Marks mid winter BG

18/19th December
16 miles 6,800 feet

An appeal by mark for some help on leg 3 of his mid winter BG attempt was too tempting to miss out on. I only know Mark from his Blog about his summer and winter rounds. He accepted my offer and Will joined me for a foray up to Dunmail raise on a cold Saturday morning.

On our arrival at Dunmail there was no wind, but the air temperature was minus 5 and getting out of Wills van meant getting instantly cold. We met Mark at 04:30 he was doing well and was 10 minutes up on his 22 hours 50 mins schedule. I was glad to get going as I was very cold, ascending Steel fell was hard work, as always, so we all soon warmed up. All was Bob Wightman, Will Houghton, Dave Hindley, Ian Charters and I. We reached the first few tops without too much incident and it was nice to run in the light dusting of snow. By Harrison Stickle the rest of the group decided not to go to the summit so I Accompanied Mark and this happened on Pike o Stickle as well. We negotiated a reasonable route back off this rocky little summit. Soon we caught back up with the group and we crossed Mart Crag moor for Rosset pike. On a steep bit of grass I slipped on to my back, luckily my rucksack broke my fall. And unbeknown to me, at the time, one of Marks rice puddings.

The sunrise was beautiful on Bow fell and along the Sca fell Plateau. It was a pleasure just to be there. If it wasn’t for all the snow and the fact that the water bottles kept freezing, I wouldn’t have thought it was -10 at least. I continued to go to the summits with mark as various members of the group took their turns to accompany us. On Sca Fell Pike, feeling tired, Bob decided to descend straight to Wasdale and leave us. I really felt good and it all felt easy, I think it was just a good day for me; there was a small part of me that whished I had set off with Mark to have a dig at it. Maybe in a couple of year’s time I will, it certainly inspired me to think seriously about it again. Mark announced that the guy that was to rope Broad stand was ill, so we would go via fox’s tarn. This was to prove a long diversion and one of the toughest ascents. However it was the descent of Sca Fell that took its toll on Marks legs and he dropped back with Ian as Will, Dave and I carried on to Brackenclose car park.

About 10 minutes later Ian and Mark arrived ready for his break. Mark started his round at 19:50 from Keswick he left Wasdale half an hour down on his 23 hour schedule. Worsening weather prevented a sub 24 hour round. But he made it around in 24:22. A great effort, and a great way for me to round the years adventures off. Or is there time for 1 more?

Some more photos

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