I spent a lovely day out on the Stretton hills doing a recce for the Gill Harris Challenge mentioned in a previous post.
I parked up on the Mynd at Boiling Well, just in case I needed to return to the car for supplies or to bail out. The aim today was a recce of the southern two thirds of the Gill Harris Challenge Round.
I dropped down Townbrook Valley to the Square in Church Stretton, then ran up the Burway Road past the cattle grid and hiked up Burway Hill.
Ashlet is a short run away on good paths.
I'm not 100% sure where the next top, Nills, actually is. I opted for the higher of the two mounds east of Grindle - this certainly ties in with the grid reference given in the article about the round on the Mercia website.
I then picked up a good path heading round the top of Small Batch, crossed the main path up from Little Stretton and jogged up to the top of Callow.
I got back on the main path up to Pole Cottage (another navigational mistake costing lots of extra distance - I should have cut across the top of Callow Hollow). Picking up the road, I headed south for three quarters of a mile and then out along the next ridge to Minton Hill, another vague rise in a sea of heather, but fortunately close to the path.
I followed the forestry tracks up from here to reach the Knolls trig, which is 150m east of the path as it leaves the wood. From here I ran directly along the Port Way (and it's little alternative at the glider club, the Starboard Way, back to the road. A long slog took me past Pole Cottage and up to Pole Bank.
I then headed past Boiling Well to the top of Long Synalds (between the Burway Road and the path), and cut back past the car to the Shooting Box top. By now I was heading away from the car and I decided to call it a day.
The recce was useful, and I'm settled on the following order for an attempt at the round:
Burway Hill; Yearlet; Ashlet (descend to Ashes Hollow)
Grindle; Nills; Callow (down to Callow Hollow)
Packetstone Hill; Shooter's Knoll (down to Minton Batch)
Knolls; Minton Hill (cross top of Callow Hollow)
Round Hill; Pole Bank; Long Synalds; Calf Ridge; Shooting Box; Wild Moor; Haddon Hill
GH Memorial Post; Plush Hill; Castle Hill; Novers Hill; Bodbury Ring; Stanyeld (see previous recce)
The total distance today was 18.2 miles and about 3,500' (my phone ran out of battery so the GPS track stopped a bit before I did). The weekly total was 30.2 miles and 5,540', giving a rolling four week total of 122.0 miles and 21,410' of ascent (down 0.4 miles and 590' on last week's rolling totals).