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Date & start time: Sunday 31st May 2009. 4.30 am start.

Location of Start : Seathwaite Farm, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 235 122 )

Places visited : Seathwaite, Stockley Bridge, Grains Gill, Esk Hause, Calf Cove, and return.

Walk details : 7mls, 2,500 ft, 11 hrs 45 mins including one big stop.

Highest point : Calf Cove and the col to Great End 2850 ft ( 865m )

Walked with : Myself and the dogs, Harry and Bethan, with marshalling colleagues Phil N, Gillian,, Will, Phil K, Paul Chesh, Malcolm, plus 38 teams totaling around 170 challengers.

Weather : Another beautiful day but a cool breeze meant an Icebreaker base layer and a windproof were appreciated !

A Three Peaks HSBC / VSO Charity Event

Organised by Global Challenge UK.


On the fells again today, but an early start was required as I was marshalling on a 3 Peaks event.

A quiet 4.30 am start was needed to climb Grains Gill, so that we could be in place for the teams who would start anytime after 5 am.

This was Haystacks and the Buttermere Pines soon after 4 am as I drove over to Borrowdale.

" Challenge Base " was up and running and the first brew of the morning was already in the cup.

I collected my radio and team sheet. There would be 38 teams to check through today.

Old Blue Eyes . . . the sheep's eyes reflect the flash of my camera in a spectacular way.

Looking over to Taylor Gill Force from the gate.

The daylight is increasing fast, in fact at this time of year there's less than five hours of real darkness at night.

Bethan waits at Stockley Bridge for me to catch up.

I waited just beyond Stockley Bridge for Paul to catch up !

He picked up his radio a little later and would be heading on to Scafell Pike Summit for his marshalling position.

The sun is up now but it is only shining on the high fells at present.

Ahead is Great End catching the morning sun.

Looking back, the sunlight is starting to illuminate Borrowdale Valley and Castle Crag below.

Sun-burst over Allen Crags as we enter the sunshine ourselves.

Morning sunshine on Great End as Bethan climbs the pitched path.

The sunshine and the steady climb has warmed us up nicely.

The familiar profile of Great Gable and Green Gable.

We're now on the path above Grains Gill and heading for Esk Hause.

Looking back again as the sunshine falls on Sprinkling Tarn as I climb above Esk Hause.

Top of the world . . . for me today.

This is the flat ground above Calf Cove, between Great End and the start of the boulders on Broad Crag.

I've made it in plenty of time before the first teams are due. Chance to look around for a soft-ish piece of ground for the shelter.

" He's up early "

On the opposite side, I looked down into Upper Eskdale.

The triangular peak in the middle distance is Harter Fell with the Irish Sea beyond.

A small shelter will give the dogs some shade and myself somewhere to leave the rucksack.

This will be my patch for the next few hours as the teams pass up towards the summit and back on their return.

They've already climbed Ben Nevis yesterday evening and hope to climb their third peak, Snowdon, before this evening is out.

They have been fortunate with the weather as they had summit snow and excellent visibility on the Ben, and the forecast is for the weather to hold for them for the rest of the day. It must be one of the best weekends of the year !

Harry relaxing as I keep tags on the teams.

Will has called that the last team has passed Broad Crag, so it's time to pack the bags and be ready to follow them down.

Harry and Bethan catch a last dog-nap . . . after all it was an early start.

One of the last teams ahead of us as they pass the shelter in Calf Cove on the way down.

Challenge Relay at Esk Hause is packing up too as we pass with the last team.

Great Gable again . . . but now enjoying some early afternoon sunshine.

Half way down and it is slow going due to a couple of team members with aching knees.

A bandage and a few painkillers are a poor substitute for a quick ride down in a helicopter, but I clean forgot to pack one.

A little gentle help gets the last of the teams safely off the fell and back to base.

Another day's work done.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with with my Cannon G7 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a large box full of breakfast and lunch and dog biscuits.

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Previous walk - Saturday 30th May 2009 Seat Sandal in the sunshine

A previous time up here - 21st September 2008 Scafell Pike 3 Peaks Challenge

Next walk - Saturday 6th June 2009 Kisdon Hill and Waterfalls

To find out more about the VSO charity, follow these links should you feel moved to add a little to their total, or help in other ways.