Distance: 17.2km; Ascent:790m; Mainly dry and overcast; with Mark
See approximate route in new window (checkpoints are shown as waypoints)
I woke at around 6:30ish due to the number of overly keen people already up and about, and was pleased to discover that it was dry outside :) However the disadvantage of camping with so many other people was the seemingly endless queue for the portaloos in the morning!
As we hadn't finished within 45 minutes of the class leaders yesterday we would be taking part in the mass start between 8am and 8:30am (the fastest few teams in each class set off even earlier!), which meant that we didn't have to rush too much and had time for a brew :) I wandered down to the start to pick up our list of controls for today's route and returned to the tent to plot them out on the maps at our leisure as today's clock had not yet started ticking! I was slightly disappointed to discover that we wouldn't be returning over the hills on the south side of Wastwater, although the controls we had been given did look to form a reasonable route.
|The Sunday mass-start|
We officially started soon after 8:20am and headed for our first control of the day around a kilometre away to the south-east. Whilst planning our route in the tent earlier we had decided not to follow the circuitous route of the forest tracks but instead to cut across country alongside the northern edge of the woods before following the river down to the bridge and our check point. This also appeared to the be the approach of the vast majority of the other teams and to start with it all went well, if a little damp underfoot.
However the River Bleng proved to be about knee deep and most of the fell runners just waded it using the fence as a handrail. But we decided that we didn't fancy getting our boots wet this early on in the day if we could help it and opted for a boulder hop across. Mark went first but disaster struck around half way across when a suspicious looking rock turned out to be very slippery and there was a dramatic splash as Mark fell into the river! However no harm was done and he was soon on the other side, if a little wet! In the light of this I decided to modify my planned crossing slightly and accepted getting damp feet so that I could place them a bit more securely and successfully made it to the other side without falling in :)
Now all we had to do was follow the true left bank of the river downstream for around 200 metres to the bridge, but the route turned out to be an extremely damp peat bog that was over knee deep in places - lovely! Check point visited we returned back the same way to the forest edge, which we followed SSE and soon picked up a forest track that made for easier, and drier, walking!
|On the forest track near check-point 2|
Ahead lay just under 300 metres of ascent, which would take us to our highest point of the day. After a quick break on Glade How, we joined the seemingly never-ending stream of walkers heading up into the mist. At around 10:20am we reached the summit of Seatallan (Nuttall, Marilyn, Wainwright, Birkett), where our fourth check point was located.
Upon reaching the stream the check point was nowhere to be seen. After consulting our altimeters it became clear that we were a little too high and so followed the steam down for a short distance to find the control. However a number of other teams just continued traversing the hillside; presumably they had decided that it was the wrong stream!
A short steep descent brought us to check point 6 at a sheepfold in the valley bottom, which was followed by a boggy traverse and short descent to reach a stream confluence where check point 7 was located. The section between here and check point 10 covered some pretty horrible terrain with loose rocks covered in wet bracken, which hence made for some pretty slow progress. However our poles were a godsend on this terrain and we overtook several other teams clad in fell shoes.
We could see a reasonable distance downhill and concluded that it wasn't there. Uphill however we could spot the higher of the two crossing points marked on the map and opted to head for that one instead. First wall out of the way, we descended to cross the second wall before traversing to reach a well concealed control at the base of a small crag.
|On the home straight back to Wasdale Head|
|Day 2 times|
|Our certificate :)|
N.B. 30/10/12 - Post date updated to actual date of walk, i.e. 08/07/12, (from 16/07/12)