Monday, September 30, 2013

Sale Fell, Barf, Lords Seat, Broom Fell

on the Bishop of Barf

looking south

and from the opposite side with the steep climb up Barf

on Lothwaite - an area near Sale Fell with Bassenthwaite
 and Skiddaw behind.
It looked like ideal conditions on Sunday for getting a decent run in.  It was a bit windy when we got out of the car but besides that, it was lovely and sunny.

We have done loads of runs over Sale Fell and Ling Fell.  More recently, we had a run over Broom Fell from Graystones.  Today was an attempt to link up these two routes.  I first had the idea when we looked back from Broom Fell and could see Sale Fell across Whythop.  

I was sure that there would be a way to Barf through the woods.  I wasn't so sure about the way back from either Lords Seat, Broom Fell or Graystones but I took a map and figured that one way or another, we would get back.

We took the usual route up to the top of Sale Fell.  Actually, I took a bit of a short cut as I was struggling a bit with tight leg muscles and wanted to see if I could power hike up faster that Jonathan could run up.  I couldn't.

On the top of Sale Fell, I was feeling pretty ropey and thought about heading home but after running down and back up to Rivings and Lothwaite (both Birketts) then down to the main path that we usually take out of the woods, I was feeling better and decided to carry on but take it easy.

We followed the C2C cycle route which took a really nice path down through the woods, eventually coming out on the old road to the side of the A66.  We followed this until we got to the old Swan Hotel where we found the path to the Clerk and then headed up the steep scree to the Bishop.

The Bishop is the big white rock you can see from the A66.  Legend has it that it is where the Bishop of Derry got to when he attempted to ride his horse up the scree.  The Clerk is supposedly where the bishop and his horse are buried!

Jonathan atop the Bishop


After monkeying around on the Bishop for quite some time, we carried on up to the top of Barf.  It's a steep climb up.  We chose a route that involved some scrambling including crossing the big flat face of rock that always reminds me of the Chrysler Building in New York.  Eventually we topped out and had a chat with a nice couple who had come up the same way and kindly took our picture.

fun looking rock face - there is a path through to the left

bit of climbing

top of Barf

From Barf it was a nice run over to Lords Seat and then Broom Fell.  We could see Sale Fell and decided to just head towards it.  The double track on the map turned out to be a rotten surface to run on so we just headed across the fields, picking up sheep trods (and plenty of thorns) on the way.  Once we crossed over the top of Burnthwaite Heights (Birkett) we picked up the road and headed around to climb the col of Sale Fell, back around the front to the car.

From Lords Seat's uninspiring summit marker looking back to Barf and Skiddaw group beyond

Broom Fell - nice cairn

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Out on the bike

I was heading for the gym this morning but turned around when I stepped out of my door and got my bike.  

Glorious weather, no wind, although lots of midgies which managed to find their way around my glasses into my eyes.

I'm still trying to get a bit of fitness back on my bike, having not been out on it most of the year.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Skiddaw via Bakestall and back along Longside Edge

from Bakestall looking up to Broad End and Skiddaw

We had a really fun run this evening going a different way up Skiddaw and back via Longside Edge.  We parked at Peter House Farm and took the Cumbria Way track to Dead Crags on Bakestall where we climbed steeply along the gully.  We then followed the fence from Bakestall up and carried on to the summit.  From there we descended to Carl Side Tarn and back along Longside Edge.

first part of the run: along the track and then very steep ascent up to Bakestall, on to Broad End and Skiddaw

trod up to Bakestall just visible on the grassy slope between the gully and the cliff edge

Jonathan on Bakestall summit

and me

from the top of Broad End, final push to Skiddaw summit
The climb up Dead Crags was gruelling.  We fell foul of several false summits until the rocky protuberance that is the far end of Bakestall, and often mistaken for the Wainwright summit, came into sight.

Of course, once we got here, we could see the two other major climbs up to Broad End, a Birkett peak, and on to Skiddaw.

Both of these climbs paled in comparison to the climb we had just done up to Bakestall.  The final climb up to Skiddaw was a pleasant surprise.  Although, by this time, we were conscious of the fading light.

Headtorches were put on at the top of Skiddaw before picking out the steep path down scree to Carlside Tarn and the junction of paths where we carried on along the Longside Edge ridge.

Skiddaw summit

fading light

Jonathan descending on the path to Carlside Tarn

The route along Longside Edge and on to Ullock Pike, down to the Watches is a lovely ridge walk/run with beautiful views.  Tonight, we did it by the light of headtorches.  It was still very beautiful with the lights bouncing off clouds, picking out sheep's eyes, views over to the Caldbeck beacon and the streetlights of Keswick but we lack the skills to pick up this beauty on a camera so that is the end of the pictures.

second half of the run from Skiddaw down the edge to the road

Once on the road we had about a half mile run back to the car.

elevation profile

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Early Morning Sale Fell

heading back down from the top of the first climb

a nice steady wander - just short of three miles

I planned to meet Jonathan for an early morning fell run on Sale Fell.  The road was coned off and a sign said that the road was closed but I carried on through and had no problems.

