Monday, 30 November 2015

Top Lock Turnaround – 28 November

Best laid plans etc., etc. After months of improvement my ‘fragile knee’ reverted to its old self and I have been reduced to short runs for the last few weeks but I thought it was about to find out if these have allowed any improvement. A run over Winter Hill seemed a likely way to find out and it looked as though I would be able to do it before the worst of the weather arrived on Saturday morning. That was the plan but it seems that even just thinking about it is enough to set my knee off. Although it often improves through the day, the ache that greeted me on wakening was enough to suggest a long run would be only a little short of foolish.

Cycling doesn’t seem to aggravate it so I had a ride out to Top Lock and beat the rain back home, just.


20151128_001_toplock-20-EditTop Lock, Wheelton



20151128_002_toplock-26-EditAbove Top Lock

20151128_003_toplock-29Yarrow Reservoir outflow 


20151128_004_toplock-36Yarrow Reservoir outflow with Anglezark reservoir beyond

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Yr Arwydd & Holyhead Mountain – 22 November

More snow and rain overnight along with a low cloud base quickly convinced us that bagging the two Marilyns on Anglesey would make a reasonable day out, and it did. Keith had bagged them previously but had seen nothing from Holyhead Mountain because of the conditions and was happy to back to both.

20151122_001_NantPeris-1035View through the window at Beudy Mawr on Sunday morning

Yr Arwydd is very nearly a ‘drive up’ with a car park beyond the nearby village which wasn’t there the last time Keith was. A well worn path leads to the Trig Point and impressive views in all directions. I am sure the views of Snowdonia are impressive but the the low cloud there hid them from us.


20151122_002_NantPeris-39From Yr Arwydd east to Great Orme


From Yr Arwydd west to Lleyn Peninsula

Yr Arwydd was good and Holyhead Mountain even better. Once out of the heritage park and up the hill the views are really superb. The sun was low in the sky and under heavy clouds but the horizon in all directions was clear. Assuming we correctly worked out what we were looking at then we were able to see Southern Ireland, Isle of Man, Southern Scotland and the Lancashire coast.

20151122_004_NantPeris-65-EditTwo Ferries going to Dun Laoghaire


20151122_005_NantPeris-78-EditLooking west from Holyhead Mountain

20151122_006_NantPeris-225-EditIn front of a roaring fire to conclude the afternoon

Tal y Fan – 21 November

The overnight snow wasn’t as heavy as it might have been but the wind was strong enough to be troublesome and the weather forecasts were uncertain how soon Saturday night’s snow would arrive. After bright and sunny start we headed to Sychnant Pass to follow a route over Tal y Fan (to bag another Marilyn) for Aber.

20151121_001_NantPeris-15Nant Peris – looking up the valley

20151121_002_NantPeris-37Nant Peris – towards Llanberis as the sunshine arrives





20151121_005_NantPeris-172Strong sunshine in the Conwy valley



20151121_006_NantPeris-175Towards the Glyders


20151121_007_NantPeris-176Towards the Glyders again


20151121_008_NantPeris-177Gareth & Netty


20151121_009_NantPeris-180Tal y Pen summit 


20151121_010_NantPeris-183Route Choices 


20151121_011_NantPeris-184More Route Choices

 20151121_012_NantPeris-186 Back to Conwy & the Great Orme



20151121_013_NantPeris-188Last look at the higher mountains (and the sunshine)

 20151121_014_NantPeris-194Pylons marching to the coast and the incoming snow 


20151121_015_NantPeris-197Below Aber Falls

 20151121_016_NantPeris-1028Table is ready for Dinner

 20151121_017_NantPeris-1029Just the waiting left to do

Huge thanks to Audrey for a brilliant Meet, we’ll be back next year!

Great Orme – 20 November

On our way with Keith for a weekend in Nant Peris on a Rucksack Club Meet and with Great Orme on Keith’s “still to bag” Marilyn list it would have been churlish not to stop. With a winter forecast for the weekend and the wind strength beginning to build a “drive up” was, by far, the most attractive means of ascent.


20151120_002_NantPeris-1011-EditGreat Orme Summit Complex

20151120_001_NantPeris-152-EditLooking west towards Anglesey

20151120_003_NantPeris-1019-EditStorm sweeping into the Menai Strait



20151120_001_NantPeris-154-EditPete’s Eats

Monday, 16 November 2015

Not Winter Hill Again – 14 November

Many is the time when we have been peak-bagging and defeated by the weather or some other foible that the day was recorded as “Not Name of Target Hill”  and so it seems appropriate to refer to another weekend and the preceding week of short runs as “Not Winter Hill”. Since and including last Sunday I have run/walked/cycled everyday including last Friday and my knee is no worse than it was a week ago. It seems running not very far on little hills doesn’t do it any harm, even running on consecutive days. Next week I’ll do a bit more until and keep doing a bit more until I reach the point when I have to back off and that, by and large, will determine how much running I do next year.

In the meantime, I enjoyed a pretty gentle wander around Borsdane Wood in hazy sunshine.


20151114_001_Hindley-32Flooded Field

20151114_002_Hindley-33Pond without any ducks

20151114_003_Hindley-42Big sky with steam from Fiddler’s Ferry Power Station

Monday, 9 November 2015

Borsdane Wood – 08 November

Not exactly what I had in mind for my “long weekend run” but sometimes things just don’t go to plan. Last Monday didn’t go to plan either because instead of joining the Monday Night Recovery Run Group I went for a run in the sunshine in the morning. Glorious it was too, until a few hours later when my right knee started aching. It does from time to time but this time it didn’t stop aching and didn’t even ache a little less until Friday, my rest day. Saturday became a rest day too and that seems to have allowed it to recover.

Sunday morning’s weather forecast was less than encouraging so I chanced to get out early and be back before the rain and, at last, I had a plan that worked! 6 miles more or less on the flat and my knee didn’t complain either. I’ll just have to take it easy this week but it does look at though I may need to stick to short distances, even if only for a while.

20151108_001_aspull-4-EditOne of the benches in the woods

20151108_002_aspull-10-EditPath to the “Top Ale House” in Hindley

20151108_003_aspull-19-EditHindley Hall Golf Course

I’ll be less ambitious this Monday and join the Recovery Run group and hope my knee doesn’t complain afterwards.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Winter Hill – 02 November

Yet another foggy morning low down and a bright sunny one high up so yesterday’s 13 mile run could be considered as postponed rather than cancelled. Not a bad Monday morning after all!

20151102_001_winterhill-1Still misty running through Horwich


20151102_002_winterhill-9Clear and bright on top with fabulous shadows


20151102_003_winterhill-10The Moon and the Masts

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Winter Hill – 31 October

My head cold is lingering longer than I expected but finally seems to be showing some signs of departing for good. Pauline is struggling with it too but seems to be making a better job of it then I did during the same early stages so we dragged ourselves over to George’s Lane for a trundle to the Trig.

20151031_001_winterhill-5Towards the Shooting Hut

20151031_002_winterhill-6Towards Smithills Reservoir


20151031_003_winterhill-8Towards the summit


20151031_004_winterhill-11Trig Point with one of its three Red Roses


20151031_005_winterhill-12Near the Trig Point – only October but the ground is mid-Winter wet already


20151031_006_winterhill-22Boys’ Big Toys in the quarry

We went our own ways to try to get the most out of about an hour’s running and felt better for having been out, so much so that we decided, immediately, to do it again on Sunday morning – we seemed to be well along the road to recovery. That wasn’t how it seemed on Sunday morning though, we are both back to how we were in the middle of last week. Perhaps this is the final fling from the cold, I really hope so because we both really, really want to be rid of it.