Thursday, May 17, 2018

LakeLand Valleys - 23rd June 2018

A Second Tour of the Central and Western Lakeland Valleys

(or more correctly – A Second Attempt at a Tour of the Central and Western Lakeland Valleys – like the first but backwards)

Planned date:- 23rd June 2018

Start in Great Langdale at the NT car park across the road from the New Dungeon Ghyll at 06:00 a.m – or is this too early?

Three Tarns – Via Stool End Farm, then up the Band to Three Tarns and then down into Upper Eskdale to Lingcove Bridge and thence to Brotherilkeld Farm and Boot – three pubs and the cafĂ© at the station to choose from.

Burnmoor Corpse Road – From the packhorse bridge in the centre of the village, we follow this ancient bridle path up to Burnmoor Tarn, which we pass on our left and then down to Wasdale head.

Black Sail – Over the packhorse bridge behind the Inn and up the pass and down to Black Sail Hut.

Loft Beck – From the hut, upstream alongside the beck to our next high point at the Loft Beck Crossing.

Honister – From the Loft Beck Crossing we head in a north-easterly direction to descend to the Slate Mine. It was along this section, approached then from Honister, that we decided to cut our 2016 outing short and head for home via Windy Gap, Styhead Tarn and Esk Hause. Refreshments are usually available at the mine. We then descend on the bridle path alongside the motor road to Rosthwaite.

Greenup Edge – Approached via Stonethwaite and Greenup Gill. Thence down to Grasmere via Easedale for gingerbread, Peter Rabbit etc.

Silver Howe – Tackled from the north-west side of the lake. This pass does not seem to have a formal name, I’ve just taken the name of a small top that we pass just south of.

Then it’s back down into Great Langdale for refreshments and preparation for our journeys home.

We can leave our travel arrangements until nearer the time, although it would seem sensible not to pack the cars too tightly, to give us the flexibility to split into different groups for the return journey.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Saturday 12th May

YJ is planning a long road run tomorrow, but is likely to report UTUP to start, if you want to say 'good morning'.

I will also be UTUPing and would welcome company for a meander over the fells.

Friday, April 27, 2018

A Date for Your Diary - Saturday 23rd June 2018 - The Rest of the Passes and Valleys

After due consultation, it has been decided (use of the passive tense avoids allocation of blame) that this outing will be on the 23rd June.

Start will be earlyish (?) from the New Dungeon Ghyll.

Thence to Three Tarns and Down to Boot, over the Corpse Road to Wasdale Head, then Black Sail...

Anyone who wants details of the full route can email me on

Saturday 28th April 2018

YJ and I plan to UTUP tomorrow, and we may have a blast from the past. You will need to attend the UTUP to find out who the mystery runner is.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Happy Anniversaty

If it hadn’t been the last one I would have left it because six weeks out with the Aussie flu bug meant that my longest run since January had been less than 6 miles – hardly the ideal preparation for an 11.5 mile race in the Lakes with 3500 feet of climbing. However, it was the last one, Newlands is my favourite part of the Lakes and the weather forecast was good – too good as it turned out.

So at 6.45 on Saturday the alarm went off, which wouldn’t have been too bad if I hadn’t been at a Dinner Dance in Blackburn the night before! Roger picked me up at 7.30 and we collected Tom five minutes later. They were both doing the Teenager with Altitude which started an hour before the AW but I needed a lift as SWINW wanted the car. We arrived at registration at about 9.15, I collected my number and went to find what little shade there was and read a book until it was time to go.

The first three miles were straightforward enough but then the climb up Robinson began. I picked a good line but the valley head had turned into a furnace which made it a relief to reach the summit ridge. Once there, I performed my good deed for the day. A lady runner had got crag fast on the Robinson Step and so I gallantly helped her – it was a good excuse for a rest!! I enjoyed the rest of the climb to the first check point on Robinson summit but went for a pearler coming down having caught my foot on a rock. The only damage was a nasty cut on my left hand and slightly shaken confidence.

 Hindscarth and Dale Head (with choir!) were soon passed, but then the very steep descent to Dale Head tarn began. Now my descending skills have improved no end on the grassy slopes of the Dales, but this was a different league altogether, both steeper and rockier. However, I made it down without mishap but on the climb up to High Spy I realised that my legs had gone so I was reduced to a slow shuffle- I wouldn’t call it running – for most of the rest of the race. By the time I reached the summit, NLN and Ian had both run out of film and so the only thing they took was the micky!

My shuffle towards Catbells and the finish continued. By this time I was cooked. The temperature was into the 20s and despite lashing on the sun cream, I could feel my neck burning. Finally I reached Cat Bells but took a bad line off it and ended up in some rocks whilst other runners were on grass either side of me. I managed to extricate myself and got down the steep grass to the road ok, but the last half mile on the road, although down hill was a killer. At the finish I couldn’t walk in a straight line and the first aiders grabbed me and made me drink lots of water. However, there was free beer available and I decided that I was better off re-hydrating with that instead!

It is a great race in a stunning part of the world and very well organised. However, I learnt the hard way that to do these events justice, more training and a recce are necessary, an d so preferably is cooler weather. Whoever said that with age comes wisdom?

Sunday, April 22, 2018

No Golden Mile(s)

Thanks to NLN for her pic of me at about 18 miles of the Blackpool Marathon.  Sadly, the result was not what I would have wanted as the wheels had already fallen off the trolley.

After a brisk half marathon completed in around 2 hours leg pains which had surfaced during the first few miles worsened  and coupled with a drop in energy levels it was difficult to keep the pace going, To avoid serious damage I decided on the easier option of retiring at about  mile 21.

So it is back to the drawing board with the intention of being in better shape for the Lancaster Marathon in September.  To this end there will be more 10Ks and half marathons and more training miles as it is obvious that 30-40 miles per week is not enough.

Never Mind London

Blackers is where it's at!  Well done Mr Swift and hats off to Mr B (LoB) for completing the final Anniversary Waltz - you were too quick for me to get a snap on the summit of High Spy, apologies.  But with 750-ish runners, getting the numbers down required a bit of concentration.  Fab few days in the Lakes visiting a variety of summits, returning via Blackpool after the rain arrived to see if we could spot this gent.  Look forward to reading all about it YJ.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Saturday 21st April 2018

Neither YJ nor I will be UTUPing this coming Saturday, John will be nearing the end of his taper for the Blackpool Marathon, and I may be Parkrunning in Derby.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Second Tour of (some of) the Central and Western Lakeland Valleys

If your refer to my post of 27th June 2016, you will see that we were left with unfinished business. Wind on almost 22 months:-

Over a recent couple of  beers, Steve (B) (he doesn't answer to his allotted blog name) told me that it was time to put this one to bed; apparently he and YJ had decided this at a previous drinking session. After some discussion, we decided that we should use the original plan (see 27/6/16), but in reverse order, so that we mop up the missed passes and can go home any time after we hit our route of two years ago.

We're looking at the second half of June, either a Saturday or a Wednesday - a Saturday would no doubt suit those of us that still have an attendance clause attached to their monthly pay cheque. Comments please from interested parties - I can email you full details of the original plan if you wish.