Mardale Magic is Cumbria LDWA’s successor to the Three Rings Of Shap and takes place on Saturday 30 September 2017.  The Marshal’s Walk on Sunday 27 August 2017 provided an opportunity to check the participants’ route description and associated .gpx file.  Fourteen LDWA aficionados, including Jamie aged 13, met outside Shap Memorial Hall (Grid Reference NY 564151).  The weather was pleasant for the day, particularly the afternoon.  The first challenge was negotiating the stepping stones over the River Lowther.  All safely across it was off to Wet Sleddale Reservoir Car Park, the site of the first checkpoint on the event.  It was decided we should offer some food at this checkpoint as it was judged that participants would need food before the main checkpoint at Mardale Head!


It was then up to deserted Sleddale Hall and the open fell, eventually crossing Mosedale Beck and dropping down to Swindale Head, crossing the mighty Hobgrumble Gill on a sleeper-bridge!  Time now for a bit of cardiovascular exercise up the Old Corpse Road to Swindale Common followed by a descent onto the road next to Haweswater Reservoir.  A mile of tarmac later it was lunch at Mardale Head.  Fortified by gourmet food the western shore of Haweswater Reservoir was tackled, joining Wainwright’s Coast to Coast to return to Shap.  A herd of Belted Galloways presented the second challenge of the day.  Some remained cooler than others when it was noticed that Mr Bull was present!


It was a big day out arriving back at Shap Memorial Hall 10 hours and 15 minutes after leaving it in the morning.  Mission accomplished and a smile from Jamie.  The time limit for the challenge event has been increased from 10 hours to 11 hours.  Wendy was particularly diligent during the walk fine-tuning and expanding the participants’ route description.  The updated description (dated 4 September 2017) has now been placed on the Cumbria LDWA website.  An updated .gpx file for Mardale Magic has also been placed on the Cumbria LDWA website.  This was downloaded from Helen’s vivosmart HR+, which she wore during the Marshal’s walk.  The LDWA cognoscenti will be pleased to note that we now have a .gpx file generated during the blood, sweat and tears of a Marshal’s walk rather than in front of a computer screen!  The revised statistics for the event are 34.5 km (21.4 miles) and 1,064 metres (3,490 feet) of ascent.