Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Wednesday 16 December - Major doubts

It's quite natural for dark thoughts to creep in about this sort of thing when the time approaches. And this is no exception. But it's not so much about whether i'm fit enough and or prepared enough. It's not even about the weather, well, not the atmospheric conditions anyway.

What I'm really worried about is the state of the ground.

It's been a cold week. The fells are going to be frozen over the weekend. So, with so much darkness, it's likely that the tops at least are going to be dodgy underfoot and hard to see just how dodgy. Descending at some speed into unseen patches of water ice which can be really dangerous at worst, and it can slow you down too much at best, rendering a round impossible. One thing's for sure - if it looks dodgy, I'm not risking the safety of those grand souls that are coming to help me for my own vanity and ambition.

I'm going to get up to the lakes as early as I can on Friday. I'll have a good look at the fells, esp Blencathra's south ridges and the slopes around Dunmail Raise.

If it comes to it, I'll call it off.

I've been really worried about this today, even though it's something I can't control. What's good about that is it means i've not been worried about that things i can control - they are all ok.

I;ve been spoilt by a successful summer round at the first attempt (albeit in awful weather) and supporting lots of other successful summer rounds. What does occur to me tonight with two days to go and a cold looking forecast is that there is every chance that this round will not succeed.

Success in the mountains owes a lot to judgement, more so as the conditions deterioate and aims rise. Success could mean getting round, or it could mean decding not to start and staying safe. We'll see.


  1. Good Luck Mark,

    I think doubts are inevitable but keep the faith, it seems to have been a bit milder at times this week and it may just make for perfect conditions. Enjoy

  2. Hey, if you're lucky it will be all snow! I don't know about you, but I find it far more comfortable under foot, especially when it's fresh.

    Good luck!