Finding high places – Lake district challenge, Grag hill, England day 1


Highest peak 835 m

The morning was full of excitement as we all gathered for breakfast looking forward to the coming day. The weather forecast promised cloudy, part sunny and possibility of a bit of rain so that was a lot better than the day before when the possibility was I think 80% of rain.

Our guides Mike and Christine helped with the back packs as water bladders, clothing and yes the walking poles! No I finally know where they should go on the back pack. See tweet here

Start of the path

We started off around 100 meters going pretty steadily up and it started to clear up so we had to take off a layer of clothes fairly quickly after start and get our sunnies out for a while. Of course the higher we got, the fog rolled in again and we we changing clothes… Again…

This seemed to be at least for me the job of the day to keep changing layers either it was too windy on the other side of the ridge or then you got too hot climbing up. Self note for tomorrow take the other windproof jacket in addition to the waterproof.

I kept being mindful of my heart rate also all the time considering I had some sort of bug just the day before so stayed in the back more in the beginning just to see how my feeling evolves.

The paths were rugged but well worn. It was though a bit wet and rocky so you needed to be careful with your steps. The slope to the right was very steep down, but the path was wide and easy to walk. At the end there was a bit of ascent to our first lunch stop at the saddle before we went up to peak Sail on the right.

The ascent to Sail was rather steep and the path kept zigzagging which helped with the elevation gain and certainly easier than going straight up. But we did reach top of Sail with nice foggy view.

Image from top of the first peak Sail 773 meters
Grag hill 838 m “pile of rocks”

Just around the corner continuing a bit further we reached today’s high point Grag hill 838 meters. It was so windy, cloudy and rainy there you could not get any scenery to the image so here a photo at the peak close to the pile of rocks.

From here our path continued down a bit and we got some really nice photos when the clouds cleared a bit from the valley. You could see all the way to the Irish sea and the wind mills there.

Nice spot fora break

We descended from there to around 600 meters and then back up to Grisdale Pike 791 meters. After that it cleared up almost completely and we were really lucky to see the fells surrounding the area.

Before starting our descent we had our second “lunch” break with a pretty nice view opening up down to the valley.

Start of the descent was again windy, very steep and rugged but oh such a great view! The best of the day I think.

Start of the descent with an amazing view!

After that it was just downhill. Got some really good stretches of downhill training for myself. I still did not run, but tried to pick up the pace a bit to see how it goes. During the lunch break my heart rate went down very quickly so I was not really worried that the hike was too much after the bug or whatever virus I had.

Descent was with great scenery and nice pace. I really enjoyed the going down part as I usually do as that comes more naturally to me and I feel like I am good at it.

I would not recommend this route on very rainy or windy days as there are parts that are really slippery and rugged. With children this is too much up and down I think, but teenagers would then again love the views. Due to so many ups and downs and loose rocks I would not recommend the route to anyone with bad knees as the descent is fairly hard on your knees unless you are used to it.

Total

14 kilometers, ascent 932 meters, descent 952 meters. Wohou my longest ascent I think!

Today was not about exercising as such, but doing it slowly and steady. I tracked time around 5:26 minutes and tried to stop the clock for the stops so the time was at least 40 minutes more actually.

It was great to be with guides who just told you where to turn, when to take poles out, when to put more clothes on and when to take some off. It was actually surprisingly relieving not to have to watch the map all the time and actually change to windproof _before_ “the other side” where it hits and the you try to get everything when it’s so windy that everything is flying! So I willingly took their advice and just did what I was told and it seemed to work and too that one extra bit of your mind so you could just concentrate on your own progress and achievement.

All and all really and amazing day with an absolutely smashing team. We had so much fun at dinner. Eating what else than traditional fish and chips! Now to bed and we shall see how tomorrow goes! Weather forecast promises surprise, surprise rain again πŸ™‚

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