Friday, April 30, 2010


I will be at there at the UTUP tomorrow and see how it goes.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Benchmark Bonanza

If you thought trigpointing was good – you’ll love this one.  This is the Ordnance Survey benchmark locator – they’re everywhere I even spotted one from the car window on the way to Coniston.  The Trespass Stone is an even more attractive location now that a benchmark has been located on the gatepost.  There’s also one on the gatepost at the top of the ramp.  There are two on Nic’O’s drive etc…     All you need is the Km square coordinates for your chosen search eg  SD6614 for the Trespass Stone.   You can then download them as a spreadsheet to take with you.  Sent some of you your local benchmarks via email.   How many can you locate?

This is what you’re looking for:

benchmarks (1 of 1)

Standard Benchmark

benchmarks (1 of 2)

Pivot (top) Benchmark

benchmarks (2 of 2) Eroded much older benchmark.

Let us know how many you find.

Reservoir gods

Thursday Aug 26 sounds OK for our reservoir dip.

Don't know what our pace would have been without photo and lunch breaks. I'll do a calculation based on my (non-stop) run next Saturday adding on the outlying summits with a time based on the percentage by which I better last week's time.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Distance/Ft of Climb for Saturday

On 'Where's the path' I got 11m and 4684ft (converted from metres). This was only a quick measure just to see if we were in the 'ballpark' with our mental arithmetic on the way home.

We did give up at about 3300ft because Mr Wainwright 'obviously' didn't do contouring, only ridge routes. We couldn't find a reference for the ft/climb for Greyfriars to Brim Fell, the sums got complicated and it all got a bit to much for EtU, so he put his book away! 12.5m and nearly 5000ft will do for me though.

I can manage a utup on thurs this week.

And finally, I've just had word from the organizers of the series of navigating events I did confirming that I won my age group and that they'll be sending me a Rab 80L Kitbag as my prize (RRP £45). This has come as a very nice surprise as I was only expecting something as a token gesture.


Smithills Res Challenge

How does the evening of Thursday 26th August sound?

This Week

Tuesday 27th ~ Efforts on Two Lads from sixish.

Thursday 29th ~ UTUP, definitely no efforts.

May Day, May Day, May Day! ~ UTUP

Sunday 2nd ~ Horwich Triathon ~ what had seemed a good idea several months ago, now seems less so.

Even More From Coniston

Approaching Great Carrs

Grey Friar, with Dow and possibly Caw in the distance.   Did that guy say all the Wainwrights 22 times?  Why?

Brim Fell, or so TF insisted.  Again, Dow in the distance, this time with her crags beginning to unfold.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Re Coniston Stats

What would the pace be once we had deducted photo shoots and luncheon stops which were highly essential. Thought the waiter service was a bit slow though.
Coniston stats

Many thanks to all for the excellent outing from Coniston on Saturday which should prove invaluable come next Saturday's championship race. We explored some very worthwhile route options which hopefully will cut minutes off my time.

We covered 12.59 miles in 5hrs 13mins 38secs, an average pace of 24.56 mins per mile and climbed a total of 4,969ft.

Split times were Wetherlam 3.16miles, 1:19:53
Swirl Howe 4.43 1:56:01
Great Carrs 4.84 2:06:50
Greyfriar 5.66 2:22:57
Brim Fell 7.64 3:09:39
Dow 8.74 3:35:55
Old Man 9.85 4:09:51
Finish 12.59 5:13:38


Having been encouraged(?) by three walk/runs on the moors above Horwich and then two more whilst in Devon, I thought I would try a continuous run yesterday.

There is a circuit of 5km, some of which is off road, from my house which used to take me about 25mins. The morning had been showery and cool so that would have been the sensible time to go, but she who is never wrong said otherwise. As a result is was about 4 when I set off and very muggy. After five minutes my mouth was dry and after ten I was tired and wishing I hadn’t bothered. However, I had determined to run the whole way so I kept going. (If you look run up in the dictionary, it goes into some technical jargon about feet not touching the ground – what I was doing counted as running because I was moving and not walking). Things did improve a bit and I made it in a personal worst of 30min 44sec.

Things can only get better- I hope.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

More from Coniston

Firstly this is not the Matterhorn Rock on Grey Friars but a slightly bigger version south of Zermatt in Switzerland. No comments please about the belly!

