Saturday, 26 November 2011


It looks like most of November is written off to the cold and chest infection. Only in the last few days have I felt like I could do anything, yet any slight exertion sets off the coughing so I am held back to light duties!  I ventured out yesterday, a walk up Bleaklow, with the hope that the windy weather and some exertion would blow away the cobwebs that are still lingering.

Looking up to 621 trig from Crooked Clough; sun not yet risen enough to bring the clough out of the shadows
Good news is that I didn't have any serious coughing fits, that could have been tempered by the fact I didn't do much elevation gain. Nonetheless, it was a good test of my lungs and I got in some navigation practice and local knowledge gathering for mountain rescue purposes.

Mist rising from Lady Clough to the south east
My route took me along the true left bank of Crooked Clough, up to the 621 trig, a meander along nice trods to James Thorn to see the Lancaster wreck, then a peer over into Ashton Clough at the Skytrain wreck.
Ashton Clough (lower section) - Skytrain remnants on near bank are hardly visible from this distance
Not wanting to make my lungs scream at me I saved the descent/ascent into and out of Ashton Clough for another day. The route back took me on a direct line to Lower Shelf Stones, successfully finding a spring that's not marked on the map - ok, it was hard not to miss it given it's directly below the crag, and very pretty too. I doubt you'd get a decent amount to drink out of it, but useful to know its there - perhaps it's more productive when it's been wetter weather?

Damp mossy patch showing life growing at the spring under Lower Shelf Stones. The view is looking towards 621 trig with a trod just visible

From Lower Shelf I beelined back to the trig point, taking a bearing from the map just for practice. Reassuringly the compass did point to the trig when I set off on the bearing.

Pausing to take a quick back-bearing to Lower Shelf Stones, noting the spring is just this side of  a lower, lonely boulder
I paused at the trig wondering if I should head towards Dog Rock then Hern Stones, but figured I had tested my 2weeks-of-no-exercise-body enough.

View towards Grinah Stones from 621 trig in a north-easterly direction
Checking the map I work out distance and estimate a time to be back at the car. I reach there ahead of schedule, but I had put a few hop-skips into my stride on the way down. My head is frustrated not to have been running, my lungs thank me profusely. Still, I've found several decent trods for my recovery runs. I think I'll get a lift to Snake summit sometime soon and run home - there's nothing beats eliminating the smugness of knowing you've skipped the 300 metre climb and can enjoy the moors fresh. The Shelf Moor fell race route is still nagging in my head as something to aim for. Perhaps in a few months I'll be there.

Taken on the way up, this is Gathering hill in the foreground with Kinder northern edge being kissed by the cloudbase

Thursday, 17 November 2011


Just when you think you're getting into the swing of things, running is getting stronger, you're more comfortable pushing up the hills, and bang. Chest Infection.

I ran two days in a row, on 1st November I ran 8.5km on my own up to the far end of Shelf Benches, then a steady 5km with Tim the following day. He is recovering from an issue with his heel so it was just a tester for him and a chance for me to stretch my legs for a second day. It went well.

The following day I did my gym training, on 5th November I was on a recovery day - an easy 40 minutes spin on the turbo. On 7th I was back in the gym but missed off the metabolic blaster at the end as I didn't feel 100%. Tim and I went for a walk on the 8th, wandering up Kinder Low to the Woolpacks on a wonderful claggy day. We had planned to go to the Lakes but swapped it for a couple of days holiday in the Peak instead - saving petrol, me not quite right and him still not 100% with his heel.

That was 9 days ago. Since then I've done nothing, apart from a couple of very short walks into town. A trip to the doctors today and I have antibiotics, instructions to stick my head over a bowl of hot water to steam my sinuses and there you have it. There is apparently a bug going round!! I can vouch for that.

So, yet again I find I cannot run. Tis most frustrating. I'm not even keen to get out walking which is all the more frustrating as the weather has been particularly mild and sunny for a few days. But, intelligent rest and following the doctors orders should have me back to reasonable fitness next week.