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Thread: Old Crown Round

  1. #1
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    Old Crown Round

    What a brilliant race! I understand this has been an irregular race in the past, but believe it will now be running annually - a fantastic exploration across the Northern Fells.
    Some really unfamiliar areas, very rough, pathless ground, massive route choice, non-optimal lines, and difficult nav with less than 50 runners spread over 23 miles ...
    Favourite race of 2019 so far

  2. #2
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    I am gutted that I missed it, as I had accommodation booked and was all set. But circumstances meant I couldn’t get up this weekend.

    Agreed that it is a fantastic route, and a variety of routes between most of the peaks.

  3. #3
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    What a fantastic race this is... in comparison to the Lakeland Classics, it's perhaps not quite as severe as some of the terrain/climbs/descents at Borrowdale, but the distance and numerous route options between all of the summits, it can certainly hold it's own in the company of other lakeland super-longs (although that said, it isn't quite as tough as Ennerdale/Buttermere/Wasdale).

    Thankfully it was a little cooler today than the past week, but it was still mid-high 20's at the start/finish, which made for an incredibly warm race.

    As to my own performance, i'd set a target of 5hrs and it became apparent by the time i got to Blencathra that i was going to beat this, just a case of how much... the drop off Skiddaw via Bakestall and up that horrific fenceline onto Little Calva just about finished me off, and i struggled from there, but crossed the line 18th in 4hrs42.

    Perhaps only real disappointment was being 15th on the final top (High Pike) but then running into a host of issues in the final 20mins... for reasons best known by myself i decided to make up my own route down and ended up tussock-bound... then came the cramp, and it was a rather sorry trudge down the final mile of road to the finish, which i really should have been flying down.

    It was also a counter in the Eden club champs and i think i was 5th or 6th out of a dozen or so, and i was pleasantly surprised with that. But perhaps the most telling part of the race was my comparison to the other Eden runners... i caught and passed the club captain going up Skiddaw, but after the above-mentioned Bakestall descent and next climb, i was about finished.... yet he was able to kick on over the runnable final couple of peaks, taking 20mins out of me and finishing 6th, whilst i was looking over my shoulder nervously.

    As always great to speak to Daz Tindersticks before and after, see you again soon!

    Pete

  4. #4
    Think I was one of the runners to overtake you on the last descent (Ambleside Vest), was 18th at High Pike and got past 3 on the last descent to finish 15th.

    I took the other route from Skiddaw and went on the BG line up to Great Calva and then round to Knott. Its more climbing but it seemed it would be better underfoot and my legs were about done by then. Only slight route mistake was probably trying to save climbing under Bowscale fell and then watching a few people on the higher path overtake me as I plodded through tussocks.

    I did Ennerdale this year and I was 13mins quicker yesterday. Preferred this race as its not as rough in general as Ennerdale. My strava has them at almost identical in terms of distance and climbing:

    Old Crown Round - 22.92 miles, 7055ft
    Ennerdale - 22.67 miles, 7395ft

  5. #5
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    Yes mate I think you went past me at the top of the farmers fields... I stopped at that spring/fountain by the farm for a shower!

    I was just glad there was nobody else closing me down.

    I recall going over Sale How with you...

    Well done, strong finish!

  6. #6
    That fountain was really tempting! Yes, I remember having a quick chat as you disappeard past me up to Skiddaw. My climbing tends to desert me after a couple of climbs but no matter how tired I am I tend to still be able to get my legs going on a descent.

  7. #7
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    I've run the Old Crown Round Route, on my tod, a few times, always starting and finishing at Bowscale, which meant that Carrock fell was always my last summit, rather than the first. Consequently, I've never had to find the route off Carrock towards Bowscale Fell. This weekend though I ran part of the 'true' route from Hesket Newmarket to Carrock and on to Bowscale Fell.

