Thursday, December 31, 2009

Miles for 2009?

Now that the last runs of the year are done what’s the mileage add up to?  I managed 1,283 miles running/walking.  Garmin users will have an automatic total if using Sportracks.

Happy New Year to everybody – whatever it is you are doing to bring in 2010 enjoy


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ok, 8.30am at lower barn for the final run of the year

Last Run of 2009

Unless I get a phone call, I'll be at Saturday's UTUP tomorrow.

Saturday 02.01.10

I’m hoping to UTUP. Oh, and enough of that cheek EtU!

It's the Double "O" That You Have to Remember

Q ~ What three two legged creatures have in common a double "O" in the middle of their mames and are recognised by their bald patches?

A ~ 1. The rook, which is easily differentiated from the crow by the bald patch at the base of its beak (where its nose would be, if it had a nose instead of just nostrils).

      2. JtE.

      3. The coot, as in NLN's photo and familiar from the saying "as bald as a coot". Bird aficionados will know that the coot is not a duck, but a member of the rail family, although frequently found in the company of ducks. The brown bird in the background is a mallard duck, the drakes are more brightly coloured.

Cunningly Close… TF

Photo Comp

1) Looking up from aqueduct at White Coppice (SD621189)
2) ? Bridge near 2 Lads
3) ?Cliff Face of Black Coppice (Stronstrey Bank) (SD 618185)
4) Anglezark Res near High Bullough Res (SD 618166)
5) Healy Nab (SD 607180)
6) Drinkwaters (SD 636190)
7) Spitlers Edge (SD 655165)
8) On path just before High Bullough Res looking towards White Coppice direction (SD 616172)

How am I doing NLN?

Thurs Run

I think it would be wise to stick to soft stuff for the run, don't want welcome in the new year in A&E! So I was thinking if we were sticking to local for tomorrow's run, I could park the car on Lever Park Ave and run to the Lower Barn from there. I'll put my map in my bag just in case we decide to go off-piste.

With all this icy stuff still hanging about my decision to forgo ALS was based on the thought that there'd be a section on the Bridleway which would be pretty treacherous (as well as considering the freezing thigh deep river crossing x 2). It appears that some of the fast ones have been out recceing and reported back that a change of route will be required. I'm still not tempted as I'd have to park the car in Haworth with a mile trek to the start and no where to shelter to keep warm & dry before the off.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Close YJ… But not close enough

Picture Parade

1. Waterfall above the Blue Lagoon.

2. Wooden bridge upstream from Blue Lagoon.

3. The quarry face above Anglezarke Reservoir.

4. Anglezarke Res taken 200 yds nearer to High Bullough Res than the last pic

5. Healey Nab

6. Drinkwaters Farm

7. Spittlers Edge viewed from Winter Hill trig

8. The footbridge before High Bullough Res on the Amble route.

And today… well a little something closer to home

Having located our local Trig Point as being just off the A6, close to Wingates Industrial Estate, we set off across the fields to find it.  Which we did.  It’s in fine condition as you can see, even if the other two aren’t.  Easy to find on a footpath in a field directly under a row of telephone wires.


Aspull December 2009 (1 of 1)

Felt much colder to day than yesterday without the sun, and although much of the snow has disappeared, the lanes presented some challenging conditions, being just sheet ice underfoot.  Anyway we had a nice little trot locally giving us just over 7 miles for the day and that was enough.

Aspull December 2009 (4 of 5)

Now here’s a question for our pigeon fanciers.  Lots of ducks padding about on the frozen pond as you can see below.  But only the two above with the distinctive black plumage and white faces (I’m sure that’s not the correct way of describing them, but you can see what I mean!)

Aspull December 2009 (5 of 5) Aspull December 2009 (1 of 5) Aspull December 2009 (2 of 5) Aspull December 2009 (3 of 5)  Well I’ve got to have one of our hills!

Looking forward to seeing All UTUP 2nd Jan.  

Happy New Year everybody


Where Was I Yesterday?

Another glorious day, but where did I go?  Too easy for you guys surely!

First posting of all correct answers will receive a small New Year’s gift.

