Height matters

In the months immediately before an attempt is made on the Bob Graham, it seems 10,000ft of ascent per week, is the target to have in mind. Height gain being far more important than simply clocking up the miles, it is this that most rely upon to build the stamina required. Being completely useless when it comes to any kind of formal training regime, I was quite pleased therefore to note that we had climbed more than 15,000 ft over the course of a long weekend in the Lakes.
Starting and finishing at Dunmail Raise, we ran legs three and four, continuing via Derwent Water on the second day to stay in Braithwaite. A painful fall while descending towards Honister on day two, put pay to plans to run leg two back to the car. Having made our way slowly to Threlkeld and followed the approach to Clough Head as far as the old Coach Road, we dropped back to the road, passing Thirlmere on the quiet side and eventually hobbling over the top of Dunmail Raise. And while the climbing was the important thing, of the 56 miles covered, two thirds were done in no small amount of pain, my left leg sporting two knee caps for much of the distance. It was a good test - pain, after all is transitory and I expect there will be plenty of it, on the day.
Heading for Esk Pike and what is arguably the hardest section of the route...
...but also one of the best, depending on your point of view.
Beautiful light dropping into Wasdale...
...crossing rivers with no water, despite being one of the wettest places in England.
Heading for Steeple on day two - one of the finest summits on the route...
...and reflecting on another long day, beside Derwent Water, a few hours later, the water level so low, one might have been forgiven for thinking the tide was out. 

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