Saturday, August 31, 2013

Butterfly Blip - Peacock

Don’t think we’ve had one of these


One of many in Rivington Church yard last Sunday

Healey Nab Great Hill Winter Hill and Noon Hill

Enjoyed this morning’s run out to Healey Nab, been wanting to do it this way for a while as I couldn’t quire remember the route in the direction from Rivington.  A new path to me, out to Brinscall, which JtE navigated perfectly (!) from White Coppice to the Goyt and then up onto the moor and Great Hill.  A couple more shots in the usual place.

Sat Run WH GH-9

Down the ramp – guess who?

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and another one!

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On the way to Healey Nab

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Mormon Temple from Healey Nab

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Chorley from Healey Nab

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The track over Brinscall Moor towards Great Hill

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Shelter at Great Hill

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Darwen Tower from Great Hill

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Winter Hill from Noon Hill

After lunch FSS and I had a stroll round Barrow Bridge and its environs before stopping off to visit a trigpoint

Barrow Bridge-12

Stream through Barrow Bridge

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Back up on t’moor

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Name this trigpoint?

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Here it is again?

Great morning on the hills – looking forward to hearing how our Capricorners got onSmile

Capricorn 2013
Holcombe Moor

The event map. Not quite got all the controls on as the map was on A3 size paper, so missed off 3 controls in the top left corner. (Not ones EtU took a gamble on, but KLM might have)

EtU and I were entered on the 3hr time limit, KLM on the 4hr. Numbers in brackets are the score for each control. The results will be on the following website fairly soon


Friday, August 30, 2013

Butterfly Blip Day 5

Obviously it's a cabbage white:-

but it doesn't work like that. According to my butterfly book, "Six different types of butterfly look almost identical..."

So which was this? My bet's on it being a small white. Any suggestions?
Saturday run

I shall be UTUPping tomorrow (Aug 31st)

Thursday, August 29, 2013


I reckon that butterfly blip day 2 shows a small tortoise shell butterfly. It does seem to have been a fantastic year for butterflies.

Butterfly Blip Day 4

They just keep coming!

Having mentined this little beauty in an earlier blip, I was delighted to spot one on the remains of our decaying patio table. She's (must be a she!) a painted lady.

Apparently, they are properly resident on the continent and fly over here in large numbers in May and June. Some breed successfully, but neither the parents nor the offspring make it back to the continong for the winter and they all die over here. Makes you wonder why they bother. Presumably they hope that global warming will one day make it all worthwhile.

Butterfly Blip Day 3

Pleased to spot this red admiral today, but disappointed that he (sounds right that an admiral will be male, but then, I always was an MCP) wouldn't pose for his photo:-

Not a good shot, but adequate to identify him with.

Although posted on day 4 (29th Aug), I did take the photo on day three, but had difficulty in uploading it.

Capricorn Exterminating Recce Devils

As I'm not doing the Capricorn on Saturday, (though EtU, I'm reliably informed that Mr Varley is, no pressure) and I'm on leg two of the Ian Hodgson relay this year, I'm thinking of going up on Saturday morning and doing a relaxed recce out from Hartsop to the Kirkstone Pass Inn should anyone fancy joining me. It's only 7.5 miles with 2600 ft but thought it best to know the route before the day and any excuse for a trip to the Lakes is always welcome!

Also considering heading over to Totley for the Exterminator on Sunday with TF. While it's not as big as Borrowdale, it's only a mile and 2000 ft off it. Think I'll ponder that some more first!

Also considering the Devil's Beeftub Race in Scotland while I'm up there with work, it's the same day as Nevis but I didn't enter that so a 2 mile, 750 ft loop may be the way to go instead!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Butterfly Blip Day 2

Today was dull early on and the Lepidoptera were reluctant to come out to play. However, by early afternoon things were looking up and I managed this shot:-

This is the small tortoiseshell, quite similar to the painted lady, but distinguishable by the sky blue spangles along its trailing wing margins.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Butterfly Blip

Isn't a wonderful world! Let me start at the beginning - often a sensible approach. A week or two ago I was talking to NLN and mentioned the number of butterflies that had been congregating on my budlea bushes - planted for that very purpose. She suggested that I post some pictures. This develpoed into the concept of a butterfly blip - I would post a picture of a different butterfly species, every day, taken on that day in my garden. Given that I had only ever seen a small number of different species at chez nous, this would obviously be a short lived project. However today, luck was on my side. I went out with my camera and the first little beast I saw was this:-
This is a comma. I'd never seen one before, hence 'deep joy' - as Stanley Unwin used to say. Watch for tomorrow's exciting installment.
Like grandfather....

As so often happens in running many unusual challenges are fermented over a pint in a pub.  It was just so during a visit to the family in Brighton (well Hove, actually) when three males and two women were having an early evening drink.

The ladies had some shopping to do so the youngest of the males suggested the three of us race back home and leave the shoppers to the shopping.  The distance wasn't far  -- about half a mile all on grass -- and without any ceremony the race began.  At this point I should explain that the challenger was my five-year-old grandson who was confident in taking on myself and his father, obviously hyped up by the caffeine in his coke.  