Jonathan turned around at the cones.  He didn't have his phone with him so I eventually got a call from him when I was on top of Sale Fell.  When he didn't respond to my messages, I had assumed that he had slept in.  I waited until 7:45am and then set off on my own.

I took it nice and easy and took a different way to the top, climbing directly up the fell from the near side of the wall.  This seemed to be a more direct route to the top but it's not a runnable route.

I looped around from the top, across an area I hadn't visited before called Lothwaite.  This is a Birkett top and a very pretty area.  I would guess that there would be nice views over Bassenthwaite but today it was very cloudy and visibility was very poor.

From Lothwaite, I headed across to pick up the top of the same path I went up, running down to the wall and across the stream then back down the way I came up.

bench at the top of Lothwaite

with dedication

pretty path back to the wall that can just be seen going diagonally up to the left side of Sale Fell 

this is looking down the steepest section of the first climb - it's steeper than it looks here

Monday, September 23, 2013

Sale Fell

running selfie
Out on our local Sale Fell this evening for what was purported to be an easy run but, as always, turned into a bit of a hill interval run.  Sale Fell is a great training ground; there are lots of smallish climbs to test yourself on.  Today we ran down an area that we usually climb up and were very impressed with our own hill climbing ability development.

Jonathan was trying out his Salomon Fellraisers.  I was hoping that he wouldn't like them and would donate them to me.  I usually tell him off for buying so much stuff but this particular transaction is approved.  Unfortunately, he seemed to like them a bit better (and never fell on his arse) so it looks like he might be keeping them.

It was a muggy night.  The clag was right down and we needed to have a think about directions on top of the area marked 'Rivings'.

We saw a group of runners with Sam Ayres who runs a local fitness training company and had obviously decided to take a group onto the fell.  Quite a large group and unusual to see up on little Sale Fell.

Once at the top, we took it really easy on the way down.  Jonathan is still recovering from body checking the rock on Falcon Crag and I'm taking it easy to make sure my Plantar Fasciitis properly goes away.

We ran right around and then climbed back up part of the way before turning back and heading down to the car.  Jonathan insisted that we run an extra bit on the road to take it up to four miles.

four miles - plenty of hills

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Falcon Crag

dancing on the Falcon Crag promontory

Well Jonathan wussed out of the Three Shires Fell Race today.  I think his marathon training has finally caught up with him.  We went for a short run this evening.  My plan was to extend the Walla Crag route we did yesterday but a wrong turn that we persisted with meant an alternative route was found.  We wound our way up steeply to the top of Falcon Crag.  We then headed down the path that I had planned to climb up.  2.5 miles all in all.  Jonathan took a monumental spill on wet rock - ouch!  Even though it looked like it happened in slow motion, I didn't manage to get a photo.

Walla Crag is to the left.

at the start of the steep ascent

slow worm
We took the usual path (same as yesterday) up to the footbridge over Car Gill.  On the other side of the bridge, we should have followed the path along the wall down for a bit but instead we went left up the slope.  We ended up on what are probably climbers paths as we very soon got to the rock face below Falcon Crag.  We scrambled up the side - hands and knees stuff, three points of contact and all that!  We managed to pick out a path that avoided the main rock face and went to the side of a deeper gully.  Once over the crest, the summit cairn of Falcon Crag was nearby.  From here we had the option of turning left to continue on to Walla Crag or right to take the path down.  We decided to head back down.  This was before Jonathan fell over but he was experiencing some sort of energy crisis that was only resolved with a pint of cider afterwards.  The bracken is still really high and it does a good job of hiding footpaths but we managed to find our way down and back to the car with only the aforementioned spill.

monument to Kate Beatham within the cairn.  I don't know who she is but she died young.  This view is from the top of Falcon Crag, across Derwent Water, towards Borrowdale.  Castle Crag (the smallest Wainwright) can be seen near the top left corner of the picture.

in the other direction, the woods around Walla Crag are on the right.  Cloud is skimming the top of Skiddaw.

and across the lake to Catbells with the scree slope of Barrow visible above St Herbert's Island - the scene of one of my favourite family adventures.

2.5 miles - big climb at the start.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Walla Crag

Jonathan tops out on Walla Crag with Cat Bells et al across Derwent Water

Plantar Fasciitis is annoying.  I have done very little running for the last few weeks and it doesn't really seem to be getting any better so I've decided to just keep running and deal with the pain afterwards.  I'm rolling a hockey ball under my foot arch as I type and it seems to be helping.  It's that moment when you first put your foot on the floor in the morning that really tells you whether it's better.

Just a short run today then both because I didn't want to overdo it and because I needed to be home.  I'd spent most of the day Fixing the Fells in Glenridding.  Very enjoyable and a good alternative when injuries prevent athleticism.

I was trying out my Salomon Fellraiser shoes today.  I really like them.

just about a 5k.  A decent climb up Cat Gill then mostly downhill the rest of the way

looking back over Derwent Water from the climb up Cat Gill, one of my favourite views in the Lake District

same point of view from December 2009

back towards Borrowdale

Bleaberry Fell

"there's a better view over there"

Derwent Water