Friday, 9 January 2009

Knott Halloo and much more

Last Week
53.6 miles; 7654 feet; 10:26:42

On out way north on Sauturday morning Colin and I were undecided about where to go after Blencathra, our initial destination. The Northern Fells leg of the BGR (and back to Threlkeld) involves two river crossings which on cold days like today aren't terribly attractive so we decided on multiple ascents of Blencathra.

I have never been up or down Gategill Fell over Knott Halloo but it turns out that not only was there a fell race to Knott Halloo and back but on the final occasion it was run Colin finished 3rd so he knew, at least the first part of the climb.

Knott Halloo and much more

Looking south from Gategill Fell top, Knott Halloo is the rocky outcrop on the right at the end of the ridge. The inital ascent is very steep and the trods are littered with loose stones as they go through 'ankle-grabbing' heather. At this time of year a little care is need but I was pleased we didn't have to race back down.

Clough Head and the Dodds beyond

The weather had deteriorated since New Year's Eve and for a good while it looked as though we might see some snow but it didn't materialise and I think the 'sprinkling' in the photo is actually accumulated frosts. Further north the sun shone over the Solway Firth and we could see snow capped hills in southern Scotland.

After Gategarth Fell top we crossed Hallsfell Top and dropped down over Aitkinson Pike, round Foule Crag to the foot of Sharp Edge for our second ascent to Hallsfell Top which was getting more crowded by the minute. Back and down Doddick Fell, which is probably the most delightful of all the ridges and very runnable, to the foot of Halls Fell ridge for our third and final ascent. From the top we crossed Gategill Fell top and just beyond Knowe Crags dropped down to Threlkeld - just to completely trash our legs and complete a fine morning out.

On Sunday I managed 10 mile recovery run but even that and Monday & Tuesday mornings' runs didn't leave my legs in a condition to tackle the track session. Another couple of morning runs and then a hard hill session last night to complete the week. These have been a couple of very hard weeks 111.7 miles and just over 25,000 feet of climbing in 13 days.

Next Week
We are in Glasgow to celebrate my Dad's birthday with him and so it is going to be a matter of fitting in road miles where ever I can - probably all early mornings and the forecast for the weekend in Glasgow is best described as 'character building'. It could be a good test for my new waterproof jacket.

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