Lake District – The 10 in 10 Challenge 2014

I have just arrived home from a fantastic weekend in the Lake District, the weather was excellent and I enjoyed every last moment of it. I was in Borrowdale with a group of fellow Social Hikers from ShareYourAdventure.com to take part in the 10 in 10 Challenge in aid of The Multiple Sclerosis Society. The challenge was to climb 10 Peaks in 10 Hours or less and it all began at the Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite.

Morning at the Chapel House Farm Campsite
Morning at the Chapel House Farm Campsite
Morning at the Chapel House Farm Campsite
Morning at the Chapel House Farm Campsite

We began by signing in at challenge HQ which was located in a small field across the road from the Scafell Hotel itself. We signed in at around 06:45, said a quick hello to team members who hadn’t camped the night before at the Chapel Farm Campsite and then the event got underway.

Registering for the Challenge in Rosthwaite
Registering for the Challenge in Rosthwaite
Registering for the Challenge in Rosthwaite
Registering for the Challenge in Rosthwaite
On our way to Peak number 1
On our way to Peak number 1

The first Peak of the 10 was Castle Crag, a short but busy climb up the loose slate path and we were at the top. This was a new Wainwright for me and I went on to tick off another 3 fresh ones during the day.

Borrowdale from the climb up to Castle Crag
Borrowdale from the climb up to Castle Crag
Derwent Water & Keswick from Castle Crag
Derwent Water & Keswick from Castle Crag
The summit of Castle Crag
The summit of Castle Crag

Next was High Spy after a sharp climb up out of the valley, this was Peak number 2 and the first point at which we were required to sign in. The organisers of the event had marshall points at particular locations along the challenge route, they were required to log our numbers just to make sure no one had gone missing.

The summit of High Spy
The summit of High Spy

We descended from High Spy and headed for Peak number 3 which was Dale Head. It was a pretty sharp climb up on to the summit but I didn’t feel it as I was far too busy taking in the spectacular views down the Newlands Valley. After signing in with the Marshals we stopped for a quick break at the summit, not for too long however as we had a tight schedule to stick to if the 10 hour target was to be beaten.

The Newlands Valley
The Newlands Valley
The view to the south from Dale Head
The view to the south from Dale Head
The summit of Peak 3 - Dale Head
The summit of Peak 3 – Dale Head

After Dale Head we descended down to Honister Pass which was a point where the Marshals had a refreshment area. Water, orange juice and biscuit snacks were being dished out to keep the challengers hydrated and fuelled up. Perhaps the most welcoming thing awaiting us at Honister were the much anticipated pies which our team captain Phil Sorrell had bought for us. Phil who is the creator of Social Hiking and (@DaylightGambler) on twitter had been mentioning the very tasty Black Pudding & Chilli Pork Pies on AudioBoo and it was very kind of him to bring one for all the team.

Honister Pass and the Honister Slate Mine
Honister Pass and the Honister Slate Mine

After a refreshment stop at Honister we began the sharp climb up towards Peak Number 4 which was Grey Knotts, it is a bit of a scramble in places but over before you know it and your back on the tops once again. We checked in, took some pictures and carried on.

Looking back towards Dale Head from Grey Knotts
Looking back towards Dale Head from Grey Knotts

Peak 5 was Brandreth which was the last of the new Wainwrights for me today, I don’t even recall stopping there as I think we just carried on towards the next destination.

My favourite Lakeland Peak, Great Gable. Not on the list for today though sadly
My favourite Lakeland Peak, Great Gable. Not on the list for today though sadly

Perhaps one of my favourite views of the day was to be had at Peak number 6, Green Gable. The view down Ennerdale from here is absolutely stunning, it’s such a picturesque valley and I lapped up the vistas while we had a snack break for 4-5 minutes.

One of the best views in the Lakes? Ennerdale from Green Gable
One of the best views in the Lakes? Ennerdale from Green Gable

The next section took us down from Green Gable to Windy Gap and then via the very slippery path to Styhead Tarn. I spotted the RAF Sea King Helicopter over towards Scafell Pike, picking up a casualty no doubt. I tried not to look too closely as I really did need to concentrate on the job in hand as we descended on the very loose scree.