Here's a few that I took with my cheap little camera phone from the Old Man - not come out so bad - can't tell a thing just after I've taken them. At least we've got one of NLN who as chief photographer is missing from her shots. As usuall click the photo for a larger version.

Coniston Fells

Fantastic day on the fells with thanks to YJ for shouldering the main responsibility for driving and to TF for a pick up en route to Etu’s.  T’Y made his own way to Walton Summit whilst SN met us at Coniston, already being up north.

The purpose was to accompany YJ in reccying the route of the Coniston Fell Race for next weekend and with six runners it was great to be able to explore alternative lines and report back to YJ to make (mental) notes of the pros and cons of each of the chosen routes.

 coniston (1 of 14)

Three lines presented themselves on the way up to Wetherlam with YJ going over the tops EtU and NLN taking a contouring route whilst T’Y, TF and SN kept to the main path.

coniston (2 of 14)

The three routes rejoined at the turn off up to the summit

coniston (3 of 14) coniston (4 of 14)

The haze never really lifted which gave some protection from the sun and with a not too cold breeze on top, conditions couldn’t have been better.  Looking across to the Langdales from Great Carrs

coniston (5 of 14)

coniston (6 of 14)

Climbing the rocky rib of Prison Band and looking back to Swirl Hause YJ wanted a visual prompt for the grassy descent to the right of the very rock and eroded path.

 coniston (8 of 14)

After some discussion as to what constituted Brim fell, we arrived at the summit

coniston (9 of 14) coniston (10 of 14)

The Matterhorn Rock on Grey Friar – I believe T’Y has a match to the one below?

coniston (11 of 14)

Thirstt work – last one, The Old Man himself – no not EtU ‘of Coniston’

coniston (12 of 14)

Every which way looking good

coniston (13 of 14)

coniston (14 of 14)

The old winding gear for the disused mines

Again the descent gave us lots of interest as we split to test various lines.  Lots of food for thought for YJ for next week.   Just makes you want to go back for more.

Garmin/operator malfunction so will leave it to others for the stats.

Next weekend is pencilled in for a very long outing for FSS in the Lakes and I’m down for the support.  However, weather not looking favourable at this stage, so may be UTUP-ing Sat depending on conditions.  Out Tues, all being well. 


Friday, April 23, 2010


Suggested running (!) order, to cover most most of the race route is: town ~ Wetherlam ~ Swirl How ~ Great Carrs ~ Grey Friar ~ Brim Fell ~ Dow Crag ~  The Old Man ~ town.

Do you know why a wether can't father a lam(b)?

Thursday, April 22, 2010


YJ has offered to drive and will be in the cul-de-sac near the Hob Inn Bamber Bridge at 7:50.

I'll be providing a transfer service from Watters' car park on Grimeford Lane, leaving at 7:30.

At the moment, there will be five of us travelling up to Coniston (YJ, NLN, TF, t'Y and yours truly).  If there are any last minute additions, I'll take my car as well.

We meet SN in Coniston at 9:30.

Can't make it tonight but will be ok for Coniston on Saturday. What are the travelling arrangements? I assume we're car-sharing, but who's and will we need more than one?

Re : Shoes vs Boots

Have a look at Inov 8's Roclite range. I use the trail shoe for my longer races, sacrificing a bit of grip for the comfort, although they're still pretty good. They also do a boot version, which also comes with gore-tex. These may offer you the best of both worlds, if you still think you need the ankle support. Their website suggests that you can run in them.

I agree with NLN, I think I'm starting to veer away from using my walking boots (Brasher GTX) when doing walks. Can't manage much more than 4-5hrs in them anyway. I have considered looking at the roclite boot though, and this discussion has reminded me that this could be my next little 'treat' for some accomplishment I manage. Thank you T'Y for bringing it up!


Shoes or Boots (undeleted post that NLN responded to)

I posted this yesterday by mistake (should have gone on gordonsgr10 blog), but it looks like before I had chance to delete it, Pauline was composing a response so I'll post it here as well - more people will view it so may get some more useful feedback.

Apologies for confusing everyone.

One debate that I've had going on for awhile is whether to wear boots or shoes on my GR10 walk.

I'm getting different opinions on this depending on the background where people come from.

