Running - Offroad long (Super Recce Day) 7:32:09  26.07 km (17:21 / km) +2382m 11:54 / km
ahr:99 max:146 shoes: S/LAB Ultra 2
Supposed to be Wales, but they hate the English more than normal at the moment. So BG+JN+Great Lakes fell race recce day!
Quite a fun warm up path up the W side of the river from Seathwaite to the tarn, then up The Band (reverse JN). Relatively straightforward to follow in the fog; things to remember are:
- it is literally straight off the back from the summit of Great End
- there's a scree section near the top, then the way down after this is just to the right of a big obvious rock slab. There's a tiny cairn marking it
- there's some vague zigzagging down a steep bit but it doesn't matter too much which line you take
- after the steep bit, stay on the ridge and don't be tempted off down to the right too early, it's a easy way down rather than a gully
Glad to get that done as it's been on my to do list since my JN attempt last year. Want another go now.
Standard to Mickledore. Got the entry to Lord's Rake wrong (it's the second descent on the right, not the first, after a short climb towards Broad Stand - but we just contoured around lower down) then it's a fairly obvious trod up the Rake. Scree, but much easier than I was expecting, easy to hold onto the sides. The West Wall Traverse starts just a few steps down from where the chock stone used to be and is an obvious gully once you're on it. There are maybe a few steps where you have to use your hands but not many. It's much faster than Foxes Tarn. I don't even think I would hesitate to go down it (cairn marks the top).
Up to Scafell, then down the first part of the BG way to Wasdale but off to the North just below Black Crag (steep but fine) and back up the tourist path to Mickledore. Tried to look for the Climbers' Traverse but consensus was it looked ridiculous; ie too technical to be faster. We decided that even if you knew what you were doing, it would still be slower than Lord's Rake. Unfortunately whilst we were descending Matt fell and landed on his thumb, which resulted in it ballooning to twice it's normal size and going a pretty fetching colour. He likes rocky descents less than I do anyway and so he was pretty slow and cautious from then on.
Up Foxes Yarn for Matt since he hasn't done it before, and to Scafell for the second time. Then South to Long Green (which I haven't done before) and down the black dotted line on the OS map to the bottom of How Beck (no evidence of this path on the ground whatsoever; very sleep and rocky grass; Matt was not impressed. I thought it was fine; but it wasn't fast).
Back up to the base of the Foxes Tarn Gully., and into the last thing I wanted to recce, a route from here to the Scafell path via Broadcrag Tarn rather than Mickledore. Genuinely didn't expect to find this! But if from the top you stay on the Mickledore path until the point at which you can first see Mickedore, theres a big cairn and it's the first time you see grass on your left. You can cut that grass SE, then there's a short scree section before you can go due S heading towards a very small tarn/puddle (not Broadcrag). Once you get halfway to this you can see Broadcrag on your left, when you reach the same altitude go right and then left down an easy gully. Way should be obvious from there to the base of Foxes. Who knows whether it's faster, but will defo try it on the Great Lakes fell race.
Back to Scafell Pike for the second time and then back to the car via Esk Hause. Plan was to go back down The Band but we decided to let Matt keep some sanity.
Really enjoyed it, and really useful. Really cold hands from Great End to Scafell Pike on the way out, but wproof mitts warmed them up a bit, and was fine from the first Scafell summit onwards.
4 x mountain fuel bars to finish the mountain fuel multibuy - back to Clif :)