Saturday dawned bright. The forecast was essentially good again, albeit perhaps a little cloudier with the odd snow shower or two. By recent standards a thoroughly decent day.
So today we have ran around the skyline of Patterdale, following much of what to many fell runners will be known as the Ian Hodgson Relays route. Converting the numerous legs of this annual relay race into a single route, following the skyline around Patterdale makes for an excellent route in its own right. Starting and finishing at Kirkstone Pass, it’s about 17 miles / 28 kilometres of running and approximately 6000ft / 2000 metres of vertical height gain. You could easily start and finish this route in Patterdale also. It includes ascents of Red Screes, Fairfield, St. Sunday Crag, High Street and Caudale Moor / Stoneycove Pike.
It felt colder than the past couple of days today, mostly due the effects of the keen easterly wind that was blowing. It also wasn’t quite the sunny spells days we had hoped for. On the high tops above 700 metres (which is about 3/4 of this route), low cloud clung to the fells and coupled with the light snow which was falling at times, visibility was reduced to little more than 30 metres at times. That coupled with the soft snow and relative lack of well-trodden tracks made progress both slow and hard going. I’ve ran this route in under four hours before, but today it took a little over 5 and a half.