He had us working hard all the way and even fell down and got up again, continually trying to change the finish line to suit his own advantage.

Not only does he show promise but is ultra competitive. And no, I didn't let him win!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Chipping Show and Fell Race

One of the best local shows in my opinion – a real sense of ownership by the local farming community.  Preston Harriers do a great job in organising the Fell Race from the show field and up to Paddy’s Pole – 12k.  A few more here if it’s of interest Smile

Chipping Show-47

Always good to see the heavy horses

Chipping Show-35

Hilarious commentary on the sheep ra

Chipping Show-41

Danny takes an early lead and holds on to it to break the course record with the two Bowland runners on the left and right came 2nd an 3rd also inside the course record

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Golf Ball Fell Race (8.8k/244m)

A 3rd attempt at this race (previously '07 & '11) and things not looking good from the off, having looked behind at the first bend to see no one behind me. 

A bit of effort up the first field to the kissing gate and I'd gained 4 followers. Thereafter some jostling for positions on the flatter sections so that by the time we'd reached the quarries at the far end of the course I was down to just 2.

There they remained until the finish. Disappointed with this as I don't appear to be doing much better on the shorter races as well as the longs. Not quite my slowest time yet, but nearly. My gut feeling tonight is that I 'ran' more of the hilly sections, so the stamina's there just not the speed. 

A reduced turn out tonight (a good 30-40 short compared with '07 & '11). Not sure of the reason, as the weather was OK and no other local races clashed. 

On my walk back to the car I got to have a good natter with 2 other runners who'd done Howtown on Saturday. Transpires that one of the faster lads managed to miss the 3rd CP as well as the 2nd and his name still appeared in the results. Now that is taking the Micky!

Both of these runners are on the FRA committee and have helped draw up the new guidelines for race safety. Loved the route, but they weren't desperately impressed with the way things were handled. Methinks we haven't heard the last of this yet. Watch this space.


Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Well we're in.

I'm delegating navigating decisions to EtU. He passed the first navigating test by getting through the website ( and doing the online entry. Needs the practice for when he gets to be a full time athlete and all the races he'll be doing.

So is it uphill or downhill from here onwards? If things go to plan you won't see us at UTUP on the 31st Aug.

But then again we're entry no 13!


Monday, August 19, 2013

Thursday's UP - Taking Stock

There seems to be some confusion regarding the location of Horwich stocks. To be clear ~ they are not on Rivington Green:-

Neither are they on Anderton Green:-

...near Headless Cross.

They are (would you believe) in Horwich, on Chorley Old Road GR 642 115:-

Occupied by two passing residents of Stocks Park, who probably wish to remain anonymous.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Missing in inaction

I was never going to get far on last Saturday's outing as  training during the week had been hampered by a thigh strain which only started to disappear on Friday  -- not much time to prepare for Saturday.

 Having previously agreed to rendezvous with EtU  on Georges lane  I stuck with the plan and met as arranged.  It was encouraging to see a good turnout  at the Lower Barn and  I was pleased to reach the Pike in as fast a time as I have done all year.

From there it was downhill all the way. After the pack split into two for the trek to Two Lads, I followed the regular route down to George's Lane and on the descent the thigh injury began to manifest itself and  I decided an early finish was the wisest  strategy,  Unfortunately  I had been left behind on the descent and had no one to advise that I was retiring.

Back at the barn I tried phoning the two who I thought most likely to be carrying mobiles --  no reply so wrong numbers or both switched off.  So I drove off home hoping my disappearance  had not been noticed.

Howtown Fell Race Sat 17th Aug (20.6k/1415m)

What a race! I thought this would give me a challenge and it certainly lived up to expectations.

My only previous excursion into this area was on the 2010 Rab MM when the midway camp was in the Martindale valley.

The route starts at the Outwardbound Centre and visits check points on Loadpot, High Raise, Place Fell and Hallin.

The weather forecast was spot on - grim! So much so I opted to run in my heavier jacket usually used for walking. And that's what I was doing for most of the way to High Raise, tracked by the sweeper. Those in the know will be aware that the main path skirts some 100m to the west of the summit cairn. Fortunately I was going slow enough to spot it, some of the faster boys (and ? girls) didn't. For some the error only came to light once they'd reached Thornthwaite Beacon. At the time I'd reached the Marshall, 26/56 runners had failed to come and say 'hello'!

My sweeper who had by this point kept a 'gentlemanly' 20m distance to my rear decided to join forces for the trek over Rampsgill Head and finally to the relief of having the wind for the most part behind us. Visibility was still poor and we stuck to the main paths on the stretch to Place Fell. I'm sure there must be better lines but that'll do for a recce on a better day.

By Place Fell energy levels were low. I hadn't been diligent in taking much food on board so quickly chomped some dates whilst my companion filled the Marshall in on the state of play so far. My companion, although living locally had thus far been unable to locate the trod dropping off to the east below High Dodd. So I can at least say that I proved useful in some respect, although I did slightly overshoot the turn off for the footpath to climb up to the road.

It was a struggle up Hallin Fell, but the usual one foot in front of the other got me there in the end.

