Pre Event Competitor Update

21st Jan 2015

Above: Race Director, Shane Ohly, provides an insight into the event preparations and the wintery conditions to be found in the Howgills.


As Marmot Dark Mountains™ 2015 approaches this weekend we will be updating the website with news, videos and photos of the preparations. 

Weather Forecast and Conditions

The Howgills are snow covered with ankle deep snow in most places but drifting snow in terrain traps (gullies, lee slopes etc) has been found to be knee deep in places. 

Currently it looks as though there will be some more snow and strong upland winds (possible gale force) later this week and continuing cold temperatures. Just remember we will out placing controls in this weather! 

There will be a final ‘conditions and weather’ update on Friday evening that will include pictures and video of conditions in the Howgills that day.

The latest Mountain Weather Information Service forecast for the Lake District is HERE

Above: The Howgills in the distance on Friday 16th. There has been more snow since then.


Avalanche Risk

There maybe a small avalanche risk on leeward slopes during the event. We will provide further information on the potential avalanche risk in the Friday evening update.

Whilst avalanche risk is not restricted to steep slopes (the mean figure for slab avalanches is a slope of 37°) our comments about taking sensible route choices (HERE) and avoiding steep slopes are worth reiterating. 

Above: Satellite phones test, charged and ready to go!


Specialist Winter Running Equipment

Specialist winter running equipment such as Kahtoola crampons and a lightweight ski-mountaineering axe should be considered by all competitors. These items are not mandatory but we may make a strong recommendation as to whether competitors should carry/use them based on conditions on Friday and the weather forecast.

Map Correction: Sheepfolds and Ruins

Not so much a correction but an observation. Please note that ‘sheepfolds’ and ‘ruins’ have different symbols on the map legend but in the control descriptions both are described as ‘ruins’ i.e. you may have a checkpoint that is a sheepfold (as per the symbol on the map – shown within the control circle - and also the map legend) but the description will say ‘ruin’. In practical terms this makes no difference, as both features are ruined piles of stones in most cases. 

Above: Lightweight glassfibre stakes that the control kites are hung from being checked and prepared.


GPS and Smart Phones

If you plan to run with a GPS enabled device (including smart phones, watches etc) these must be sealed in a bag at registration. 

Event Centre Showers

There are showers and changing rooms at the Event Centre. Please bring personal washing sundries if you wish to use these before travelling home.

Marmot Dark Mountains™ T-Shirts

If you pre-ordered a t-shirt these will be ready for collection at registration.