Friday, 24 April 2009

Dunmail Raise – 10:26 18th April

After the cramp induced ‘rests’ I am no longer ahead of the 14 hour schedule but this really isn’t a concern. The 15 hour schedule has 20 minutes to spare and I am still happy with progress, even if concerned about the lingering cramp. Phil is going to turn round and run back to his, having only just realised he wasn’t paying any attention to the route. Dave has finished his leg but Karl will stay with me again. Duncan Richards and Rhiannon George join us here for the leg to Sty Head. After a change of shoes and socks and more rice pudding with banana I strap on my bottle carrier ready for the climb to Steel Fell. There is nothing pleasant about this except perhaps the final wave from the top to the road team as the prepare to move to Wasdale.

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Rhiannon, Duncan, Karl & Monica (behind)         Nearing the top (by Duncan Richards)

The top of the climb is followed by some gentle slopes leading to the summit where it is, just about, possible for your legs to recover. Although it is still early the sun is beginning to feel warm and the gentle breeze is more than welcome. With six hours done I still feel pretty good apart from the cramp which is still bothering me a bit. The ground here is pretty uneven which means the pace isn’t constant for long and this is helping. We settle on the slightly longer but gentler climb to High Raise and as soon as we reach the sheltered gully we find out just how warm the sun is and it isn’t good. The pace slows and most of the chat stops as we all slog up the gully in the stifling heat. I am starting to feel nauseous and begin to struggle to eat and drink. Before we reach the top of the gully I am wondering about reaching Sty Head with enough energy for the last leg and unless I can eat and drink enough I am going to have real problems. Karl’s observation that we have done 24 miles before lunch only serves to remind there are another 24 to go (glass half empty, for sure).

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Nearing the top of the gully and, finally, nearing High Raise and a cool breeze (both by Rhiannon)

The descent allowed me to begin to recover but it is nearly another hour to the  next summit and it takes about half of that before I feel able to start eating and drinking again. Concerned about time lost, I start to push on to avoid losing any more. Duncan & Rhiannon decide to go round the next couple of summits to ensure they don’t slow us up. After reassuring Karl that I do know the way up Bowfell I miss the route half way up but we exit in the right re-entrant and lose only a minute or so on the climb. Now 28 minutes behind the 14 hour schedule I am still happy with my progress but I need now to not lose more time. I am now feeling better and start to pick up time on the next two summits and feel really good, absolutely elated, in fact, running into Sty Head knowing I am strong enough for the 5000 feet of climbing on the last leg.


Place 14hr 15 hr Actual 14 hrs 15 hrs Actual
Dunmail Raise - depart 05:34 05:57 05:42 10:34 10:57 10:42
Steel Fell 05:57 06:22 06:06 10:57 11:22 11:06
High Raise 06:48 07:17 07:08 11:48 12:17 12:08
Rossett Pike 07:35 08:07 08:00 12:35 13:07 13:00
Bowfell 08:08 08:42 08:36 13:08 13:42 13:36
Esk Pike 08:36 09:12 09:00 13:36 14:12 14:00
Great End 08:59 09:37 09:23 13:59 14:37 14:23
Sty Head - arrive 09:27 10:07 09:50 14:27 15:07 14:50

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