Monday, 1 August 2011

Don't cross Cross Fell

Soo sounds like cross fell tried to kill lowey, well it certainly broke us. Tuesday I was still tired from sundays hillathon, by the time I met with Si I'd decided to bail early so we did loweys ST (cleared that corner again, on a HT this time - woot!) and the climb up horrocks fold then took the express tarmac all the way home. Rode in weds morning to get my shock mount sorted but rested thurs. Me and Burk parked up at Kirkland, bit of cloud but looking to clear up, plan was to ride up cross fell drop to garrigill, back via tynehead/troutbeck/dun fell and the downhill to blencarn. Start of the climb was OK, warm, trails in good nick, feeling ok, riding plenty. Been up this before but as we were in thick cloud that time none of it looked familiar. Got boggy and rocky by the old workings, pushing commenced, started feeling tired and when back on the bike my line choices were dodgy, Burk asked if I was feeling alright, I wasn't. Finally got to the start of the downhill, it clouded over and a headwind picked up boooo. Dropped to gregs hut, kept going, this "downhill" had a lot of up. I started grumbling (less than 2 hours in), Gavgas had said tynehead could be boggy, all the water around suggested t would be very boggy and the dun fell peaks looked high, so we started revising the route, down to garrigill and back up the same route. At long man hill we realised it would be boring straight gravel road all the way down to garrigill. Sack that off, turn back now was the decision. We got back up to to gregg's pretty quick so we had a look round, never been in a bothy before, spartan but welcome in nasty weather I guess. The cold cloudy trudge up to the top of cross fell was depressing, moaning at myself, should have rested more, shouldn't have ridden in on wednesday, should have gone to bed earlier, should have brought a lighter bike etc etc. On the top the sun finally came out and my mood improved, just the excellent downhill to go...if we could only find it, eventually we got on track dropped our saddles and set off. Boggy bit, rocks, boggy bit, rocks, boggy bit, 5 minutes in to the downhill our max speed was 5mph, hmmm. Finally got to drier ground with a gradient and woooooohooo. 5mins later I stopped to rest my aching hands and calves, burk pulled up behind me, our discs were blue, I was sure if we lay the bikes down they'd set fire to the grass. Tink tink tink as the discs cooled down, us giggling like idiots, as soon as we could we carried on. We hit a small grassy drop and I heard burk whoop like a kid, down into to a fern sided chute, nearly hit a sheep that appeared suddenly from the bushes, hit a couple of rutted muddy sections way too fast but mananged to hold on and got to the bottom completely pumped up on adrenaline, this downhill kicks ass, superb.
Gavgas suggested the route I'd planned didn't really "get the best out of the area", what he probably meant was "it's rubbish" and he'd be right. The proper version is 40miles ouch, loweys attempted version is a more reasonable 30 but I reckon the best bet is up the west side of cross fell, push across the top and then blencarn downhill and do 2 loops, that would be 17ish miles and 5000ft climbing and a shedload of grins, maybe a winner?

1 comment:

lowey said...

Whatever route turns out to be the best it wont include Trout Beck. Hideous hideous climb. The climb up to High Cup Nick was a real tester though. Good fun in a masochistic way.

I'm aching everywhere.