Dave and Steve Go For a Yomp!
[5th-Jun-11] “Come and try the Mallerstang and Nine Standards Rigg Yomp” says my ‘friend’ Steve! Having been assured that it’s “not bad” once you get the first “long uphill drag” out of the way, it’s bags packed and up at the crack of dawn for the drive down to Kirkby Stephen for this 23 mile circular route. Start is anytime between 8 and 10 and there is a choice of 3 different “Yomps” of varying lengths (6.5, 11.5 and 23 miles).
Being Cumbria in the summer time, obviously it was raining when we started but this was nothing compared with the horrors that awaited us. Firstly the long uphill drag turned out to be 8 miles long (8 miles uphill!) with over 2,000ft of climbing AND into the teeth of a strong, cold wind AND it was still raining. Having reached the summit of Wild Boar Fell, it was a turn to the east, across Swarth Fell (nice bit of running and the wind/ rain had stopped) before dropping down to Aisgill Cottages. Naturally being steep downhill it was only a matter of time before I slipped in the mud and fell on my a***.
Soon it was another turn northerly to start the climb up to Black Fell Moss, High Peak and High Pike Hill. We quickly realised that the lull in the wind and rain was to give it a chance to change direction and renew its full frontal assault, only colder, wetter and stronger that before – hypothermia was beginning to be a distinct possibility! After what seemed an eternity, it was a drop down to the road before starting the final climb up to Nine Standards Rigg. By this point we were joining the Half and Mini Yompers – it was pleasing to see large numbers of children happily doing this climb (some as young as 3) in appalling conditions.
Having achieved the top it was a nice(?) 4 mile jog downhill back to Kirkby Stephens Grammar School, warmth and a cup of tea (4 actually).
Superb organisation – the entire route was flagged at 100 – 200 yard intervals (Steve wants to know what they do with the 100’s of canes they use for this – someone must have a big garage), water at every checkpoint (even on top of the fells), and cheerful marshal’s braving the weather to encourage us idiots on.
Footnote: Results still not available, but will be added when they are.