Tuesday, 26 February 2013

The “New Chew” – 24 February

More strictly the New Chew Long Score, unlike last year when some sense was applied and I entered the Scoreless race. This year was a fairly sharp reminder that my navigation skills are not really up to this sort of test – I found all the controls I went looking for but planned my route badly enough to have an unused 30+ minutes left at the end. This is to take nothing away from the race – it is well organised, well supported and a really great, very challenging day out. Next year I’ll have to remember “Scoreless”!

20130224-newchew-5-EditRed Shoe – on the foot of another runner

20130224-newchew-9-EditLooking back to Dovestones Reservoir


20130224-newchew-15-EditDovestones Reservoir

20130224-newchew-21-EditBridge across the Yeoman Hey Reservoir Outflow

20130224-newchew-22-EditYeoman Hey Reservoir Outflow

20130224-newchew-24-EditDovestones Reservoir

The results are on the Saddleworth Runners’ website and it was a (little) bit of a shock to see my result – not the place or the number of points (no surprises, there) but this was my first race as a Vet60. Oh well…

Huge thanks to everyone involved in making this year’s race the great experience it was. Special thanks for the food afterwards – it really is the best!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Bleasedale Circle Fell Race – 23 February

A selection of mainly Bowland runners as they pass the CP on Parlick Fell and one special spectator.





Sarah Sarginson and family came to watch and to “train the next generation of marshals” – this is one of them.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Far Eastern Fells – 17 February

With the promise of sunshine in the weather forecast we headed north to Cumbria to ‘tick’ some more “Wainwrights” for our third round and, more importantly, to enjoy a day on the hills. The forecast suggested a benign, gentle breeze rather than the bitter blast that greeted us in the cold shadows below High Hartsop Dodd – the forecast was wrong and the bitter wind accompanied us for the rest of the day. Up to Rest Dodd, The Nab, Angle Tarn Pikes and Brock Crags for a delightful direct descent to Harsop. Almost all the snow has gone but the north faces retain small fields of old, consolidated, icy snow – Rest Dodd’s north face (not one of the more fearsome ones) retained enough icy snow to require steps cutting with the one axe we took with us. All in all this was fabulous day out.


20130217_001_hartsop-16-EditLooking over Hartsop Above How to Fairfield beyond

20130217_002_hartsop-100-EditTowards Thornthwaite Crag with Hayes Water below

20130217_003_hartsop-107-EditLooking north with The Nab on the left with Loadpot Hill on the right

20130217_004_hartsop-109-EditTowards Rampsgill Head

20130217_005_hartsop-28-EditHayes Water below High Street (left) and Gray Crag (right)

20130217_006_hartsop-34-EditAngle Tarn with Helvellyn and Catstye Cam in the far distance

20130217_007_hartsop-38-EditAngle Tarn

20130217_008_hartsop-117-EditTowards The Knott and High Street

20130217_009_hartsop-120-EditBuilding below Gray Crag

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Winter Hill – 16 February

A glorious morning, out before sunrise and high above an inversion that engulfed Manchester-Bolton-Belmont and probably more. Intending to go back to Darwen Tower I changed my plans when I saw the inversion and realised I would spend much of the morning running in it. Long loops up and down Winter Hill proved a much more enjoyable alternative.

20130216_001_winterhill-3South along Georges Lane

20130216_002_winterhill-8The sunrise Manchester never saw because it is under all that cloud

20130216_003_winterhill-12Mast Supports

20130216_007_winterhill-27Looking over to Peel Tower above Bury

20130216_004_winterhill-13Looking over to Peel Tower above Bury (II)

20130216_005_winterhill-20One of the masts

20130216_006_winterhill-22Looking north just above the clouds

20130216_008_winterhill-32Towards Darwen Tower

20130216_009_winterhill-52A bit later looking over the reservoirs south of Belmont


20130216_011_winterhill-74-EditOld snow

Monday, 11 February 2013

Winter Hill fell race – 12 February

Having lost track of where I was yesterday on the Anglezark Amble I lost track of time this morning and missed the start of the race. About three minutes late I crossed the start line and started trying to catch the field. In the event I almost always had someone to follow and the tracks in the snow well very clear. Again however the weather was too poor carrying a camera so I had to make do with a few photos in the snow during the prize giving.

20130210_001_winterhill-5-EditColin (Race Organiser) with Albert Sunter presenting Ali Murray with trophy for first HRMI Harrier to finish


Huge thanks are due to Colin and the marshals for enabling the race to take place – all the marshals had difficult conditions to endure, snow on the summit, sleet part way down and rain at the start and finish. Well done and thanks to you all. See you next year, hopefully on time.

Results here.

Anglezark Amble – 09 February

A poor weather forecast, low cloud and really poor conditions underfoot all persuaded me not to bother taking a camera with me so no photos of the event. Went astray with a group at the back of Belmont then messed up by missing the path to Darwen Tower and going straight to the top of Aggies Staircase. Actually I missed the path I didn’t want so that when I reached the one I did want, I didn’t take it.

This adds about half a mile and I was pretty disheartened for a while. Picked up a bit and finished quite strongly but not quite as near the front as I would have liked. Thanks to West Lancs LDWA and everyone who helped on the 2013 Amble.

20130209_002_amble-4-EditRichard and Albert discussing their days

20130209_001_amble-11-EditMark recovering with a cup of tea and a phone

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Around Sabden – 02 February

Anticipating plenty of running on Winter Hill next weekend and needing a relatively easy week this week a run round Sabden valley seemed to fit the bill. The forecast suggested an early start might be cold but with the promise of a glorious winter sunrise to make it worthwhile – and worthwhile it was.

20130202_001_sabden-11Looking west before the moon set

20130202_002_sabden-16Looking east, towards Pendle Hill, as the sun creeps into the valley

20130202_003_sabden-22Churn Clough reservoir outflow

20130202_004_sabden-23Churn Clough reservoir

20130202_005_sabden-34Peacocks at Sabden Fold farm

20130202_006_sabden-47Oak Trees near Roughlee

20130202_007_sabden-54Electric Landscape (1)

20130202_008_sabden-57Towards Wiswell Moor

20130202_009_sabden-61-EditElectric Landscape (2)

19.5 miles and a bit of climbing over very wet ground, wetter than I thought it would be – I should have known better!

The route starts and finishes at Whalley going along one ridge and back along the other – this morning I turned round at Pendle Water but there are plenty of other options to lengthen or shorten the route. There isn’t very much climbing but the route is steeped in fell running history – two places of significance are visited on or near the northern ridge. Stan Bradshaw’s Cabin where he rested, recuperated and probably slept during or at the end of long training runs is visited as is the White Hough Outdoor Centre, which was the Whitehough Camp School, when the Fell Running Association(FRA) was founded there on April 4th, 1970.