GPS Training 13/10/2018

Carol was in hospital waiting for surgery to repair her failed new fistula graft. Storm Callum and I was on my way to the Lake District after work. On the way I passed a tree that had fallen and squashed a car, miraculously no-one was hurt. Because I had to pass Tebay services, I also had to get out in the teeming rain and buy provisions for the next day. And also because it was a ritual that Chris and I stopped at Tebay whenever we could.

I got to Mosedale End Farm B&B just after 6. It’s beyond Mungrisdale (pronounced mung as in bean and Grizedale as in Grizedale). There is more road beyond the farm but it felt like the end of the line. The farm backs onto Carrock Fell which looms steeply over it. I’d like to return to climb the fell especially as the B&B is fully geared up for walkers with an honesty fridge full of sandwiches and various other snacks, and a boot room.

I rang Carol who had finally had the surgery. After settling in, I drove the 2 km back to Mungrisdale. It was very dark by then and very wet. The Mill Inn was quiet. Chris and I came here back in 2011 but it felt like yesterday despite the weather being totally different. And that time we stopped at Tebay on the way home after summitting Grisedale (with an s) Pike! I had a chicken curry which was fine and some Cumbria Way beer, very good beer. Carol and I came to Bowscale Tarn in 2010 but not the pub.

Back to the B&B to watch Never Say Never Again. And never watch it again either. Twice is too many times.

Good breakfast is somewhat dark and gloomy room. Lots to eat, homemade bread. I had a poached egg and baked beans. JoAnne was a good hostess and let me get on with what I needed to do, i.e. get to the course on time.

It was still raining very heavily but I only had to go the 2km to Mungrisdale Village Hall. There were 6 of us on the course, run by Andy of GPS Training. I’d recently bought a Satmap GPS device and the course was just for Satmap GPS units. Andy was excellent and knew his way round the 3 different models. It was raining so much the river rose during the day so we only went out briefly a couple of times. I can’t fault the training and now feel much more in command of the unit and what it can do. There’s also a year of access to an online resource. Andy has done loads of video resources to answer any possible question you might have!!

I had a short chat with Carol before leaving for home. It had been a good use of my time as she was out of action, but I was nagged by the underlying anxiety of the surgery.

I got home Saturday evening and then broke Carol out the next day. Surgery successful.

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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Lakes August 2018

Weds 15th

I got to Monk Coniston early enough to settle in to my room in the cottage and plan my walk for the next day.

HF had sent me a voucher for a free bottle of wine so I made a start on it. Dinner of chicken with Parma ham, a bit tough and then ice cream.

The HF inter house quiz was on and the team I was in won in this house. We each got a cloth bag prize!

Thurs 16th

Breakfast of poached egg and sausage and a croissant.

I drove to the end of Langdale and parked off the road. Rain was on and off. Walked up to Pike of Blisco. Some short scrambling sections. Very windy at the top. Started to go to Cold Pike but retreated because the weather was so unpleasant I wasn’t enjoying myself and it was a long detour. Down via Oxendale, last walked with Chris when we did the ruddy Crinkle Crags.

Back to a hot shower and a local produce dinner. More wine (same bottle). A vegetable soup, a mini Cumberland sausage, salt marsh lamb, very tender, with creamed potato and half a parsnip, a dessert trio of sticky toffee pudding, cold, not my favourite at best of times, Kendal mint cake cheesecake which was nicer than it sounded and a lemon torte which was delicious and which I wished had been my entire dessert.

Chatted with Sally while we nibbled cheese and biscuits.

Went to bed early and fell asleep straight away.

Coniston
This woman is in the garden at Monk Coniston and I had to keep walking past her. Something seems to have slipped a bit…

Fri 17th

Breakfast, surprisingly hungry. Fruit, yoghurt and granola, hash browns, poached egg and beans and toast.

Parked up on road in Coniston. Had no change or inclination to pay £7 in car park.

2.5 hours to reach the summit of Old Man of Coniston. This is another hill I’d done with Chris. Stayed mainly dry on the way up but hideous weather at the top. V poor visibility. Went to Brim Fell but abandoned the idea of a circuit because I couldn’t see enough. Returned to the Old Man for a bit of shelter and met Sally and her 2 friends. They decided to return the way I and they had come up so I tagged along.

