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Training Log Archive: Mark3

In the 1 days ending May 6:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Running - Fell1 4:56:24 15.08(19:40) 24.26(12:13) 2060
  Total1 4:56:24 15.08(19:40) 24.26(12:13) 2060
  [1-5]1 4:13:32

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Monday May 6 #

10 AM

Running - Fell (Old County Tops Recce) 4:56:24 intensity: (42:52 @0) + (1:51:39 @1) + (2:01:51 @2) + (20:02 @3) 24.26 km (12:13 / km) +2060m 8:34 / km
ahr:113 max:150 shoes: VJ XTRM 2

Bank holiday recce since the one two days ago was inconclusive. Can never quite justify driving all the way to/from Wasdale so anything Scafell-area is always going to be quite a long run.

Forecast reasonable and actually pretty much a perfect running day - clag c.750m and up only. Loft Crag and Pike of Stickle, then up Black Crags to join the OCT route. Standard to Scafell Pike. Only two people at the summit which may be a new low.

Very anxious to explore as many descent options as possible - shame the band of cloud was sitting in exactly the wrong place for this. Nevertheless - I'd mapped out options from satellite view. The first option I tried was an absolute no-no - definite visions of having to call mountain rescue. Had to stop myself panicking a few times when it looked like I was in no-up no-down situations. Some inelegant downclimbing followed but I didn't enjoy it, it was very dangerous and certainly not race-viable.

Came out at the bottom of the gully though, which was the second option. Went up the gully which was pretty dicey tbh as it was a lot of sloping damp moss, and I did question my life choices a couple of times. But I got to the top and reasoned that it would be a good option if it was possible to find the top.

Then contoured around to look at the other option, the wide rocky re-entrant - it's fine, but there's a lot of not-grass to negotiate and it's very much picking your way down for quite a long way. I decided if I couldn't find the gully from the top, that would be the way to go.

Failed to find the gully from the top for quite a while. Eventually managed it and went down to check it was okay - and it was; easier than up definitely. Went all the way up and then down again to check I could actually find it from the right direction, and I think I've memorised it now. The fog really wasn't helping, though.

Saw several other groups/individuals also doing OCT recces and looking for a good way down. There did not seem to be a consensus.

Decided to come back up and round. From the Scafell/Broad Crag col, was skipping up some rocks and got the comment,
"oh my God, look at the muscles on 'im"
This made my day/month/year/lifetime. From a young guy as well, not the middle aged women I have previously attracted comments from.

Nice route back down via Esk, Bowfell and The Band. Went the straightish line from the summit of Bowfell and so skipped Three Tarns - this should definitely be a faster line to take on the Great Lakes and I will do it next time.

Conclusions for Old County Tops:
- from SP summit, head direct to double-sheepfold and then carry on in same direction, to the left of both of the tops
- there is then a bit of trod down some scree, and some big drops to the left to avoid
- route has been gradually getting more and more E (from SE) and the trod turns a very definite right to go back to S
- from roundabout here there's a vague trod, but nothing really. Joining up the grassy areas takes you to a big rock in the middle of a sloping plateau which I will call Decision Rock
- Turning sharp right at Decision Rock, South, is the bounder-strewn but no cliffs route. Safe but slow I think. There is a double-top visible from there, and it's to the right of those
- Straight on at Decision Rock is the way to the gully. If taking this option go straight towards the end of the spur to the SE, but head a bit right just before the end, go down a bit (20m?) and then contour around to the left. It really is only a bit right - the place we're trying to reach is where you would get to if you ran the straight line, so it's slightly right and then curling back left again. It's a bit rocky but grass interspersed. There's a rocky plateau, on the edge of which is the entrance to the gully
- The entrance is at c.780-790m
- The chance of me being able to follow these instructions more than two weeks in the future is basically zero

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