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" The Railway Children Event 2019 "
Date & start time: Friday 14th June 2019. 9.30 am start.
Location of Start : Brackenclose NT car park, Wasdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 183 075 )
Places visited : Towards Maiden Castle, Brackenclose then up to the Lingmell Gill crossing.
Walk details : Two shorter walks of 3/4 mile and either 500 or 750 feet.
Highest point : Lingmell Gill Crossing, 1000ft above sea level, 750 ft above the valley.
Walked with : Myself, plus marshalling colleagues and 44 teams.
Weather : Overcast and dry . . . much better than forecasted.
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A nationally organised event where over 44 teams (of four) are raising money for the Railway Children Charity through a Three Peaks Sponsored Walk.
As in previous years their walk involves three days, their own main line train, lots of hard walking and whatever the weather offers.
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The teams take three days for this event. They travel to and from London by train, picking up people as they travel north. After climbing Snowdon last night at midnight, they journeyed to Dalegarth in Eskdale by the La'al Ratty narrow gauge railway this morning and are on their way over from Eskdale already.
They must be back on their train at Ravenglass by 7pm in order to travel up to Fort William as they are due to climb Ben Nevis tomorrow. A Three Peaks attempt, using the sensible option of rail transport plus local coaches, rather than a mad-dash attempt with loads of mini-buses. I'm part of the safety crew to try and make sure they all get up and down easily and without mishap.
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The story starts the night before when I dig out the old shelter and make sure the dogs understand what it is for.
If it is fine then it's a sunshade . . . if it's wet it keeps you a bit drier . . . if it's pouring they probably won't be coming anyway !
The weather forecast is for a 50% chance of heavy rain, only clearing slightly after lunch . . . not good.
As it happened the expected weather failed to materialise . . . well not in sunny Loweswater anyway.
It was a bit grey over England's highest peak but the rain is holding off.
Due to the poor forecast Ann and the dogs will not be joining me today . . . there's no point in them getting soaking wet.
The teams will be heading over the pass shortly.
I have about quarter of a mile to walk from the car to where I should be . . . should manage that !
I set up my marshalling point in good time and decide to walk up to meet them . . . gives me a longer walk if nothing else.
Wast Water seen through the gate of Wasdale Head Hall Farm.
Looking back at the Wasdale Head Inn, surrounded by the high fells of Yewbarrow, Pillar and Kirk Fell
Sneak a nice picture of the fine weather as we head back down.
Apparently they had a rough walk up Snowdon with rain and low cloud . . . hard work all round.
Hopefully today's summit will be more kind to them all.
My marshalling point is about half way through the walk and there's a great temptation to stop for lunch.
I check the teams through and onto the hill, dealing with any problems along the way.
There were two sets of boots that needed a liberal application of 'gaffer-tape' after last night's wet walk.
Not the best way to repair a boot but at least they should last the day out.
I would leave John here at the Wasdale Head path junction so that he could direct teams in the right direction later.
In the mean time he could grab a bit to eat, with a fine view down to Wast Water to accompany his lunchtime break.
Onward just a short distance where I meet fellow marshall John (M) who will be spending the second half of his day here at the river crossing.
There are four other guys on the hill higher up and between us all we are responsible for getting the teams to the top
and importantly, getting them safely down again in time for their next departure time of 7pm.
Time for me to head back down to "earn my keep".
The teams start the final part of the descent, following the Lingmell Gill down the valley to Brackenclose.
Happy smiling faces . . . though with a few tired feet and aching knees.
I have to note the teams as they pass by and make sure any "lone walkers" not with teams, also find their way back down to Base.
Finally the last team makes it down, accompanied by our remaining colleagues.
The last man (light grey top) in after his epic journey, involving a twisted knee, the team medic, a large dose of painkillers
and a toboggan ride on a make shift carry-mat down the soft grass of Brown Tongue.
He gets a special round of applause for a great effort as he walks himself across the finishing line in style.
All that's needed now is for the Global Challenge organisers to pack everyone on local mini-buses
to take them back down to their main line train at Ravenglass . . . and for the other support team to pack their tent away.
For the teams, Fort William and Ben Nevis beckon tomorrow . . . we wish them fine weather and a pleasant walk.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . 200 people working towards a good cause.
Previous walk - 10th June - Fellbarrow & Local with Margaret
A previous time up here - 24th June 2016 - The Railway Children Challenge 2016
Find out more about the charity and should you feel moved to, add a little to their total. A link can be found by clicking here
Next walk - 21st June - Mellbreak on the Longest Day