Boots - suggest by MRT member that they reduce the risk of injury and if I did do over on my ankle, more likely that I would have less problems continuing.

Shoes - because of my background in fellrunning and relative lack of ankle injuries over the years (in 25 years, two sustained whilst running and one while not), I should have natural strength in my ankles which boots would reduce, therefore causing more problems than they solve.

I currently walk in either Columbia Pinas which I bought in the States a few years ago as an emergency purchase (ok for the odd walk) or Karrimoor Pyramid Wethertite shoes which I bought for winter walking when I didn't want to wear boots. I'm not convinced that they are suitable for 50 days walking of up to 10 hours a day. I also have a pair of cheapish (£40) Hi-Tec Knysna Mid boots which were fine for my 20 mile fast walk over Helvellyn and Thornthwaite Crag at Easter.
I'd obviously welcome any comments gained from experience. I'll also post in relevant forums. Some people have even suggested that I wear trail running shoes such as some of the Inov8 range (I usually wear mudclaw 330s for fellracing).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

More from Brighton

By now you all know the result of my Brighton marathon, run on an unseasonably hot day on a course that was much like a football match -- an event of two halves! The first half was the only bit with hills (which us northerners would call slight inclines) and was the only interesting section undulating along the coast past Roedean School before turning back to the centre of Brighton, for a second half with long straight urban sections punctuated only by hairpin turns, a trundle round the docks and then a four mile finishing straight.

With an expected 9000 runners the start was strictly controlled with corals colour coded and matching coloured numbers. In spite of forecasting a 3hr 50min finish I was way at the back with slower runners. We septuagenarians are not expected to go sub 4 hrs it would seem. So from the gun I had a six minute shuffle to the start line and that handicap had to be overcome if I was to beat my target of 3hr 52mins.

The race plan was to do the first half at 8mins 30secs pace and then add another minute for the second half. I was still about 8min 30 secs pace at the 20 mile point were a local art college had erected a cardboard wall for us to run through. By now I had time in hand and was feeling great until another geriatric went flying past to finish a minute or so ahead of me. Fortunately it turned out that he was a youngster of 68 and although he was ahead of me in the results I beat him on chip time.

Now there is an anxious wait to see if I get a credit on the powerof10 rankings before Sunday's London results are incorporated. I don't expect my time to survive longer.

Having Eden making his marathon debut behind me was an added stress as I knew he would find it hard going and I was glad to see him at the finish non too much the worse for wear.

This Sunday Sally makes her London marathon debut so I have all the stress to endure again.

Shoes or Boots

Everyone has their own views on this one depending on personal experience.  For what it’s worth I would be opting for trail shoes.  More cushioning than fell shoes much more breathable, forgiving and adjustable than boots.   With a heavy pack, presumably you will be using poles and so this will give you stability and your experience on the hills should minimise the need for ankle protection.   If not on rock you will be on baked earth and the heat will play its part.   My bitter experience of wearing boots for a five day trek in the Lakes in summer was extremely painful and resulted in swollen feet which led to blisters – very debilitating.

Whatever chosen I would be buying now - testing thoroughly in the Lakes/Scotland over rough terrain, when happy these would be put away until departure to make sure they last the distance.

The choice is yours!


PS Looking forward to Coniston Sat

This Week

Tuesday 20th ~ Session on Two Lads with NLN and Peter R, but without La Petite Generale we were slightly lacking in direction and no-one had brought a whistle.  However, it was a fine, if breezy evening and I'm sure we all got something out of it; hopefully, more than just tired thighs.  Peter R set a new all-comers record of 2:45 (ish) for cairn to kennels.

Thursday 22nd ~ I'm UTUPing.

Saturday 24th ~ Group assault on the seven Coniston Wainwrights, using much of the Coniston Race route (now full ~ the race, not the route) but diverting to cover all the tops.  Estimated to be 14 miles and 4,600ft of climbing.

Saturday 24th ~ UTUP? ~ perhaps someone could indicate if there will be a local run.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sheer Dominance

Congratulations to YJ. Just looked at the results and not only did you beat the best of the rest of your category ( 8 of them) by well over an hour but you also beat all 20 odd in the V65 category.
How will I be able to keep up on Saturday?

Right on in Brighton!

