…and a bit more successful this time.
I went for a second attempt at the Blencathra, Skiddaw, Great Calva, Blencathra silliness yesterday following Monday’s failed effort. I managed to pace myself up Blencathra much better this time (try walking, idiot boy) and a bit of breeze and cooler temps made life a little easier. I was planning to go up Skiddaw via Lonscale Fell to avoid the crowds on the motorway, but wasn’t paying much attention, took a wrong turn and hey presto.
I was trying to stay off the relatively smooth tracks and stay in the longer grass. It’s a bit tougher, but more representative of OMM terrain, where courses are specifically designed to avoid tracks and seek out bog. Unfortunately, up Skiddaw it slowed me down just enough that I was effectively going at the same speed as everyone else! Oh dear, better put some more effort in. Fortunately, this ploy didn’t take too much out of me, and once the summit was passed the crowds thinned.
A pleasant gravity assisted run down the ridge, a quick right turn, and White Water Dash. Decision time. Do I really want to slog through the heather up Great Calva? Silly question. Do I like running? No. So what’s the difference? Get on with it you lazy get.
Sticking with the ‘long grass’ principle, I romped straight up the heather – for at least a minute or so! Jeez – that’s a really bad idea. There was a wee trod to the left so I aimed for that. Turned out it was pretty good, which was handy ‘cos the steepness felt hard enough even without the heather.
Great Calva came soon enough, followed by more heather, this time waste deep, on the descent. I tried running, but it didn’t really work. Soft stuff to fall into mind… A good drink from the Caldew, and then the long steady rise up the back of Blencathra. I felt pretty tired by now, but put one foot in front of the other, let the mind wander, and gave a little run in to the summit to keep the punters happy!
I opted out of taking the relatively small height gain up Bannerdale Crags, mainly to avoid the steep descent following, and headed down the Glenderamackin valley instead. A great little runable track this, letting the legs stretch out. Over the bridge, up to the col, and down to the car (which I hadn’t got stuck this time!).
Scores on the doors: 30km, a bit of ‘up’, and just over 5.5hrs. Much better.