Wednesday, 27 June 2012

DAY 9: COTSWOLDS, MIDLANDS & DERBYSHIRE

All scheduled 12 climbs completed, finishing with Winnats Pass at 9pm. Tired (!) but happy to be on schedule!!

51. Whiteleaf, Princes Risborough
52. Dover's Hill, Chipping Campden
53. The Burway, Church Stretton
54. Jiggers Bank, Ironbridge
55. Mow Cop, Mow Cop
56. Swiss Hill, Alderley Edge
57. Cat And Fiddle, Macclesfield
58. Rowsley Bar, Rowsley
59. Curbar Edge, Curbar
60. Monsal Head, Bakewell
61. Peaslows, Chapel-En-Le-Frith
62. Winnats Pass, Castleton


Update: This first day of the final leg involved Ian Andrew and I driving 1 and 2 hour stints during the morning as we headed up round the Chilterns, on through the Cotswolds and into the Midlands.

Didn't feel too special throughout the day's first 3 climbs for some reason - the stress of knowing we absolutely had to stay on schedule probably played a part in that.

The ambitious target of 25/26 climbs in the first 2 days was the cornerstone of this final leg with so much depending on the 'easier' logistics and relative close proximity of the climbs once we got into Derbyshire. This was make or break really - I always thought it would work, but couldn't be sure until we really got into them.

I quite enjoyed revisiting The Burway for first time since the 1989 National Hill Climb Championship - it seemed a much more pleasant place to be compared to the wind ravaged and noisy late October morning I remember 23 years ago.

Swiss Hill was technically very difficult - a narrow, poorly kept cobbled road tucked away in an affluent residential area of Alderley Edge. There were a lot of damp, muddy patches and picking a line out was tricky - even more so at the halfway point when a Range Rover (obviously) came down the hill leaving 2cm between my knuckles and the wall as I struggled to maintain traction!

Cat And Fiddle was long and draining but thankfully without the occasional sudden 20% inclines that I'd become used to on the equivalent type of climb in Scotland and Wales.

I had harboured thoughts of giving the very short Monsal Head the 'full gas' but by now the length of the day was catching up on me and the legs just didn't want to know.

As mentioned previously, we finished at 9pm having crawled up the stunning Winnats Pass, legs almost shutting down. Simon Warren tweeted me earlier in the day to say 'you never forget your first time up Winnats' and he was right - beautiful and brutal in equal measure.


Winnats Pass

Cat And Fiddle

Mow Cop

Mow Cop


video
Winnats Pass

                                           
   video
Winnats Pass


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