Running cold

I had toyed with the idea of taking the bike, it's been a while, but perhaps finally I have learnt my lesson when it comes to matching activities to the conditions. It would have been a cold and desperate affair on this afternoon. And so for the third time in less than a week - a notable statistic in itself for me - I ran. 
Running has always been more of a winter thing for me, something that works when there is little fun to had either afloat or in the saddle. If there is a little snow, then so much the better though this jaunt over Pen-y-ghent, covered in the first real snows of the winter, was more akin to mountaineering in shorts. Mini-mountaineering perhaps but still, it was a tough 10k requiring the kind of trail breaking more typical of the higher fells or Scottish summits. In places the ground was well scoured and progress fast. In others, I laboured through waist deep drifts, quickly running cold, the temperature dropping as I gained height. And approaching the upper rock-band - normally a simple step that barely requires hands to be taken from pockets - soon found myself kicking steps as brutal gusts of wind whipped across the steep rocky flanks.
The summit - and a moment of shelter before plunging down into the mist, my trail even through the deeper snow, already covered.
A brief flurry of snow created white-out conditions temporarily on the plateau, though it cleared rapidly as I negotiated the steeper ground once again in descent.
Passing quickly through the lower band of rocks, it was a fast drop back to the shoulder where the path turns for Helwith Bridge, steps muffled in the soft snow as a weak sun finally slipped unseen beneath the horizon.

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