Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lancashire Countryside – 28 April

After last weekend’s race and ahead of a long walk next weekend an easy week in between is in order. Next weekend will involve only a few hills (7) but plenty of climbing (20,000 feet) so I wanted to rested my climbing legs and decided on a nearly flat round round the local countryside. Each December for a few years now we have walked or run the South Lancs LDWA “Xmas Charity Walk” which goes through our village and I have often wondered about using the route as nearly hill-less training route. Today provided the prefect opportunity; 15 miles and just under 1500 feet of climbing, about perfect.

20120428-aspull-30-EditThe Ford (with a bridge alongside, fortunately)

20120428-aspull-32-EditTree Roots

20120428-aspull-41-EditLand Rover

20120428-aspull-35-EditFootball Match in Blackrod

An easy paced run through local countryside reminded me how much there is to see and enjoy in the surrounding countryside when you go looking for it. Big hills last weekend and big hills next weekend – this was just what I needed this weekend. Hope yours was as good.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

High Rigg – 22 April

High Rigg is a little hill overlooking St Johns in The Vale and surrounded by high, more rugged, proper fells but Wainwright nevertheless lists it and we have been here twice before, just to get the “tick”. Today, however, we have recce’d a new (to us) path running below High Rigg that will help to link Skiddaw and Helvellyn on a walk in a couple of week’s time. Having started in Threlkeld we needed to get back there but my legs weren’t up to going up to and back along The Dodds, after racing yesterday, so High Rigg provided a delightful route on another path new (to us) and a “tick” for our 3rd Round of Wainwrights.

20120422-Borrowdale-151-EditPack horse bridge with Blencathra in the distance

20120422-Borrowdale-181-EditLooking over to Clough Head

20120422-Borrowdale-153-EditFarm vehicles

20120422-Borrowdale-141-EditSt John’s Beck

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Teenager With Altitude – 21 April

Overnight on Friday night in Borrowdale and a short drive round to Stair for the third Teenager With Altitude fell race. 16 miles and 7000 feet of climbing is fair day out in my book but I feared my interrupted winter training might be found out by it and it was. About 3 minutes slower than last year when conditions were poor and I got lost but 2 minutes inside my, fairly generous, target time time of 4 and a half hours.

Borrowdale-101-2Brandlehow Point on the near shore of Derwent Water from below Catbells

Borrowdale-106-3Bowland runners and marshals relaxing before the start

Borrowdale-100-4On the start line looking up to Causey Pike and the first check point

Borrowdale-104-5Nearly ready for the off

Borrowdale-105-6Pretty relaxed Andy Walmsley seems ready

Borrowdale-107-7Hindscarth and Robinson from Causey Pike

Borrowdale-110-8Looking back to Causey Pike and Outerside

Borrowdale-113-9Rannerdale Knott with Crummock Water beyond

Borrowdale-115-10Runners between High Snock Rigg and the climb to Robinson summit with the Buttermere fells beyond

Borrowdale-107-11The results – post first in the traditional way

Borrowdale-110-12Perhaps the best part – Free Beer

Borrowdale-120-13Derwent Water with Blencathra beyond

Borrowdale-119-15Laal Bri’s Seat – Scafell Hotel


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Cadair Idris – 14 April

After the early morning mist cleared out we had an exceptional day on Cadair Idris. Overnight snow “freshened up” the summit and the north face, seen from Cyfrwy below. An anti-clockwise circuit enabled us to avoid most of the crowd and extend the circuit out over Mynydd Pencoed before returning to Bryn Hafod for a traditional Rucksack Club dinner.

