Sunday, 3 August 2008

Cairngorms, Ullapool, Borrowdale and Ben Lui

W/c 28/7 Totals

74 miles

24460' ascent

18:35 hrs

Have been around and about this week.

Tuesday I ran up Glen Squaib to the col below Ben dearg, nr Ullapool, and back.

Wednesday I met Victor and went up from the ski car park over to Ben Macdui where we met a mad German family at the summit all wearing jeans and trainers, Dad with can of lager in hand! The clag had come in and we were trying to explain to them how to get back and how easy it was to get lost, after about 10 minutes we felt they got the message and off we went and promptly got lost! Eventually we got back on track and went over Cairn Lochan and the other wee tops back to Cairngorm then had a competitive descent back down to the car park and jumped in the burn for the Cairngorm sauna effect.

Saturday was the Borrowdale Fell Race(pics by Rob Stephens HERE). My first time and what a cracker of a race! Loads in it; rugged scrambly bits, bog, scree running, some pretty hairy descents and some quad burning climbs. I had a good start, going well until Scafell then it all went badly wrong. Not sure what line to take off the summit, I followed a group who looked like they knew what they were doing. They did. They promptly shot off into the mist leaving me scrabbling over big, wet, slippy rocks and wondering where to go next. I chose the wrong way and watched as about 30 people shot passed below and by the time I got back on track I'd lost loads of places. So, down the scree run I plunged... well, ponced, like a girly as all the real men disengaged their brains and hurtled down at speed, another dozen places disappeared into the mist! I decided I would just take my time on the tricky bits and hammer the climbs. It was going ok as I picked up some places and felt pretty strong, then after Great Gable a "helpful" chap pointed me and a couple of guys in the best direction of travel and 10 minutes later we descended out of the mist to see lots of runners on the hill above us heading in the other direction. Back on track again, a steep descent then a massive climb up Dale Head, some knee crunching descending and over the finish line in 3:57, great fun!!
I sat about in the sun at the finish and then Oscar came in and we watched the highly amusing prizegiving. It was starting to look like some serious beer-drinking was going to take place so Oscar and I, being lads of a sensible nature, decided to hit the road with a pit-stop for fish suppers in Longtown.

Sunday I met up with Lucy and Matt and headed up to run the Ben Lui group of munros. We left the shelter of the van and headed off into the pouring rain feeling none too enthusiastic. It cleared pretty soon though and we knocked of Ben Dubhcraig, Ben Oss, Ben Lui, Beinn a' Chlieb and Ben Lui again to round off an 18 mile and 6600' day, then it was into Tyndrum for more heart-attack food!

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