Sunday, 10 October 2010

Edale Skyline Recce 07/10/2010

Fence post near Ringing Roger checkpoint

Coming back from meetings in Manchester, I took the opportunity to recce for the Edale Skyline race in March. I particularly wanted to see if I could get round to the checkpoint at Mam Nick in the required two and a half hours.

I hiked about two thirds of the first ascent from Grindsbrook Valley to Ringing Roger, and then ran along the very edge of the Kinder Plateau to the Jaggers Clough checkpoint, which appears from the grid ref to be some way beyond the crossing of the stream. From there it was a fairly easy trot down to the gate on the main bridleway near Crookstone Barn.

Win Hill (right of centre) from Crookstone

Lose Hill from the start of the long climb to Win Hill

The next section starts with a really rough farm lane, but much of this can be a voided by running on the short grass next to the track. I made a really good fist of the long but steady climb to Win Hill, passing a shooting party about a mile before the top. Despite my cheery greeting none of them said hello (just as I expected).

Summit of Win Hill, part of Ladybower Reservoir behind

The descent from Win Hill to Hope is fast and a bit of commitment is required, particularly on the grass section above Twitchill Farm.

In Hope I had a false start, opting for the footpath shown climbing from Lose Hill Lane. This seemed a dead loss, so I backtracked, reset the watch and used the fenced paths leading from just north of the railway bridge past Crimea Farm to Lose Hill. This section really dragged, I had very little energy and found it hard to run even the gentlest bits of uphill.

Summit of Lose Hill, finally!

Reaching the top of Lose Hill I'd gone from 2 minutes up on my calculated schedule (which should have got me to Mam Nick in 2 hours 23 mins) to nearly six minutes down. Fortunately I recovered quite well on the downhill and over back tor and kept running right the way to Mam Tor, getting back three minutes. There's a cutoff path to the left which avoids the need to do maybe 40 or 50 feet of ascent at Barker Bank, and looks more runnable.

Summit of Mam Tor with paragliders

A quick yomp down to Mam Nick got me home in 2:26:50 (3 minutes 10 seconds to spare), although I did stop the watch and take a minute or so to rest, navigate and take pictures at most of the checkpoints.

A nice bridleway leads down from Mam Nick to the valley road almost opposite the main Edale car park.


Ringing Roger 0:18:39
Jaggers Clough 0:32:13 (at the stream, a minutes or two more to the checkpoint)
Win Hill 1:17:01
Hope (Edale Road) 1:30:05
Lose Hill 1:59:02
Mam Tor 2:23:30
Mam Nick 2:26:50

Overall distance (including the false start up Lose Hill Lane) was 13.8 miles and 2,990 feet of ascent.

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