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Thread: Leventon's Line.

  1. #1
    Master molehill's Avatar
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    Leventon's Line.

    I returned last night from a solo, unsupported (no drops) Leventon's Line - Yiannis's 2005 extended route - my first attempt at anything like this, been meaning to do it for years, so grabbed the opportunity of good weather and set off. I had decided to run overnight to avoid the worst of the heat, but I knew there was no moon, so I all would be a bit dark and navigation challenging over that ground.

    I drove to Barmouth on Sunday, jumped on the bus and showed the driver my bus pass "Just a single to Llangollen please, I'll be running back" he looked at me a bit wonky! I started from Llangollen at 6.25pm on a hot sunny evening.

    I was carrying a biggish pack at 12 1/2lbs as I knew I wouldn't find water on the Berwyns so had 1 3/4l water for the first section (5 hours) + 3 1/5lbs food overall, I was relying on finding some gutters running water after this. Also carried usual safety gear, first aid, down jacket etc.

    I went off steady in the heat, sweating up the first hill but soon into a comfortable plod and felt very good as the evening cooled. After Cadair Berwyn the light faded but I wanted to push on to the road before stopping and getting out my headtorch. The inevitable happened and I lost a feint trod, causing me to retrace and stop for the torch, I reached Milltir Gereig in 5 hrs. It was now pitch black as I set out for Cwm-Sian Llwyd and my woes began. The heather was well up to my knees, no sheep on the hills or trods (there seems to be massive heather regeneration for the grouse?) even the fenceline had no path alongside. I stumbled, fell down holes, swore and finally found the trig in the pitch black and continued onwards with more of the same till the long track. My navigation was ok, but slow with no visibility and having to put my glasses on every 5 minutes to map read. Of more concern was the lack of any water, not a trickle of the peat gutters, I was dry and thirsty so couldn't eat and seriously worried I may have to abandon.

    I reached the minor road over 3 hours later (ugh) and found a trickle of water from a pipe under the road, I looked down into the puddle at the tadpoles, newt and assorted water beatles.....and drank, guess I'm used to it. This was my first water fill up in 8 hours, so from now on I always filled everything at each opportunity, despite the extra weight.

    Next section I dreaded, and it was worse; more of the same floundering in deep heather and tussocks on assorted compass bearings but seeing nothing to orientate by (safe occasional fence), slow, slow, slow and so draining on my little legs. Dawn eventually came and with it a thick mist, I could still see sod all beyond 100m! A final stupid error where I followed a fence to the road without checking the compass bearing, brought me to the wrong road and a 10 minute walk back up to Bwlch y Groes, another long 21/2 hour section. I had now lost so much time and my legs fairly trashed from falling over and battling heather for 5 hours that any schedule was forgotten, I simply wanted to finish my first proper solo 'round' or 'line' whatever it is, I was having some mental battles now over "quitting" as I knew what was ahead of me and couldn't believe my legs would ever take me over those climbs. I also knew I couldn't live with quitting, bar injury or illness, so on I went.

    I was now on familiar territory that I knew well, I was drinking plenty and still eating well (could have done with more sugary stuff), so trundled on. My climbing on the steep hills was dreadfully slow, but otherwise I felt fine. The mist was still thick and cold all the way to Bwlch Oerddrws which took a further 3hr 20m. On over Waun-Oer to the A487 crossing in 1hr 40m and by now the sun was out and the day heating up, so I filled my water bottles before tackling the final section of Cadair.

    I trudged up to Mynydd Moel at the speed of our tortoises, then Cadair and down the pony path where the rocks totally finished off the soles of my feet, very painfull as I felt a couple of blisters 'pop' on the stones - ouch. Just the ridge now, but somehow the grassy climbs seemed steeper than I remembered, odd that. Yiannis had added Pen y Garn to the route, (one I didn't know), mentally I had this as a little blip round the corner from Craig y llyn, my heart sank as it came into view 21/2 miles away and I cursed Yiannis and his bright ideas. There was only one thing for it, onwards and upwards, I was going all the way.

    And so to the finish at Barmouth station, 21hr 50m from the start. It may be pretty slow by most running standards, but it was the best I could do in the circumstances and I didn't quit and had an ice cream to celebrate. In the car my feet were a terrible mess, no wonder they hurt, I bathed them and drove about 30 minutes then had a 2 hour sleep in the back of the car before driving home about 10pm.

    This morning, everything aches, even my hair aches. 2 weeks time I'm back over that same Cadair section on a Meiri round support, least I'll have something to talk about.
    Any damn fool can make money, show me someone who can make time.

  2. #2

    Re: Leventon's Line.

    Tremendous outing on a really intriguing route. Chapeau to you and well done. Any photos?

  3. #3
    Master molehill's Avatar
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    Re: Leventon's Line.

    No photos I'm afraid, I can hardly use my wifes camera and I worked on the basis: "If I can't eat it or wear it, I won't carry it" .
    Any damn fool can make money, show me someone who can make time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Happy on the hills's Avatar
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    Re: Leventon's Line.

    Just got off the phone to the man himself!:w00t: Well done matey for giving it go after thinking about this one for such a long time. You must be really happy to have finally done a big one, especially solo! :w00t: I'm glad that seeing me struggle so much on my Meiri round last year helped you when you were struggling too Well done again, and have a well earned rest......especially for those feet!
    Always happy on the hills

  5. #5
    Senior Member Alan Lucker's Avatar
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    Re: Leventon's Line.

    Well done. It sounds like you really toughed it out on what sounds like a nice, but brutal, linear route.

  6. #6
    Grandmaster + stevefoster's Avatar
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    Re: Leventon's Line.

    Well Done Moley :thumbup:
    Hills and Guinness!

  7. #7
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    Re: Leventon's Line.

    Superb. I ran from Llyn Tegid over Arans, and all the way over Cader last week before dropping onto the road between Barmouth and Dollgellau in an effort to catch the bus. I thought it was a great route and the sections I did very runnable. it got me thinking about doing the whole LL, so your account is really motivational. I hadn't thought about bussing it first either, that's a great idea.

    Simon

  8. #8

    Re: Leventon's Line.

    Moley you little star! Lets pick a really tough line, do it at night with no water. Stupid but brilliant! Well done Moley!
    Love and kisses
    Toffer

  9. #9
    Member HelenSkelton's Avatar
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    Re: Leventon's Line.

    It's a fab journey, best day out I had last year but tougher than it looks on paper, esp solo! :w00t:! If you haven't already - let Stuart at HighSports (Shrewsbury) know of your fun, he keeps the log going on behalf of Charlie Leventon. Almost half the Meiri.... :wink: Going to have to find a bigger chip shop for the AGM.... your number 10 I think?

    http://www.highsports.co.uk/blog/leventons-line/


    Last edited by HelenSkelton; 12-06-2013 at 01:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Master ydt's Avatar
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    Re: Leventon's Line.

    Well done Matt, nice write up. I've never used my bus pass on a long distance solo run yet, I better think of something then!
    I will not be joining you in two weeks as I am on Ramsay duty. Give Stewart my apologies. Yiannis

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