HPM Recce 3 – The Dark Side

February 28th, 2009 by Simon C

Alan had a cunning plan. Take 2 cars, drop one off at Cut Throat Bridge, drive to Edale, and then do the first 12 miles of the HPM. An excellent idea, we all agreed.

One other minor detail – this was to happen after work on a Friday, so it wouldn't affect any other weekend plans. A good theory.

Will was one step ahead of us and arranged a prior engagement. So it was just Alan, Carmen and I who set off from Edale in the dark at 5 to 7 last night.

It was actually quite fun, though the fun abated slightly as we waded through the oozing "mud" thoughtfully provided by a field of cows on the approach to the first hill. The skies were clear though, and it was lighter than I'd expected, courtesy mainly of the City of Sheffield.

Hollins Cross and Lose Hill were fun (though a few tumbles left Alan reconsidering his decision to wear walking boots), and the going easy enough to allow some half-hearted running. It was made a bit trickier by the portable hill fog, as every breath was illuminated by our head torches. The ascent of Win Hill was brutally steep but fairly short, the descent from there to Yorkshire Bridge was steep, muddy, and unending.

Avoiding the temptation of a pint or 3 in the pub, it was up the road to Stanage. The path to High Neb is easier to follow in the daylight, and the climbs easier to identify! We missed High Neb slightly, but consulting the climbing guide later I'm fairly confident we'll find it on the night (I'll probably live to regret that statement). All that remained was a boggy yomp along the edge to Moscar, and back down the road to Cut Throat Bridge.

Last year's race times for this section were between 2 hours 10 minutes, and 4 hours 15. We had hoped to take about 3 hours, but took 4 hours 13 minutes. Oops. We consoled ourselves with the knowledge that we could have been faster if we'd run more, but on the event we'll need to conserve as much energy as possible for later on.

Got back home about 1.30am. So much for not affecting weekend plans, it's 6pm and I'm off for a snooze.

Less than a week to go…

Vital statistics: 11.5 miles, 980m ascent, 4 hours 13 minutes

Tags: ,

2 Responses to “HPM Recce 3 – The Dark Side”

  1. pebbles says:

    is this the first case ever of redpointing a fell running event?

  2. Simon C says:

    Nope, proper fell runners do it all the time. Usually I can't be bothered, but this one's different, since we'll be doing half of it in the dark, so we need all the help we can get…

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.