|Mild, dry and even the tops look clear.|
|Steep but good path up the right hand side.|
It meant I had a drop to the East Grain and a climb up to the correct ridge. After two mistakes I was expecting Bob to catch me up. About now I realised I was pretty wet, even though it wasn't really raining . It was mild though so no real problem. I was now on a wet but fairly decent quad bike track and more importantly I was back on the gofar route. After Hazelgill Knott this was predominantly downhill and I could not resist just going down into the clear weather. I then found a sheep trod and ran back up to Langdale Knott.
I was just starting to think that a run on the big valley paths might be best given the weather when it started to clear. I crossed Langdale Beck and got up to the trig on Middleton surprisingly fast and the views were improving all the time. My earlier errors made me cautious and I ran with map and compass in hand but safely crossed Simon's Seat and around the valley top to Docker Knott and the unnamed 500m top. Then it was a down and up to Uldale Head.
|Improving views back into the middle fells|
|Deep deep valley above Black Force|
|Fantastic views into the Lakes|
|It was good to know I had been on them all|
By 3ish I was on Winder and enjoying the last of the afternoon sun. The heat was going out of the day but the tops I had left were relatively low now. As I set off for Crook I saw another runner in the distance but I had turned off the main path before we met.
Crook was an interesting little peak with two very pointy summits. Very different to many of the flattish grassy tops of the day. A tiny trod took me up the stream to below Sickers Fell and I stopped for food and water. It seemed quite light still and then I looked behind me, oh dear.
|The light was fading fast|
|Do they stand on their tails? What if their fringe ices up?|
The Howgills have lovely rounded tops and some amazing running but the valleys are deep and steep. The big tracks are great but where there are none it is hard work. I had covered about 31 miles and been out about 8 and a half hours. It has whetted my appetite and I really fancy the whole circuit in the summer.