A Sea King Helicopter above the Scafells
A Sea King Helicopter above the Scafells

Once down at the bottom of the hill I quickly filled up my water supplies using my Sawyer Squeeze Filter, there really was no time to stop today and we began the next climb of the day which was the climb up the side of Seathwaite Fell. It honestly did feel like it was near vertical at times but I guess it was just because it had been such a big day already with a brutal but necessary pace.

The view down Borrowdale from Seathwaite Fell
The view down Borrowdale from Seathwaite Fell
Heading towards Sprinkling Tarn with Great End in the background
Heading towards Sprinkling Tarn with Great End in the background

Thankfully we made it up and on to the top of Seathwaite in good time, I had dropped back a wee bit while filing up my water as the others hadn’t stopped, I pushed hard during the climb so I had managed to catch up once again. The views from the the top of Seathwaite Fell are stunning as you gaze down Borrowdale, once again we didn’t have time to linger long here. Snacks, pictures and then it was time to head for Esk Haus via Sprinkling Tarn.

The Langdale Valley from Esk Haus
The Langdale Valley from Esk Haus

I camped at Esk Haus a few years ago the last time I was in the area so it was great to return once again, the views down towards the Langdales today were excellent, the haze had burned off a little during the day so you could see for miles.

Derwent Water & Skiddaw from the summit of Peak 9, Glaramara
Derwent Water & Skiddaw from the summit of Peak 9, Glaramara

Peak number 8 of the day was Allen Crags, it was only a short climb up from Esk Haus and then it was time for the undulating slog over to Peak 9 which was Glaramara.

Borrowdale from Thornythwaite Fell
Borrowdale from Thornythwaite Fell

The last Peak of the day was Thornythwaite Fell which was the only peak of the day which doesn’t qualify as a Wainwright top. It is a bump on the way down in to the valley so it was tackled with ease. We had begun to pick up the pace once again as we descended in to the valley bottom as the mission was to get back within 10 hours.

Phil Sorrel and Yours Truly at the Finish Line
Phil Sorrel and Yours Truly at the Finish Line

Once at the valley floor we made excellent time as we blitzed out the final mile or so back to Rosthwaite. I had forgotten exactly what time we set off that morning so I was willing to run the last few miles if need be to get back in time, I jumped over styles, dashed through gates and paced on as fast as I could until I was rounding the final corner to the finish line.

A few of the team had done the 5 in 5 challenge instead of the 10 in 10, as you might guess this was 5 Peaks in 5 Hours. We all eventually regrouped at the Scafell Hotel so the socialising could begin, we had been concentrating on the job in hand all day so it was great to have a chance to sit, have a drink and a good chat with everyone.

Socialising with Social Hikers in the Scafell Hotel
Socialising with Social Hikers in the Scafell Hotel
Socialising with Social Hikers in the Scafell Hotel
Socialising with Social Hikers in the Scafell Hotel
Socialising with Social Hikers in the Scafell Hotel
Socialising with Social Hikers in the Scafell Hotel

What a day, what an experience and what a real pleasure it was to get together with a team of like minded hikers. It was great to finally meet some of the folks I have been chatting with online for the last few years, we even had a guest appearance from the round the world social hiking/cycling legend that is Jilly Sherlock (find Jilly’s Excellent blog at Sherlocktales.blogspot.co.uk). I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, I may have had perhaps one too many celebratory alcoholic beverages as I woke with a sore head the following day… 10 in 10 Challenge 2015 anyone? 🙂

The Social Hiking Team was as follows, in the order as they are listed on the 10 in 10 Social Hiking Page…. The Creator and Messiah of Social Hiking ShareYourAdventure.com @DaylightGambler, @TurboStream, @mixedupmessedup, @WellyCath, @KendalSkintCake, @NorthLakesUK, @CumbrianBlondie, @KWheatman, @DiveSciDiva, @Hendry670, @HillPlodder, @NickHood4, @PaulGBuck, @Prb43, @FlintyRich, @RichardHubbuck, @RucksackRose, @ShaunBades, @MrsSianB, @UKJeeper.

Find out more about the annual 10 in 10 Challenge by visiting 10in10.org.uk….. Other Media about the day from my fellow team members, Richard Hubbucks YouTube Video, Cumbrian Blondie’s Blog Post, Phil Sorrell’s Blog Post, Hillplodders Blog Post, Paulgbuck’s Blog Post and please don’t hesitate to contact me if I’ve missed any off 🙂

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