Saturday, April 13, 2013

Around Grange Fell again

running across duckboards at the south end of Derwent Water

I had so much fun running around Grange Fell the other day that I decided to do it again.  I arranged to meet Jonathan after work and we set off to Rosthwaite.  This time my plan was to pick out the path on the other side of the river heading down to the Lodore Falls Hotel.  I also wanted to take the track, rather than the road from Watendlath.

I told Jonathan that there was a climb at the start and then it was all very level or downhill - very runnable.  I'm afraid I have used that phraseology far too often with Jonathan in order to get him out on a challenging route, "it's all downhill from here" or, "once we get to there, there's no more climbing".  I could tell he was a little bit cynical.  I can't blame him.  It is true in this case though, perhaps I got a bit of credibility back as we started the descent from Puddingstone Bank to Watendlath.  The path has been repaired and it's really nice running from the corner of the woods until the path steepens into Watendlath.  It then becomes what is known as a 'technical descent', which means you really have to look and think where you are putting your feet.  I enjoyed the run down to the tarn but it is a path much more suited to climbing rather than descending fast.

exploring Dalton's cave
From Watendlath, we headed off on the footpath that goes along Watendlath Beck.  After about half a mile, we changed our mind and headed over a very sketchy bridge back to the road.  After easy mile and a half down the road, we crossed over to the beck and across into Ashness Wood.

Through the wood, I picked out a path on the west/south side of the river but we ended up heading up onto Shepherds Crag which meant a steep descent back down to the edge of the hotel grounds, along the fence to the road.  My conclusion was that the path I took the first time was better.

We crossed the Borrowdale road and headed onto the duckboarded path along the south side of Derwent Water.  This is a great place to run.  I think the duckboards are made from recycled car tyres but they have a nice spring to them and, along with the beauty of the surroundings, it makes for some very easy running.

We cut across to the road and joined up with the Cumbria Way which would take us back to Rosthwaite.  It was about half a mile down the road and then the path goes up to Hollows farm and back down to the campsite.  From here we went through the woods.  We stopped for a bit to explore Dalton's cave.  I have not yet found the famous quotation he is supposed to have carved into the rock, "Don't waste words, jump to conclusions".  We had a look around for a bit but couldn't see it so we carried on with the run around through the woods, back along the river to Rosthwaite.  

I decided not to cross the bridge and carried on along the east side of Stonethwaite Beck.  This meant crossing the stepping stones (although you can carry on to the road if you like).  Jonathan stood back, taking pictures of me, probably hoping to get a shot of me slipping into the water.  The stones were very slippy but I made it across, then turned around to see Jonathan striding through the water.

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