Not far down Jenny twisted her knee. She kept going but very slowly. One of the HF groups passed us and advised that we call Mountain Rescue. Sally and I were reaching that view also. I rang 999 and asked for Police Mountain Rescue, a very calm woman took our grid reference and description of where we were. We kept going. After a while the Coniston MR team rang us and said they were on the way, another calm chap who said they could drive up quite a way and they would ring from Crowberry Haws. We kept on. Then hooray, heard a siren. Before long the team of 8 arrived and stretchered Jenny down to their Land Rovers. Sally, Abi and I walked to the Land Rovers. Once the team arrived with Jenny, they unstrapped her and got her into the warm van. Then they all pitched in did fiddly weaving with all the stretcher straps. The team gave the 3 of us a lift down a very bumpy mine track. It was all done extremely efficiently and kindly. An ambulance was waiting for Jenny on arrival at the MR base in Coniston, she was whizzed off for x-rays at Barrow in Furness hospital. Abi went to her home in Coniston. Sally and I were given hot drinks and Mars bars in the MR base.

The weather had deteriorated from about midday. Certainly all my gear (summer showers rating only) was soaked by the time we got back so there had been a real risk of hypothermia at the speed we were going. Fab HF drying room sorting out the wet gear.

Finished off my bottle of wine. Dinner of fresh tomato soup, home made pizza with potato wedges and coleslaw, raspberry creme brulé. I’d originally asked for small portions but after our adventures I was very hungry. I had a half of beer watching a game of skittles! Yes indeed!! I did 10 pin bowling when I was 16 but was terrible at it then so didn’t even try it.

Mine workings

Low Water, not visible at all on our way back down
Cairn on Brim Fell
Hats off to these people

Sat 18th

Sally updated me that Jenny had no broken bones or torn ligaments, muscle damage so that should heal more quickly. She also got a lift home with the doctor who treated her!

After breakfast I went to Windermere and looked at an exhibition about the Windermere Boys (and girls) who were housed briefly in Windermere after leaving the Nazi concentration camps as orphans. An impressive exhibition in the library.

The rain had dropped off and I did think about walking up Lingmoor Fell but decided to go home.

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

https://my.viewranger.com/track/widget/7559522?locale=en&m=miles&v=2

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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High Seat 31st March 2018

It was very much still winter on this Wainwright fell. I started from Ashness Bridge and plodded my way up the side of Ashness Gill. It was cold but I was able to see for the first half of the ascent and then visibility went down to about 10m. I got to the top of the fell where it was less than that!

Back down and it was nice to come out of the cloud and snow and to look across to where I was staying at Derwent Bank on Derwent Water. A good warm up walk to get me back in the swing of it.

I stayed in an HF Holidays house, it’s the UK’s only cooperative holiday company and it was excellent. So good that I became a member after one night, the room was good and the food was great.

Derwent Water from Derwent Bank
Derwent Water
Derwent Water
Summit of High Seat
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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Long Lakes weekend June 2016

Friday 24th June
Good journey. After taking in enough bags (Carol) for several weeks we had a light supper and walked down to Esthwaite water in the dusk. Lovely.

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Esthwaite Water
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Esthwaite Water
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Esthwaite Water
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Esthwaite Water
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Esthwaite Water

Saturday 25th June.
Big breakfasts. To Coniston for a look round then up to the Coppermines and then on to Levers water reservoir now part of Coniston hydro electric system. Quite a hard walk for my party (Carol) who did very well. Picnic at Levers water.
Back down we stopped for a cup of tea with the Jetboil at the end of Coniston Water.
Back to Belle Green B&B to get ready to go to the Tower Bank Arms. We managed to be late even though it is only 2 mins walk away. No excuse for us having to wait over an hour for our dinner. Carol had pork fillet with black pudding mash and veg. I had y m2nd choice of ratatouille with sweet potato mash on top and tempura veg. The food was nice but we were hungry tired and cross by the time it came.