Although the official results have YJ down for a very respectable (gun) time of 3:49:09 (chip time 3:43:45) the man himself insists that he was even faster with a chip time of of 3:41!  He placed 1,150th out of 7,412.  Going through 10k in 51 minutes odd, and the half in 1:47 would no doubt have won him prizes in shorter races.  What is this guy on?

No confirmation yet of him being first V70, but this looks a certainty, with the first V65 trailing in in 4:02.

Son Eden, a V40, ran 4:18 in this, his first marathon, and was well inside the first half of the field.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A middling sort of race

Didn't join the rest on Saturday morning as I'd decided to have a go at the Radcliffe 10k Trail Race today which is a counter in the club's road championship. I would have preferred to have done the LDWA walk encompassing the Three Peaks but as I was djing at Formby Hall last night a 6am meet-up for car-sharing was not attractive when I didn't expect to be home until 1.30am at the earliest this morning.
I did 4 miles yesterday afternoon and felt somewhat sluggish so, arriving at the start with only 5 minutes to spare, I wasn't expecting much. The course is certainly undulating with plenty of pot-holed and rutted surfaces to keep you on your toes. My initial plan was to follow Paul Murray and keep just behind him but of course I blew it going past him after about a mile or so and then focussed on catching Blandy. Similar to last week, I seemed to tire after about 3 miles where Paul overtook me and I hung on to finish in 46:32. If the course really was 10k then I am very happy because all the little climbs and descents and challenging surface will have add a minute or two. The race was won by one of TF's team-mates in 33:23 with the Horwich trio of Ali, Bell-boy and Colin Rigby taking the next three positions.
I finished 115th and there were 230 finishers so very much a middling run or to be more precise, a median run.

Hope YJ had a cracking marathon down in Brighton. Today was also the half marathon debut for my daughter Diane, who ran a very creditable 2:02:17 in Edinburgh this morning with nearly a third of the 3092 runners behind her. No doubt she will soon push this below two hours now she has experience of the distance and will be outpacing me.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

ERRA Road Relays, Sutton Park, Birmingham

Our team order today at the relays was dictated by how fast (or in my case how slow) you run. So I was on last leg (the 6th), they were very lucky to have me.

I arrived to find out I'd been promoted to leg 5. Someone who runs slower than me? No, unfortunately the leg 4 runner's car had broken down (female technical term for no petrol) about 10 miles from the venue. By the time we'd got to speak to her it was too late to sort out getting her there on time. I had said I would only go to the race and run if it was to complete a full team. So seemed a bit daft as I'd made the effort to turn up not to have a run round. Thankfully I wasn't the slowest on the day but very nearly. 60 teams started and there were 44 complete teams that finished, we were in 42nd place at the end of my leg.

A useful session, but not as useful as the hillwork I'd done earlier in the day ( 3 x 1m reps up the ramp), I thought a 7am start from the Black Dog was a bit too early to invite any one else along!

Saturday utup
Just NLN, EtU, NicO and Rafe today. Set of for Two Lads then over to the mast road, turned right and up to the Trespass Stone. Along the bottom track and turning left off piste we reached Smithills Reservoir by a completely new way. Up to the mast and the trig point before a brisk hurtle down to Horden's where Rafe found and ate a full Domino pizza and it even was his favourite, Pepperoni. EtU soon parted company from us girls near here, having done an hours run up the Pike before meeting us, (is he getting keen???), we carried on to Great Hill where Rafe socialised with a group of teenagers and their teachers tackling Duke of Edinburgh award. Down to White Coppice and home for 15.08miles. Rafe was so tired he flaked out prompting one child to ask if he was dead. Arriving home he drank about 3 gallons of water and was ready for ball throwing. Good luck YJ for tomorrow.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rafe and I hope to utup, car and horses behaving. If not there at ut don't wait.


No UTUPing for me tomorrow. Injury persists.

The Weekend

Looking forward to UTUP-ing Saturday.  Good Luck YJ for Sunday.

Best of luck to YJ for the Brighton Marathon on Sunday. I can't make utup this week. I've been drafted into our club's road relay team following the usual last minute drop outs.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This Week

I'm UTUPing Thursday 15th and Saturday 17th.

Also, if anyone else is interested, a small, but increasing group of us now meet on Tuesday evenings at the Wilderswood car park, aiming to be running by 6:00.

