Woooo! SOMETIMES I can still do it!

16 05 2018

Wed 16 May 2018
I was out in the car today driving towards a titchy little fell in beautiful weather to have a small amount of exercise – all I can generally manage nowadays. As I drove, I changed my mind completely and decided to go for something far, far larger and see what happened. Skiddaw or bust!


The Mighty Skiddaw

As I drove along the Orthwaite road above Bassenthwaite for the small parking spot there, I had absolutely no idea whether I’d make it up the hill but thought probably not. I was going to take my new route though which is long and well-graded apart from a few steep sections. With the emphasis on ‘long’, however, I thought my leg would revolt at some point.

There was a huge argument raging in my head – one half of me was really cross with me for being so stupid as to undertake such a feat a few weeks before my hip replacement (don’t tell the surgeon!). I was also angry that I might have to turn back which I hate doing with a vengeance – to me, the summit is everything or there’s no point whatsoever setting off!

The other half of me was saying it was too good a day to waste on a small fell, it would be great to see if I could get up my favourite English hill and it would be a really great strengthener for the muscles surrounding my hip pre-op (although they cut a lot of the major ones).

Just to make things worse, after I’d ascended the first hill, I realised I hadn’t brought a pole for if/when my leg completely seized up and started collapsing ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

My leg grumbled madly up the first hill as it hadn’t had any time to warm up. I accidentally took a longer (and steeper) route here to the farm which wouldn’t help.

After this, there is a gentlish rise over a little ridge between Southerndale and Barkbethdale and then you join a very gently rising path which goes for a couple of miles into the head of Barkbethdale. I think this is an old mining track or something but not sure.

Many, many people no longer know about this path and go the wrong way, bashing across bogs and a large dip into the river followed by a horrible slog straight up Broad End through heather. There was a couple just coming back from this awful and erroneous route!

The path is grass all the way and pretty good. It soon reaches the head of Barkbethdale and crosses the beck completely on the level. From there it tracks gently across the fellside, gradually gaining height to the shoulder the daft people have just slogged up to!

My leg was still going well but I’d made sure I was walking very slowly. One thing not to do with a bad hip is walk fast as, then, the muscles can’t fire fast enough to work properly and protect you. If you don’t manage to use your muscles properly, you end up with a severely inflamed hip joint, debilitating pain in your groin and, when that sets onto your sciatic nerve, shin pain and leg collapse. None of these are helpful for walking up a 3000 foot hill!

The next section is steep ‘steps’ in the earth – I took absolute baby steps up here so I wasn’t working anything hard – just properly. Consequently this section went on forever and seemed never-ending.

From there you reach the wide top of Broad End which was absolutely freezing. I piled on my jumper and coat but my sockless feet inside my sandals were freezing. There is always a freezing wind blasting across or along Skiddaw – it is probably the coldest mountain in England – helped by being competely stand-alone – the next thing is the coast…

From here I just had the final easy rise up the good path up the cone to the North Summit. I was up there soon enough and made a bit of a dash across to the main summit where there was a man stood there in shorts! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

I immediately turned and headed back down again – partly the freezing wind and partly because I’d decided one of the things I must do was keep moving and not let anything seize up. My return pretty much depended on it – as I hadn’t brought a phone or told anyone where I’d gone, that mattered really.

From the plateau of Broad end, I didn’t fancy bashing down the steep stepped path to the low shoulder my raking path had come up to so I took off directly down the grassy ridge. This was pretty soft and I went very slowly indeed (for the whole descent). I ignored the first track crossing my route and took the second, hoping I’d be pretty low now. I didn’t have too much more descent to do but this was a very steep section.

My leg still wasn’t really hurting yet and was actually doing about a third of the work instead of leaving it all to my poor, abused good leg (about which I’m increasingly worried). I reached the shoulder crossroads and set off back down my gentle rake. This section went exceedingly well and was out of the wind and lovely and sunny ๐Ÿ™‚

The long path out of Barkbethdale went very well indeed and no pain occurred until I started the short descent to the beck in Southerndale. I decided to give my legs a short rest by the beck as my good thigh was screaming by now. On rising to continue, there was a moment’s stiffness but then my bad leg started going okay.

There is a lovely grassy path all the way down to the car with fairly gentle zig-zags (the way I should have come up). Just short of the car, the path went dry and very hard and my leg started to limp and hurt. But I’d done it! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

I noted I was just short of 4 hours – that’s pretty good, especially seeing how slow I’d gone. Well chuffed ๐Ÿ™‚

Advertisements

Actions

Information

15 responses

20 05 2018
tessapark1969

Well done and all the best for the op.

Like

20 05 2018
mountaincoward

I’m trying to grind the top off the bone rather than him having to saw it off – saves time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Like

17 05 2018
bitaboutbritain

Wow! Living on the edge? Shortly after major surgery – and on your hip – no stick, no back-up, no-one knew… Well done, anyway – of course! And I still have to walk up Skiddaw sometime…

Like

17 05 2018
mountaincoward

No, it’s before surgery! I won’t be able to do anything for a couple of months after it unfortunately. Skiddaw is lovely – just don’t do the boring route up Jenkin Hill from Keswick/Gale Road carpark. Ullock Pike ridge makes a great round and my new route detailed here is long but easy.

Like

17 05 2018
Kristin

Good for you! If it’s getting fixed soon, then it doesn’t matter if it gets damaged meanwhile. Which is pretty much what I was told before my shoulder surgery, LOL.

I will have to check that path out. It sounds great and is definitely not one I have tried before.

Like

17 05 2018
mountaincoward

No it doesn’t – I keep telling people I can do what I like to it as it’s being cut out anyway! I just worry about the harm to my good leg doing so much overwork – that’s starting to suffer and I think it will eventually end up having the same done.

Like

17 05 2018
John Bainbridge

Well done.

Like

17 05 2018
mountaincoward

I feel well done now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Liked by 1 person

17 05 2018
Blue Sky Scotland

Nurse! Sedate that patient please!!!! If I had a only a few weeks to go until the big day I think I’d be out in the garden in a deck chair reading a book. Good you got up to the summit though. My sister’s had parts replaced recently. Half woman -half plastic each leg.

Liked by 1 person

17 05 2018
mountaincoward

I’m a bit worried that my surgeon is doing a metal prosthetic on my femur into a ceramic ball joint – sounds worrying that. My friend has ceramic on ceramic. Hope he’s right and it’s okay to do metal on ceramic.

Like

16 05 2018
Sue Vincent

Wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚

Like

16 05 2018
mountaincoward

it was – still can’t believe I did it – and such a nice day too ๐Ÿ™‚

Like

16 05 2018
Sue Vincent

It’s a heck of a wander …haven’t done that one since I was a girl ๐Ÿ™‚

Like

16 05 2018
mbc1955

Well done, that woman! It’s brilliant to know things like that are still possible.

Like

16 05 2018
mountaincoward

Thanks – unfortunately, it isn’t possible most days – I must have had a feeling…

Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




%d bloggers like this: