Monday, February 1, 2010

A Rather Enjoyable Potter On Winter Hill

Saturday was a very enjoyable run/slide/walk on Winter Hill. I had planned to get out at 10am at the latest though a lot of computer faff meant it didn't get out till closer to 11. I realised that the problem didn't need to be fixed there and then so got some kit together and headed out.

As I have no long running event to train for I decided to have a bit of an explore, do some new tracks, walk a bit, practice map reading and enjoy the sunshine and see how things go. A sketchy drive to the car park with lots of ice at the edge of the road, I parked up to see absolutely rock hard ground. No need for the Mudclaws I had and to be honest the length of the studs on them were a bit of a liability sometimes.

I head off to explore a track which heads up to Redmond's edge, between Great Hill and Winter Hill. On the map if officially runs out but sure enough it did continue all the way up, lots of ice dodging. Amazing visibility up there:

I made a note of where the track joined up to the flagged path I often run, it was quite obvious and I wondered why I had missed it before. About a minute after setting off on the uneven and randomly sized flags I realised why as I was concentrating so hard on where my feet were going I couldn't see anything else.

Straight up onto Winter Hill on a new track for me and the unusual sensation of skidding over the top of icy bogs (think I prefer sinking in). Once in the shadow of the hill it was baltic! Thankfully the climb was steep so I generated some heat on the way up. I seemed to have the top of Winter Hill to myself for ages.

Headed off down the track following the ruined wall, remembering there was a really obvious track heading off to the right then somehow managed to miss it? Quite a bit of practising relating map to terrain but I had a 1:50000 with me and I think the 1:25000 would be better, mainly due to the 5m contour interval showing up a bit more of the few features.

Found some more new tracks for me then started heading back towards the car. I could have quite happily stayed out in the sunshine a lot longer but I was feeling a little peckish. So out past Holden's Farm back up to the access road, across to Two Lads then to the Pike all the while dodging ice. Cursed the cobbly track down from the Pike then headed to the top of the ICR. For reasons best known to myself tried to take the riding line right down the rubble, eventually got up onto the smooth track when I dinged my ankle off about the third rock.

Back to the car and it seemed the world and its wife had now arrived as the car park was rammed. A good afternoon of fresh air and sunshine. 10.93 slow and steady but immensly enjoyable miles, about 2:14 of running and an hour of faff/navigation etc on top of that. A bit further and longer than I had planned to be out but such a beautiful day.


  1. I can remember that track up Great Hill. I think in post people vocab it's known as a bog!

    I think this post has just inspired me to brave the rain and go out running tonight.
    Only 20mins and no bogs though!

  2. Normally it would be but it was frozen solid, probably rideable if you could pick your way around the ice.