Sunday, 10 November 2013

No 56 A circuit from Haweswater

Once our orienteering duties were over, with all runners and controls safely shepherded in, we quickly drove home to dump the Si gear plus our wet clothes and then headed up to the Lakes.  It was wet but the forecast for Sunday was very good. We parked in an almost deserted car park at Mardale Head and settled down to our evening meal.

The rain stopped and it was warmer in the van than we expected. Before 9 we were safely tucked up in bed and reading. We set the alarm early and by 7 we were up and fueled with porridge and coffee. The sun was already up on the tops and there was quite a dusting of snow. Glad we put the katoolas in. Bob was off on the dot and set off skating along the road to find the Old Corpse Road. I pottered but was out half an hour later. It was just getting properly light in the bottom of the valley.

I had planned going up Rough Crag and Long Stile straight onto High Street but the snow and ice made me cautious and I opted for the rounder edges of Kidsty Pike.  I probably could have managed without but I put the katoolas on to be on the safe side (not much point having them in my sack if I slipped).
Leaving Kidsty Pike I was treated to an early morning fly by from the eagle and then I stumbled across five tents. They had spent a frosty night but said it was worth it for the sun rise. The views were amazing in all directions with snow on all the high Lakeland peaks and on Cross Fell etc along the Pennines.
The katoolas gave me confidence even where it was just snowy grass and I made very good timeover High Raise, Wether Hill and Loadpot Hill. The covering of snow was not deep and the ground was mostly nicely firm. Then it was a swooping downhill run all the way to The Cockpit. It took all my discipline not to just keep stopping and gawp at the views.

It was not so frozen down here and I got damp feet but I was happy and seemed to have the whole hill to myself. I had thought by here I would meet people coming up from the caravan park or Askham. I stopped for a bite to eat and found I had dropped a glove. Damm. I ran back hoping it wasn't far and was rewarded to find it in the first kilometre. I doubled back towards Howtown and made good time along the rather wet and muddy track. It was a different world of green and warth down here.
The steamer was just leaving as I descended to the road and picked up the path to Martindale. Here I saw my first person after the campers, although still not close enough to actually speak to. I contoured round to Boredale and was pleased to find that the road was not icy. More fairly fast running. At Boredale Hause I changed my plan a little. My garmin was already reading nearly 18 miles and I decided not to descend to Side Farm. (part of my plan was a bit of a recee of some of the Tour of Helvellyn route). Instead I climbed up Place Fell in the glorious sunshine.
Heading back to the Hause the path to Angle Tarn looked busy so I explored up to Bedafell Knott. I don't think I have been up there before and it gave me a lovely view back down Boredale towards Hallin Fell.

 It also gave me a very quiet path over Angle Tarn Pikes. I hit the main path for a short time but then turned off to Satura Crag and Rest Dodd where I picked up a small trod all the way down to the col and up onto The Knott. 
From here to High Street was busier, but I knew it would be. I joined the others sitting by the wall and ate the last of my food. I should have carried more and was hungry. Perhaps I should have gone to Side Farm after all. I played in the snow and sun for a while before doing a little loop towards Thornthwaite and Mardale Ill Bell and back to the path onto Long Stile. I thought I might meet up with Bob if I played on the top for a while but I had no real idea of where he would be so I gave up. Watching people tucking into sandwiches etc was making me even more hungry. The descent at Long Stile starts quite steeply and the rocks were slippery.

 Even with the katoolas I was cautious and would not descend this way again if I wanted to run.  After Rough Crag the running improved with more grass and less rock. Before long I could see the very full car park and our van. It was an easy jog back along the lakeside, over all the lttle wooden bridges and onto the main path. The van sadly was in deep shade and had been for some time so it was not very warm but once my feet were dry and I was sat in the duvet with a big pot of coffee I was cozy. I sat reading , watching people finish their day and waited for Bob. I had been out over 7 hours and clocked up about 33 miles. An amazing day with stunning views and I had it all to myself for the bulk of the time.

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