Pictures 1-8

HN GH WH December 2009 (5 of 8)

HN GH WH December 2009 (8 of 8) HN GH WH December 2009 (1 of 1)  HN GH WH December 2009 (2 of 8)  HN GH WH December 2009 (4 of 8)  HN GH WH December 2009 (6 of 8) HN GH WH December 2009 (7 of 8)

HN GH WH December 2009 (3 of 8)

Last Run of the Year

As I indicated, I was fancying something further afield than Winter Hill, but having run to the Gardens this morning and found the steps through to Georges lane virtually impassable due to ice, it may be wise to re-think. It would be a shame to head off to a more distant venue and find that the going was so bad that we could only manage a few miles.

If the group is to be the two usual Swift Bros and TF, and TF has abandonned her SLK until the spring thaw, we could identify a rendezvous point halfway between the barn (or Grimeford Lane) and TF's pad and run there to meet and do a bit more and then separate again and retrace our earlier steps, or we could all meet UTUP (but not usual day) or UTTF'sPad or anywhere else.

Other ideas? Other folk? See if it thaws?

Suggest final decision time no later than 22:00 hours Wednesday 30th.

Flipping Big Holes

This is, in fact, one flipping great big hole TF. It is the Cutacre open cast mining site and it stretches from the A6 road in the north almost to the Tyldesley boundary in the south and from about half a mile east of Newbrook Road almost to the boundary of Little Hulton. Apart from the extraction of coal it is intended to remove the Cutacre tip which comprises waste material deposited from the coal mines over many years. Until this work started it was the biggest industrial waste tip in Europe! There are dumper trucks working there capable of carrying one hundred tons at a time. As you’ll imagine, they are huge. It is possible to arrange conducted tours of the workings. As you have found out, many footpaths have been diverted.

No piccies from me, I'm afraid...

as I didn't manage to venture too far on my Christmas Day outing, but I now have a circular off-road 12m route. It's something I've been meaning to sort out for a long time and involved using some of the local disused railway lines (now trails) in the area taking me via Walkden and Tyldesley.

A couple of sections need a bit of fine-tuning and I should have definitely consulted with a 'Local Expert' before I set off as some flipping great holes appeared at SD 693038 that weren't marked on my map! Having got back to the A6 by a rather circuitous route, I found a noticed saying that all the usual 'Rights of Way' had been suspended, no kidding! Any idea what they're digging for JtE?

Sunday's outing was the Peak 'O' Trial from Glossop. As the car was still marooned on the drive, I decided to have my first attempt to get to a race via public transport. I'd emailed the organiser and asked for a late start time and opted for the short course. So having set off at 7am, I arrived at 10:10am and it cost £7:30 (return, which I didn't think was too bad). But 50 mins of that 3hr + travelling time was running, mmmh, think I'll leave it for 'special occasions'.

I may be up for a long outing on Thursday and forgo ALS, a lot depends on the weather over the next 24hrs. The car is now off the drive and near the main road, the novelty of going to work on the train and having to leave at 6.45am finally wore off by the 24th Dec. Any further plans as to where you might be running from/to?

White Christmas, Bah!

Having just returned from the balmy south, sunshine and sea breezes, I have been very envious of the white Christmas you all seem to have enjoyed.

Intrepidly setting off from home in four inches of snow on the Tuesday prior to Christmas we were soon on clear roads and met no trouble until we reached our destination six hours later, where the snowy conditions had returned and we got stuck half way up Sally's drive. Moving on to Hove the next day we experienced a temperature rise of 8 degs in two hours and found all the roads and footpaths clear.

This was not a bad thing as it enabled plenty of running, along the route of the Brighton marathon, along the coast and over the South Downs. Total for the week was 44 miles which could be a personal record for a Christmas week when I ate everything in sight and still managed to lose a pound in weight.

I am available for an outing on Thursday, the further the better and, will also be out on Saturday with no need to limit mileage as my entry for the Jan 3rd Catforth half marathon has been returned "Sorry entry full."

My next job is to rearrange event entries for January to include the Garstang 10k and That's Lyth.

So, wishing you all a happy New Year, I look forward to being back on the fells with you.
Another Brother

Robert, my big little brother and youngest of the four of us, obviously benefitted from the cessation of post-war rationing prior to his growing years.

Pictured here after the Ribble Valley 10k on Sunday 27th Dec, where he had comfortably succeeded in his aim of beating the hour, after one of his rare returns to racing since finishing the London Marathon 27 years ago.

