For the last few years we have enjoyed our final Christmas Lunch of the season on the first Sunday in February in the company of Westmorland & North Lancs LDWA Group at the Eagle & Child in Staveley. We have been members of the group for some years and December is always very congested so the move to February is welcomed by all. The meal is preceded by a short walk but this year I preferred to aim for a run round the Kentmere Horseshoe before lunch.
I was pessimistic about the weather, a little optimistic about the conditions and wildly optimistic about the road conditions. The upshot was I couldn’t drive up the valley because the road was still too icy after Saturday night’s frost which meant I had park on the edge of Staveley and run up the valley. The downside was that this wrecked any chance of getting round the horseshoe but should still leave enough time to get to, at least, one of the summits. The upside was - I saw an otter in the river as I was getting ready.
By the time I reached Kentmere I would have preferred to go East but having told Pauline I would go round clock-wise I headed towards the church and the Garburn Road. My prints were the first on the track and on up the race route – all in glorious sunshine.
The drifts around Buck Crag were thigh deep in places and after thrashing around for a while I realised it was either Yoke or lunch and I settled for lunch which meant I had plenty of time to enjoy the snow and appreciate the views.
What a contrast with Winter Hill yesterday and not what I planned but a great morning’s run in stunning conditions. About 11 miles this morning to add to yesterday’s 14.5 so not a bad weekend even without seeing a wild otter!