The session (and unlike Thursdays, this is a session) is hill based, and involves both climbing and descending, under TF's tutelage.

Health Warning ~ This session may seriously damage your feeling of wellbeing.

Suzie B & Me

On 14th March 1999 I ran 44:50 at the Littleborough 10k, Suzanne ran 45:50.

On 11th April 2010 at the Lancaster 3 Bridges 10k I ran 51:39  and Suzanne ran 41:48.

Was the difference the 14lbs that I had put on and the 14lbs that Suzanne had lost in the intervening 11 years, or were there other factors?

Who knows, who cares?

I care.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Weekend

What a scorcher!  A bit hot for the weekend’s activities but very welcome after the proper winter.  Rucksack Club outing Saturday in Dales followed by a drive to Rosthwaite via Keswick for fish and chips – very welcome.  A night in the awesome FRCC hut in the village, sorry to see that the shop is now all closed up!  Sunday up and out for Lake Ridge and Wainright.  Route out over High Spy, dropping to Newlands Church up over Hindscarth, Robinson, down to Buttermere, up over Scarth Gap, Haystacks, down to Honister and at that point the heat and the previous day’s exertions gave me the excuse to trot down the road back to Rosthwaite, whilst Ian carried on up over Dale Head back to the village.

A pretty full on weekend even missing out Dale Head gave me over 11,000ft ascent and 38.3 miles.  Legs trashed – what fun!

Piccies will appear soon here.


Signed Up For Coniston

Spoke to YJ this morning and looking forward to a blast up Wetherlam, Swirl How and the Old Man on the 24th.
Didn't do much over the weekend apart from a last minute decision to do the Gin Pit 5. Just got there with a few minutes to spare so no real warm up. Settled in okay with Mister Murray in my sights but got no closer than about 20 metres behind him after 3 miles with Pete Bland a little further ahead. The high mileage meant that I had no kick over the last half mile so had to settle for 36:10 and 72nd in the 140+ field which I suppose I should be happy with.
I've now posted about ten photos up on my GR10 blog from last week in the Lake District if anyone wants a look.
I think I may have a go at the Radcliffe Trail race this weekend so I'd better get some high mileage in earlier in the week.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Good Result... Wardle, TF, pity you couldn't have found another 44 seconds and pipped our Colin Waterworth ~ or am I being picky?

Pity About the Telephone Wires

Taken from my doorstep this evening.

The Tall Grumpy One

Those of you that met Mark on Winter Hill on Saturday morning may be amused by this picture of him at Honister just before YJ and I guided him over the final leg of his BG through to the Moot Hall, where he finished in the fine time of 22:37 on 17th June 2006.  Pictured with him are Rob Green, the late, great Steve Barlow and Colin Jones, the three of whom had just dragged him over from Wasdale.

Mark was never a great one for smiling.
Wardle Skyline 7m/1250ft Sat 10th April

Summer is officially here! First run with sun cream on, bare arms and half bare legs - well you have to leave a bit to the imagination, and given the acreage of thighs it saves on the sun cream.

I left my watch off too, which felt strangely liberating and the weight saving must have played a factor in having a few more behind me for this race. One of them being Mandy Goth from Todmorden, who to be fair had been out injured for 5 months, but still a bit of an honour which no doubt I'll not get to repeat too often. I'll be curious to see how she does at Jura (if she still decides to do it). Don't suppose you'd want to be the marshall to time out a race organiser!

I fancy the trip up to Coniston on the 24th. Have no restrictions on start/finish time, so happy to go with the flow.


results now available at
Yesterday saw EtU, NR, NicO, New Dave, (friend of NR) and Rafe setting off from UTUP. EtU had the brilliant idea of doing the climbs so off we all went at a cracking pace to tackle Two Lads, Pike, Noon Hill, Winter Hill, (by now we were reduced to an unsteady walk), then back to the barn for New Dave who had family commitments, and NicO who had equine commitments, and Rafe who was exhausted, for a steady 10miles. Meanwhile NR and EtU set off to redo the Pike and take the long route to the mast for a much longer trip out.
Coming down from Two Lads EtU challenged us to repeat the downhill flight to the kennels first timed last Tuesday. NicO set off first and got in at 2:59. EtU setting off a few seconds later overtook to finish in a cracking 2:56. The gloves are off (or whatever) TF and co.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Conistons 24th April

YJ and I are planning an assault on the Coniston range on Saturday 24th April. We are going for an earlyish start (probably later than John would like but earlier than suits me) and hoping to be back mid afternoon.

