Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Winter Hill – 26 November

Another ‘sensible’ week and my knee seems ready for something a bit more testing which is fortunate because out of the mists of autumn some winter adventures are emerging. Some are old standards – Anglezark Amble / Winter Hill fell race on the same weekend in February and the Marsden-Edale or “The Double” early in January but there are others too. “Xmas on the Fells” is a FRA Forum inspired gathering which we have always looked at but never been able to get to. This year may be the same but having had an email invite we’ll try a bit harder. There is mid-winter Bob Graham Round planned and I have had to decline the chance to support a leg because of an existing commitment. There is plenty to be ready for this winter and as if this list wasn’t enough there is the prospect of a winter “Tan-Cat” – the longest, highest pub crawl in England. This is a simple Rucksack Club idea – a walk between the two highest pubs (Tan Hill Inn and the Cat & Fiddle) in England, that there is almost 120 miles of high, difficult ground between them is neither here nor there and, really, if you want to make it worthwhile – do it in winter. The last successful winter “Tan-Cat” took place in 1979 and needed about 61 hours but there is some optimism that this could be beaten this year.

So with plenty to look forward to before the clocks change I set out on Saturday for a long run over Winter Hill and the surrounding moorland to find out how much my knee has improved.

2011-11-26_WH-001The Mast

2011-11-26_WH-002The summit kissing gate and the (newly painted) trig point

2011-11-26_WH-003Lower Whittacre Farm

2011-11-26_WH-004Favourite Oak Trees on Great Hill

2011-11-26_WH-005Winter Hill from Great Hill

2011-11-26_WH-006Coppice at Drinkwaters Farm on Great Hill

2011-11-26_WH-007Darwen Tower

2011-11-26_WH-008Underground stone byre near Brinscall

2011-11-26_WH-009White Coppice

2011-11-26_WH-010Fungi on tall tree stump

About four and half hours later with just over 20 miles run my knee had barely murmured – a couple times awkward twists produced painful reminders that it isn’t yet perfect. I am very encouraged and while I won’t be aiming to get over 50 miles this week I should get over 40 for the first time in too long.


  1. Good stuff Ian
    I look forward to seeing some more excellent photos from them.

  2. XOTF is more taxing on the liver than the knees Ian ;-) Tan-Cat sounds a proper adventure!

  3. Great Photo's glad to hear that your Knee is much better

  4. sbrt: Thanks, reasonable weather should mean I can get some photos.

    DT: I should have known, LOL. I think "proper adventure" is a reasonable description for the Tan-Cat. Have just been reading accounts of previous attempts and I think I shouldn't have!

    Jake: Thanks, I am pleased my knee is on the the mend too. I keep looking out for you on Winter Hill hoping we will get the chance to say hello - perhaps one day soon.