Out of Borrowdale

As unlikely as it seems that so much time has passed, it was twelve years ago, on an ice-climbing trip in Norway, that runswithaxes was coined. I forget why I was running. Wearing sallopettes, big mountaineering boots, harness, down jacket et al, it was not running as runners know it. I think we had just finished a route, a long stint belaying in -15c leaving me cold to the bone. Perhaps I was trying to warm up. But still holding an axe in each hand, running, arms flailing as I ploughed through the snow, Karl felt the name fitting.It seemed apt enough. None of which has anything much to do with this run out of Borrowdale, taking in Base Brown, Green and Great Gable and Kirkfell before returning via Brandreth, Grey Knotts and Dale Head.
Except that once again I was running with axes. Well, one at least. Not that I needed it in the end. Though the temperatures were much the same as they had been that day in Norway, the wind chill on Gable close to -20c.
Sorting kit in the sun, though the air was cold. I warmed up quickly enough...
...and was soon above the snow line.
Looking across to the Langdale Pikes from Base Brown.
On the top of Gable conditions were fierce, intermittent white-out and spindrift blasting across the tops. I watched for a short while, enjoying the wild drama playing out around me before dropping rapidly to the col and climbing again over Kirkfell. Conditions deteriorated again on the way back, hail and snow showers merging as I plodded back towards Windy Gap.
A brief respite but more weather on the way - moments later I was hit by fierce winds and painful hail though it eased as I dropped to Honister. Dale Head passed in a blur and I slithered down to the valley floor to finish a brilliant day out of Borrowdale.

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