We'll start from Coniston village up the Coniston race race route, cruise around the tops, picking up Grey Friar, Dow Crag etc, and then down the race route off the Old Man.

The more the merrier.

A week in the Lakes

Got back yesterday from a week up at Staveley. Today looks a cracking morning to be out for UTUP but decided to have a lie in and catch up with the garden etc. I'll do a full report later but have gone through my log to discover I did 79 miles with 13550 ft ascent in the week of which 41 miles and 6000ft were running, the rest walks (including a 20 mile traverse with about 1kg pack from Thirlmere via Helvellyn and the High Street ridge to Kentmere where I had to resort to a bit of jogging along the ridge to get off the mountain before dark!)

Friday, April 09, 2010

This Saturday

No UTUP for me this Saturday. Trying to get a knee joint injury right. Aggravated it last Saturday doing the Pike when I came down, I reckon, in about the same time as YJ. I think this will be the first Saturday missed, through injury, for over four years. I’m fed up!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Fastest Descender?

If YJ was up in 18:25, he must have come down in 11:24.

If Nic'O was ten seconds behind him, therefore up in 18:35, she must have been down in 10:43.

I was up in 19:26, down in 10:45.

Prize goes to the granny in the girlie watch!
Still time to taper?

With regard to Saturday, my plans have changed and I will be doing my last long run (hopefully) before the Brighton Marathon on Friday and not Saturday, so any thoughts of a rendezvous at the Black Dog won't work out.

This is to give me an extra day to recover which may be useful as after last weekend I struggled to get going again. Monday saw two attempts totalling 1.25 miles; and Tuesday was intended to be 21 miles from the Lower Barn but after struggling round Rivington and Anglezarke reservoirs sense prevailed and I retired to the car after 7 miles.

Wednesday saw a return to some sort of form with a three year best for 10 miles before breakfast, followed by the first of the inter-club grand prix, four miles round Stanley Park in Blackpool in 29 mins 49 secs (7 mins 29 secs per mile). Today I paid the price as lethargy crept in again and I convinced myself to save any energy for tomorrow.

If anyone is free and wants some tarmac miles I will be attempting again to do 21 miles. After the first lap of the two reservoirs, starting at 12 45 from the main drive, I will be back at Rivington Green at 1 45 (approaching down Sheephill lane) with another 14 miles to go round the standard Bolton 40 course. The weather forecast is good - cloudy, 14 degs with little or no wind.

PS: I made it to the top of Rivington Pike in 18 mins 25 secs last Saturday and Nico couldn't have been more than 10 seconds behind. So who was the fastest descender? Certainly not me.

This Week

Thursday 8th ~ UTUP ~ Sun sets 19:58, so could be out for up to two hours, but will struggle due to the state my legs are in after Tuesday's session.

Saturday 10th ~ UTUP ~ may try to intercept YJ on the road before he hits the climb from the Black Dog to Hordern Stoop.

Sunday 11th ~ Three Bridges 10k from Salt Ayre, Lancaster ~ sub 51?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Askham Fell Race 8.5m 1800ft (Sat 3rd April)

As EtU very kindly pointed out this evening I finished 10 minutes adrift of the rest of the field . Why? Simples - I'm slow.

Thank you to EtU & NLN for a good session on Two Lads this evening. If anyone wishes to have a go, we timed ourselves from the Cairn on Two Lads to the gate at Pike Cottage. We're hoping to get it to under 3mins at some point, not quite there yet.


Monday, April 05, 2010

The Hidden Valley

The changing weather conditions/forecasts had us planning and rethinking the weekend’s activities two or three times.  In the end it was great to have a stroll up the Pike race route and watch the competitors slogging up and down the hill and take some photos.

Too much snow in the Lakes still for a run out from Buttermere and then heavy rain Sunday morning made Long Sleddale less attractive.  Having given it an hour, we set off along the M65 getting to the Spring Wood picnic site and the start of the run around the Hidden Valley in the shadow of Pendle Hill. 

