Thursday, and the first run of the week! I've finally pretty much recovered from the Cannock Trig Points race so I took the last couple of hours this afternoon off work and headed over to Church Stretton to do a little more recce work on the Gill Harris Challenge.
I've pretty much sussed how to do the first 40% and the final 30% of the route, so I wanted to work on the middle bit today. It would also fit in with the recovery plan nicely - no big ascents, flexible on distance, and nice and slow...
I started by parking a bit south of Pole Cottage and working on the section from the glider club to Pole Bank. I've decided that the run round the head of Callow Hollow is too much of a detour so will pick up Minton Hill and Round Hill on the leg from the Knoll to Pole Bank. I ran down to the glider station entrance to check out the route. From there a good grassy path leads north west the east around the head of Minton Batch, and at 412920 another path links to the main landrover track which leads easily up to the top.
From here I tried a direct line to Round Hill. It was rubbish - rough ground until a path (used in the other direction by some on the LMV race) can be picked up down the side of a stream and into Callow Hollow. The ascent is typical Long Mynd - really steep and with no directly ascending path. 200m after the slope eases lies the indistinct top of Round Hill.
I know that running north from the top and picking up what I call the Callow Path leads fairly directly from here to Pole Cottage, so I decided to try an alternative route for the climb of Round Hill. I descended due north for 200m which lead to a grassy path leading into the very top of Callow Hollow. By a pair of hawthorn trees (one fallen) some trods leave, climbing to another hawthorn by the very small enclosure east of the road at 411931. I can reverse this easily for the round, leaving the road 30m south of the field boundary on the left (west) side of the road.
With the route for this section now sorted, I bailed into the car and relocated to the Shooting Box Car Park. The Shooting Box top is the tumulus right next to the car park, and then I ran down the road to the hairpin and made my way north from there for 200m to the top of Wild Moor. Returning to the hairpin, I took the bridleway leading up to the Portway. A short distance after joinging the Portway a lovely grassy path heads off at a fingerpost. It looks like its going to descend into Light Spout Hollow, but links in with a couple of other tracks leading to the Calf Ridge top.
The path continues across the top and continues to Mott's Road. From here, a series of trod lead easily over boggy ground (springs marked on the OS 1:25k map) and over to the main Haddon Hill path just before the steep bit. The top is north of the track, and the easiest way lies 30m or so beyond the high point of the track.
From here I'll follow the track back to the main bridleway leading down to the Gill Harris Fingerpost, but for tonight it was getting dark and I felt I'd done enough, so I headed back to Shooting Box and the car.
I'm a tiny bit stiff typing this but my ankle hasn't reacted, so I think I've got away with it...