Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A (very) Few More Passes - Saturday 23rd June '18

The planned outing started to unfold with our arrival at the New Dungeon Ghyll at the due time of 08:00. The party was smaller than originally expected, just YJ, Stevie B (he didn't like his originally given name) and yours truly, but despite this this compact nature it was still another 40 minutes before we left for Stool End Farm.
Progress was slow, as it was all day, due to my lack of fitness.
We reached Three Tarns then descended to Upper Eskdale and Lingcove Bridge, where our shy and retiring companion posed for this:-


This seemed to be a venue for the now popular activity of Ghyll scrambling and amidst the throng we felt decidedly underdressed without wet suits.

Then it was down to the valley bottom and a brief call in at the Woolpack for soft drinks.

We discovered later, that the Iceman had aimed to meet us along this stretch but we had managed to miss each other, and he had continued up to the valley head, to take in Scafell and Scafell Pike.

We passed through Boot village, over the Burnmoor Corpse Road and down to Wasdale Head.The view below is an old picture of Bulatt Bridge over which we had hoped to pass en route. Unfortunately, by the 23rd June it had been destroyed and we had to paddle across the Whillan Beck which it had previously spanned.

See the source image

By the time we got to Wasdale Head we (yet again) realised that we were not going to complete our planned route, which would have taken us over Black Sail Pass and we opted for Sty Head, Esk Hause and down Rossett Gill

Here the less flamboyant members of the party were photographed as we prepared ourselves for the awkward descent by the Gill:-


Then an even slower trudge back to the NDG. Over twelve hours on our feet and not back to Bolton until the pubs had closed!!!

Thank you to YJ for providing the transport and thank you to both for your company.

We had hoped to put the route to bed this time, but we still have unfinished business with Black Sail and the Loft Beck descent into Ennerdale - maybe in another two years time?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Last to first and back to last

Sadly the answer to the question I posed at the end of my last blog is a new left knee! An ongoing slight niggle has turned into something altogether more serious 😤

Monday, June 18, 2018

Last to First

I don't do many races these days but last Thursday I went back to Horwich to do the Two Lads fell race for the first time this century. I had tried to do it three years ago but someone had set light to the moor and the race was cancelled. Given the dry conditions, I did anxiously scan the moor for signs of smoke, but fortunately there weren't any.
Race HQ is now The Ale House (which I remember as The Brown Cow) and registration gave me the chance to catch up with some old friends and inspect the very impressive range of beers. The start of the race is fairly brutal; straight up Factory Hill, through Wilderswood and then up the moor to the pumping station. We then turned right and did a loop round past the top of the quarry and approached Two Lads from the back. I was struggling to see at this point - a combination of the low sun, sweat and contact lenses not being a good mixture. However, past the summit things improved, and I enjoyed the rest of the race despite some abuse from Mark Davies who was marshalling at the dog hotel, and then some more from Albert as I was catching Michelle just before the finish.
Back to the pub and time to sample the ales. I was then delighted and surprised to discover that I was 1st V65 and got a bottle of wine and a Walsh's voucher. Given that two races ago (Hodgson Brothers relay), I had been the slowest runner on my leg, this was unexpected. So a good race, a prize and ale at £2.40 a pint; what more could a man desire?

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tour Of the Lakeland Valleys via the Passes - 23rd June 2018

Ok folks, it's nearly time.

For those making their own way to the start point at the NT car park at the New Dungeon Ghyll, please aim to be ready to roll at 8:00 a.m. - not the ungodly hour of 6:00 as originally suggested.

YJ has offered to chauffeur a number of us (four if we have little bottoms, or just three if we tend to be of a more comfortable build) from the Hob Inn at Bamber Bridge at 6:00 up to the NDG. I am available to get folk from Bolton up to Bamber Bridge. Please get in touch with me (phone, text or email) if you wish to avail yourself of either service.

Not seen a forecast yet, let's hope the sun shines on the righteous.