Thursday, May 23, 2013

Scafell Trail Race at Keswick Mountain Festival

High Terrain Events  put on a tough hard route from Keswick to the roof of England Scafell Pike. 

This was part of the Keswick Mountain Festival and at the end of very busy week of events. 

I was marshaling at Styhead Pass with Joe Faulkner from NAV4 on the summit of Scafell Pike, I think Joe managed to have a clear summit for part of the day. I was in the cloud all day thankfully not windy. This meant an early start at 05.30 for us to briefed drink tea and be in place ready for the runners to come through. 
                                                                                                                                                                First Runners Donald and Daisy at my Checkpoint were chased very closely by the winner Ricky Lightfoot a  local lad from Cumbria.
The conditions at the checkpoint did not change until all the runners were heading back off the mountain onto the trails to finish back in Keswick
Fist lady was Victoria Mousley, an old friend re-aquainted from many years ago. Its a strange world we live in.
Off they went into the mists this was a good test of folks navigation and mountain running and some fast trail running back to Keswick.

Joe and I met up at Styhead as we swept the mountain to make sure all the runners were safe and off the mountain. 

 There are also some pictures on my Facebook Page 

For a full selection of pictures I managed to take CLICK HERE.

Adventures In Mind an Obsession

Here is a new book by Heather Dawe published by Vertabrate Publishing
Vertebrate completes purchase of Baton Wicks Publications. Photo of Vertebrate's Jon Barton (left) and Baton Wicks' Ken Wilson.
Its about a personal obsession for the mountains from the aspect of a talented female athlete. 
The title is intriguing enough and I am looking forward to reading it. I feel that there will be many parallels between our passions and what drives us to endure beautiful/ harsh environments and the mental stimulation it brings us.  

You can buy a copy here from Amazon or Here

(please note I have not read it, Yet! and don't personally know Heather Dawe)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Dan Snow The History Man on Helvellyn

   On a very wet windy gusts of 45mph sort of day in Cumbria. A very different day to the 22C we had only the day previous We shared an iconic ridge with Dan Snow  The History Man from BBC TV's The One Show 

   Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were asked to give some advice on this aspirationl lakeland edge during the filming along with one of the Fell Top weather assessors Jason who was leading Dan on one of his usual routes to the Summit of the third highest mountain in England. 
 This is Mike Blakey the Team Leader of Patterdale, whose dog, Moss, has become a SARDA search dog. Again this is an entirely volunteer run search and rescue service 24 hrs 365 days a year. The SARDA training is very extensive and commiting providing an invaluable addition to Mountain Rescue. Well worth supporting along with Mountain Rescue Basecamp

The rain started early on as we met at Greenside Mine. Have a look at some of Greenside history it makes for interesting reading and helped shaped the Ullswater valley and make it what it is today. Filming started on the way up in the heavy rain. Never an easy thing for all concerned as you can see from the expression  on Keela the dogs' face. We set up a KISU for the film crew and Dan Snow to settle down in at Red Tarn for some lunch. This lasted longer than we thought as we rechecked the howling conditions from the warmth of the shelter.          We sat out the storm chatting and telling stories while the KISU shelter rattled around our heads. This lightweight, relatively inexpensive pieces of outdoor kit should be always packed in your bag. They really are lifesavers and can turnaround a cold and demoralised party very quickly once inside.

 Once the weather started to clear a little ie winds gusting to 20mph Dan and the film crew and Jason moved up onto Striding Edge to film some more.

I was not guiding on this one and wasn't needed as MRT member so Simon, Mike, Francis and I went back to the valley. As I normally work as an IML all over the world especially in the Lake District its normally me that would be leading so I went to watch and take photos as the clouds scudded over the ridge.

         Dan & Jason moving along the edge Red Tarn to their right Nethermost Cove to the left.

