Thursday, July 06, 2006

Leg 2: Honister to Wasdale

Again it is better to be running and fresh shoes & socks and the massage help enormously. Grey Knotts seems a stiffish climb but is achieved ahead of schedule but not by one of my support runners who is left behind in the clag. The significance isn't immediately apparent but he is carrying half my carb drinks and all my food for this leg (lesson to be learned here).

Brandereth, Green Gable and Great Gable all pass in the clag and I am beginning to relax for the first time as we leave Great Gable summit. The most direct route is no worse than the slightly longer route (nearer Ennerdale) but the wet slippery rocks make it unpleasant and seemingly slow. Kirk Fell is left behind and now I find out about the food & carb drinks 'left behind'. Other food is produced and eaten but I am probably still going to be short of carbs on this leg. Pillar is a long drag but we are almost 25 minutes up on the schedule and the steep rocky descent passes without incident or cramp. Thoughts of early retirement are banished and although the weather makes 'enjoyment' seem like stretching a point but everything is beginning to feel much better.

The clag conceals the wall over Scoat Fell and we miss the turning for Steeple. We probably don't miss by much, just enough to need most of the time in hand to find it. Leaving Steeple a couple of minutes ahead it isn't possible not to compare Steeple on the last recce where we sat in the warm sunshine having a bite and enjoying the slightly hazy views down Ennerdale.

By now it is obvious the 'isolated showers' in the weather forecast have joined forces and will be
a constant companion for the rest of the attempt. Leaving Steeple we see a team for Clayton who left Keswick an hour behind us. Red Pike is crossed quickly, Dore Head passed without pause and Yewbarrow climbed faster than schedule. Descending to Wasdale was also faster than schedule and I should have gone done the scree (as we did on the recce) especially because my trail shoes weren't capable of providing the grip needed on the steep, wet, grassy slopes. A number of slips, stumbles and falls are the consequence as well as rolling (painfully) a couple of rocks on to my right ankle.

Despite the clag and everything else we are at Wasdale about 5 minutes ahead and I feel much, much better than I did at Honister. With only around 7 hours done there is a long way to go but at Dale Head I was doubting if I could get this far.

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