Sebergham, High Pike, Caldbeck

It was about 9pm by the time we got parked up in Sebergham. It was a wonderfully mild night, slightly overcast. We’d packed enough food/kit to sustain us up to 30 miles. I opted for poles as they are very useful in the dark to detect obstacles and test depth.

We picked up the Cumbria Way path that runs through fields and forest towards Caldbeck. It quickly became apparent that the recent wet weather was going to have a real impact. Despite wearing gaiters, my feet were soaked almost immediately, it didn’t get any better through the woods as half of the path was missing, having collapsed into the river. Where the track climbed steeply, water coursed down. After a few miles, we decided that we would have to take a different route back, it was just too risky with the river being so high, plus there’s only so much mud I can take. As we approached a field crossing, a badger ran straight across our path, I’d never seen one (alive) in the wild.

We followed the route down to the little lights of Caldbeck and up towards Nether Row. 

On the way we talked about our races in 2015:

  • Anglesey CTS Ultra- 34 miles-Jan
  • Grizedale Trail Marathon- 28 miles!-Feb
  • Dalemain Marmalade Run- 6.2 miles- Feb
  • Hardmoors Ultra- 55 miles- March
  • LM 42- DNF- April
  • Keswick Half- 13.1 miles- May
  • Howgills Trail Marathon- 26.2 miles- May
  • Snowdon Race- 10 miles- July
  • TDS- DNF at 47 miles- August
  • Hardmoors Princess Challenge- 10 miles- September
  • Lakes in a Day- 50 miles- October
  • Ecotrail Madeira- 48 miles- October
  • Kendal Mountain Festival- 6.2 miles- November

This year (confirmed so far…..):

  • Day in the Lakes- 10 miles- Jan
  • Peddars Way Ultra- 47 miles- Jan
  • Dalemain Marmalade Run- 6.2 miles- Feb
  • Hardmoors Ultra- 55 miles- March
  • Howgills Trail Half Marathon- 13.1 miles-May
  • Lakeland 50- 50 miles- July
  • TDS- 74 miles- August (hopefully!)

We will be booking more, Snowdon race entries don’t open until March and we’ll see how the year pans out.

After a discussion about how we wanted the night to go, we decided to cut our run shorter in distance and add on elevation instead. So instead of circumnavigating we decided to climb. Anyway, we left Calbeck behind and began the ascent onto the fells. It was fairly clear at this point and we set our goal for High Pike, as I said before, we couldn’t go back the way we came to Sebergham so our plan was a little messed up anyway.

The climb seemed to go on for ages and the route was difficult to follow in the dark. Visibility was getting increasingly poor as the mist was setting in and it just bounces back the light from head torches so you can only really see the ground directly below your feet. By the time we reached the summit, with the cairn reaching eerily through the mist, the wind was really getting up. It was total darkness, no stars, no lights in the distance. Just nothing.


We headed back down, taking the wrong route and having to cut across to find the track we’d taken up. Just stopping to take a picture had got me a little chilled so it was good to have a steady run down. Soon, the wind died down and we escaped the mist. The stars were back and things didn’t feel as remote anymore in the dark. I stopped for a little while to look at the night sky, spot some constellations, shooting stars.

It was too cold to stay for long and our amended route meant we had a long uphill road section ahead. We made fast work of the final descent and soon found ourselves climbing the hill out of Caldbeck. It was about 1am. A car was parked up with its lights on and turned to follow us, a young lad stuck his head out of the window, I was preparing myself for the worst. It turned out he’d driven off from the pub with his wallet on the roof and was convinced it was in the verge. He needed help to have a look…after deciding that if it went pear-shaped we could take him, we helped him out. But to no avail, we were still 3 miles from the car and getting pretty cold, so we left him too it.

We continued on and found ourselves back at the car at around 1.45am.

We got home, I had a hot milk and went to bed. I felt at such peace last night, I slept so well and dreamed and dreamed.

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