After plotting a route which would bag me 3 new Wainwright’s, I arranged to meet Ali, Sam and Dave on Sunday, 16th March at Powter How Wood for the start of this run. This route incorporated Barf, Lord’s Seat and Broom Fell and would provide us with amazing views of Bassenthwaite Lake, if only the cloud would lift! We were confident that, by the time we reached the summit of Barf, the clouds would lift and we’d be rewarded with a breathtaking view…
We started running along the road before turning off on to the path to Barf. The climb began almost immediately and it was severe! Through a combination of run/walking, we made it to our first real challenge. A little scramble over some large rocks. I’m not particularly good with heights but I just got on with the ascent without thinking too much about what I was doing!
As we approached the summit of Barf, the wind had picked up and we were all thankful that we’d packed extra layers! After a brief stop, we headed on to Lord’s Seat and then Broom Fell. We were unable to see more than 50 yards ahead and so we weren’t rewarded with any kind of view.
Following the second visit to Lord’s Seat, we descended along a beautiful section of woodland. It was like something out of a fairytale as trees lined the path. Bizarrely, there was also a little tree decorated with Christmas decorations!
The route then returned to the steep path that we’d climbed and it was difficult to maintain a steady pace as the severity of the descent kept making me go quicker than I’d like! On reaching the car, the sun was shining and it felt rather warm. What a contrast to the conditions we’d experienced on the fell tops!
The next day, after dropping the girls off at school, I went for a run round Rosley and Curthwaite. I always find this route tough as there are several evil hills contained within it. Despite the strong wind, I soon warmed up and I was surprised at how my legs had recovered after the previous day’s run. I even managed to do this route in my quickest ever time! I was delighted!
The weather was awful all day on Thursday. The other half had battled through the wind and rain on his morning run but I was still contemplating staying on the couch rather than head to the club run!
As the afternoon drew on, the weather did improve and so I had no excuses not to go for a run. We did the club run through Currock and there seemed to be lots of hills! Despite this, I felt pretty good and was happy with the pace I managed to maintain. It really helps to have others pushing you on as it gives you another focus and enables you to dig in and go quicker than if you were running alone.
On Sunday, myself and Tristan dropped the girls off and headed down the winding roads of Uldale to bag some more Wainwright’s. We’d plotted a route that would take us up 6 peaks, 4 of which were Wainwright’s.
It was a cold day and snow dusted the tops of the fells. We headed off up the first Wainwright of the day, Longlands. The climb was gradual to begin with but, approaching the top, it became more severe. The views were glorious but the wind had picked up and we didn’t loiter long. Our route took us around Lowthwaite Fell and then up towards Little Sca Fell. The amount of snow on the ground steadily increased as we climbed higher up through the energy sapping terrain leading upwards. Approaching Little Sca Fell, the snow was up to a foot deep in places making running difficult!
Great Sca Fell was our next target and there was even more snow there! I was surprised at how many people were around. Wainwright had written that you could wander these fells for hours and not meet a single soul. I guess that was before he wrote his books……
The descent off Great Sca Fell was steep and we made our way down by doing little zig zags. We had a little breather at the bottom before the climb up to Meal Fell, Wainwright number 3 of the day. Again, because the wind was so bitingly cold, we didn’t linger long before heading for Great Cockup, our fourth and final Wainwright. The climb up was testing but I was pleased with the amount that I was able to run, especially considering the amount of running and climbing we’d already done. Again, the panoramic views were amazing. Skiddaw was looking splendid dressed in white while Binsey stood proud overlooking Overwater.
We headed off Great Cockup knowing that the toughest climbs were now out of the way and descended with renewed energy. Tristan tried to get down a bit quicker and managed some stumbling acrobatics! He’ll do anything to try and beat me!! We made a little diversion off the route to the peak of Little Cockup before rejoining the path.
We then followed the path down the valley, only managing to get a little lost when we deviated off the main track and followed a sheep track! This led us to have an additional difficult climb and Tristan thanked me enormously as our calves screamed with this extra difficulty! Eventually, we refound the path and were rewarded with a gentle, winding path down the valley and back to the car.
This was a tough run. 7.5 miles of arduous climbs and energy sapping bogs and snow. It was also amazing! To be out in the fresh air, challenging our bodies and enjoying this crazy sport together.