Small chunks of the Pennine Way

I drove for 10 minutes from our house on the road towards Oldham and parked up on the A640. I then walked the Pennine Way to the A62 and back. On the way I had a good view over the Castleshaw Reservoirs. When Carol was recovering from her brain haemorrhage we used to walk round the reservoirs and sometimes go up to the Roman fort. It’s quite a big fort and it’s good because not many people go there and it’s only got one notice board telling you what’s what.

I met a man who was training for the Spine Challenger (at first I wondered if this was a charity thing for people with back problems) which is a 108 mile race from Edale to Hawes to be done in 60 hours. He told me he does ultra marathons. I’ve looked this up, it seems to mean longer and harder. Anyway he was certainly going at quite a lick and was aiming for Hebden Bridge. I was therefore a bit surprised when he took off on the path to Oldham! I then spotted him coming across the bog on a diagonal to where I was (on the right path for Hebden), I was nice to him and he told me he had a map and had done a navigation course recently! I should have given him one of our leaflets….but he was off like a whippet.

The following week I started from the same spot and walked north instead. It wasn’t a very exciting walk! I got to the main road that goes from Ripponden to Oldham near the M62 and crossed it into a big refuse area next to a mobile phone mast. I cannot understand how people thought this was a nice place to sit in their cars and look at the view. Acres of crap, the mast and the motorway, lovely Sunday out! I went as far as the motorway and crossed it and then came back the same way. I had to pass some boys throwing stones at nothing in particular. Felt quite depressed after this walk.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS

 

Lakes late August 2014

Thursday

This was a short trip across to the Lakes. Carol went on the machine before we set off. We had planned to wild camp but the weather had been awful and the forecast was poor so instead we had 3 nights at Belle Green Farm Bed and Breakfast which we went to last year. But reckon we needed nice beds after the worrying time we’ve been having anyway. It’s a really nice B&B, highly recommended with wonderful beds! I meant to see what make the mattress was but forgot! And of course the weather didn’t do any of its forecast horrors.

When we arrived we just had a short stroll to Esthwaite Lake which is lovely. You could just sit there for hours and watch the swans and ducks. So peaceful and nobody else around.

We ate our own food in the B&B downstairs.

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Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water

Friday

We drove to Dunnerdale and stopped in Broughton on Furness on the way. As usual we managed to get talking to an old geezer called Chris East in the Clocktower Gallery. Broughton is a very pretty village with a proper square and some stocks. Chris East does very arresting paintings and I wish I’d bought one, am now in email contact with him so will see what happens. He’s also in a band called Legend which rang a dim bell alongside Mickey Jupp which rang a louder one. They’re all Essex boys who’ve ended up in the Lakes.

We then went on to park for a short walk to Devoke Water so I could show Carol my projected wild camp site and she reckoned it would be ok too. But it is a big wind tunnel so I’m still thinking to look for somewhere else. It scores well as it’s easy to reach from the road and no hills to climb for C.

Back via Torver and a stop at a deli I’d spotted. Some nice grub in there but very expensive. A restaurant on the side called Wilson’s which we’ve earmarked for next time. Also considering Sawrey House Hotel in Near Sawrey.

Back for a rest and then out again to Green’s Bistro in Grasmere. This wasn’t a great success although the food was fine. Just a bit noisy for us.

Back at Belle Green the fire had been lit and I drank whisky by it.

Broughton-in-Furness
Broughton-in-Furness
Carol at the boat house
Carol at the boat house
The path from Devoke Water
The path from Devoke Water
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale
Church in Dunnerdale

Saturday

Drove to Little Langdale. Decided to hold on Lingmoor Fell for now as quite a steep climb. Instead headed off to walk to Tilberthwaite. We got a good way but decided to return so that we still had time for shopping in Ambleside! Whilst there a fire engine and several ambulances raced through – this was for the terrible accident where 2 people died in a shed at a wedding reception when the fireworks blew up.

Back for another rest and then out to the Tower Bank Arms in the village for dinner. Pleasant restaurant room at the back of the pub.

