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THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015

Due Date A New Boulder Problem on Houndkirk Moor

Since doing my first, first ascent a while back I have started looking at the rocks nearby a bit differently. The Peak is definitely not climbed out. Over the winter I have been running to work a fair bit and along the way spied this small block off the Houndkirk 4x4 road. It looked good, if rather dirty, but surely its been done? Its so obvious! My internet research says it's possibly unclimbed, certainly unclaimed. I've been meaning to check it out for ages but yesterday I went for a walk with my wife Danni. It also happened to be the due date for our first child and we thought the walk might help. So we checked it out.

James Turnbull on the first ascent of Due Date, Font 6B, Houndkirk Moor

James Turnbull on the first ascent of Due Date, Font 6B, Houndkirk Moor

It's a great place for a picnic! Danni could sit in the sun with the rock in the shade, plus a flat landing so one pad is fine. The problem took some cleaning, but otherwise it's great climbing on cool holds. Just don't allow the side walls for your feet (you wouldn't anyway) and its great fun. The only issue is it was easier than I hoped, choosing the name was too! Due Date font 6B.

James Turnbull on the First Ascent of Late Arrival, Font 6B at Houdkirk Moor

James Turnbull on the First Ascent of Late Arrival? Font 6B at Houdkirk Moor

I made the most of the rock and also climbed the arête to the left from the same start. Around the same grade, Late Arrival? (question mark is intended as at the time the day wasn't over!) Font 6B. Both problems are fun and worth the short walk, however both may feel harder if your feet have to come of the back wall sooner than mine. If you want to find them, they're around grid ref 278 821, just off the Houndkirk Road.

Climbing (and anything to blog about) will be slow for me for a while now as I patiently wait (gulp) for my biggest adventure yet!

THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2015
By James Turnbull
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WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2015

Training for a trail marathon: this is getting serious

Well this really is getting serious I say to myself; it’s Friday night and I’m setting my alarm for work. Nothing unusual there then, only for the first time, I’m setting the alarm to get up and run into work.

All is going well as I leave the big city behind. At this point in the run I have  covered a good ½ mile (well you didn’t think I was going to run all the way from home did you?).

Bog ahead!

I maintain a good pace as I reach a point in the run where the whole valley opens out in front of me, wow!! I do feel good. On a steady approach up to Higger Tor I run into a boggy section and end up knee deep in the mud!  I cast my mind back to James and Simon running into the same bog earlier in the year and I can’t help but laugh. I make a mental note to avoid this section in the future.

Freeing myself I carry on, still grinning at the amount of fun to be had on the way into work.

The rest of my run goes smoothly as I reach the shop before anyone else has arrived. Now did I set the alarm too early or did I run quicker than I thought I could? Anyway I feel good so I take a celebratory selfie outside the shop.

Muddy legs and a wind-filled Rab Vapour Rise. Honest.

The rest of the day is spent with a huge grin on my face despite having tired legs. I can fully recommend starting the day with a run. Also make sure you leave the car parked at the pub so when you go back for it there’s a great excuse to call in for a swift one.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25, 2015
By Paul Morris
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FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015

Winter is over 2015

That's it, winter is officially over, and what a grand way to mark it, with spectacular Aurora Borealis visible over the Peak District and a 90% complete solar eclipse on the vernal equinox. Alright, so the really keen will still be enjoying some late season ice up in Scotland (and judging by the amount of snow they've had that could continue right through April!)

Solar Eclipse 2015 - photo by Rob Turnbull

Here in the Peak the Grit has been a bit tricky over the winter, with just a handful of really good days out, but the real highlight for us had to be that huge dump of snow back in February. Skiing across the Kinder plateau and climbing the Downfall was an opportunity not to be missed.

So...roll on summer I say! Is the Cornice dry yet?

FRIDAY, MARCH 20, 2015
By Simon Kimber
Web Editor

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FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015

Training for a trail marathon

It all began with the annual Outside 9 Edges run. Every year the shop staff do a night run of the 21 mile Nine Edges race route and this year I was curious. “I can do that,” I thought. Then I realised I’d said it out loud, so ok Paul, you're in.

On a beautiful clear March night we set off after work. The ‘run’ involved plenty of walking, and eating of Clif bars and shots. An amazingly bright full moon provided all the light we needed and our headtorches were quickly switched off. It was a great experience and I felt inspired to take it a step further.

So here I am, mad keen, ready to start my journey to complete the Scott Snowdonia Trail Marathon in July. It seemed a good choice because it’s a new race and I’m a brand new marathon runner.

Along the way I'll be blogging about my training efforts - there's a way to go before I'm ready for this trail marathon.

It involves a 20 mile circuit around the base of Snowdon, then a climb up, and down the other side to finish. The ascent is 1685m over 26 miles.

They reckon marathon runners hit the ‘wall’ at 18 – 20 miles – in my case it won’t be a wall, it’ll be a mountain.

Snowdonia dreaming

I've never run this far before so we can expect a roller coaster ride along the way – I might even review some sparkling new kit as well as my own progress. I think Compeed blister kits may feature a lot.

I’m still looking for a good training plan as my old ones from the 70s are a bit dated. All suggestions welcome. In the meantime I’m starting slowly – this week I began with a run up Parkin Clough.

For anyone not familiar with our local training favourite, Parkin Clough is a well-known climb up to Win Hill Pike which rises about 300m in ¾ mile. This time it was more of a brisk walk but I was pleased with my sub 20 minute time to the trig point. It was completely knackering but I think it will be useful as a gauge to see how my fitness levels are improving. Next up is a run to work on Saturday. I’m not sure how far it is – maybe about five miles – and I reckon it’ll take about an hour.

By the way I didn't finish the full 9 Edges run. But 14 miles was a solid start.

FRIDAY, MARCH 13, 2015
By Paul Morris
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