Sadly we returned home from the SLMM to bad news. We had been home less than an hour when a policeman arrived at the door. One look at his face told me it was bad. Mum had suffered a stroke and was in hospital and dad had suffered a heart attack and died. Today was to be a day of relaxation and time for myself after a fortnight of funeral arrangements, wills and constant visits to check on mum.
We parked at Elterwater and Bob and I set off on our separate challenges. I was keen for a day of adventure on my own and getting some climb in my legs for the UTMB. Bob had his eye on a number of Wainrights. Running through the village there seemed to be many tourists about but after 20 minutes of running I was alone and I did not see many people until much later in the day. This might have had something to do with the low cloud, breeze and constant misting drizzle. I stayed sort of dry over Lingmoor and down to Blea Tarn but by Hollin Crag I was getting so wet I had to stop and put my cag on. Pike O Blisco was misty and at first I could not see Red tarn. Climbing towards Crinkle Crags the rain got worse and it was chilly in the breeze. I was trying to factor in extra climbing so earlier I had dropped almost to Little Langdale and now I dropped down Long Top and climbed back up near Rest Gill. This confused the old guy wandering along the tops but never-mind. By Bowfell the cloud was lifting a little and at Ore Gap I decided on an excursion to the Gerry Charnley cairn. Bob had failed to find it so I was keen to see if I could find it easily and what landmarks I could give him. From there I went over Esk Pike and down to a rather crowded Esk Hause.
I shared my map with some kids waiting for their parents and then did Great End as an out and back. Scafell Pike would be too far and was more likely to be crowded. I ran down to Styhead tarn and then back up to Allen Crags. Now it was warm and I stopped to remove my cag. My phone rang... an update on mum.... so much for my day of solitude.
Sat talking made me cold so I blasted to Angle tarn and then to Stake Pass. By now the sun was out and I was more relaxed about staying out on the tops. Leaving Pike O Stickle and running to Thunacar Knott my phone went again. I stopped to text my brother.
All the news and updates clearly distracted me as leaving Sergeant man running fairly fast down hill I suddenly realised I was heading NE and not SE. Oops. There followed a bit of off path running above Coledale Tarn to get back on route near Blea Rigg. The rest was simple going SE again and again until Silver Howe, or it would have been if I had stuck to the main paths and not tried to follow sheep trods that eventually led me through head high bracken.
I emerged at the van tired but happy after 8 hours. It has also reawakened my desire to the to GCWay again and to try it anticlockwise... and adventure for the autumn perhpas.