I was fairly happy with my 51:02 being closer to 8 minute miling than I have managed recently.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Our Christmas Day walk took us on part of the Two Crosses route. It was quite cold eating our sandwiches!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Christmas Cracker

Like EtU we were also enjoying the fantastic conditions on Christmas Day with a short tour of Winter Hill from the Quarries up to the Trig and back down, in between cooking the Turkey and visiting the family.  Loads of folk out and about on all the summits and paths as far as the eye could see.

Christmas Day 2009 (1 of 2)

NLN and FSS Approaching the metalled road from the direction of the quarries


And with perfect timing as we approached the trig a lone SKIER appeared who turned out to be Ros Murray with her cross county skis had come up from Noon Hill and was about to ski back down to Belmont via the ramp.

Christmas Day 2009 (2 of 2)

NLN with Ros enjoying her ski tour of Winter Hill

Finally trotting down the Mast Road we bumped into our window cleaner Chris having a stroll with his Labrador.  

Boxing Day saw us within spitting distance of Horridges Barn having walked with Steve and Eileen over  from Higher Whittaker in Belmont.   Only the pressure of time to get to the Chetham Arms for lunch stopped us from saying hello to Nic’O and David. 

Boxing Day 2009 (1 of 2)

Round the Resers

Boxing Day 2009 (1 of 3)

The thaw is on

Boxing Day 2009 (2 of 3)

Boxing Day 2009 (3 of 3)


Boxing Day 2009 (2 of 2)

Evening sun

More pics on:

Why the ladder?

was the question asked by TF on the 18th. June.


Osprey Nest. Loch Garten

To tag the osprey chicks was the answer I gave. Not entirely correct! The proper answer was given on the tele recently. Apparently the male bird brought in a fish with a large length of fishing line attached. The line had to be removed because of the obvious danger of entanglement and so the ladder was erected and afterwards left there for the tagging.

New Year's Eve

I have  a pass for Thursday morning, possibly an extended one.  Any takers/ideas? Chipping Trigs?

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Special Day

It's been a few years since I was up the Pike on Christmas Day and as I struggled up breathlessly this morning I wondered whether I might meet one or two old friends, sharing a mince pie and a sherry by the tower, as I had occasionally in the past.

But no, instead there was a young couple drinking champagne! Paul introduced himself and his young lady Natalie, who had, only moments before, become his fiance. I offered my congratulations and toasted them with the celebratory fiz that I was offered.

Congratulations to you both, perhaps see you up there next year as Mr and Mrs. If you want a copy of these photographs, email me by clicking "EtU" on the contributors list.

(Natalie doesn't always squint like this, the sun was in her eyes.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The House on the Hill

That sky looks full of snow NicO. Hope it didn’t drop any more on you. Here’s a picture on a brighter day.


Horridge's this morning. So impressed with your photos I decided to have a go.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Just to say well done to our photographers and to add my thanks to Nico and David for the splendid fayre that they put on for us. Definitely a lot more than I expected, and no doubt some will be thinking, a lot more than I deserved in view of my hasty departure. It seemed almost unworthy to rush off as I did and certainly it was not as I'd have wished. Apologies to Hazel for having to reverse so far down the slope in order that I could get out.

Anyway I paid for my sins because it was very c-c-cold at the garden centre.

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to seeing you all on our next run.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


A glorious winter wonderland greeted us for what has become our annual Gallop and Graze fixture, with all thanks going to Nic’O and David for a fantastic, festive feast.  A few more snaps to add to JtE’s which catch the changing light from the glorious hues of a winter sunrise to the rather more sombre tone towards the latter part of the morning as the sun disappeared from the sky.

 Winter Hill (1 of 20) Winter Hill (2 of 20) Winter Hill (3 of 20) Winter Hill (4 of 20) Winter Hill (5 of 20) Winter Hill (6 of 20) Winter Hill (7 of 20) Winter Hill (8 of 20) Winter Hill (9 of 20) Winter Hill (10 of 20) Winter Hill (11 of 20) Winter Hill (12 of 20) Winter Hill (13 of 20) Winter Hill (14 of 20) Winter Hill (15 of 20) Winter Hill (16 of 20) Winter Hill (17 of 20) Winter Hill (18 of 20) Winter Hill (19 of 20)

Winter Hill (20 of 20)

FSS’s report and pictures of Mark Smith’s superb Mid-winter Bob Graham Round can be found here – awesome!