Blog

Welsh weekend

Friday 29th June

Managed to leave at a sensible time and avoid the worst of the traffic. Stopped at the Welsh food centre farm shop, lovely place, quiet. Had coffee and ice cream in the steamy heat. Arrived Craflwyn Hall at 2.30.

Room in the stables very comfortable with bath robe, slippers and tin of Kendal mint cake. Cut finger on door bolt. Tea and scones at 4, then local walk at 5 to Llyn Dinas. Got chatting to nice family from Canada and USA.

Lager. Listened to walks talk then dinner. More lager. I had roast beef with roast potatoes, veg and Yorkshire pudding. The spuds needed more roasting. Caramel cheesecake pudding was a bit odd but ice cream helped.

Early to bed.

Snowdon horseshoe
Llyn Dinas
At Craflwyn Hall

At Craflwyn Hall
Above the stables

Saturday 30th June

Woke early. I can’t sleep past 5.30 at the moment. Heat and light. Granola, yoghurt and berries, mini croissants, hash brown, beans and poached egg and toast.

Arrived Siabod cafe in Capel Curig to meet Paul, Chris and Rich. Basically out all day practicing navigation skills and Paul said I was fine which is good. He was my ML assessor. Lots of contours.

Near the end of the day I slipped while crossing a very small bit of stream only inches wider than me,  in addition to getting muddy and wet which was ok because so hot, I banged and cut my elbow which is very sore and needs sorting out a bit. Lucky that Rich was an A&E doctor. He and Paul were properly equipped with first aid. I need to update my kit a bit to cater for things of this nature requiring a large dressing.

After we finished I went to Betws y Coed and got ibuprofen from the Spar shop and various dressings from a nice woman in Cotswold Outdoor who raided their first aid kit. I drove straight back to Craflwyn and assembled my supplies including my quite big car first aid box.

Showered and tried to clean the cut which was still dropping blood on the floor fairly copiously but not done well with the cleaning so will need to see a nurse. It hurts and I was a bit in shock when it happened. It doesn’t look much but very sore.

Lager. Sea bass and veg, then ice cream. More lager. Watched people playing games. Elbow still leaking. Have nasty bruise on my hip. And no arnica.

This clumsiness and injury very unlike me. I am rattled by the compulsory redundancies announced by my employer on Thursday less than a year since I was last restructured. Angry too that they have allowed this to happen. Maybe my eye is off the ball.

 

Llynau Mymbyr
Craflwyn Hall

At Craflwyn Hall

Sunday 1st July

Not a great sleep, too hot and all one sided, no thrashing around. Went for a wee in the night and found no water in the taps. Same on waking, it turns out the whole village has no water. I got every bottle I had and it came to 2 litres. Staff managed breakfast and produced tea and coffee from bottled water. No tooth brushing this morning for anyone! Breakfast of granola, berries and yogurt, mini croissant and then haddock with a poached egg on toast.

I drove to Croesor, passed the man mending the water pump at Beddgelert. Set off up Cnicht. Stopped at about 540m as it was getting more scrambly, I was too hot and had lost a bit of confidence after yesterday, I also banged the elbow again and it was very sore . Happy with getting to where I did. Headed back down. Went to cafe in Croesor for ice cream and coffee. Drove off vaguely thinking of ibuprofen gel and arnica and passed a sign saying Minor Injuries Unit. There were about 6 cars in the car park and only 2 people waiting ahead of me. I got seen and puncture wound dressed in under an hour. Got told off for not going yesterday but hard to do that if you don’t know it’s there. Surely I must be too old now to be told off?!

Back to Craflwyn. All water back in action. Shower with cling film over new dressing. Lager x 2. Dinner of lamb kebab, a bit dry, then chicken with mashed spud and veg, ice cream. We had a music quiz in the garden and the team I was in won. We had to identify instruments, then song intros, then film themes and composers. Quite hard. Thunderflies attack. Talked to Henry and Damian about leading for HF over a glass of Penderyn.

Cnicht

View to the sea from Cnicht
Ow!

Monday 2nd July

After a light breakfast I said farewell to my new Canadian/American friends. Stopped a few times to take some photos and then again at Bodnant to pick up some goodies. Very slow journey back home. Straight to the GP which Carol had sorted for me. Got a new waterproof dressing and some strong antibiotics within half an hour. 4 days later I haven’t dared to inspect it….

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

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Stones above Todmorden 24th June 2018

I decided to do another of the AA Walks, this one from Lydgate to the Whirlaw Stones, the Bride Stones, the Hawk Stones and the Orchan Stones. I’ve done some of this with Cath and also most of it with Chris who loved it.

The AA description is a bit out of date. I’ve sent them some amendments so hopefully they will update it on the web, they make a lot of reference to the Sportsmans pub which is long shut. The first hurdle was a very overgrown path in Lydgate but I reported this to the Ramblers via the Pathwatch app which sends the Ramblers a grid reference and a photo which they then send to the relevant local council.

It was pretty hot but the first section is nice and shady, the path is no longer sunken but a concrete track and very steep. Into the sun and then yet another dead sheep, this one very smelly and with lots of flies. I walked under the Whirlaw Rocks and sat on a bench to eat my lunch. Then up a bit more, past Windy Harbour and the stone head, past a new build called Mast Farm but no mast in sight and definitely not where the map was saying it was. Up onto the Bride Stones where someone was drumming in a cleft in the rocks. Across to the non pub and along the road passing the Hawk Stones on the right. Down Mount Road, past a very ancient stone cross that I don’t remember seeing before but maybe I just wasn’t looking. Along a section that the AA needed to explain in a bit more detail. Then down past the Orchan Rocks and back down another shady wide track to Lydgate.

