Saturday, 11 June 2011

11th June 2011

Looking North to wast water head, Scafell the one just rising off to the right of the picture. Voted the most spectacular view in Great Britain.

         Two weeks to go.

         Running up Scafell, fine tuning the muscles and a tiny bit of altitude training, mentally it might make a difference. Scafell is not one of my favourites, it's like climbing stairs for an hour then climbing over loose rocks to the top so a good chance of twisting an ankle if you're moving at speed. No real skill involved, although the view from Scafell is okay, it's taking different routes down that gives you better scenery. Thighs, calves and back are aching a little, I predicted cold wind and possibly snow at the top, so got everyone to take jumpers, hats, gloves and waterproofs. Better safe than sorry. In the end, despite Scafell being covered in cloud when we arrived, it cleared up and I did the whole way to the top in my Hull City away shirt. (I have pictures up many mountains in Hull City shirts, just something I've got into over the years.) We just ended up carrying ten pound rucksacks full of cold weather gear we weren't going to use. Better safe than sorry.
Just like climbing the stairs for an hour...

               The other problem is the fact that Scafell is the biggest, so everyone wants to do it. (That's why we were there in the first place, I suppose...) So it's like a queue in parts, and running up past people can get annoying, especially when they are going slowly, spread out, with poles waving about. The number of times I heard Wives whinging at Husbands "How much further?" (I'm not being sexist, it's usually reluctant women getting dragged up by their spouses) and when they get to the top, turn back and come the same way down.

         At 1000ft, the oxygen is getting thinner. Not much, I must admit, but enough to make a difference in your bloodstream. As there is less oxygen in the atmosphere, not enough is getting to the muscles. The brain detects this and tries to get more in. Cue the gasping for breath. At 1500ft I was gulping in air yet my pulse wasn't much over 150, a sure sign of oxygen depletion. What happens next is the body realises that not enough oxygen is getting to the muscles so starts making more red blood cells so it can transport more. This is the basic method of Altitude Training.
        I got to the top in 1hr and 25mins once they saw the way. (a couple of thousand tourists all going the same way gave some indication.) and got there to find a couple of people had got there before me.

Queueing at the top

Looking North, Scotland in the distance. I took photos of the Isle of man, clearly visible, but the camera didn't pick it up.
Highest point in England.

             We came down via Lingmell, the mountain just to the North which gives two advantages. The first is getting away from the tourists who go up, turn round and come down the same way. The second is the spectacular view of Wast Water from the shoulder of Lingmell, (the mountain to the right on the picture at the top of this page.) Not one for anyone with a fear of heights, and a good workout for the quads as it's over 45deg of a slope and you use your quads for braking.
Photo's can't do this view justice.

              So, a good workout, and I was going to go out for a couple of pints of guinness (they have iron in them, essential for carriage of oxygen in the bloodstream so it really is good for you like it says in the adverts) but halfway down my phone rang and I have to be on a ship at 6am, so a protein shake and an early night. Maybe a good thing really. This time in two weeks hopefully past Bride and heading south.

       I did a bit more researching into the family tree, once I got to Olaf the Black it was all written in history texts so simple to work back through Saxons and Vikings to Finn of Godwulf, born 130AD, died 220AD. I pointed this out at work this morning only to be shot down in flames when someone mentioned that if every generation had 4 children, over 58 generations there would be 150,000,000 direct descendents. (Not the right figure, couldn't be bothered to work it out but it's probably way more) Everyone can find their way back if they do the research. Still, Olaf the Black, King of Man, Alfred the great of England, and numerous Saxon and Scandanavian kings amongst my ancestors can't be a bad thing.
       A bit much to live up to though...

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