My normal running sack would be too small with two litres of water in and my walking one too big and bulky so I settled on my old Salomon sack which is used as a commuting bag these days. I know it doesn't really tighten up enough and it was still a little big but it was worth a go. (My cat is drawing me daggers as he has just been shooed out of an irresistible open bag):
So I had two litres of water, my featherlite jacket and longs, a gilet, my very thin running gloves, a buff, jelly babies, gels, a couple of bars in case I really needed extra food, phone, compass, map (which I tried hard to leave), Garmin, camera etc. The bag was definitely too big, the other too small without ramming it full and making it uncomfortable to wear.
Earlyish start to get to Kentmere, a couple of free spaces next to the Institute but pretty full there by the time I got there. A couple of MTBers headed off somewhere but everyone else around headed off up the Garburn Pass. I wondered how I would get on with it this time as it was another warm day.
The bag was annoying me a bit as I couldn't get it to sit comfortably, swishing around a lot and as it was too big for what I was carrying all the weight was at the bottom. Wasn't a show stopper though.
I have hurtled down this track several times on an MTB at a fair old barely in control clip, a couple of times on that climb I did wonder what the hell I was thinking as it was so loose and rocky but when I looked back down it strangely didn't look as bad ? I ran over the top and a walker held the gate open for me, noooo. He did say "I bet you wanted to stop" and I nodded.
At the top I made a point to look around, have some jelly babies or a gel and have a drink. This was the plan for every summit to keep fuelling ticking along. As it was a horseshoe I could see exactly how far I had to go. It was a nice view back to Windermere. Unfortunately the "improved" paths are a bit of an abomination.
I resisted the temptation to go really hard down the other side, I really needed to spare my legs as much as possible. I ended up doing a lot of effectively jumping in the air in an attempt to take it easy but not brake too much with my legs. Not sure how successful it was but it was fun, beats trying to walk down that's for sure.
Next stop Ill Bell summit followed by the steepest and most interesting descent of the day. Lots of loose stuff which would be best slightly wet but lots of big slabs/rocks that were best as dry as they were. I was sensible here as a fall would have been nasty, even the slow jog I was doing was better than trying to do a controlled walk.
Next summits visited on the Kentmere motorway were Froswick and Thornthwaite, with a whopping huge cairn on it. Next stop High Street, the highest point on the route. Onto the bridleway for a bit then off onto a more forgiving grassy track as the bridleway doesn't actually visit High Street summit. This is a side of the Lakes I've never really seen before, the visibility was so good, such a rare thing when I visit the Lakes.
Back onto the main track again towards Mardale Ill Bell and Nan Bield Pass. My feet were hurting a bit here, stepped on a few sharp rocks which had me convinced my shoes are on the way out then I told myself to HTFU! I remembered to look behind from whence I had came, the tops on the western side:
The eastern side was much rounder and grassier. It was easy running over towards Mardale Ill Bell, the views to Haweswater really opening up and I stopped quite a few times to look at them. As I said above I've never really seen this side of the Lakes. This pair kept moving into shot and just looked at me when I shooed them:
From there down to Nan Bield Pass on some huge rocks they have stuck in for a path, bet they are fun when its wet. This was my "get out" option, I could take the bridleway down from here if I was to tired to contemplate any more up. As I'd gone round that far I might as well carry on and it would still take a good while to get to the car anyway.