    I'd heard that there was a line to take from Carrock, to Round Knot, and then descend south-west towards the top of Poddy Gill, avoiding the steeper, boulder strewn ground to the south.

    In the event, I couldn't find any clear line and found myself floundering about on the tussuck grass, fruitlessly following umpteen sheep trails. What I did eventually spot was a large cairn, which turned out to actually be a smaller cairn, perched on top of a dilapidated, old bield (?)at about OS Grid Ref: NY 32982 33333. From there, the 'trail' descended steeply to Poddy Gill and through chest high, sodden bracken.

    Perhaps that's it - there is no clearer path (which I'm guessing would be rarely used anyway)? Or maybe if I'd floundered about for longer I'd have found something more distinct? Whatever, I'd hate to run this part of the route in poor visibility, and it contrasts markedly with practically all the other sections of the route which are fairly obvious, or at least easier to navigate in less clement weather.

    How did you fair here Travs?
    Last edited by Mossdog; 28-09-2021 at 11:41 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mossdog View Post

    How did you fair here Travs?
    Much the same as you by the sounds of it. I didn't really find much of a path at all.

    Of course initially heading towards Round Knott, but within a few hundred yards picked up a little trod bearing further south... Certainly hadn't reached Round Knott by this point, nor even the depression before it. But the trod was heading in the right direction.

    The trod didn't last long... by the time i'd gone over the convex "rim" of Carrock Fell and could see most of the descent, it was just a plunge down tussocks/grass.

    By the time i hit the final quarter-mile of descent to the Caldew, where it gets steeper, i was also bracken-bound and this part was a struggle. I actually came down right next to Poddy Gill and it was steep, uneven ground and not very pleasant. A guy near to me suggested that there was a slightly better line down the final part, somewhere a little bit east of Poddy Gill.

    Incidentally i am convinced that the route to Blencathra via Bowscale Fell is considerably slower than continuing down the Caldew and going up the flanks of Mungrisedale Common.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    Much the same as you by the sounds of it. I didn't really find much of a path at all.

    Of course initially heading towards Round Knott, but within a few hundred yards picked up a little trod bearing further south... Certainly hadn't reached Round Knott by this point, nor even the depression before it. But the trod was heading in the right direction.

    The trod didn't last long... by the time i'd gone over the convex "rim" of Carrock Fell and could see most of the descent, it was just a plunge down tussocks/grass.

    By the time i hit the final quarter-mile of descent to the Caldew, where it gets steeper, i was also bracken-bound and this part was a struggle. I actually came down right next to Poddy Gill and it was steep, uneven ground and not very pleasant. A guy near to me suggested that there was a slightly better line down the final part, somewhere a little bit east of Poddy Gill.

    Incidentally i am convinced that the route to Blencathra via Bowscale Fell is considerably slower than continuing down the Caldew and going up the flanks of Mungrisedale Common.
    Thanks Travs, it's reassuring to know I didn't miss an obvious track right under my nose!

    Regarding an alternative route avoiding going up and over Bowscale fell, I'm sure that's correct. I've mooched around Blackhazel beck and there are tracks that walkers take, to bag Blencathra, from the Caldew ford crossing, which at first follow a stony track that crosses the bottom of Long Gill and Short Gill becks before fading away. Then its a matter of basically cutting up along the east side of Blackhazel Beck, which would help if visibility was poor. However, there are a labyrinth of tracks here, some sheep, some walkers, some going horizontally across the fell. Worth a recce. Cheers.
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  10. #10
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    I have descended that alternative route you suggest, down to the ford. Not sure what difference it makes when ascending though.

    Quickest route (in my opinion) is to go further down the Caldew and cross between Blackhazel Beck and White Gill, and climb the NNE shoulder of Mungrisedale Common. You fairly quickly pick up a trod here which continues all the way up towards the screes immediately below Blencathra. It is pretty much all runnable if you're capable.

    I made up a lot of time on this section over those who took alternative routes.

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