Sunday, 25 November 2012


Yesterday's outing was by train to the village of Puchberg-am-Schneeberg (585mtrs) which is naturally situated within sight of the Schneeberg Massif. My map shows 3 peaks: Klosterwappen (2076mtrs), Kaiserstein (2061mtrs) and Waxriegel (1888mtrs). It was to this latter that I made my way.

The vegetation changes as one wends one's way up the trail towards the mountain path. The view below is looking towards the south from the Kaltwasser Sattel area (1300mtrs).

Here, I have left the track far behind and I'm climbing a steep slope in an area known as Kuhplagge. 

On and on. I'll have walked more than 20 kms with over 1300mtrs of climbing by the time I get back to the village.

The path becomes narrower, steeper and more rocky. But the effort is worth it. The magnificent view across the Ochsenboden to the north with the Klosterwappen peak on the left and the Kaiserstein peak on the right.

Under the clouds, and 64 kms away, is the city of Vienna.

And now the final push to Waxriegel summit:

Two walkers were following behind. And when they arrived one of them kindly took this summit photo. The building below on the edge of the escarpment is the Elisabeth Kirchlein - a small church.

Having reached the summit and eaten my banana I returned to the village just as the fog was closing in and caught the train back to Vienna.

Sometimes you just have to go and find your own sun. It won't always come to you!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Half Trog

   I went there with Jon and Bruce to spectate and offer shouts of encouragement and as appropriate discouragement - but it was all in good fun.

The Half Trog Fell Race takes place on the moorland above Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire. It is called the Half Trog because it is only half as long as the Full Trog. But any distance is long when you are running over boggy tussocks.

Although it was a breezy day in mid-November and we were in a Pennine wilderness there was, unless my eyes were deceiving me, a man with an ice cream van waiting for customers in the shadow of the wind turbines atop the moorland pass; perhaps some passing cyclist would pull up and buy one.

We three of weaker flesh adjourned to the warmth and cosiness of the nearest public house, which happened to be the Robin Hood, for hot pub lunches with traditional accompaniments after our stint on the wild moors.

I took several photos of our jaunt:

We three at the trig point 

Bruce with Scilly hat and Jon

A thumbs up from Tim Black (1st)

Alan Life digs in

 Jean Brown pursued by Michael Toman 

Clayton's Pete Booth powers on (1st V60)

An ancient way marker 

It was great. My thanks to the lads; I expect we'll be back!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A pre-winter fire

I concluded my 2012 running season with a bottom of the bell curve outing at Dunnerdale which is in the south-west corner of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England.

Having curtailed my training schedule after September's Asitzkogel race in Austria (2012 race season high spot) I was 4 to 5 kg heavier and consequently not race sharp at the Dunnerdale event; the race date fell towards the end of a 2 months recovery phase (albeit I had taken part in the Italian Chianti Ecomaratona 18km trail race during this period of easy-peasy semi-training).

Keep the fire going! 

The Dunnerdale Fell Race result will follow (below) in due course.

Soon I will be 65 and it goes almost without saying that a runner's 65th year is a significant way-marker in the mountain and trail running scene. It's the point, the junction of paths if you like, where the trail runner can simply turn away and fade away; perhaps to live on past glories at his local inn or club, and some do, or he or she can grin and bear the accumulating aches and pains and hobble straight on and through the late autumn of a running career.

It's obvious that the latter of these options is the right one for me; and so the rest and recovery period is now over and my enthusiasm is once again fired!

2013 can come!

And then it was, as providence would have it, that early this morning I encountered a fire salamander in his glistening black and yellow-patched suit, and with his high-stepping gait going along in a curious stop-start way over the wrinkled autumn leaves lying on the trail - both of us heading uphill and into the woods - two creatures on our way . . .

Dunnerdale Fell Race

1.    C Bell - 41:48
56.  M Walsh - 1M60 - 50:58
223.G Williams - M60 - 74:19

243 finishers

SW Lake District