Posted by: Bruce Duncan | December 15, 2009

A chilly few days

After my wee trip down south, i had a manic few days of sorting all my kit out from the various places that i had it stored, to try and get everything i needed for my ski trip to Canada for Christmas.

The weather when i got home was amazing, beautiful cold crisp days, hardly a cloud in the sky, and SUN!! the first time i’d seen it for ages it felt.  I managed to get some good training in, i could feel my legs from the Helly Hansen race at the weekend, but tough spin session on wednesday night, and swimming thursday morning felt great.

After a meeting with James Thurlow about the race i am planning for next summer ( i set about sorting all my kit out.  I have a lot of stuff, and it took ages to find it all in the various boxes and then work out what i needed.

When i’d finished it was time to head out to go and see Warren Millers latest ski movie, it was amazing, such a cool film, really got me pumped up ready to go skiing.  The best line of the whole film was the quote by some old ski dude ‘ My Life is better than your Vacation!’  Loved it.

Friday was another lovely day, and i managed a sunset run along the mountain bike trails up at Whinlatter forest, it was great fun to run them and not ride, a bit odd, and very slippery in places.  Once at the top I headed over to the top of Lords Seat and then along the ridge to Broom Hill to over look the house i’m moving to in the new year.  It was a stunning evening, with amazing views right over to Scotland.  Heading back and down the rest of the trail i was feeling great, and was dissapointed i didn’t see a biker, was looking forward to a race!

After a great night out in Keswick with friends on Friday i got up early and headed to Windermere ( to go paddling with Ant Emmet on surfskis.  We had chatted on wednesday about paddling the full lenght and back again.  So on a very cold, but stunning morning we headed off carefully trying to stay as dry as possible and hoping to not get too cold.  The views were amazing, and after 15mins of paddling we were both really hot, apart from our hands!

Getting to Waterhead (the top end of the lake) we quickly turned around, and headed south, it was a long way, and we started to think that we were doing too much in the cold.  We swapped boats at the halfway point, i jumped into the Elite Surfski ( it was way tippier than the normal V10-sport, and gave me a serious abdominal workout to keep it upright, it was not the time to go swimming!

Getting near the bottom end of the lake i started to get tired, and felt like i was paddling through glue.  We swapped boats as my paddling was getting sloppy and that meant a very high chance of a swim, not what i wanted so far from where we had started.  I threw some food down me, and started to perk up, and thought I’d come this far, i may as well finish the trip, Ant was already off having said he had to do it, so he didn’t have to do it again!  I followed expecting to drop way back and then turn when he came back, but the food did the job and i almost caught him at the turn.  All that remained was to paddle back to the Kayak shop!  it seemed a long way, but we broke it down into small sections and paddled hard all the way back to beach in a time of 4hrs, not too bad considering how little kayaking we have done of late, and how cold it was.  Joe from the shop made us a cup of hot chocolate then it was time to head home to recover fully.\

Saturday was another night out! Been a few heavy nights, but was well worth it, a whole lot of fun was had up at the house i’m moving into in Jan.  Sadly having to get up early again to go Orienteering in Bleaberry Fell with my sister.

Bleaberry fell (read Hell!) is the area out the back of Walla Crag overlooking Keswick and Derwent Water.  It is covered in heather and bog, so it very physical, and with the low temps the bogs froze your feet.  I started badly, taking poor routes, but slowly started to race properly and was navigating well and cleanly.  I was very glad to reach the finish however, and to have won.

A wee walk up near Whinlatter followed catching up with my friends i’d been out with all weekend, enjoying a nice walk and good lunch after such a full weekend is very rewarding.  After all this was over, i headed home and cleaned everything away and got set to head to Canada the next day.


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