Sunday, 9 February 2014

sturm und drang


More Pentlands; in preparation for the C5. The dreadful weather has been widespread and I suppose we should just be glad we live in a steeply raked city and not on a flood plane. We scanned the forecast for some enlightenment but it keeps shifting the goalposts and the goalposts are mostly rain and dark clouds. However there was a bit of sun's rays in amongst the rain forecast for Saturday mid-morning so we held off going at crack-of-dawn unlike dafties AGH and Kathy. AGH later reported they avoided getting soaked and were leaving Flotterstone to head home as we arrived around 10am. (They only did the low route though, chickens!)

Having been hit hard by bad weather a couple of times recently I dressed warm and had dry extra kit in my back pack. We still wore shorts though - I think because legs are constantly working they don't feel the cold. They do attract looks from the hill walkers dressed head to toe in oilskins with big boots.

very windy
 I tried to get Mary running past in the background but only got her little head peeping out over my shoulder.

I think (unusually) there were more runners than hillwalkers today. I know the photos look barren of life and all sensible people would be at home in front of the fire, but there were maybe 20 folk out (presumably like ourselves checking out the hills ahead of the Carnethy 5 next weekend.) One runner coming off Scald Law remarked that he had never seen so many runners out.

Leaving the car park wasn't too bad but by the time we had climbed up Turnhouse the wind was blowing a gale. There were squalls of rain and I tried to take photos without getting the camera too soaked. I had taken both cameras in case it looked set fair but left the larger one in the car as it was obviously going to be rainy. The compact managed well although I regularly had to wipe the rain off the lens. The sun breaking through the clouds made for better images than when it's just low grey cloud. This and the warmer clothes (I put on my better waterproof before the top of Turnhouse and it stayed on all run,) made the run challenging but bearable.

We ran over the high tops to the Kips where we saw these dudes on drop-barred, thin wheeled bikes coming off East Kip.

They dropped down to the Howe. We did too, I think the weather was looking worse and we were planning on doing some of the hills on the other side of the reservoirs. However, Mary then had the "great" idea of going up the horrible 2nd big hill climb of the C5 race. I think it was seeing other runners doing the C5 recce that inspired this. I felt it might help come next week although by halfway up I had remembered what a hellish business it is. It's what makes the C5 such an awful race. I really don't do sustained climbs like this, well. I don't know how long it took to get from the bottom to the top but I remember thinking if the weather is anything like this next week the sub-hour bet is off. Deeply unpleasant. It is a crap race. Don't know why I bother.

From Carnethy summit we followed the main path back over Turnhouse and down to Flotterstone. It made me realise that we never do Turnhouse in this direction. The norm being a circular route round the other side of the reservoirs. And the descent down Turnhouse is fairly unpleasant - steep and slippy and one's toes all jammed into the front of damp shoes. 

This was the only cheerful thing in the last mile.

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