Saturday, 31 August 2013

Great Hill & Winter Hill – 31 Aug

At this time of year, at least for me, training isn’t about developing stamina, speed or building strength. It is about avoiding injury, nursing niggles and enjoying the last of the sunshine and dry ground. Even Winter Hill is dry underfoot apart from the places that never dry out – especially those on the Winter Hill fell race route. Enjoying the sunshine was the ‘order of the day’ this morning so, for a bit of variety, I set off from Hordern Stoops for Great Hill. The route is very familiar and although the dry ground is a bit of a novelty the really special part was running across Spitlers Edge on fresh legs – to the best of my knowledge I have never set out from Hordern Stoops for Great Hill. This morning, in sunshine, on dry ground with only my long shadow from the low sun this was unmitigated pleasure – a huge affirmation of the pure joy of fell running.

 

20130831_001_winterhill-5Looking east towards Haslingdon

20130831_003_winterhill-14Darwen Tower

20130831_002_winterhill-13Great Hill

20130831_004_winterhill-15Winter Hill from Great Hill

20130831_005_winterhill-17Start of the descent to White Coppice

20130831_006_winterhill-20Back towards White Coppice

20130831_007_winterhill-22Back towards White Coppice (II)

Leaving White Coppice I was tempted to wander up through the disused quarries that would usually be ignored on the way back to Rivington. Pauline had a wander through them a week or two ago and they are certainly worth a look – the rock looks too rotten to climb but it is an almost forgotten, unspoiled corner just off the beaten track. I had a faint recollection that there was or had been a reasonable trod along the top of the quarries and so it proved. Very runnable when dry and pure pleasure this morning.

20130831_008_winterhill-29Winter Hill

Back through Rivington where Rob Hope caught up with me, no surprise there. Out to get some “Edale miles” in his legs he soon cruised ahead and disappeared into the far distance while I enjoyed the gentle climb up to Rivington Pike. A convoluted route took me round the south west corner of Winter Hill, passing Tim Roe flying down from the Two Lads, and up over Counting Hill passed the Trig Point and back to Hordern Stoops.

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