Sunday, 11 July 2010

Yes Tor

After having a quick look at the Great West Fell Race ( I felt inspired to have a go at running up to Yes Tor myself, as it is unlikely I will be able to enter the proper race. On this occasion I decided to deviate slightly from the GWFR route and extend the run a little.

After an early start we got up to Meldon Reservoir car park about 8:00, and were met by the looming figure of Yes Tor which was pleasantly basked in glorious sunshine!
The climb upto the top was brutal, and my calves were seriously burning, and I pretty much walked most of it! However, after the first initial torture the rest of the run was fantastic, and the weather conditions were perfect.

The Route:
Meldon Reservoir Carpark
Yes Tor
High Willhays
Dinger Tor
Lints Tor
Black-a-Tor Copse
Round Reservoir back to carpark


Next adventure is the DMM on the 24th-25th July, so will be writing a full race report, once I have finished!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Balloon Bed

My Balloon Bed arrived in the post this morning, I am planning on using this in the DMM and OMM as I was slightly worried about using just the OMM Duomat, as it looks about as comfy as a mousemat!

This bed works by inflating model balloons and inserting them into the mat which is constructed from ripstop parachute material. This makes it extremely light and capable of being packed down to the size of a Mars bar. See for more info.

Had a quick go at setting it up as apparently it can be a bit fiddly. I only burst one balloon in the process and it took about 15mins, which isnt too bad. It is extremely light and packs down into a tiny stuffsack, ( Shown on the left) and weighs only 100g! Seems quite comfy to lie on, but I will report back more once I have 'field tested' it.

Price: £20

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Drinking Water?

Any further thoughts on drinking water on Dartmoor?

I have always just assumed the water is probably bad and always carried a camelbak or similar with me. However, since I have started taking longer runs and carrying more kit I have struggled to justify the extra 3kg of weight that 3L of water represents!

Last Sunday for the first time I started my run carrying nothing but two empty drinking bottles, I then filled these from the streams, and added a few drops of Iodine Tincture to kill any nastys that may have been lurking in the water. This method seems to have worked well, and I had no adverse effects from drinking the water, it didnt even taste too bad! The only negative thing I did notice was the fact that I drank less than half as much as I would have done if I had my Camelbak.

Princetown to Ivybridge

I have signed up to run the Endurance Life Dartmoor Mountain Marathon at the end of this month. As such I will need to carry all my gear for 48 hours on my back, including a tent, food, sleeping bag etc...
After some careful shopping around and reading some other reviews I decided to purchase the OMM classic 25L, which has just enough room to fit all my kit in.

To fully test the bag in use me and my team mate ran from Princetown back to Ivybridge.

The Route:
Start at Princetown SX59121 73493 Take the road SE past South Hessary House
Continue E past Tor Royal and onto the open moorland
Head to Crock of Gold
S to Whiteworks Tin Mine
SE to Childes Tombe
S to Caters Beam
S to Ducks Pond (Dartmoor Letterbox)
S to Blacklane Brook Ford
Follow River to Piles Copse
S to Harford Moor Gate
S to Addicombe
Continue down Two Moors Way route into Ivybridge

Rough Distance is 13-15 miles.

We did take a GPS with us but it got confused under the trees and tried to claim we had run 93.5 miles, with an impressive top speed of 48 mph!

A full review of the bag may be found here;

North Moor Jaunt

With the upcoming DMM and OMM I have been out training with my team mate on the North Moor and testing out all my new gear. On Sunday morning I got up at 5am and headed to Postbridge to try and get at least 6 hours running under our belt before it got too hot. However, we need not have gotten up so early as the weather turned miserable by about 11:00 and the dreaded mist descended upon us! Luckily this was a good oppurtunity to really practice my navigation skills, and test out how waterproog my new OMM Jacket was.

The Route:
Start at Postbridge Carpark
Head North to Grey Wethers Stone Circles
W to Sittafor Tor
NW to Quintins Man
N to Hanginstone Hill
NE to Wild Tor then Hound Tor
NW to Oke Tor
S to Cranmere Pool (The original Dartmoor Letterbox!)
S to Devils Tor
E to Lower White Tor
Return to Postbridge

Total Distance Roughly 20-25 Miles depending on route choice whilst navigating.

Unfortunatley due to the mist and the lack of visibility, we slightly changed our route after Cranmere pool and headed back East to Hangingstone Hill so we could retrace our earlier route. However, even this was a struggle in the terrible conditions and despite our compass showing East, it still felt like we were going round in circles! But we managed to find our earlier route and head back to the car.