Sunday, 24 March 2013

No17 Clougha and a fight with the wind

I did think about having this weekend off, as I had been out all day Fri- Sat with kids doing DoE in the snow and cold, but knew that I would regret it and the forecast seemed OK. Down here it was cold but dry and even bright so I hatched a plan. The idea was to park in Quernmore and run east over Clougha, Grit Fell, Wards Stone, Wolf Crag the down the old Roman track to Brennand and back.
Clougha and all still seemed OK
Half way up Clougha I knew I would need to modify my plan given the wind. After Grit Fell my eyes were streaming from running, or trying to, into the wind and I needed some respite. At the pace I was going it would be dark when I finished. I shot down to Jubilee Tower and made up some time. I deviated to the road for a few km and then picked up the track back up onto the fell.
 It was uphill and cold but not as exposed as my due easterly course had been. After a quick break in the luncheon hut I cut east but well below the crest on the shooting track.

The luncheon hut
 I have moaned about these scars in the past but today I was very grateful for them. When the track turned south for Tarnbrook I carried on east for a couple more km before heading up to Brown Syke. I don't think I have ever been up here and kept my feet dry before. I was determined to get to Wolf Crag - I am not sure why but it seemed important at the time - but it left me knackered.

 At this point I not only had on two thermals but also my primaloft jacket and my cag. I ran down to the Roman Road across the fell but was then left with a quandary- which way now? In the end the wind helped my decision and I went NW for a bit. I did consider staying NW and then running back along the Lune but it would be a long way round and felt like whimping out. So, I took the next shooting track back up on to the fell and hoped that with the wind behind me it would be better.
Trying to make forward progress
I hit the ridge just west of Brown Syke and I guess it was better with the wind on my back. Some of the drifts were solid enough to take my weight but on many I broke through so my running was a bit cautious.
No snow- just lots of spindrift!
Ward Stone west
 Ward Stone was deserted but there were foot prints so I was not the only mad fool up there today. From here the wind seemed to pick up significantly and I was getting blown out of control as I headed down from Ward Stone west trig and across to Grit Fell.
Knackered but nearly finished
I hit the shooting track and headed north and into the disused quarries before turning to head back over Clougha and down to the car. Only just over 27.7 miles and it had taken me well over 5 and a half hours. Drove to Lancaster to find number 1 son and beg a cup of coffee.

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