I climbed Skiddaw three times yesterday, a boost in preparation for the TDS.
Our objectives were as follows:
1. Elevation per mile- TDS: 98m per mile, yesterday: 101m per mile.
2. Mental Fortitude- do the most uninspiring, boring route up (the motorway) and be able to batter it out three times.
3. Kit- new jackets (Salomon Bonatti) do they cut the mustard? Getting back to grips with poles.
So, to create a ‘perfect storm’ i.e. Getting up at 3.am to catch the bus to Courmayeur we needed to be tired, with a slight headache. So we necked a bottle of prosecco each the night before- just to be sure.
After an early alarm it was time to go, luckily, the prosecco had had the desired effect and I was suitably prepared for a hard day out on the fells.
We parked at the pools (Brundlehome Road) and headed up Spooney Green. It was overcast and grey with heavy low cloud on the fell.
So we set our lap start point from the start of Jenkin Hill, from here we would summit Skiddaw three times.
It was hard graft, especially as the summit of Skiddaw is like the film Australia… An OK film…you think it reaches a conclusion but then it just doesn’t give up and the natural end never seems to come. It goes on and on and on. The summit trig on Skiddaw is further away than you think!
Still, first round was ok, couldn’t believe the wind at the summit! It was quite funny as we passed the same walkers up to three times probably giving them a sense of déjà vu or possibly just making them think ‘what are these two nutters up to?’
I was waiting for the mental battle to start but it never did, in fact, I rather enjoyed it. There’s something quite meditative about the repetition of a route and by round three the sense of familiarity was comforting and reassuring.
So in terms of preparation it was a fair indicator of pace. Yesterday worked out at 20 miles, TDS is 74 miles…..so is it comparable? Yes in terms of elevation but who knows what will happen over that distance, just got to be positive but I’ll share with you now, I’m really scared. I know what’s coming (up to 47 miles). That part is ‘already seen’- the literal translation of déjà vu, and it feels like that in a sense.