A punishingly cold wind accompanied us all day, but it was dry and although once or twice the rain threatened it never materialised.  Our route took us up over Clerk Hill, Hambledon Hill with its array of TV and communication masts bristling in the sunshine to the Nick of Pendle.

Hidden Valley (7 of 12)

A short diversion out over Wiswell Moor to the trig point and over a bronze age burial cairn where a 12th century villain was murdered and interred explains the marking on the map ‘Jeppe Knave Grave’.

FSS with Pendle Hill behind looking directly across the valley to Noggarth Ridge. 

Hidden Valley (4 of 12)

Next point of interest was this wooden cross on the hill above Newchurch in Pendle, presumably erected by the Christian community at Saddlers to celebrate Easter.

Hidden Valley (3 of 12)

Looking out to Pendle Hill with a little residual snow on the ridge and below

Hidden Valley (5 of 12)

A tortuous route through Aitken Wood (not to be repeated) took us to the second trigpoint on Stang Top Moor.   Below, Middlewood from below the trigpoint.

Hidden Valley (1 of 12)


     Hidden Valley (6 of 12)   Hidden Valley (9 of 12)

First view of Blacko Tower sitting proudly on the skyline atop of Black Hill. The tower, formerly known as Jonathan’s Tower, was erected by the said Jonathan Stansfield around 1890. When asked why he was building it he replied, “I’ve never drunk or smoked in my life, so I’m making this as my hobby”.  Clearly, this was pre-FRA days!

Hidden Valley (8 of 12)

Turning at the head of the valley at Waters Meeting where Blacko Water and Pendle Water come together we climbed back onto the ridge stopping for refreshments at the Noggarth End Road Shop.  This former toll house, offers an array of refreshments – well worth a visit if you’re in the area they even have their own website – mind it’s only outdoor seating!  Meat and Potatoe pie Sunday’s special, we just had a Hot Choc and a Horlicks!  Back into the headwind along the ridge to the third trigpoint at the Rigg of England (no photo)

Hidden Valley (10 of 12) 

A much more satisfactory route than our original kept us high on the ridge rather than dropping into Sabden.  This enabled us to bag our fourth trigpoint of the day on Black Hill – not visited before.

Hidden Valley (11 of 12)

Finally dropping down to the bridge over Sabden Brook before the climb back over Clerk Hill to Spring Wood.

Hidden Valley (12 of 12)

A cracking day out, giving us 21.3m and 3,435ft of ascent.


Cheap Running Kit

At Aldi on Thursday.

Pike ~ Further Comment

Before the race I asked the J's and Nic'O to record their summit times so that we could do a bit of analysis on relative ascent and descent times.  However the lady was only wearing a girlie watch "to reduce weight" and neither of the guys remembered my instructions in the heat of battle (and YJ a trained killer!). So the only vaguely interesting bit of info that I have on that front, is that by the time I was rounding the tower in 19:26 the first nine men had crossed the finishing line.

This years event provided some very close racing down in our section. First home, as reported by JtE, in 29:18 and second LV50 was girlie watch Nic'O.

The Galloping Major owned up to "blowing up" early on in the race and finished in 142nd place in 29:44.  He was immediately followed by YJ, 143rd in 29:49, second MV70. Then it was TGM's 2IC Captain Pinnell, 144th in 29:50. Then TF's friend the Gobbing Goon from Glossop 145th in 29:55, Horwich's Mark Sammon 146th in 30:08, then yours truly 147th in 30:11 ~ good grouping, guys.

Very close behind were Ron Hill 161st and 3rd MV70 in 32:35, JtE 164th and first MV75 164th in 32:52, then Alan Blinkhorn Horwich MV60 165th in 33:05.  174 men finished.

Note that these positions relate just to the men's race, ladies' results were not integrated.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Loch Garten Ospreys

The male bird arrived yesterday, the 3rd April, the same date as last year, and they’re already getting on with things!

Ospreys on Nest

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Rivington Pike Race

Well done Y’all.  Captured on film here


The Pike Race.

A good day for the event. The weather was cool and dry. It was a bit muddy underfoot in places but not too bad. Our team results were as follows:

NicO      29.18

YJ         29.49

EtU       30.11

JtE        32.52



Friday, April 02, 2010

Good Luck to All You Pike Racers

Hope to get along to cheer you all on.   Not out in morning.