Sunday, 28 September 2014

The 3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross

So today was the annual 3 Peaks Cyclo-Cross race and me and Harry decided to run a loop from home, allowing us the see the race both as it came over the first peak Ingleborough and then later over the third peak of Pen y Ghent. We absolutely hammered up Ingleborough, having left Horton a tad late, but made it with 5 minutes to spare before the race leader (and eventual winner) Rob Jebb trotted into view (with his bike over his shoulder). We then trotted down the race route over and off the side of Simon Fell, passing all the completely nuts cycle-crossers coming up, all the way to Selside before taking the track from there to High Birkwith and then following the 3 Peaks walkers route back to Pen y Ghent. A fab 16 mile run that got really quite tough in the second half (especially on the back of yesterday's 18.4 miles) but was a jolly fine finish to what turned out to be a 53 mile week

Harry thinks that all hot air balloons are kites...... and he hates kites. He sure told this hot air balloon what for

Rob Jebb ('Jebbie") nonchalantly trotting to the top of Ingleborough

The race approaching from Simon Fell

I'm sure they're supposed to pedal their bicycles....

Cyclists are such a larey bunch - I mean that pastel blue... wtf

Looking back towards Ingleborough from Simon Fell

Some tail enders

Gill Garth ahoy!

Seconds after this picture a kingfisher whizzed past in a haze of blue

Harry the wonder dog

Another lovely pose by Harry

In fact Harry couldn't stop posing for pictures

The cycle-crossers on the approach to Pen y Ghent summit

Nuts then, eh?

Summit reached

Its just a case of plummeting all the way down now

Me and Haz running off Pen y Ghent with home finally in sight

Our route

"This hill's a runner"

A great run with Harry, Hester and Gavin yesterday around what Gavin and his local running chums call the Full Monty - an 18.5 mile undulating loop in the North York Moors starting out from Cold Kirby, near Sutton Bank, out and around Hawnby and then back. Although the North York Moors never go particularly high, the running over there is always fantastic with lots of gorgeous woodland and moorland trails and enough ups and downs into and out of little valleys to make for a fair whack of climb over the whole run come the finish - according to Strava it was 3,080 feet

So as to ensure we all pushed on and didn't take it easy at any stage, and without at all annoying Hester in any way what-so-ever (haha), I purposely announced at the foot of each and every hill that we came across that it was 'a runner' and that no walking was allowed, regardless of steepness. And yep, we ran 'em all.

Hester by the way has a North York Moors inspired art exhibition called New Ground coming up at the 'Inspired By' gallery in Danby in November so yesterday's run technically counted as inspiration soaking upping work for Hester too - she can offset the petrol cost on her tax return then.

The Full Monty

Harry fully primed and ready to rumble

Although Hester ran all the hills she walked the bridges

The hills are alive...........

Harry the wonder dog

If you look very carefully you can spot both Gav and Hester in this picture

Harry leading the way

Autumny with knobs on

The team putting the hammer down

Hazzer hacking round a corner.....

.... closely followed by Hester

Applying the brakes to fit into a picture by Hester

Not even this 'swinging' guy slowed us down - we speeded up a bit in fact

The H Team

Just one last hill to go and its job done

Sunday, 21 September 2014

A 21 mile ripsnorter from Braithwaite

Just a fantastic 21 mile run out from Braithwaite yesterday with Gav, Hes and Haz, going over 13 tops , bumps and paps and basically visiting a good chunk of the north western fells of the Lake District in the process. Straight off the bat we headed up Grisedale Pike (791m), then onto Hopegill Head (770m) and the adjacent bump of Sand Hill (756m) before dropping down into Gasgale Gill and following that all the way down to the top of Crummock Water. 

We then took route one (which we later christened the "twats' ascent") straight up the side of Mellbreak (512m) - this ascent turned out to be pretty much an hour of vertically hacking through heather, ferns, bilberry bushes, spongey moss, scree and rocky crags to travel about 600 meters in distance and 400 meters in ascent; the main path would have been so much easier for us to follow and, although it was about a mile longer in distance, it would have taken us 20 minutes tops to get to the summit! Harry it has to be said was a true soldier going up Mellbreak as, at his diddy height, the heather and ferns were nire on impassable, snagging him and blocking his path continually - it wasn't that easy for any of us to be honest and it was the first hill I've ever climbed where my arms ached (from pulling myself up by the heather branches) more at the top than my legs! We were also plastered in bilberry juice by the time we reached the summit too, as the super ripe berries burst as we passed them - they made for excellent snacking on the way up though.

After Mellbreak we dropped down to the waterfall of Scale Force and then climbed the Buttermere version of Red Pike (755m) (not to be confused with the Wasdale version of Red Pike just 3 miles away), with glorious views of Crummock Water and Buttermere from Lingcombe Edge,  a ridge edge that we followed for about half of the climb. Then it was straight down to Buttermere itself, visiting the pap of Dodd (641m) on the way. A brief stop in Buttermere village for a drink and a slab of millionaires shortbread and we were off again on the way back to Braithwaite. Our route back took us over Whiteless Breast (439m), Whiteless Pike (660m), Wandope (772m), Eel Crag (aka Crag Hill) (839m), Sail (773m), Outerside (568m) and Stile End (447m). 

21 and a bit miles with almost 10,000 feet of ascent. And then a pint of Jennings Cumberland in the Royal Oak in Braithwaite - the perfect finish to a perfect day

The team on Grisedale Pike in the early morning low cloud

Harry the wonder dog

Gasgale Gill

The team weighing up our route up Mellbreak

Crummock Water

Some friendly cows

Route one up Mellbreak

The path on top of Mellbreak was great.... when we reached it!

Hester overlooking Crummock Water with Buttermere beyond

The descent to Scale Force

Scale Force

Above Buttermere

Harry ridge walking

Red Pike ahoy!

Looking back towards Lingcombe Edge

Hester dancing her way down to Buttermere

Time for a quick lie down in the river

Where are the Wallys?

Hester and Gavin clambering up Whiteless Pike


H and H both looking knackered

The gob smacking view from Wandope

The curly whirly path down from Sail

Harry striding out in style

The team not far from Braithwaite now

The weather is always perfect in the Lake District

Ze route