Silly things to do

May 6th, 2010 by Simon C

Well the Fellsman is almost upon us! I wish I could say we'd done plenty of training and were feeling quietly confident, but we haven't and we're not. It's the Met Office's fault – they predicted a mild winter, and the resulting snow-fest meant that we were out winter climbing at every opportunity between December and mid-April. Which is good for overall fitness I suppose. But a short walk carrying a few tons of pointy bits of metal doesn't really prepare you for 61 miles with a tiny rucksack and a couple of cereal bars.

Last month we almost ran the 3 Peaks, but decided against it when we found out that the official 3 Peaks race was on that day. So we contented ourselves with some half-hearted climbing-masquerading-as-running instead. Up Simon's Seat, climbed a few routes. Down the other side to North Nab (which I'm writing up for the next Yorkshire Gritstone guide) for a bit more climbing. Then back up the hill to Lord's Seat for a final route. Great fun, but less than 12 miles and only a few hundred rather than the required several thousand feet of ascent.

Then last weekend we finally did a long run/walk. Staying in Patterdale for the Bank Holiday meet (of which more later no doubt), we started by running round Ullswater to Howtown. Then up Steel Knotts onto Wether Hill, and south over High Raise, Rampsgill Head and High Street to Thornthwaite Beacon. Turn right over Stony Cove Pike and down to the Kirkstone Pass for a soul-destroying slog up Red Screes. Northwest to High Bakestones, then over Dove Crag and Hart Crag to Fairfield, before a final leg over Cofa Pike and St Sunday Crag back to Patterdale. 25 miles and 7500 feet ascent, and great fun. Could we run past the hut and done the whole route again? I don't think so! But that's a measure of what we'll have to do on Saturday…


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