A while ago I posted a series of photos I’d taken in the course of a run. I’ve been meaning to do it again and, well, yesterday I got round to it. I’ve written about Pen Hill before: it’s our local “big hill”, a high plateau that dominates the South side of Wensleydale round here.
I took the photos with a compact camera. They’re not great but the sum of them, I hope, is a bit greater than the parts. I hope they convey something of the feeling of the place – and the great feeling you can get running round it. I started running on hills years ago when my children were small. Having very little time to myself, running on hills was far more practical than spending all day walking over them. I don’t bust a gut trying to run fast – one can run on the flat and on the descents, and be content to stagger up the steep slopes. In my experience, a non-competitive fell run can actually feel easier than running a similar distance on the road.
Yesterday’s run began on a farm-track that contours the lower slopes of the hill for a mile or so. (Click on the pictures to enlarge them)…
…before turning off the track.
It steepens. Black Scar looms up ahead. It’s a case of crawling up a bilberry covered slope to the left of it (I think they were bilberries – I had a good look as they were six inches from my nose, but I’m no plant expert).
I stowed the camera away before the crawl but not before I caught a group of cattle.
Once at the top, I followed the path along the cliff edge.
The dry stone walls drop away down the hillside. They must have taken some building. I always think of drystone walls as Yorkshire’s answer to the pyramids.
It’s soon time to drop down back to the starting-point. At first it’s steep and exhilarating.
Then the slope turns more gentle…
…dropping down through a couple of fields back to the starting-point.