The New Years Day special is off

Yesterdays meteorological dish of the day was clearly very popular but didn’t last. Today normal service has been resumed and the usual fayre of wind, rain and poor visibility was back.

Headed round to Longsleddale, which despite being one of closest places to home has been out of favour with me recently. On an early Summers evening when the temperature is warm, the evening light sparkling and there is a backdrop of bird-song as you cool weary feet in the waters of the river Sprint it is a magical place. Today in early January, with the light levels low and the cloud clinging practically to the valley bottom it felt a lot further than the 20 minutes it is from home. It felt a little desolate and mid-summer a long way off.

And so a relatively short run from Sadgill at the head of the valley, up the winding track to the top of Gatescarth Pass before climbing over the top of Harter Fell and returning via Kentmere Pike and Shipman Knotts. Luckily the wind had abated and the persistent rain only light. That said, the visibility was appalling. Yesterday’s frozen ground had been replaced by icy pools of water, gradually thawing in the milder temperatures and the odd isolated patch of snow. Perhaps the snow on the higher fells will have survived better – it was hard to tell and certainly impossible to see.

Head of Longsleddale

The head of Longsleddale

Gatescarth Pass

Looking up towards Gatescarth Pass

Fell running on Harter Fell

Enjoying the great views on Harter Fell



About Richard Talbot

An accomplished fell-runner as well as being a keen climber and mountaineer. Since 2005 he has worked for the UK based manufacturer Mountain Equipment and is currently Director of Product. He has worked in the outdoor industry for over 15 years.
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