Saturday, 11 February 2012

Icy Amble – 11 February

This is my first really demanding weekend of the year- the one when I find out how good winter training has been. This year will be no exception apart from the fact that I already know I haven’t done enough miles and, more particularly, I haven’t done enough climbing. This “Winter Hill Weekend” means the 24 mile Anglezark Amble on Saturday and the 11 mile Winter Hill fell race on Sunday. The ground conditions all week have been difficult with more ice than anyone would like underfoot and Saturday’s sub-zero temperatures aren’t going to help.

20120211-aamble-2Chilling before the start with cups of tea and warm buttered toast

20120211-aamble-3One of the pools in the Chinese Gardens – frozen 


20120211-aamble-4Climbing on frozen ground towards the Two Lads

20120211-aamble-5Climbing away from Entwhistle Reservoir (i)


20120211-aamble-6Climbing away from Entwhistle Reservoir (ii)


By now, like Wendy Dodds (above), I was wearing kahtoolas to cope with the ice and I needed them more than 18 of the 24 miles. By the time Wendy and I finished (in just under 5 hours) there had been more than 60 retire and 3 or perhaps 4 of these were due to broken limbs following a fall which isn’t good news.


20120211-aamble-7Harris Hawk at the end Cadshaw valley after its morning exercise

20120211-aamble-8Ice encrusted fence in Cadshaw Valley

20120211-aamble-10Ice encrusted gate on Darwen Moor

20120211-aamble-11Stile by the side of the above gate

20120211-aamble-12Darwen Tower with its recently fitted new roof

20120211-aamble-14My favourite oak trees on Great Hill

In the above photo, especially in the bottom left corner, it is possible to see the ice encrusted grass – the entire moor was like like this and I don’t I have seen its like here before.


20120211-aamble-500Mick – just finished!

20120211-aamble-501Richard and Albert recovering


Altogether quite a difficult day; slow going and too cold to drink enough water. Albert finished in 04:20 and now we both have to recover in time for tomorrow morning’s race – I don’t think we’ll be breaking any records!

Finally, huge thanks to everybody in West Lancs LDWA who made it all possible and best wishes for a speedy recovery to everybody who didn’t get through the day unscathed.

1 comment:

  1. well done! we had microspikes on today too, a complete revelation! we actually caught and passed to separate groups of mtb'ers gingerly riding along. good luck for tomorrow!