Running in I recognise John Fleetwood whom I was expecting still to be in Scotland. A pleasant surprise, and then I can see Bill Williamson and Rachel Metcalfe who will take me to Greendale Bridge. John Coope, Nicole Kirkham and Joss are also here but it takes me a while to realise Pauline isn’t. Keith Foster is and he will come with us over the tops to Greendale Bridge. Cake and encouragement from Joss and it is time to worry about the big climbs. Karl and Duncan drop down to Wasdale Head while Rhiannon stays with us for the next two summits before joining Karl and Duncan.There are about 13 miles and 5000 feet of climbing left to do over the roughest ground on the route. Unlike many, I have spent all day looking forward to this, the most spectacular section of all.
The next two hours are spent gaining almost 3500 feet in less then 5 miles on three climbs crossing Great Gable, Kirk Fell and Pillar. Setting off up Great Gable I finally realise I haven’t seen Pauline and when I enquire I find there has been a car problem and she and Ed Swift are somewhere between Wasdale & Dunmail sorting it out. On the way up Gable I ask Rachel to tell the the time on each of the summits because I need to know that I am still climbing fast enough. My recovery from the problems encountered around High Raise seems complete as I pick up time on the 14 hour schedule going up both Great Gable and Kirk Fell. Pillar is ‘just a slog’ as all fell runners who have done the Ennerdale fell race know and by know I am pretty happy that, barring accident or injury, I’ll reach Greendale Bridge within 15 hours. Part way up the steepest part of the climb there is time for a seat in the sunshine, a bar, a long cool drink and the chance to savour the views across Wasdale.
The final pull up on to Pillar contains a wonderful surprise as I recognise Pauline running down to meet us. Ed Swift is on the summit and brother John has just set off for Scoat Fell. Pillar is the last of the big climbs and John Fleetwood heads back to Great Langdale after a handshake and the reassurance that “I know you have done it”. Bill takes us off Pillar on a route, new to me, to miss the worst of teh rocky ground and we head off to Scoat Fell and Steeple and more runnable ground. We are comfortably ahead of the schedule and it is time to ease off a little and really enjoy the day. Seatallen provides the ‘sting in the tail’ but on top are John Coope, Nicole and David Powell-Thompson. From there, only Middlefell, where Julie Laverock is waiting, and the final descent to Greendale Bridge remain. After the ‘evening sun’ photo shoot it is all downhill to Greendale Bridge where Joss and his dogs are waiting. 14 hours and 14 minutes after leaving Pooley Bridge I stand on Greendale Bridge happy, and relieved, to have completed the “Joss Naylor Challenge” and happy to have enjoyed such a perfect day. I don’t think it is possible to adequately express appreciation to those who helped on the day, those without whom it wouldn’t have happened. I am so glad Pauline and the others who provided the road support were able to join me during the last leg. Thanks too to Joss for coming up to Sty Head and for meeting us at the end.
|Place||14hr||15 hr||Actual||14 hrs||15 hrs||Actual|
|Sty Head - depart||09:32||10:12||09:58||14:32||15:12||14:58|
|Greendale Bridge - arrive||14:00||14:40||14:14||19:00||19:40||19:14|
The slideshow contains photos taken by Pauline, Rhiannon, Duncan and John Coope – thank you all.
Iain Kelly’s early morning photos are here -
Iain’s blog is here - http://42tops.blogspot.com/