Thursday, July 09, 2009

Leg 4 Wasdale - Honister

Leaving Wasdale

I had, in the back of mind, been dreading Yewbarrow slightly, it's so steep and unrelenting and infamously one of the hardest parts of a clockwise round. I was moving okay though, slightly weighed down by the rice pudding, but moving slowly upwards towards the summit. I had figured out early on in the round that the energy chews I had put in where great to suck on for a bit of a boost, so I was making my way through them as we moved along. We picked up the trod off the back of Yewbarrow towards Red Pike, Anthony commenting that it was unfair I could still run downhill faster than him even though I had so many miles in my legs! Bill took a detour to cut out a few peaks and aid his recovery from the last leg.

With Emma in charge of navigation, Red Pike was soon ticked off and we were on the way to Steeple, I had run this leg the other way with Ian Charters only a couple of weeks before and I knew a few useful lines that Kath Brierley had shown us to cut out a bit of rough ground. The sun was baking down now and the water was going down fast, every time I looked to the right on this section I could see Great Gable looming, waiting for me, I blocked it out and just tried to concentrate on the next peak. To quote Richard Asquith "This part of the circuit is, by general consent, one of the hardest patches of any clockwise round, with three of the biggest peaks of all - Pillar, Kirk Fell and Great Gable - in quick succession. After that it gets easier; but knowing that it will do so doesn't make the patch any less painful. The sheer quantity of ascent and descent consumes your morale as voraciously as it consumes your strength." Anthony and Emma gave me regular updates and kept the encouragement going as I tried to keep my mind on the job in hand.

One of those ascents!
Coming down off Pillar

My legs were feeling heavy and the climbing felt hard, every time I lifted my knees it felt harder but I stuck with it. As we came down from Pillar to Black Sail Pass, Bill was waiting with fresh water bottles, he took some empties round Kirk Fell to fill them at a stream, I dipped my hat in a small tarn and put it back on to chill my head down a bit. Kirk Fell felt a long climb and as Bill joined us for the climb up Great Gable I could really feel the miles in my legs. As we got to the top Bill said I could follow him down a quick route to Green Gable, it had taken him 14 mins with someone a few weeks before so off we flew down a rocky slope and down to Windy Gap, we then climbed up the top of Green Gable, this took us ten mins, it felt good and I think at this point I realised I had it in the bag.

Emma, Anthony & Me on Great Gable

Just five more peaks and that was it, Brandreth and Grey Knotts passed quickly and we were soon on the descent to Honister Pass, I felt a lot differently than I did here last October on the OMM, I had four hours to get to Keswick and no less than five support to help me.

Gemma and Me at Honister

I had my soup and warm Nuun and my last couple of Ibruprofen and then I was on my feet and on my way again.....................

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