Friday, 14 April 2017

Hypothermia on Kinder

Trained hard through December and January, took February off running - mainly as I was in Tasmania, and anywhere I tried to run ended up being infested with snakes. The intelligent option was taken and I chilled out a bit, enjoyed the holiday, and subsequently didn't get bitten.

Back in the UK, I decided to go for a bit of a bimble with a friend. We are fairly evenly matched in terms of running, though I realised that 3 weeks off it would probably set me back a ways - especially while trying to get over a 28 hour flight and 11 hour time difference.
How right I was, and how painful was the realisation!

We set off on the run, over Bleaklow and Kinder, picking off a few trig points on the way. I was pretty tired by the time we got to the top of the first hill - close to home - and was being nailed on the ascent by Matt. Still, even though I wasn't feeling amazing, I should really put some effort it, and so we continued over to Higher Shelf.
By this time, it was clear we were above the current snow line, the sun was still out, but it was a bit cold. If I turned for home now, it'd be fine, but Matt was going to continue on, no matter what I did- maybe heading over to meet up with some guys doing a Skyline recce. I decided not to wuss out and let him go on alone, partially because it wouldn't have been fair to let him head off on his own into what was to become pretty horrid conditions.

Things got better over toward the Alport, but I ran out of steam on the climb up to Kinder. Most of the bars had gone, and as we headed to look for 1957 trig the weather came in hard. Snow, sleet, wind etc. We stopped to put on insulated layers, but in the intervening period, my hands pretty much stopped working. We made the decision just to head along the north edge til we got home.
So I took the lead, and basically set off in totally the wrong direction for about 1km. Once we started recognising the places we had already been, direction was sorted out, and once again we set out along the northern edge. In a Westerly direction this time.

The edge path was horrible. Varying depths of bog and snow up to about1.5ft of each, snow falling - well, being driven into us, and slowly getting colder.
My brain was fixed on getting along the edge, ticking off features as we went. I slowly got colder, despite the various layers I was wearing and at some points my head was wondering about calling out MRT.
However, we were still moving. We were not injured. Stopping would have made it worse. We would have to wait at least 2 hours for MRT to arrive - at which point they would get us to walk off the hill anyway. The alternative was to keep running and get home in about an hour anyway. So we kept going through the mud and the grimness. Me fighting fatigue, jetlag and hypothermia, and eventually we dropped out of the cloud and into Glossop.
Epic over.

Well - nearly. I then spent about 3 hours in bed trying to warm up and get back to normal again... really running on fumes at the end there. 

Learning points -
  • It takes a while to get over jetlag.
  • I'm not a natural runner and need to keep practiced in order to stay good
  • Keep your head strong - it will drag you further than you think you can go
  • Carry enough fuel 

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