> 2011 race reports
19/03/11 Four Lakeland Passes - from Phil Green

The 4 Lakeland passes, Saturday 19th of March, organised by Morecambe and Boland LWDA.
Having done quite a few MRT challenge events in the past, this was my first LDWA organised event. I was pleasantly surprised to find registration being followed by tea and toast, very civilised indeed. I had journeyed over with Dave Johnson and Trev Wakenshaw from Newcastle to Rosthwaite, home of the Borrowdale race. Already there were John Telfer and Stewart Barrie, who had enjoyed the hostelries of Keswick on the Friday night. Paul Appleby, Graham Wilkinson, Peter Moralee, Peter Reed and Garry Owens had driven over that morning and were also planning rehydration therapy in Keswick later. It’s good to see Garry back on the fells after a long layoff.

The start was a gradual affair, anytime from 830 to 930. Most of the NFR’s seemed to push off round about 0900 -0910. The route card was very descriptive and laid out the paths we were to strictly follow.

DJ, Trev and I set out with a mixed group of runners at 930, we were to take the completed entered runners schedule to Wasdale head CP 1, Official business!!!
The route led us from the Rosthwaite institute out over the fields towards the Youth hostel. The runners quickly spread out, leaving a small group of us three, plus Steph, Andy and Paul.  We ran beside the river till we met the bridge over to Thornthwaite, whence we were over the road towards Seathwaite farm and Stockley Bridge. From Stockley Bridge the well paved climb to Styhead assisted us quickly up towards Styhead tarn. The sun was trying its best to come out giving some grand panoramas to the Gables and Great end. The first control was at the Styhead stretcher box before taking the high level route down to Wasdale head and CP one at the Barn door shop. The rough path still made for a fast descent down to the valley bottom. Here we picked up the road and then doubled back past the campsite to the pub and shop.

Wasdale head CP one, list delivered! We then had a brief stop for bananas, biscuits and juice it was up into Mosedale and the climb up to Blacksail Pass. The sun was out, and the views up to Yewbarrow and back to the Scafells were excellent. The Blacksail pass was traversed before a bomber descent to the YH hut in Ennerdale. Great brooding views of Pillar and Pillar rock caused DJ and Paul to reminisce over the climbs they had done there in the past.  The climb to Scarth gap rewarded us with views of High Stile and Haystacks.

From Scarth gap the route led down the paved track to Gatesgarth and CP2 where were rewarded with malt loaf n cake and even more juice before heading up the road for a sort bit to pick up the Fleetwith Pike track. This was a first for me from Buttermere, and some great views to the west and the lake. The climb brings you into the backside of the slate mines nr the Haystacks path. 

Our return was via the slate mine visitor centre and noticeable were the flowers laid in tribute to Mark Weir, who had just died that week in a tragic helicopter accident. Of other painful note was the large clemmie that I managed to propel down the hill with my left foot, causing the great toe to expand rapidly and painfully. Down to Rosthwaite via the Borrowdale woods was beautiful in the spring sunshine and lifted the soul after 18 miles. Checking in finally at the Institute we were rewarded with tea, soup, sarnies and rice pud which topped off a brill day with great folk. I cannot recommend this event enough, thanks to Morecambe and Bowland LDWA for organising it.

Phil Green

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