This was the start of a good and useful Bob G training weekend.
I parked at Dunmail and waited for the others to arrive. Enjoying a brew whilst sorting my kit out and also watching a group of runners setting off up the steep climb to Steel fell, but they were going very far to the left. Cloud base was very low covering from below half way down the steep climb. The forecast was for the cloud to slowly lift through the day to clear summits mid afternoon. The other four had arrived and after dumping spare cloths in my car we set off to Threlkeld.
We set off on a good steady pace which felt about right to me for my Bob G round and was pleased when we arrived at the summit of Clough Head in 49 minutes. The next section of running the Dodds was shrouded with low cloud and at times the visibility was quite bad. A few minutes of time were lost on this section due to complacence in thinking you know the way on without taking a compass bearing. Fortunately in both instances the track was soon found.
The cloud kept lifting temporally to show some parts of the lakes then was back again but there was no problem with the rest of the peaks to Dollywaggon apart thinking the next lump was the cairn summit but was actually the next one after. Once on Dollywaggon we had a good view of Fairfield.
This time we followed the direction of the zig-zag path to the outlet of Grisedale Tarn. We actually found a good line missing the zig-zags and straight down on the grass. We missed the start of the path that leads to Cofa Pike and had to traverse back across to locate the path and ascend up on to the ridge leading quickly to the top of Fairfield and the cast of thousands of walkers. A good steady descent off fairfield catching up another group of Bob G runners ( they were doing a Recce too. Just the last ascent of the day up Seat Sandel and a nice steady descent following a well defind path down to Dunmail in 4 hours 9 minutes. This time is 3 minutes down on my 22 hour schedule but up 12 minutes on my 23 hour schedule.
After trying both ways off Dollywaggon and up on to Fairfield I can say that the route up Cofa Pike is the better.
Thanks to Mark Rowley, Matt Richardson, Ed Poulter and Ian Harland for a good day out and was a useful Recce for Mark and Matt who are supporting me on my attempt in June on Leg 2.
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