76 Castle Crag – Did I really agree to dress up as a Gorilla?

 

When you start an unusual and lengthy challenge it is always good to go into it with an open mind.  I have found that however much you plan you will be very surprised by the unexpected opportunities that open themselves up to you. This is one I really did not see coming……

With Mark recovering from Pneumonia we thought a New Year’s Day stroll up Castle Crag (the smallest Wainwright) might be possible. We parked up in Rosthwaite and talked about Prince Charles enjoying staying at Yew Tree Farm, and Julia Bradbury buying pasties from the Flock Inn.  We reminisced about fell running days and the route of the Borrowdale fell race and how the times posted by the fastest fell runners were almost incomprehensible.  We split for a few hundred yards as Mark and Bheinn crossed the stream on the stepping stones.  I have always had trouble co-ordinating crossing flowing water and it wasn’t until I keeled over after completing the 1 mile Great north swim I was diagnosed with Vertigo, which seems to be the reason why I can’t make my feet go forward when the ground/water beneath me in s travelling at 90 degrees, so avoided becoming stranded in the middle of the river by taking the easy path enjoying the best views of the pack horse bridge where I met up with Bheinn.  Mark was already walking at a snail’s pace so it was no surprise that 1/2 way up the climb he stopped on a rock in favour of photographing the view above reaching the top.  As you leave the grassy part of the hill and cross the wall to the summit, rocky climb a path has been landscaped into the slate slag heap left from the the mining past of the area.  We fell into step with a very chatty man, who told us about the standing slates that look like grave stones and the uphill fell race that is won in just under 12 minutes.  I think you could put a 0 on that time for our walk.

The views are truly stunning from the top.  In both directions you can see the beauty of the lower landscape overshadowed by the high mountains  of the Borrowdale valley to the South and Skiddaw to the North.

When I started the spinning challenge I assumed I would  meet people on the tops of the fells but generally people are sitting, contemplating or eating and resting on the summit.  Most of my conversations have been with people on the route up or down, and this time was no exception.  We ran into (literally) some old fell running friends who now run an adventure centre in Keswick.  Lou had been the British and English Fell running Champion in the days when we competed but now runs for fun and exercise and organises events for other up and coming runners.  The Advetnure centre is called Kong Adventure and they have a Gorilla mascot who attends the events and has been known to take part in some alternative activities during the races.  They wondered if the Gorilla might be allowed to take the spinning wheel to the next fell race and the Spinning wheel agreed to oblige.  A fell running, spinning Gorilla, now I did not see that coming……

 

Posted in Spinning Blog.