Long Distance Walkers Association event I had done since Elsecar Skelter on the 14th August. I was amazed at the turn-out of walkers on the early start. The LDWA is alive and well. It was good to be back to a no-pressure outing in the countryside and to meet so many old flames.
This year the route returned to my preferred clockwise route after changing to anticlockwise in 2005. It took us through Biggin Dale, Wolfscote Dale, Beresford Dale, Lathkill Dale (see picture above), Bradford Dale and Long Dale via checkpoints at Hartington, Monyash and Middleton. Somehow the ascents always seemed less onerous in this direction, but that perception was no aid to me this year. Poor preparation in the preceding week, culminating in a pre-race evening dinner of prawn salad, did not provide the optimum conditions or fuelling for a decent performance. The body was weak and the legs were clumsy, so I enjoyed the scenery and the checkpoint food (cheese oatcakes at Monyash Village Hall), chatted to fellow shufflers and took more pictures than of late along the way. Unusually for this event, the sun shone throughout, so I didn't mind being out for longer than usual. The catching-up afterwards in the village hall lasted for nearly three hours and it was nearly dark by the time I left. I don't ever remember staying for so long after this event. It was good to be back. Allow me to leave you with this gem from Bradford Dale.
For the record, my times over the years for this event are:
1999 - 5:59
2001 - 6:17
2002 - 5:17
2003 - 5:47
2004 - 4:36
2005 - 4:27
2006 - 4:26
2007 - 4:23
2010 - 5:06
As you can see, I've gone downhill a little. I hope it was worthwhile because here are the pictures.
Next weekend is Wensleydale Wedge from Askrigg - another old favourite of mine.