|Hot work on the summit of Earl's Hill, despite the early hour...|
Starting at 0830 was a good way to get things done... I parked up at the Stiperstones car park and took the lower path past Hollies Farm and then up to Shepherd's Rock.
|It was misty first thing, looking up from the path near the Hollies to the Devil's Chair|
|Shepherd's Rock from the Hollies|
|Final 200m towards the summit of Earl's Hill.|
From Bank Farm I made the long steady climb through Eastridge Wood, mostly walking, and drank the last of my water. I didn't think I'd make it back to the Stiperstones along the ridge in comfort with no more fluid, so I dropped down into Snailbeach and filled up in the loos there.
To get back on the ridge I climbed the lovely valley of Crow's Nest Dingle (OK it's a mess at the bottom by the farm, but the top two thirds is good). I managed to run very steadily most of the way up... At the top I turned left and climbed to the main Stiperstones ridge path, raching this about half a mile north of Shepherd's Rock.
Just tovary the route on the way back to the car I went via the Devil's Chair and Manstone Rock. The path on this section is very rough and I find running almost impossible for any length of time. Good practice for the Lakes or Snowdonia, though.
|Think this is the Devil's Chair (R) but stand to be corrected!|
The Runkeeper thing had a complete wobbly after about mile 8, so the mileage and ascent are from the map: 13.5 miles and 2,650' in a very very steady 3 hours 25 minutes (this included a couple of biref stops and is just under the 4mph I'd like to maintain on the Hike).
I wore my new Saucony Peregrine trail shoes (yet to be convinced - they're ok but my right foot was slopping about a bit and I think the backs might irritate my poorly achilles tendons) and also new Inov8 coolmax socks (excellent).