Thursday, 24 January 2013

Welcoming in the New Year.....with a fell run!

Admittedly we're not your run-of-the-mill bike team, although I guess you already worked that out by now, all of the team thrive in the great outdoors.  

Whilst the throngs of people congregated in various places to see in the New Year both Angie and Steve were snuggly tucked up in bed to see it in in a different way......with a fell run...... here's Angie with the commentary....

Steve and I decided that 2013 going to be all about doing new and memorable things ...and what a better way to start the year off than with a cheeky run up the Great Gable, which the seventh highest mountain in England!

Naturally it had been chucking it down cats and dogs the week leading up to it however we decided to just go regardless to what Mother Nature could throw at us.  The weather wasn’t that bad in the morning when we woke, just low cloud.  

An hour and a half later we were at Seathwaite Farm in Borrowdale and quickly got ourselves ready, trainers on, lightweight jackets and a small rucksack with a map and a drink, easy!  The fells above looked grey and oppressive, the low cloud meant we couldn't see if there was any snow up top …it was very atmospheric, pure Lord of the Rings!

Off past the farm we went and along the track over Stockley Bridge, up ahead we could see the first climb and it started to go up, and up, further on it went, and went, we pushed on and pushed harder, the lactic build up telling you it was a good work out.  Just imagine being on a stepper machine at the gym for a good 30 mins solid at high intensity, yeah?  OK, I think you got the picture a little there!  

As we climbed we kept looking back over the views that were starting to open up across the Borrowdale valley, it was a beautiful feeling to know that it was New Year’s Day and there wasn't another soul to be seen, just us and nature.  It's a canny good feeling that!

It started to ease up as we ran along a singletrack path beside a small beck, trying to get our breath back as the terrain became a bit more tricky underfoot.  Boulders and ankle twisters at your desire!  The path lead us to the edge of Sty Head Tarn, from here you can either head off to Scafell and the surrounding fells or head towards the right for the Gables.  This is where we were headed, off up Great Gable. 

(Edit: Lee here, I cannae get this darned photo to centre, sorry!)

The fell gets a lot of foot fall on Remembrance Sunday (11th Nov) when hundreds of people and a priest summit the mountain to hold a service around the memorial and show respect for the men and women who fought in the war.

Having got our breath back it was time for another steep incline up the south face of the mountain, man-made steps have been put in here and it’s a bit of a thigh killer.  As we got further up the steps disappeared, a drop in concentration could mean a twisted ankle, or worse, best to be on your guard.  The over night rain had iced over on the rocks, it was incredibly slippery just like running on wet glass.  But then, that's all part of the challenge.

Reaching the 700 metre mark we started spotting patches of snow and little flurries were coming down, rather magical.  Not long later we were at the top, the wind was just so bloody strong that it was freezing our faces and fingers off. You could just see across to Scafell where there was quite a bit of old snow on the tops.  We both chucked on warmer jackets and buffs, then set off to run down to the Windy Gap (titter ye not!). 

When you're out on the fells you soon learn how quickly the weather can change, literally in a snap of the fingers.  Mist had dropped and we couldn’t see much around us, it was so much fun though once we got some speed up, it was like being on a downhill bike and picking lines the whole way. Excellent fun!

Got back down to the Sty Head Tarn and then just cracked on all the way back to the car.  This wasn't before heading off the trail after finding some sweet sheep tracks with off-camber sections mind, we raced each other picking the high lines.  Such fun! (Thank you 'Miranda'!)

Back at the car it was an easy decision to make..... a pub lunch you say? Well how could we not!? Mmm, most delectable! Haha!

Lake District fell runs are going to be one of my main staples for 2013! 

Absolutely loved it!

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