Thursday, 31 July 2014

Lakeland 50 - Chapel Stile to Tilberthwaite

So I was now in a little group of 5 and we were off into the night.  A bit of a stay at Chapel Stile meant that I was no longer in a gap on my own and the line of head torches was now in full force.  It was an amazing thing to be a part of.

The rain had stopped but there was no point taking off the waterproofs.  I'd been quite hot wearing them and sweaty.  Removing them would have left me in a wet top and I would have got cold.  I just had to soldier on wearing them.

We headed up the valley and then climbed up to the pass before turning off towards Blea Tarn.  There's a tricky bit of navigation around here to get up to the road where there is an unmanned checkpoint that you have to dib into.  Fortunately, there is a light on it so you can see where you are heading to.  For some reason, the light always plays an optical trick on you.  It looks like it is miles and miles away and then all of a sudden you realise it's about 20 feet away from you!  Really strange.  The footpath through the bracken is a bit indistinct as well so there is lots of crashing around in the undergrowth going on until you make it to the road.

After that, it's a pretty easy stretch through to the final checkpoint at Tilberthwaite.  After following the road for a short while, we turned off and headed up and over.  Jane was feeling a bit off at this point and nauseous.  After a bit of retching she felt better and we decided that we would have a bit of a rest at the next checkpoint and try and get some proper food in her.

Tilberthwaite came into view. Another cheery marquee, aglow with fairy lights and, I think, my favourite checkpoint of all.  I had quite possibly the best cup of tea I've ever had in my entire life there and some jam butties.  Oh how delectable were the jam butties.  Like manna from heaven.  Jane had some too and some rice pudding as well.  I was busy hitting the haribos that were topped up while I was sipping my tea.  Jane and the others had a bit of a sit down. I didn't dare to sit down at that point for fear I wouldn't be able to get up again.

After a short time we were ready to get up and tackle the final leg over to Coniston and the finish. I made a mental note to put myself in front of the chaps in the group on this leg.  We were all quite tired at this point but they were getting a bit out of control with their walking poles and I'd almost been poked and smacked in the face a few times too many on the way over from Chapel Stile.

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