Before the race I'd estimated a time of somewhere between 4-4.5hrs, but given the conditions I'll settle for 4.40. The winner managed 2.15.

I can't praise the RO, Marshalls and 'Mr Sweeper' enough. Those were truly atrocious conditions for hanging about on top of a hill. There's a bit of a discussion on the Fellrunner forum regarding the missed cp. Results are on the home page.

I'll be back to do it again, that's for sure. £3's a bargain.

ps Mr Sweeper cycled home!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Eccles; but not the place or cake.

Off for my second attempt at Eccles Pike this evening. Last time I didn't have a club but just looking back through the results on the Goyt Valley site it seems that just two Horwich runners have taken part since 1995;

2005, P Leighton, 65th of 119 in 29:24

1995, R Jackson, 2nd of 32 in 20:46

Place your bets on where I'll be... Managed a 32:57 (59th of 91) last year though the course changed in 2009, I'm certain I've read somewhere it went from a BS to an AS at that time so it's my excuse for being slow; extra climb!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Holiday Pictures

Just seen T’Ys pictures taken in the Pyrenees. Stunning. Here are a few of mine taken in Scotland. Can’t compete with T’Y let alone NLN

1. Camusferna Area

For those familiar with Gavin Maxwell’s book “Ring of Bright Water” the small bay to the right hand end of the near horizon is, in fact, the ring of bright water.


16. From Plockton

This is from Plockton, about five miles north of the Skye road bridge. This is where the Gulf Stream clips the coast of Scotland, hence the palm tree. The gulf stream didn’t do us much good there being rain most days.


15. From Plockton

Typical weather.

Albert’s Joss

Nailed it in 11hrs 33mins – more here.

Alberts Joss-10

Watch synchronisation

Alberts Joss-29

Poor conditions at Kirkstone

Alberts Joss-45

Brightening up at Dunmail

Alberts Joss-47

Keen to be off – the team will follow!

Alberts Joss-71

Mixed conditions at Wasdale

Alberts Joss-72

Alberts Joss-78

Closing in again on Middle Fell

Alberts Joss-83

Summit cairn on Middle Fell

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Arriving on Middle Fell

Alberts Joss-108


Alberts Joss-118

The final descent to Greendale Bridge

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Ian and Joss

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Evening light on the Screes

Brecon Beacon Fell Race Sat 10th Aug (30.6k/1372m)

Things were not looking good on the route finding front when I'd realised I'd managed to book myself onto the Camping&Caravan club site at Hertford and not Hereford. One click of a mouse and you could just be anywhere. Over 100 miles from where I needed to be in my case, although in my defence they are next to each other on their alphabetical list!

One of the C&C's worse sites, if the reviews are anything to go by. It was reading these and references in 2012 to travelling to the Olympics from the site that finally alerted me on Wednesday last week to my error. Anyway all sorted and off I headed south. (The Hereford site is lovely, even got offered a cup of tea by the neighbours whilst pitching the tent!)

A little trip past the Black Mountains on Saturday morning to reach Tal y Bont and the small select gathering for the race briefing, 36 to be precise. Usual stuff re kit, retiring and a small matter of having to finish in 5hrs. There was going to be a sweeper who would hint if you were going too slow to make it and send you home before the last two check-points.This year it was an Anti-clockwise route

So all I had to do was keep someone between me and the sweeper to avoid him whispering 'get a shift on' in my shell-like.

Fabulous day for views, including this one of Pen y Fan.

All going to plan from Carn Pica until droping down to the reservoir from the trig at Twyn Mwyalchod. Here I was informed by the guy at the water station that I had 5mins to meet the cut-off at the next road before the climb up to the penultimate check point.

Well that was nice, no mention of this before we set off just the deal with the sweeper!! I carried on, and made it to Pant y Creigiau to be greeted by the summit Marshall and the Sweeper. They both enquired after my health, and thankfully decided as I was up on the ridge I could stay up. But I was on my own from here onwards. The sweeper had sent the last runner back along the trail though the woods and taken a short cut to reach the summit before me (not marked on map).

Half-way to the next CP (yes I was going up, rude not to) I got whistled to a better line by the sweeper, who presumably had called back to base and was told to follow me back. Guess they didn't trust my navigating skills! He seemed happy enough for me to make the last climb and phone call ensured the last marshall held his post and allowed me to complete the race 'officially'. Some 15mins or so adrift of the allotted time, but not too bad an effort at pacing having run an unknown route virtually on my own from start to finish.

A lovely day to sample the delights of the Brecon Beacons. My thanks to the RO for allowing me to finish and to all the marshalls for waiting for me. I think my preference would be for the Anti-clockwise route, gets the rocky stuff out the way 'early-doors'. So could be back for another go in 2015.

I see that KLM has taken the bait. Anyone else prepared to nibble?



Monday, August 12, 2013

Winter Hill and Great Hill - Saturday 10th August

A dry morning after all – but to look at those clouds it’s hard to believe we didn’t get rained on.  Good to be back out with the gang after a spell of absence.  A few more of our intrepid adventurers in the usual place Smile

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Don’t let them out officer!

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Black Coombe and the Lakeland Fells

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Sat WH-66