brynhafod-537-Edit-1First sight of the summit whilst climbing to Mynydd Moel



brynhafod-544-Edit-2From higher on Mynydd Moel


brynhafod-552-Edit-3From Mynydd Moel

brynhafod-556-Edit-4From the ladder stile



brynhafod-586-Edit-5Trig Point


brynhafod-596-Edit-7Robin contemplate the cliffs above Lyn Cau

brynhafod-616-Edit-9 Lyn Cau

brynhafod-607-Edit-8Cadair Idris from Cyfrwy

Moel y Cerrig Duon – 13 April

On our way to Bryn Hafod for the weekend we stopped at Bwlch y Groes, the highest pass in North Wales, from where Moel y Cerrig Duon is but a short stroll. Under a threaten sky watching rain showers fall all around we wondered if the sunshine forecast for the rest of the weekend would materialise. The snow on The Arrans seemed fresh and more would fall on Friday night but we stayed dry, just.


brynhafod-504-Edit-1The Arans in the distance

brynhafod-507-Edit-2The Arans in the distance

brynhafod-8-Edit-3South East from Moel y Cerrig Duon

brynhafod-16-Edit-4The farm at Bryn Hafod in Cwm Cywarch

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Rivington Pike fell race – 07 April

After all the “fun of the Fair” yesterday Easter Saturday is a bit more serious on The Pike. The fell race is only 3.25 miles with about 700 feet of climbing – way too fast, furious and painful to enjoy until a beer in The Crown afterwards.

RP-4-1Jeff Norman (Winner 1973/74) stretching his legs 

Jeff is also an Olympic Marathon runner (1976), “Fell Runner of the Year” (1974) and winner of 6 consecutive 3 Peaks fell races, Ben Nevis and many others - it was a real thrill to say hello to Jeff Norman today.


RP-7-6Climbing (1)

RP-6-4Climbing (2)

RP-3-3Tom Cornthwaite leading the field up to the Pike

RP-11-5Tom Cornthwaite leading the field down from the Pike

RP-10-7Descending (2)

RP-12-8Descending (2)

RP-26-9Beginning to enjoy the race – in the pub afterwards

RP-29-10The Winner in 17:17!

Full results are here

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Winter Hill – 31 March

At the end of a week when it seemed my legs might never recover from the Edale Skyline (Pauline has more race photos here and photos of Edale here) I was looking forward to a long run over the familiar ground of Winter Hill. Regrettably, this season’s “most fashionable vandalism” seems to be setting moorland alight. More than one night this week the moors have been ablaze and in one place a plantation of young saplings seems to have been destroyed. At the end of a week of blazing sunshine Saturday started grey, cool and almost colourless.

20120331-winterhill-6Yarrow Reservoir Outlet (1) 


20120331-winterhill-8Yarrow Reservoir Outlet (2)


20120331-winterhill-12Anglezark Reservoir

Healey Nab was set alight earlier in the week too and after reports of “suspicious behaviour” (young lads lurking with aerosol cans)  members of the local Fire Brigade were out to makes sure nothing was alight. Nothing was but last week’s damage appears considerable.


20120331-winterhill-15Healey Nab

White Coppice lies below Healey Nab and the Cricket Club seemed to be trying to shrug off winter – perhaps last week’s sunshine provided the shove it needed to emerge from seasonal slumbers. The “square” and the outfield were freshly cut and appeared ready to play and the club house was being sorted out with all the enthusiasm a new Spring brings.


20120331-winterhill-18-EditWhite Coppice Cricket Club – the clubhouse

20120331-winterhill-17-EditWhite Coppice Crick Club – looking across the square

20120331-winterhill-20Dean Black Brook

20120331-winterhill-21-EditNorth West over Yarrow and Anglezark Reservoirs from the Pigeon Tower

20120331-winterhill-29-EditRivington Pike

20120331-winterhill-35-EditParagliders on and off Winter Hill with Darwen Tower in the distance and Pendle Hill on the horizon

You get used to getting strange looks from other hill users and I don’t suppose paragliders understand fell running but it did seem slightly odd getting strange looks from people who stand about on windy edges of hills, summer and winter, waiting for enough wind to blow them off. Ah well, another 20 miles or so in the legs by the end of an enjoyable morning.