Autumn 2002 Polaris

Start Line in Whinlatter Forest

Even though we didn't start until 9.35am, it was still gloomy in the forest. Immediately after the start line there was a strenuous climb up to the Whinlatter Pass, from where everyone dispersed to their chosen checkpoints.

Coming off Loweswater Fell

This is the bridleway leading away from checkpoint 8 down towards Loweswater. Every now and again the sun made an appearance, but the drizzle was fairly persistent.


This is the view from just above checkpoint 10 down into Mosedale. Gale Fell looms on the right, whilst in the background catching the sun are the Derwent Fells.

Top of Scarth Gap Pass

Having carried our bikes up from Black Sail Hut at the foot of Scarth Gap Pass, an opportunity to actually ride them presented itself at the top of the pass. The sun came out, too, for the last hour or so of the day.

Descending Scarth Gap Pass

You should be able to make out Andy's red jacket against the rocky track below. Some bits of the descent were ridable, but others were like carrying a bike down a shattered staircase whilst trying not to be distracted by the spectacular view across Buttermere and the sunlit fells beyond.

Overnight Camp

The wilderness camp site was at Warnscale Bottom near Buttermere. The sun shone just long enough for us to put the tent up before we had to huddle inside it from the rain.

Sunday Morning

Sunday morning dawned fresh, bright, and most importantly dry, as you can see from this photo taken from the tent doorway. What a view to wake up to.

Campsite looking southeast

This is the view to the southeast from the overnight camp. The infant River Cocker tumbles down from Hay Stacks, on the right, and flows neatly through the campsite for us to fill our Camelbaks.

Climbing Honister Pass

Our warmup on the Sunday morning was the road climb up Honister Pass, spectacular in the sunshine. We made it to the top without walking, in spite of the 1 in 4 gradient.

Checkpoint 33

Checkpoint 33 was on this bridge overlooking Borrowdale. That's my bike in the foreground, just to prove I was really there.

Derwent Water

Derwent Water as seen from the Allerdale Ramble bridleway. It had been a strenuous climb, as you can see by the way the camera lens has steamed up from being inside my jacket pocket!