Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Ullswater Way Challenge - Sun 23rd October 2016

The idea of a path all the way around Ullswater was mooted many years ago. Indeed, some of us used to run it regularly but until recently there were some gaps in the paths and trails, which pushed you onto the tarmac, and it was unsuitable for more than doing with a small group of friends.

One of the 'good news' stories coming in the aftermath of Storm Desmond was the launch of the Ullswater Way, by the Lake District National Park and various Ullswater associates.  Having lived and worked primarily in the valley since the mid-80's it's quite amazing how 'The Way' has evolved and I'm now able to organise an event around The Lake.

More recently I have become a member of The Friends of The Ullswater Way, a group dedicated to celebrating the culture and heritage of the valley by commissioning a number of installations around The Ullswater Way.  So, if you want to enjoy and walk or steady run around Ullswater with like minded people, this is the day to do it.  

This event would not be happening without the support of LDNP, and The Friends of The Ullswater Way, and you can make an optional donation to Fix-the-Fells and 'The Friends' if you so wish. We will pass on your donation for you.

Route and Logistics

'Ullswater Way Challenge' is a new 24 mile event starting from Pooley Bridge and going anti-clockwise around the Lake.  Start anytime you wish between 8:00am and 10:00am; giving slower walkers and early start and with faster runners later on. Our route is a few miles longer than the normal Ullswater Way, but the extra three miles will be well worth it.

From Pooley Bridge, you'll climb steadily up to Maiden Castle, then on through Bennethead to Watermillock and Gowbarrow Fell. The route will use the high level route over Gowbarrow summit, then descend down to High Cascades Bridge, up stream from Aira Force.

Aftera check point at High Cascades car park you'll stay high and traverse around the head of Glencoyne Park, to Greenside and down to Glenridding.  There is a chance to bail out here and enjoy cruise back to Pooley Bridge on a 'Steamer', or to continue through to Patterdale, and along the lakeside path to Sandwick, Howton and the finish at Pooley Bridge.

We will not be using the new 'NT-path' from Aira Force car park to Glenridding as it is not suitable for our purposes, being narrow, busy and with a dangerous road section.   We are grateful to the National Trust for allowing access over Gowbarrow summit.

Nature of the Terrain   

The route is on a variety of paths and trails. It is way-marked using the Ullswater Way symbol and you will be given a simple written route description. No map reading skills are required.  Please note that the path from High Cascades to Greenside does go high and can be exposed in poor weather.  

The high level section around Glencoyne is not marked by these signs but will be signed and staffed.

However, it is a distinctive path and our professional event staff will be monitoring and safe-guarding your progress.  

Food and Drink 

We will have a number of checkpoints with cold drinks and 'nibbles' (maybe hot drinks as well)   We'll be confirming checkpoints locations and facilities in due course; some details and permissions are yet to be confirmed.

You'll also pass through Glenridding which has a selection of cafes and shops for ice cream and other essentials! And be rewarded with tea and cake at the end.

We are just awaiting conformation of our start, finish, HQ which will affect what refreshments we can offer

Equipment and Safety

The route is walkable by most competent and experienced walkers and runners.  However, there is a surprising about of up and down and some rough paths, so please don't expect manicured 'lakes-side-way' gravel trails!  

You'll need to wear and carry some basic gear - waterproof jacket, spare fleece, water bottle and snacks, etc. Again, we'll up date you on this is due course.

Parking - Public Transport - Spectators

One of my aims is to limit the amount of cars this event brings into the valley. Fortunately, Pooley Bridge is close to the M6 and Penrith, with it's mainline railway station. I'll be posting details of buses from Penrith and Rheged soon, and offering a shuttle if necessary.

Ullswater has it's 'Steamers' which service Pooley, Howton, Glenridding and Aira Force, so if you want a shorter day, then these and the public bus, plus our own shuttle bus will result in less car traffic.

Our actual start / finish / parking arrangements are yet to be confirmed, but suffice to say they will be in Pooley Bridge.

Naturally, you may have family and friends who wish to see you during your challenge and whilst we want them to enjoy their day, and visit Aira Force and Glenridding for example, please ask them not to meet at any road crossings as cars and spectators will cause congestion and will be dangerous.   

Want to Volunteer

We need several volunteers to help organise this event.  There are various tasks, start and finish admin, roadside checkpoints, tea-pot managers, roving footpath event staff, even a Wainwright hill-top to look after.  If you want to volunteer please email me with your preferred role and availability.
Thank You.

Afterward Party?

Well 'party' isn't really our style but Pooley Bridge offers a good range of pubs.  We have a reputation for tea & cake ...details to be confirmed.

Entries Open - Wednesday 3rd August - via sientries 

More Updates here, and via our facebook event page soon

Friday, 1 April 2016

Lake Mountain 42 - 3D

The Lakes in 3D - Deviant Desmond's Diversion

With our Lakes Mountain 42 fast approaching and so you can look forward to striking Spring trails taking in the summits of High Street and Helvellyn.   The route is a glorious mix of fast mountain paths but with a big dollop of ascent that tests the very best of ultra mountain runners and walkers.

