Last Friday afternoon Cali Ingham and I set off for Langdale for the 50th Anniversary OMM (formerly KIMM, of course). I’ve competed (if that’s the right word) in 23 of them, which is quite a sobering thought. Like many previous OMM/KIMMs I’ve done the weekend was two days of contrasting weather with a stormy night between. And as always seems to be the case it was the Saturday which was wet and very windy, but Sunday dawned with blue sky and wall to wall sunshine. Somehow it seems better to finish in sun than in rain.
Not surprisingly Langdale was very wet underfoot and the climbs and descents were steep. We were straight into boggy ground from the start as the mist came down and the wind and rain started. We took the decision to avoid the tops, given 60mph+ winds, so skirted Pike o’Blisco at 600m via a control in a steep and scrambly gully. With visibility getting worse we were close to giving up finding Red Tarn, the key navigation point below our last control but it emerged from the mist just in time. The clock ticking on so we descended on the road north of Wrynose Pass to the overnight at Cockley Beck. This was one the worst overnight camps in 20+ years. You could mostly choose flat and marshy or dry and sloping, but an early start had meant an early finish for us so we got a dry and level spot sheltered by a wall. The rain had eased enough to allow a certain amount of sociability; at least Lindsay Doig and Jonathan Marks spotted us and came to say hello (holding a score triple ours!).
We had an even earlier start on Sunday, and with the clocks going back, we were keen to be up before 6 and we were away at 7.30. What a difference sunshine makes! Even the marshy ground seemed easier. Navigation of course is so much easier in good visibility, so our lack of speed is probably a bigger handicap in those conditions, but we actually were 12 places better on the day than on Saturday. Again we missed the higher tops, this time down to muscle and joint conditions rather than the weather conditions, but had a fantastic morning across the side of Bow Fell before a steep descent to a final control and track to the finish.
We were happy with the weekend, which for us is about being out navigating in the hills in all conditions. Our most significant result is that we were the 10th oldest team out of 225 in the Medium Score, but still well short of the combined 148 years of the oldest team. Lindsay and Jonathan had two cracking days and were 10th overall in the Medium Score (and 5th mixed team in a very competitive category). From what I can see from the results, all other Carnethy competitors were in the Long Score class. Angus Davidson and John Mitchell were 17th (8th male non-vet team) with Alan Ramsey and John Sutherland further back.
Results, videos, pictures and reports are here https://www.theomm.com/news/omm-50th-anniversary-updates/