Sunday, 11 July 2010

The Great Shunner Challenge

Looking up Swinner Gill towards the old lead mines.

I know this blog is about running but this walk was arranged before I started running seriously and anyway, I like to slow the pace down now and again and get my breath back.

The Great Shunner Challenge is a walk of 29 miles with over 4500ft of ascent which myself and some friends from work decided to do to try and make some money for Help 4 Heroes
To find out more about our challenge and the people that took part please visit our Just Giving website.
You can also see how much has been promised in donation up to now.

A great day was had by all but sadly John couldn't make it due to an injured knee but he was good enough to take the rest of us to Askrigg and pick us up again after a couple of post event drinks in the Crown Hotel.
We got off to a wet and windy start and that weather set the theme for most of the day.
After leaving Askrigg at 7.30 am, we made our way on relatively flat terrain to Hardraw.
After leaving Hardraw, we climbed our way to the top of Great Shunner Fell passing a group of young Pennine Way walkers on the way. The summit was shrouded in cloud and the rain and wind made it too cold to hang around so we made our way down to Thwaite where we refreshed ourselves with drinks and food before starting a hard climb around Kisden and on to Kisden Force.
By this time the rain had made it's way into everything but spirits were still high and before long we were heading towards Swinner Gill. Swinner Gill was quite demanding with narrow footpaths which were wet and muddy and at one stage the path was no more than the width of our boots.
The top of Swinner Gill was a welcome sight and now it was a nice easy downhill walk past Gunnerside Gill, through Botcher Gill Gate and finally reaching Ivelet Bridge.
While here we all ate power bars or squeezed in a couple of power gels to help carry us to the summit of Oxnop Common. This was a hard climb which we all did at our own pace. Some of us just getting stuck in and trying to get it over with and others taking it easy and trying to look after aching limbs and blisters but in the end we all met at the beacon at the top of Oxnop Common and had an easy walk back towards Askrig.
The sting in the tail was a one mile walk down an approximately 1 in 4 hill  to Askrigg which played havoc with our knees.
10hrs and 27min later we were back in Askrigg and after a photo shoot in the village centre where we started we head off for a couple of well earned drinks while we waited for John to come back for us.

Check out our Garmin page to see the route we took. Take a look in satellite view to get a good idea of the terrain. 

If anyone still wants to donate there is still time and you can visit our just giving page at

Dave & Patrick following the Pennine Way at Kisden.
Kevin at Oxnop Beacon

Patrick & Matthew approaching the summit of Oxnop Common.
The village of Thwaite with Shunner Fell covered in cloud in the background.

Job done Guys. Now, where's the nearest boozer???


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