Swift Running Company

A guides day off – Ian Penney Owner and Guide talks about what a day off looks like at Swift Running Company

By September 5, 2018 No Comments

Days off range from spending time with family and friends, resting up, eating great food and watching a movie but normally amongst it all there is a run involved there at some point.
Earlier this month after an extended period of Guiding I took a day off, it was a Monday so the mountains would be quieter than the day previous. A slow and steady start to the day, pancakes, fruit and coffee, bag packed I set off with a route in mind, one that I had cooked up after many long hours pouring over maps.
Heading up Troutbeck I gained the long gentle ascent of Garburn Pass to the looming cloud base which obscured the mountains flanking the Troutbeck valley. The Yoke, Ill Bell, Froswick done with nothing but cool clag for company, dropping across and over to pick my way across to Thronthwaite Crag and Caudale Moor. A gentle mountain mizzle meant that I could keep moving without becoming to drenched. The slick rocks above the Pass called me down to the shelter of the Kirkstone Pass and a warm fire. Refuelling with a Mars Bar and a Coke I was captivated be the small warm crackling fire in the corner as water from my clothes and pack started to slowly pool against the hard, dark Lakeland slate floor. Three tourists took a seat on the next table enjoying a holiday pint of Ale. I moved reluctantly to the door and back into the mountain clag for the slow steep ascent up Red Screes. The cloud raced around and occasionally lifted to reward with an amazing vista of Lakes and verdant serenity. Over the top I headed West to pick off Little Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Hart Crag and eventually Fairfield. The conditions had deteriorated, the wind was tugging hard after ducking in the summit shelter on Fairfield and refuelled on a banana I jumped over the top and straight lined the descent just to the south of Grisedale tarn to pick up the semi paved single track the expediently delivers you into Grasmere.
Sat on a wall in the middle of Grasmere I looked a tad out place next to the box fresh immaculate walkers yet to break sweat. I devoured some food and guzzled down fresh water before resuming a gentle trot out under the watchful eye of Helm Crag. I ventured into Far Easedale which has an amazing landscape and always reminds me of the hidden valleys you find in quiet corners of the Andes in South America. Powering up the valley still moving well the Far Easdeale Gill provided copious amounts of fresh mountain water. The pace didn’t falter until the unassuming gradient of Low White Stones. Back in the clag I sat in the shelter at High Raise and finished the last of my Feta and Olive baguette having a chuckle to myself about the fact I had spent most of the day in the clag with reduced visibility when we have had by contrast mainly sunny clear sky days with little to no cloud cover.
The end was in sight as I worked my way south towards the elusive top of Pavey Ark, the sketchy descent of slick stone soon deposited me to the waters edge of Stickle Tarn. Due East across open fell ground I worked fast towards Loughrigg. Opting for a more direct finish I discounted the summit of Loughrigg and Wasnfell and ran the terrace that wraps around the base and takes you past Rydal. The Road run from Rydal was punishment after so much time moving in the high mountain. The day was drawing to a close, a great journey for a day off, Door to Door I covered 60km and 11,000+ft of Elevation in 9hr 45mins. I feel immensely lucky to have a body that allows me to spend time in the mountains doing what I love and for the opportunity that living in a beautiful place provides.
Tomorrow, it’s back to work!

Ian Penney

Author Ian Penney

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