Sadly, Storm Desmond continues to assert is destructive powers and so it has been necessary to arrange a wee diversion around the Wythburn checkpoint.  This is near where parts of the A591 just north of Dunmail Raise.  This is somewhat ironic as whilst there is a somewhat contrived route through on the 'upgraded' Right of Way, the access issues to and from the car park make it unfeasible.  The final straw is the closed permissive paths, which are patrolled by jobs-worthy security guards, hence, I have decided to give the whole area a miss. I'm not normally shy of access issues but all things considered this is the right thing to do in these circumstances.

Grisedale Tarn to Helvellyn Summit

The 'good news'; is that it will shorten our route by two or three miles and save around 400 metres descent and re-ascent.  
The bad news is that you will lose a roadside drinks station.

Core Event Details

Registration / HQ 

Askham Village Hall - (512 236) registration between 7pm and 10:30pm on Friday, or 5:15 and 5:45am on Saturday.

Start - Mass start at 6:00am, briefing in the small hall at 5:50am. 

Parking - please park very neatly and tightly at Askham village hall - plenty of space if you use it all including the grassed area at the rear of the car park. Early arrivals please set this off well.  Campervans - be discreet


CP1 - Loadpot Hill - 457 181
CP2 - High Street - 440 110
CP3 - Angle Tarn - 417 144
CP4 - Side Farm, Patterdale - 398 162
CP5 - Grisedale Tarn - 351 122
*(CP5A - TBC - Whiteside - depending upon weather / snow on ground)
CP6 - Helvellyn Summit - 341 151
CP7 - Side Farm, Patterdale - 398 162
CP8 - Place Fell - 405 169
CP9 - Martindale Church - 435 192
Finish - Askham Village Hall - 512 236.
* Weather and underfoot snow conditions will determine whether you can descend Swirral;s Edge safely or have to go via Whiteside Zig-Zags... c.347 169

MMandatory Kit 

  • Waterproof jacket and overtrousers
  • Spare mid-layer micro fleece
  • Hat and gloves
  • Map - your choice but most be weather proofed 'paper' map - not GPS. 
  • Headtorch - you may well be out in the dark.
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Survival BAG - not a blanket.
  • Water bottle or Mug - you won't get a drink at our checkpoints without one.
  • Remember this is a Winter / Spring event going over the high tops of the Lake District fells - don't skimp on gear! 

Loadpot and High Street will be staffed but will not have drinks as they are fell tops.
Angle Tarn is unstaffed - CP is a control punch at the boulder on the 'Isthmus' - Google it!
Side Farm, Patterdale - will be staffed with hot and cold drinks and 'nibbles'.  Note that the Tea Room will probably be open to the general public so our checkpoint will be a vehicle and table in the farmyard, and may not be inside.
Grisedale Tarn - Small tent by tarn outlet - staffed but no big buffet!
Helvellyn (and Whiteside?) - Unstaffed CP - control punch on Helvellyn Trig Point.
Side Farm, Patterdale - as above
Place Fell -  Unstaffed CP - control punch on Trig Point
Martindale Church - Unstaffed CP - control punch by roadside gate at church. - Staffed by sweep team later..
Finish - via the back door into the small hall at Askham.
*'nibbles' means our unique selection of NAV4 food, which is primarily savoury bites.  No gels or energy drinks here...sorry.  Food is healthy and hot drinks plentiful if you need them.

Cut-off Times
There are no formal 'cut-off' times on this event but we do expect you to finish for 'last orders' at the pub, so hopefully ...10pm, please?  

We strongly believe in 'Go Steady, Go Strong ... Go Long!'  and will continue to support anyone who is moving adequately in the later stages of the event and  Please consider short routing from Patterdale CP4 if you are 'having a bad day' and returning over Place Fell under your own steam. Our CP staff will advise you appropriately.

Finish Food Fun
Copious amounts of tea, coffee, squash, soup, cake and more cake.   Sadly the Queens Head pub right next door is closed but The Punch Bowl Inn at the bottom of the village is open and so is the 'official' LM42 pub.

Accommodation is plentiful in and around Askham - floor space in the village hall is bookable via your sientries log-in for Friday and Saturday nights.  Breakfast of porridge, toast and drinks of course free to all 'campers' - just sign up at registration.

Lift Share /  FAQs

Please us the NAV4 facebook page to offer or find lifts or post FAQs 
I'll be in touch again just before with an update on snow and weather conditions.           

Thank you - Joe

Thursday, 31 March 2016

'DaffyRun' a Blooming Success

Thank you everyone, and I mean everyone; walkers runners, families, the villagers at Pooley, the Hall committee, Sun Inn, Parish Council and Ullswater Association. You all contributed to a great fun event in some fine Spring weather.

