Lakes Mountain 42 Recce

Lakes 42 Recce
So the 2015 Lakes 42 is coming up in April. This is a challenging 42 mile run, entirely unmarked and so there is an open route choice between checkpoints. This year will be our first time doing this event. It starts and finishes on Askham Fell.
Having looked at the check points and a variety of possible route choices we decided that it would be beneficial to recce the opposite side of the route to the Helvellyn section. This is because we have recently covered the Helvellyn section as part of Lakes in a Day Ultra and also a navigation course. Next weekend we will head back over there and have a look at options around the Wythburn Church checkpoint.
So we set off from Glenridding and followed the footpath to Patterdale.

start from Glenridding
start from Glenridding

From here we hit Side Farm (a checkpoint on the route). We then headed up to Boredale Hause, Steel Edge to Place Fell (another checkpoint) this was a great opportunity for me to test out my brand spanking new Black Diamond Ultra Distance Poles (thanks Mum and Dad!). These made the ascent a lot easier and I think will be a must have for the TDS this August.

Boredale Hause

Place Fell Summit Cairn
At the top of Place Fell we went slightly off-piste (planned) to short cut onto High Dodd. We were so lucky to see a herd of around 15 Red Deer led by a stag- photos not great but a felt really privileged to be treated to such a sight. The weather was pretty good at this point, cloudy with some sunshine.

Deer near High Dodd
We then followed a well marked path down to Boredale Valley where the route then heads to Hause Farm(another check point) after some (heated) discussion about paths, footpaths, route choice etc we pressed on back up onto the fells towards Gowk Hill. It was here where the weather began to turn. We knew from the start that the Helvellyn range was looking very ominous (dark clouds, heavy snow coverage) but as we climbed higher we got a better view of the rest of our route back round and we could see it was looking pretty grim. Still we were prepared and had good base layers (Nike Fleece) plus our Montane Minimus is always reliable.
We joined up with High Street and hit Red Crag, and on to High Raise. This was a particularly challenging section of the route just because of the weather. The snow was fairly deep and the wind picked up. The poles came in very useful in testing the ground and it really was a reality check as to how weather can vary/change on the high fells.

High Raise
We had planned to hit another check point at Racecourse Hill but at this point we re-evaluated- the conditions seemed to be getting worse plus we could see the cairn so for the sake of a km we continued on.
So from here we summated The Knott and followed the route to Angle Tarn, another checkpoint.

The Knott

Angle Tarn

The weather was sunny at this point, making us feel as though we’d just crossed out of Narnia.
The route then comfortably drops down to Boredale Hause and Patterdale. We then retraced our steps to Glenridding.

Overall a very worthwhile trip. I think the poles definitely helped on the ascent. Conditions were challenging in places but really this is what we need to test ourselves, navigation and kit.

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