Saturday, 20 November 2010

Adventures in Blunder Land

Ray on his way up from the Edale Valley.
 the backdrop is the Win Hill to Mam Tor ridge (the Great Ridge)
Rab Mini Mountain Marathon, 14th Nov, Edale

No epics, neither of us had to saw a trapped limb off, cut the rope or survive on bracken and Kinder bog water. Just  a lack of concentration, scratching our heads and looking at the map when we should have been running. 

The truth is, it was probably all my fault. Being last race of the year for us, I took my camera along (a bit like last day of school before Xmas, when kids take games and toys in). Instead of map reading, I was wasting my limited supply of brain cells, taking photos.
Typical Dark Peak Terrain 

The Race started from Edale Village Hall. We collected our dibbers and dibbed in at the start line, at which point we were given a pre marked map and a piece of paper with control descriptions. All nicely sealed in a placky, ziplock bag. You can see the course @  RouteBrowser & RouteGadget.


Into the unknown. Looking north east over the Woodlands Valley
The visibility was good, a rarity around Kinder so instead of playing safe, we decided try somewhere new to us. The scary wilds of north eastern Kinder. Its not really wilderness, we could see the A57 Snake Pass from Crookstone Knoll and you are never far from civilisation in the Peak.

We faffed about trying to find the control on Crookstone Knoll ( #14 Crag foot E end of spur summit) but our climb gave us a great view across the Woodlands Valley and after a short run, we could look down to see the re-entrant, that lead us to our next control.
This of course meant we had to run down the hill only to climb back up again, to reach the next checkpoint. The slog back up was not squandered on photography this time. Too steep to run, meant time to plan the next couple of legs and have a swig of water.


Hare today gone tomorrow 

I had been concerned about the next section, a short bog trot over Kinder but it turned out to be my highlight of the day. As we started to cross the narrow plateaux, a Mountain Hare appeared. Wow! this was a  real treat for me. I had never seen one with its winter coat on before. I was so exited I had to get the camera out to take a blurry photo.
The rest of the race went well. A nice touch was that the last control we visited was just a few hundred metres, from the first one we found, on the first Mini MM that Ray and I did together, back in 2008.


We finished with just 5 minutes to spare. If you  take any longer than 3 hours, lateness penalties are incurred and points are deducted. Team Ibuprofen  collected  150 points of 315 and came 63rd of 143. 6th in class.

Another very enjoyable event. Many thanks to all at Dark & White Challenge Events.