Yesterday i headed back up to the Lake District national park for a wintery fell run. The conditions were looking cold (-2c at 700 metres of height) and windy (30-45mph gusts) but with good visibility. Wind chill anyone? After changing my gear slightly to accommodate the weather i set off.
Running the road section from Windermere to Ambleside is a nice and easy warm up before you get off the tarmac and hit the fells. You could feel the cold temperature immediately in Windermere. What was it going to be like at 900 metres of height in the mountains?
As i ascended the wind started to increase. The first few minutes of running in these conditions are hard work for everyone. Why are you doing this?
I get bored of running the same route week after week. I cannot stand it. I decided to put a few more hills and a bit of navigation practice into my run. Heading over to red screes allowed me to see a new horizon but also meant i was head on into the wind.
It was hat and gloves weather now. I was surprised to be running in a smattering of snow. The forecast had suggested around three pm for a snow shower today, it had occurred last night as well. It is important to move quickly and keep the navigation simple when the weather is harsh. Compass bearings were used as there were increased consequences of making a navigation error. Hypothermia to name one.
Looking over towards the Dodds and Helvellyn i could see that they had also had dump of snow. Another day for that adventure. I wanted to get stick to my revised plan as close as i could so that i could travel in day light comfortably.
I took a steeper alternative route back down to Rydal where the six mile road section to Windermere begins. A lovely day out but also a important wake up call for the winter season ahead.
Be it running, climbing or walking/mountaineering in the mountains this winter, today showed the importance of preparation. Adapting kit and having several different plans for the day will allow safety and enjoyment to be premium.
Look how different conditions were back down at sea level forty five minutes later. A different place completely. It is a good job i didn’t base my preparation and mountain on these conditions.