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Sunday

Set off straight after breakfast, home by midday so that C could get onto the machine.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS

 

Mountain Leader Assessment 2014

Day 1 Saturday May 3rd

Met up with Paul (assessor), Sue and Kev (fellow candidates) in Cafe Siabod. After a briefing we set off towards Moel Siabod and basically spent the day on micro nav on the lower reaches. I did some legs ok and some needed more attention. Quite an intense day of concentration.

Day 2 Sunday May 4th

Met up with all at Cafe Siabod. Paul introduced us to the assessor for the day who took us to Ogwen Cottage and we set off towards the lake and the same rocks I had been on the weekend before. It was hard for all of us to know when to bring the rope out as the rocks were all quite scoot up able. But we did and then we were asked to cross the scree and went back down to the path. We took another route up and did some more belaying. Also did confidence roping, abseil discussion. I had a difficult day and knew this would mean a deferral on the rope work.

Trying not to look provoked
Trying not to look provoked
How it should be done
How it should be done

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Day 3 Friday May 16th

We met up at Cafe Siabod towards mid morning. After a briefing we set off in 2 vehicles and parked up at the start of the Watkin path. We walked the first part and then veered off to the right to commence our circuit of Snowdon. An early lunch and then on individual  navigation legs. Towards late afternoon we arrived descended the Miners’ track to Llyn Llydaw and then went up to meet the PYG track which we crossed. We contoured round the start of Crib Goch and round to Llyn Glas which is a lovely lake nestled under Crib Goch. We set up camp, ate our boil in the bag meals and waited for the light to go. Sometime around 11pm, we set off for our night nav expedition. I really enjoyed this, so different from when I did this on the ML training. It was dry and clear and we pootled around quite near to the camp. To bed around 2am.

Lunch time
Lunch time

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Why Crib Goch is so called
Why Crib Goch is so called
Camp site
Camp site
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo

 

Day 4 Saturday May 17th

After such a long day we all slept very badly, except Paul. The sea birds who live on the island in the lake were awful noisy all night long it seemed. We had a quick look to see the start of the cycle race, it looked a bit scary as they have to race with the traffic trying to get past them. Breakfast and then up towards the Llanberis path. We were now on the 1:50,000 maps. Discussion of route choice. Discussion of first aid scenarios. We crossed the path and moved over towards the Snowdon Ranger path. I was given another chance to demonstrate my rope skills on the cliff but was very nervous about it and made some errors again. We went down the path a bit and crossed to the Rhyd Ddu path. We contoured round and ended up next to a lake where we camped. This night we all rested well. It had been a good long trek round the mountain.

Paul on island in Llyn Glas
Paul on island in Llyn Glas

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Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo
Paul Poole photo

 

Day 5 Sunday May 18th

It was a short step round to the Watkin path from our campsite. We stopped to discuss river crossings and use of GPS. On getting back to the vehicles, Paul’s battery was completely flat so we went back in Kev’s car to Cafe Siabod. Debriefing, the other 2 passed (congrats both!) and I got a deferral to work on my rope work. Everything else was fine, just the rope work needing more attention. This was no surprise and I came away feeling really pleased as I only need to do 4 more hours of assessment on the rope. I have to wait 3 months before re-assessment.

Day 6 Friday September 26th

I stayed the previous night at Pen-y-Gwryd hotel where I’m now a regular. I met Paul at Cafe Siabod and we set off smartly to park up at Ogwen Cottage and then went up and round to the lake.

I did 2 pitches of ascent and the rock was wet so slippery and greasy which was good because it made me concentrate. We then moved over to descend to the north and I lowered Paul to a ledge where there was a sheep who was in danger of falling off if we frightened it so we beat a retreat. Paul soon found me a pitch to descend by. I got all my anchors ok and could talk about the choices I made, my knots were fine and my belaying technique was fine, using both hands (because being a leftie, I wanted to do be able to as had learnt it for right hand).

That was it, I’m now a Mountain Leader. It’s taken me a while to achieve this and I am now immensely pleased that I’ve got the award. I’m hugely grateful to my family and friends for all their love and support, especially the practical bits dangling off ropes in the wet and dark! And also to the professionals who have shared their love and passion for our native mountains with me. What’s next? watch this space!

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

MAPandCOMPASS