 A new event is always a strange and exciting project and in the aftermath of Storm Desmond a bit of a gamble but everyone was buzzing about the route and the nature of our 'walkers and runners' event, especially the family ticket which allows children to run / walk with their parents.

Tom briefs the 'Mass' Start; many had chosen to set off earlier

With an original 50/50 split between the 'walkers and slower runners' start window (9-10:30) and the mass 'race'start at 11:00 there was something for everyone regardless of speed or ambition.

Spot The Daffs?

The original idea was simply a 'Run From Pooley' to support the community and businesses in wake of Storm Desmond and the destruction of the 251 year old Pooley Bridge. The Ullswater Association were eager to support the 'run' as part of their Daffodil Festival, annual event in the Ullswater valley. Hence, the Daffodil Run and Walk was planted and bloomed into a great fun day out for all.

Ironically, Pooley New-Bridge opened the very next day

The route is simple: an out-and-back route from Pooley to Hallin Fell and back, which is a total distance of about twelve miles. It is a mixture of good wide trails, easy to follow paths and the short steep ascent onto Hallin Fell, to the magnificent view point over the whole of the lake, Helvellyn and the Ullswater valley.    

The 'Daffy-Run' is very easy to follow and adequately signed, and it is also possible to turn around any one of three or four of our staffed safety checkpoints for those who don't want to do the full distance. Our highly experienced (and entertaining!) NAV4 Adventure event staff had a great day and took some great photos out on the route.  
Thank you to Pyro for the photo - more on the NAV4 Adventure facebook page

Did Someone Say Cake!

Free 'brews' and cake to everyone ...then beer and food in Pooley!
Back at base I just about managed to keep on top of the finish and results admin, and serve up tea, coffee and copious amounts of infamous cake to the rapidly returning finishers who caught me slightly unprepared.  Some very impressive times were recorded  .... but overall people seemed more intent on fun and cake then race splits and prizes.

Bigger Growth in Spring 2017

We like to start our events small and nurture them into something special, and never forget that fun for everyone and sustainability is very important. After such a great day, and listening to the very encouraging feedback from all sides  I'm pleased to announce that  The Daffodil Run and Walk, will be back next year on Saturday 18th March 2017.  Details and entries to follow soon.

Ok, we (I ) will be a little more organised ....but the cakes will be even better!
Thank You, 


Friday, 12 February 2016

Daffodil Run and Walk Sat 19th March

The Daffodil Run, or walk is a new event from Pooley Bridge on Sat 19th.

Entries are open now for individuals and families....for both 'walkers' and 'runners' starts.

The primary aim is to remind people how beautiful Pooley Bridge and Ullswater is, and how it has suffered following the loss of it's famous bridge.  Come and enjoy and good run or walk, see the new bridge under construction and support the pubs and shops of Pooley Bridge.  The event has the support of the Parish Council, The Daffodil Festival and the Ullswater Association.

Hallin Fell is the small dark fell in the centre of the photo....
In Brief:
  • The route runs from Pooley Bridge to Hallin Fell, via The Cockpit and Martindale Church, and then back the same way. It is easy to follow.
  • The route is a mixture of good trails, and paths, some wet under foot, a little bit of tarmac lane and the open slopes of Hallin Fell, but still on a reasonably good path.  The route returns exactly the same way.
  • The route will be simply sign-posted, with event marshals at key points, but is very easy to follow. It will be very easy to 'navigate' - no special skills needed. There will be two drinks stations that you will pass twice each.
  • This is an event for everyone, whatever your speed or competitive edge.
  • The event is open to all abilities, with walkers setting off between 9:00 and 10:30am, then runners at 11.00am. 
Heading from The Cockpit towards Howtown

  • You can run the full distance (12 miles) in the main start at 11:00am, or set off earlier and do a shorter distance turning around at one of three manned safety points.
  • The entry fee is £20 per person, for runners and walkers.
  • A Family ticket of £30 for an adult and up to three children is available for the 'walkers' start. Or, two adults and two children if both parents which to walk / slow run.  
  • Runners aged 14-18 can run in the Runners start if accompanied by an adult.
Free tea, coffee and cold drinks and a tray bake will be available in the Village Hall post walk / run to all participants. And of course, there are pubs and cafes in Pooley for post race refuelling.

The Parish and Ullswater Association support the 'Daffy Run'

More details will be added very soon, but you can enter now via https://www.sientries.co.uk/event.php?elid=Y&event_id=2636

I'll be adding to this blog, with more photos and details over the coming week or so. We welcome offers of help from anyone who wishes to get involved, whether with race entries in the hall, out on the route, or helping at the finish....

Our Daffodil Run facebook page will also contain more information and advice.

Meanwhile, please contact me if you wish to help or have any concerns about the event.

Many thanks - Joe Faulkner

01768 864 909 (Stainton) 07749 364 249 email - nav4adventure@gmail.com