Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Long Mynd - 20/10/2010

I had some time in lieu due from last week so knocked off work a bit early today and drove over to Church Stretton. I wanted to look at some more bits of the Longmynd Valleys route, but didn't have time to do all of it (good job I didn't try this as it turns out), so I though I'd concentrate on the bit south of the Stretton - Ratlinghope road.

I started with the Skyline ascent up to Boiling Well (32 minutes from the Cricket field in town) and then dropped down into Ashes Hollow before climbing the runners trod to Barrister's Plain (19 minutes from Boiling Well). I'm not sure what the best way off here is so traversed right a little and went down the mini ridge on the north west side of the corrie. Not great - have to try some more variations.

Instead of using the path with contours round the south east ridge of Round Hill, I dropped straight down into Callow Hollow. There seems to be no advantage in this: although the contouring trod is rough, the path in the hollow seems pretty discontinuous. The ascent of Callow Hollow is rough and slow - I need to practise this, and I also climbed up the north face of Minton Hill too soon (by a big rowan) and ended up 300m east of where I should have come out. I then compounded this error by heading east to the top of a gully to check I shouldn't have come up that one. It was the wrong gully, and so I headed over to the right one (which is pretty close to the road. I need to recce and rehearse this section again over winter.

I got a bit cold messing about finding the route here so I put on my fleece, and in view of the time I headed for Pole Bank. I was pretty damn slow up along the road and almost ground to a halt on the path section, but there was a pony with a really tiny foal up here.

I crammed a few Jelly Babies at the summit and set off down to the Townbrook Valley track, whcih I descended a lot better than on Sunday, and then on through the Rectory Woods into town.

Total distance today 11 miles, with 2,200' of ascent and about 10 minutes of pratting about routefinding etc. Inclusive of the messing around I clocked 2 hours 20 minutes, which is ok for a recce I suppose. I was a bit disappointed with the section from Callow Hollow to Pole Bank - I felt very flat but perhaps that was not getting nutrition right or enough sleep!


  1. The Long Mynd Valleys route can be a bit tricky to recce. I think it's only do able at certain times of the year, due to the heather, usually close to the date of the race. Great race but you need to remember to save it for the last half. As you know, that's where the three biggest hills are. I'm looking forward to it already.

  2. Bracken's still a bit thick on the ascent to Barriister's Plain from Ashes Hollow, and very thick in Minton Batch. Glad I didn't have my shorts on! The Titterstone + LMV weekend is in March 2011, not February - it's been swapped with the Cardingmill Canter (maybe the Canter's going to be a champs counter?) so I can come out to play both days - I won't have to go to my own birthday party instead of doing LMV.