 The mist rolls by as they disappear toward the summit of Helvellyn. 
Have a look out on the One Show for Dan and Jason's Adventures and if you would like to stride out on the edge hope you get in contact soon 

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

GL3D Mountain Running in the Lakes

The first May Bank Holiday Weekend in the Lake District is set for the Great Lakeland 3 Day event. The forecast all week had been very vague and was set fair with sunny spells. It could be a hot one!! Charlie Sproson from the Outdoor Warehouse is the course planner and posted this about the weather 

"Weather looks great for running this weekend, slightly changable, wind and some cloud, perfect to keep you moving fast!!

MWIS Planning Outlook: All mountain areas of Britain from Friday, 3rd May, 2013
Blustery and showery across Scotland this weekend, although by Monday, showers isolated, if any. Elsewhere, less windy with only isolated showers, before becoming fine.
Although a complicated weather pattern next week, there are strong indications of extensive fine weather, with most doubt about temperature levels. It may now be later next week before it becomes warm across the mountains, and some threat of a return to cold conditions (low freezing level) beyond."

As I set off to the first checkpoint the head of Glencoyne valley came into view and was transformed with a beautiful rainbow, I now know where the pot of gold is hidden. The poet Wordsworth wrote his famous poem Daffodils according to his sister Dorothy very close to this spot. 

I carried on past the Sheffield Pike Mines and crossed Swart Bridge a favorite  check point for people running the Tour of Helvellyn, organised Joe Faulkner, the originator of the GL3D . Here I met a NAV4 vetran Susan and had a chat with her for a while. Birkhouse Moor was the first control then a choice of route over Striding Edge or Swirral Edge to the memorial on Helvellyn. I chose Swirral edge as I thought it to the be the quicker espicially on a bank holiday weekend. The weather and winds were typical Lake District Classics and we could not see a thing as I trotted along to Grisedale Tarn, Legend says that King Dunmail of Cumbria is buried here. Another of Wordsworth poems refers to the area along with the Brothers Parting Stone.  
A hot and sweaty climb up Helm Crag the Lion and Lamb not quite in the same style as Amanda Donohoe in The Rainbow saw me at the next check point with a long ridge run and drop down into the Borrowdale valley for the first night camp. After 7.5 hrs it seemed a long day. Time for some food and rest before doing it all again tomorrow. 
Day 2 was a long one with 2,5oo mtrs of ascent and approx 40 Kms of hard running over the central lakes fells. The weather was not helping and again it was wet windy and the cloud down to approx 600 mtrs. Thanks to Mick Kenyon, Jan, Jane, and Nigel Coe we nearly stayed together thro mist and rain and had a great chat all day long. It was a good morale booster to keep going over some non runnable terrain over 9hrs out today for me, toward camp for the second night near Watendlath

Day 3 I wanted to get back to finish the event at Dowthawite Head, the course was shortened by Shane the orgainser but this did not really affect the distance or height climb to much, another 25kms approx  and back over the lofty heights of Helvellyn. Weather was warm but wet and slight winds today. The first section went well to Thirlmere, home of Manchester's drinking water. I must apologies to the inhabitants there if a drought is called as most of the catchment water ended soaked up in my shoes and socks over the boggy terrain. On the way to the road I pulled up sharp as I strained a muscle in my right calf. This was very painful and I hobbled and smirked my way along the road and up the very long steep ascent to the bleak summit of Helvellyn.

 I was caught up here by two Doctors one retired one living near Stoke. Great I thought some help will be aided.... NO way MT*U was my companions bedside manner!! 
It was great to hobble along with them and share some local knowledge as we neared the finish area. A tumbling down out of the clouds showed the last section to the finish tape. 

4 hrs 25 for me today and and great lakeland 3 days was over. 
 I finished 5th  overall in my class,  but more to massage my ego and cos its sounds better,  I was 2nd Solo  , that's a better sounding result for someone who had not done any training or running since October during The OMM
Thanks to Shane, Charlie all the Marshalls and competitors for a great 3 days running. 
Time for some of Charlie's Cowmire Cider 

For a look at all the photos I managed to take Click Here