Early January lived up to its reputation as a stormy time of year and Atlantic gales rolled in to batter the Lake District. Running was hard, picking routes to avoid the worst of 70 mph winds,fighting the onset of blizzards and coping with the trudge of wet and endlessly boggy ground which sought to suck every last bit of strength out of your legs. Helvellyn from Swirls Car Park became a popular choice for its chunky height gain, solid underfoot terrain and ability to hide from the very worst weather until above Brown Cove Crag. In little more than an hour, the best part of 800m of vertical height gain could be absorbed and you could be back in the valley.
Luckily or unluckily work took me away for 10 days mid-month giving me some enforced rest.
At the very end of the month winter would make its presence felt again as deep snow and persistently low temperatures brought the most sustained winter conditions of the season. One planned run around the Kentmere horseshoe was abandoned near to Thornthwaite Crag, after deep snow had totally wiped me out. It had taken me 2 hours to get just beyond Froswick, a distance that would normally take around 50 minutes.