Lakes Sky Ultra™ 2017 - 56km/4500m
Lakes Sky Ultra™, a SkyRace™ that addresses the routes of the sport, big distance, soaring ridge lines, rock scrambling & more. 54km, 4300m ascent. Rock & Run!
Race route: Please note this route may undergo slight alterations before the race day itself so do not rely on this map. Reproduced courtesy of Harvey Maps.
Starting on the streets of Ambleside, you will climb up to Fairfield via Dove Crag & Hart Crag, before dropping down across the scree slopes to Grisedale Tarn (CP1) and then traversing the Helvellyn massif. One of the best descents in the Lake District, Swirral Edge (grade 0.5 scramble), gives way to the classic mountain top of Catstycam (CP2) before plunging down the north-west ridge to the valley floor below (CP3 + Feed Station) minimal aid station suppling water and some food. Climbing back up, onto Birkhouse Moor (CP4) will give racers the joy of running the whole length of Striding Edge (CP5 & easy grade 1 scrambling), before the route tops out back on the Helvellyn massif. Countouring around the top of the headwall of Nethermost Cove, leads onto the lesser-known line off Nethermost Pike (CP6), dropping into Grisedale. A short & very sharp uphill grind onto the Grisedale face of St. Sunday Crag (CP7) will ensure the heart is beating hard before you commit to the exposure and steepness of Pinnacle Ridge itself (grade 3). Tasty!
The crux of the race complete, a fast descent into Patterdale (CP8) and the chance for a refuel at the supplied aid station before climbing once again onto the high tops, via Boardale Hause (CP9) to visit Angle Tarn, The Knott and High Street. Another bone shaking descent off Long Stile passing Blea Water and down the valley (new section due to date change, ring ouzels and adders) to join the track (CP10) leading up past Small Water, on to Nan Bield Pass and back to the summits, bearing round a beauty of a track at the head of the Kentmere Valley. Your legs will be trying to burn you into submission now, but some fantastic undulating running from The Beacon through Threshthwaite Mouth and over Caudale Moor to Kirkstone Pass via St Ravens Edge will carry you to the final resupply point outside the Kirsktone Pass Inn (CP11). One last climb - up Red Screes (CP12), a real corker and part of our 'KOM Super Stages', and then the fast 5km descent back to Ambleside. The 'KOM Super Stages' will be a timed ascent to Red Screes from Kirkstone Pass (between CP11 AND CP12) & a timed descent to the finish (CP12 - FINISH), races within a race! These are sponsored by Leki and you have the chance of winning one of 2 pairs of Leki Micro Trail Pro's (mens and ladies prizes available here!)
The route will be fully marked and flagged. There will be no navigational experience required. The above image, with thanks to Harvey Maps, shows the provisional race route. There is likely to be some refinements before the race itself. Please keep an eye out for updates as they happen.
Underfoot terrain will be mixed. Grassy trods, well worn mountain paths, bare rock, scree, open fell, bogs and tussocks will all feature on this fully marked route. Use of hands will undoubtedly be required.
There will be a safety team on the hill, with marshalled control points at high-level locations along the course. Feed stations will be at Kepple Cove, Patterdale and Kirkstone Pass Inn. Due to the nature of the terrain, competitors will need to carry their own food and drink for significant sections of the course, and finish with at least 200 calories of emergency rations. However, we encourage racers' families, friends and support teams to make their own way to marshalled points on the fells and at road crossings, preferably with a Cow Bell (these will be available to purchase on the day) or two to add to the atmosphere and character of the race.
There will be a cut-off at Patterdale and another at Kirkstone Pass (Times TBA), to ensure timely completion of the race route in daylight hours. Sunrise will be at approximately 05:10 with sunset at approximately 21:27, with the race running between the hours of 07:00 until 21:00.