Distance: 18km; Ascent:1130m; Sunny; with Mark
See approximate route in new window (checkpoints are shown as waypoints)
The luck of the draw had resulted in us having a relatively early start time of 8:58am this morning for our first ever mountain marathon. We had entered the Wansfell class, which was pretty much the easiest class on which you were allowed to run if we wished. After breakfast we struck camp and registered ourselves on the event, at which point Mark was given an SI card to attach to his wrist that would record our visits to each of the check points.
|Setting off from Wasdale Head on Saturday morning|
At our allotted time we passed through the start gate and picked up our list of check points for the day; this was also when we found out where we would be camping for the first time. The clock was now ticking and so we could either opt to go directly to our first check point or spend a few minutes annotating our SLMM Harvey Map of the area with our check points for the day. We opted for the later as it would save time later, and this appeared to be the approach of most of the teams who were busily scribbling on their maps in the sunshine.
|Heading for the first check-point|
|Yewbarrow towering above Mosedale|
|On Looking Stead heading for the 2nd check-point|
|The check-point on Looking Stead|
|High Stile and High Crag above Ennerdale|
|Summit of Pillar|
From here the only way was up and we ascended up the steep slopes to soon reach the summit cairn of Black Crag (Nuttall, Birkett). After descending slightly to a pass we picked up a traversing path towards Red Pike, which we followed for a few hundred metres before cutting across country to the stream bend high on Scoat Fell, which formed our 4th check point.
We jogged down the gentle, but wet, slopes to reach Scoat Tarn where the crossing of the outflow seemed to be causing problems for some who were trying to keep their feet dry! However we had no problems, as we used our poles for assistance, and soon reached our 5th checkpoint on the south side of the tarn. From here it was a reasonable distance to our next one, with an intervening valley in the way!
After descending down into the head of the Nether Beck valley, we picked a traversing line up through the small crags to reach the boggy area of the Pots of Ashness below the north side of Seatallan.
|Mark pointing to check-point 6 in the Pots of Ashness|
After crossing the pass to the west we began to descend towards the valley of the River Bleng. Soon we found a few rocks to sit on and enjoy a 10 minute lunch stop, much to the amusement of passing competitors! The descent proved to be quite steep through rocky and ferny ground; I was very glad of my poles!
The check point was not obvious from the descent as it was slightly hidden by a small hummock down by Tounge Gill - very devious! Although we didn't really have any trouble locating it and were soon traversing the hillside to reach check point 8 by the waterfall on Red Beck. From here we picked up a faint sheep path that traversed the hillside to reach the cairn on Hause, from where we could pick out the overnight camp in the distance.
|Cairn on Hause prior to the boggy tussocks|
|Day 1 times|
|The sunny mid-way camp|
N.B. 30/10/12 - Post date updated to actual date of walk, i.e. 07/07/12, (from 13/07/12)