Under the railway at Lydgate
At Windy Harbour
Stoodley Pike from the Bride Stones
Bride Stones
Mount Cross
Orchan Stones
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

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Oxenhope circular 17th June 2018

Babs and I did a route from the AA. Babs led the walk and I followed on the map. We did about 6 miles, good walking weather. Stopped at the Dog and Gun for the loo, on the moors for lunch. Saw a dead lamb, also what I thought was a dead fledgling but it moved so Babs put it off the track so at least it wouldn’t get trodden on.

We finished up at Oxenhope station which has nice loos and sat on the very uncomfortable seats in the stationary buffet train. I had a nice ice cream and Babs had toast and jam.

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Disused graveyard between Leeming and Sawood
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Very much alive lamb

Viewranger route

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

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Wycoller 10th June 2018

Just a little bimble around. Did a bit of nav practice. Had an ice cream.

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Pendle Hill
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Let me out!

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This looked like a restored path
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Wycoller Hall
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Ye olde bridge
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

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Barden reservoirs 27th May 2018

Warm and sunny day. Parked at Halton Moor.

I started off by taking a sight bearing to what I thought was a trig point quite a long way away. Mulled this over as the 290 seemed a bit short angle wise of where the trig was on the map. Worked it out, my sight bearing was actually to an obelisk on Watt Crag which was at 290.

Down to Barden Lower reservoir, on access land but following a permissive path. Some confusing signage like don’t go this way and do go this way both at the same place. I just did what the map said I could do. Up to Barden Upper reservoir where there is a big old waterworks house, very remote feeling and exposed, seemed empty but was in good nick with non broken windows and new ridge stones, looking like they’d only recently been bedded in. Slightly spooky because there was no-one around.

Had some lunch and stood up only to see a man’s grey head in the sheep fold. Slightly surprised as I’d had no idea there was anyone around.

I then took a bearing to ensure I was on the correct path for the return. The bridleway wasn’t very clear on the ground so this helped. No dogs or cycles are allowed on it despite it being a bridleway because it’s part of the Bolton Abbey estate.

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Barden lower reservoir
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Just liked the shape of these walls
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These are posh grouse butts
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House on the res
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Barden upper reservoir

Link to Viewranger route

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

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Malham 19 May 2018

When Charles and Di got married in 1981 I was 23 and walked up what must have been my first mountain, Pen y Ghent, from Horton in Ribblesdale. Two things I remember about that day – my Greek American friend M, stayed back to watch the wedding on a portable TV brought up from Cardiff just for the wedding, and someone wanted a steak sandwich, which most days in 1981 would have been quite a challenge in the Yorkshire Dales but because of the wedding was amazingly an easy find. These were the days when avocado was a colour for bathroom fittings. We’d moved on from buying olive oil in a chemist but opening hours and food choices were nothing like today.

I drove up to Malham and parked near the tarn. I did a 15km circular walk avoiding the cove and all the busy places. At first there were quite a lot of people but I soon got away from them and had the place pretty much to myself.

Passed Victoria and Jubilee caves. Didn’t go in because I reckon the interesting bones of elephants, rhinoceroses and bears discovered by the Victorians are long gone (and so they are, see the link) and I don’t much like caves.

It was warm and sunny and great weather for walking.

Towards Malham Cove
Belted Galloways
Rye Loaf Hill, my rye loaf doesn’t quite look like this.

Jubilee Cave, I didn’t go in it
Pen-y-Ghent

 

Link to Viewranger route map

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

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Pillar 1st April 2018

This trip had been a long time coming. In 2010 Chris and I had a Lakeland Adventure around Ennerdale Water where we wild camped then stayed in Ennerdale YH and finished up in the Castle Inn on Bassenthwaite Lake for a proper treat. We discussed climbing Pillar and how we would do it.

In 2014, we returned to Ennerdale and walked to Black Sail YH and then Chris got sick. It was very sudden and very clear that we were not going to climb Pillar that day. So we changed our plans and did some other things. She was such a tough woman that she did go up Catbells the next day albeit very very slowly but she was so determined to do it. That was the last mountain she climbed.

I went to Wasdale in 2015 and tried to ascend from the other side. I hadn’t allowed enough time and my boot lace disintegrated and although I had a good walk that day, Pillar was just a stretch too far.

Easter 2018: I booked a break on Derwent Water. I set it up so that I had a choice of 3 possible days to walk and I would just take the best of the 3 from the weather forecasts. The first day had very limited visibility on the tops, day 2 was looking good and day 3 looking very pants. I opted for the Sunday.

I drove round from Portinscale where I was staying to Wasdale Head, an hour’s drive. Parked up with no problems near the campsite. And then just walked. You have to go quite a long way in what feels like and is completely the wrong direction but that’s so as to avoid things like the screes. So it’s up to the Black Sail Pass and then basically back along and up and up, including a sort of knarly, knobbly knot which was hands on and fun. It’s a good long walk and always another bit to do but after 3 hours I got to the top and just the top plateau was snow covered, I knew it was a plateau but with the name Pillar you are expecting something else! There is Pillar Rock which is a climbing challenge and why the place is called Pillar. Fantastic 360 views of the sea, Ennerdale Water and Sellafield!

The last of Chris’s ashes are now scattered on the top of the mountain she didn’t reach in life.

I had planned to do a circuit but it looked a lot more snowy ahead so I returned via the same route because I was on my own.

Derwent Water
Derwent Water
Pillar
Ennerdale Water from Pillar

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

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