Travelling home by public transport I listened to passengers relating tales of woe regarding the snowy conditions and how weekend plans had been severely disrupted. On running forums too there were stories of people staying indoors or resorting to treadmills rather than risk life and limb in the icy conditions. I kept my mouth shut for fear of being labelled an idiot, or irresponsible, or something worse.....not daring to tell them my wonderful partner and I had been out running on both days and logged a respectable 12 miles.
|Running towards Linton Falls (Click to enlarge pictures)|
Saturday's run was the longest, an enjoyable 7 mile route crunching through fields of snow/ice and back by a frozen riverbank path. We wore Inov-8 Trailrocs and Hoka Speedgoats that gave us total confidence. I speak for both of us in saying that any negative thoughts of sliding or falling never entered our heads.
|Weir at Linton falls|
Hundreds of black headed gulls passed over us, flying in the direction of the sewerage fields, as we traversed the big pasture towards Linton Falls and the big weir.
|Heading towards thicker snow|
From there on we started to climb, 300ft or so towards the hidden village of Thorpe. As we climbed the snow got thicker, harder and icier but we took it all in our stride.
|Dropping down to Burnsall|
The road into Thorpe had not been gritted. Tractors and cars had compacted snow into dangerous looking ice but we were able to avoid it by keeping to the side.
|An eerie bit of world we passed through...|
We headed towards Burnsall under a lowering sky with a big yellow patch where hazy sunshine filtered through grey cloud. It gave the landscape an eerie appearance as light increased, then faded again.
|A smoking brazier to keep smokers warm|
Burnsall was totally clear of snow. Outside the Red Lion a brazier was kept burning to keep al fresco customers warm, but no-one was taking advantage of it. We stayed only long enough to take a photograph.
|Leaving Burnsall Bridge|
The riverbank path was clear around the Red Lion where many people had walked, briefly taking the air or admiring the view before retiring into the warmth of the bar for various forms of refreshment.
We briefly spotted goosanders, male and female, swimming and diving in the river but on the icy path our concentration centered more on where we were putting our feet rather than on local wildlife.
|Sunshine ahead - briefly|
As we approached the suspension bridge the sun poked it's nose from behind the clouds to welcome us back to Hebden, and home after 7.12 miles with 605ft of ascent. If TomTom can be believed.
|Alternative to Grimwith on Sunday - High Lane into Grassington|
We got up on Sunday intending to drive to Grimwith for a run round the reservoir, but a glance out the window revealed a frozen car that had changed from red to white overnight. It didn't bode well for Grimwith which sits on the 1,000ft contour. The approach road and car park would be treacherous that morning in icy conditions .
|Dancing on ice|
But so, I suppose, was the icy lane up which we set off to run to Grassington Bridge between rimed walls after an early breakfast. But our trail shoes coped well, even on ungritted side roads through Grassington where we'd to run flat-footed, stamping our studs into the frozen snow/ice to gain maximum grip.
|Leaving Grassington Bridge. Right, let's go...|
We crossed the main road at Grassington Bridge, back onto more runnable terrain to join the riverbank path all the way to Hebden. I suspect the temperature of the river affects the state of its banks for snow had melted in places to be replaced with slippery mud. No problem.
|Into the last mile|
I should mention that throughout this run we had a sprinkling of snow which, oddly, was pleasantly cooling. Two years ago, prior to two cataract operations, my spectacles would have been spotted with snow on the outside and steamed up on the inside, thus making running a dicey pastime. I'm much happier now, running without specs.
|Snow speckled runner with Dracula teeth|
TomTom said we'd run 4.86 miles, which I'm quite happy to call 5, with a mere 380ft of ascent. As we sat down for lunch snowing increased to almost white-out proportions, but we were back home, snug and warm, a full scuttle of coal at one side of the hearth and a brimming log basket at the other.
Chores are over. Relaxation comes easy now,
and drowsy contentment...
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow