Running on the moors and sleeping in a bag

Whilst the light has been long, time has been short. About a month ago there were just hours to make for the national park on the doorstep to run with a light pack till its too dark to carry on, spend the night in a bivi and run back at dawn. I packed light so all photos were taken with a phone, usually when I stopped for biscuits or when the light became good enough.Screen Shot 2016-07-03 at 11.26.19I followed the trail above the Upper Derwent Valley, a place that’s become so familiar to explore that many of the stream and spring locations are at lodged in memory. It’s also one of the few places in the Peak District with several miles of upland moor in every direction with no sight of roads of any buildings. The only occasional artificial light comes from miles above with planes to and from Manchester.peaksrun1 peaksrun13peaksrun2 peaksrun14   Beyond Abbey Brook the path disappears and the ground becomes a mire of tussocks, I popped my right ankle here a few years ago and still feel an occasional twinge so here the running stopped. Walking gave a more silent mode of travel and an opportunity to see that the mountain hares were out in force and had lost all of their white winter coats. peaksrun7peaksrun6 peaksrun8The light had more or less gone before I reached Margery Hill on the Howden Moors, the area on the map was marked Featherbed Moss which seemed a promising enough place to sleep for the night. Laying amongst the heather and moss, the only sound was a snipe winnowing, an eerie call if you don’t know its source. The morning was less series, all skylarks and grouse. A dried up hollow next to the stream made a decent kitchen, it was rich in large flat stones and well away from the dried grass to safely light the stove for coffee. Incidentally, I woke to see thick smoke in the direction of Bleaklow which I later learned was due to this, someone out there really deserves a Darwin award.    peaksrun9 peaksrun10Unaware that the moors were ablaze, the morning was tranquil, taking in the views from the bivi and running in the sunshine over Nether Hey back towards the reservoir. My feet were satisfyingly filthy and stained from the peat, and a few  very warm hours running along the reservoir banks guaranteed me a place all to myself at the posh deli in Hathersage. If you like all the numbers it was a 23km run with 758m of ascent, and about half a packet of ginger nuts, two flapjacks, three apples and four cups of black coffee. peaksrun11

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5 thoughts on “Running on the moors and sleeping in a bag

  1. As always loving your blog, love the stunning photo’s, its been a long time since I was last up north. I so admire what you do.

    1. Thanks a lot! Struggling to keep up to date with blog posts lately. Been out again twice since this one and off again next week. I’ll get round to doing more soon hopefully.

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