After two weekends of intending to do 30 miles and not quite making it, this was our last chance before Peddars. Got away slightly later than planned and parked at Caldbeck. There had been quite a lot of snowfall and the back roads were treacherous- it was difficult enough just walking, never mind running.
We picked up the fell track at Nether Row and cut across towards Carrock Fell. There was no discernible path and we ended up trying to negotiate quite tricky conditions underfoot for a couple of miles. It was beautiful and sunny so the grinding trudge uphill was enjoyable.
We had planned to follow the road around the front of Blencathra, I was mid-way through explaining the Cosmological argument to Ed when a very tempting path appeared, leading back onto the fell… We took it and it was a bad decision, the snowfall meant that we lost the path pretty quickly and soon found ourselves scrambling across a gully through stiff, frozen bracken, over gates and barbed wire fences until we joined back up with the road.
We then continued on to Threkleld where a step climb brought us to the base of Blencathra- the car park near the Blencathra Centre. It was snowing heavily at this point and we had the grim realisation that we wouldn’t be returning home in daylight- not by a long way.
After we reached Skiddaw House we headed towards Dash Falls. This was really tough going as the snow was so deep and it was really coming down. I bounded over a little hill to find a surprised walker ‘What a colourful apparition!’ He exclaimed.
The Garmin beeped- heralding the sunset, darkness was drawing in.
We met up with the road at Peter House Farm and continued up a long drag toward Orthwaite. The snowfall wasn’t letting up and we were hiking more than running (with possibly another couple of hours to go) so we needed to get another layer on and settle in for some night running. Ed stopped first and I carried on for a bit in an effort to stave off the cold, as I reached the top of a rather grim hill, a miracle happened- a pile of embers from a recent fire gently glowing by the side of the road. I was so happy! I warmed my hands and put my Minimus on just in time for Ed to catch up.
From here we pressed on to Longlands and linked back up with the fell track towards Greenhead. It was pitch black by now and the snow was swiping in horizontally. It was good to be back on the fells, they take on an even more magical feel at night time but I was tired. After a couple of miles we reached the road, Fellside and then Caldbeck where our adventure ended at just over 30 miles