday’s sunshine

With severe weather forecast for later in the day all the courses were shortened, to their respective “bad weather” route which involves not visiting one of the furthest checkpoints. Anticipating, correctly, that the weather would be too bad for photographs for much of the day I took some of the early starters.

20110911-ldmta-6Sarah, a Bowland club mate, on the line for her first Trial

20110911-ldmta-7Joss and David P-T getting ready for the start

20110911-ldmta-9Albert (blue top & hatless) almost ready for his first Trial

20110911-ldmta-11Other early starters and, in the car, Edwin Coope making all the announcements

Thereafter the weather deteriorated and my camera stayed wrapped in its waterproof sack. By the middle of the afternoon the weather was pretty awful – not unlike my own performance. Out over 7 hours with only one other finisher behind me. Hey ho, there is always next year. Results are here.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Hodder Valley Show – 10 September

A proper agricultural show in a quiet corner of Lancashire which naturally has its own fell race even although it doesn’t appear in the FRA calendar. An out and back five miles up and over Mellor Knoll and Totridge. I was marshalling part way up the hill overlooking the showground.

20110910-HVS-13Mark & Richard

20110910-HVS-14Chris leads the rest of the pack

20110910-HVS-22Richard heading for a win

20110910-HVS-23Mark heading for third place

20110910-HVS-24Charlie heading for runner up

20110910-HVS-25Chris for fourth

20110910-HVS-37Declan a bit further down the field but clearly enjoying himself






I am afraid I don’t know who the last four runners are and the results I have don’t show names and numbers. Finally, my favourite shot of the day – and I don’t know her name, either.


Monday, 5 September 2011

Ben Nevis race – 03 September

Driving north through heavy rain under a leaden sky suggested the poor forecast might not be wrong. Ben Lomond was barely visible on the way north but a short break between the storms on Rannoch Moor gave us our first real views.


20110902-Lochaber-3015Looking north towards Glen Coe under a stormy sky

Saturday morning weather seemed to be improving and there was real sense of optimism about the conditions improving, despite the showers.

20110903-Lochaber-3029Keiran and Mandy looking forward to another “Ben”

I packed a camera carefully hoping it would be worth taking up the hill but the weather only really relented when I was descending and that isn’t the time to be stopping or trying to stop to take photographs. Fortunately, Pauline braved the conditions and struggled with the clag to take some photos at the Red Burn – the following are all hers.

20110903-untitled-1062Most of the Bowland contingent

20110903-untitled-1234Sarah Ridgeway (who would stop to help an injured runner and forego her third place in the race)

20110903-untitled-1267Emma and a slightly less elegant Carnethy runner

20110903-untitled-128120110903-untitled-128620110903-untitled-132520110903-untitled-1366Rare appearance as myself

I finished a couple of minutes slower than my 2010 time when conditions were better underfoot and the results can be found here.

As if to taunt us the weather continued to improve during the evening and Sunday was almost like a summer day, as we drove home.


20110903-Lochaber-3042Looking north from Onich, south of Fort William


20110903-Lochaber-3056Balachullish Bridge


20110904-Lochaber-3061The Pap of Glencoe above Glencoe village

20110904-Lochaber-3069Jimmy Saville’s cottage in Glencoe

20110904-Lochaber-1082Ben Lomond across Loch Lomond