There is a mountain rescue Land Rover driving over the mountain near the top of photo
There is a mountain rescue Land Rover driving over the mountain near the top of photo
Ye olde mining wagon
Ye olde mining wagon
Levers Water
Levers Water
What I've got to walk all the way down as well?!
What I’ve got to walk all the way down as well?!
Entrance to mine
Entrance to mine
Spill chucker was not used
Spill chucker was not used

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Coniston Water
Coniston Water

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Sunday 26th June
More big breakfasts. To Ambleside for the shops! Then to Browfoot just north of Staveley for a flat walk along a river. Very peaceful. Lunch overlooking Kentmere tarn. Back via ferry which now has stupid ticket machine system instead of buying ticket from man on board. Very complicated machine which made me want to hit it. Machine has not resulted in fewer jobs as there is still a man to check tickets and a man to direct cars as to where to go. Meaning the machine is total waste of time and will make people very cross. It seemed to be succeeding well with this aim. Back to B&B to get ready to go out to the Blacksmith’s Arms at Broughton Mills. This is a very nice old pub with good food and the excellent Tirril Brewery’s draught Pennine Pilsner. I had 2 halves. Carol had grilled chicken with and I had pea risotto with a poached egg on top. C then had sticky toffee pudding and I had a sort of lemon mousse with a piece of shortbread. All very nice. Back via lovely quiet lanes.

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Thelwell
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It didn’t look that bad!
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The footpath went through a filtration products factory
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My jacket, my lager
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Well we didn’t smoke anything
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Roaming in the gloaming

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Monday 27th June
Big breakfasts! Set off to do pub inspections for a possible evening meal:

Cuckoo Brow at Far Sawrey
Red Lion at Hawkshead
Queens Head at Hawkshead
C did the inspections. Asked which she would prefer. None of them! Decided to buy some small snacks instead as both quite well fed now.
Drove to Broughton in Furness. Unfortunately the nice bakers is closed on Mondays but we got some bits in the grocers and the butchers which had various samosas, pakoras etc. We had a drink in a cafe on the square.
Drove back through Broughton Mills passing the Reading Room car park which would be a good place to park when visiting the pub which has only room for 3 cars in front of it and no car park of its own.
Parked on the little road to Torver and walked a short circuit down the road along the beck. Very quiet, saw 3 people. Stopped for lunch at a named hamlet which is just a handful of ruined houses. Started to rain but just a shower. Back up the hill through the forest. My party struggling a bit as quite a while since dialysis on Friday and the cumulative effect of a smaller volume of dialysis since the fistula repair operation. She did well and is expecting to be full of beans once back on the regular regime. I hadn’t really appreciated how this all worked.
Drove back to Near Sawrey stopping for a cup of tea brewed up on the Jetboil.

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Cheeky!
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I think this is “hurry up and take the photo”!
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And we worry about chemicals in our food now.
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Deserted hamlet
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It’s a strawberry for Little Ted!

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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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Langdale 24th April 2016

Sometimes not sleeping much is useful. I managed to park in the NT car park at New Dungeon Ghyll and was walking by 9.30. There was a bike race on which worried me a bit about the parking but the NT was fairly empty.

I pushed up to Pike of Stickle to meet sleet, hail, wind, sun, mist. I didn’t do the last 5 metres because it was hands on scrambling and the Rock was wet cold and slippy. Then to Harrison Stickle. Good views of a lot of lakes. Back to the col and some tricky nav to Thunacar Knott. I decided to forego Sergeant Man and headed off to Pavey Ark and back down to Stickle Tarn and down some more to the car.

My knee was hurting which was in part because the steps were huge. Back down in time to get home in good time and serve up a delicious boeuf bourgignon which had slow cooked all day.

Stickle Tarn
Pike of Stickle
Pike of Stickle
The latest casual look
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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Bannerdale Crags, Mungrisdale Common and Souther Fell, 26th July 2015

Today’s walk plan was to knock off some Wainwrights at the back of Blencathra.

I parked up in Mungrisdale on the road verge after an easy journey of 2.5 hours without stopping for coffee. Set off at 10 a.m. Pleasant and easy walk to the top of the crags along a wide path. It was dry but blowy at the top.

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From Bannerdale Crags looking back to Mungrisdale village and beyond
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Heading up to Bannerdale Crags

Down a little to a col which joins the Crags with a spur off Blencathra. At this point I veered off and headed due west to Mungrisdale Common. Wainwright must have been having a joke here, his description starts off with “To add to its other failings …..”, continues with “has no more pretension to elegance than a pudding that has been sat on” and “There is little on these extensive grass slopes to provide even a passing interest for an ordinary walker, and nothing at all to encourage a visit.” So why the bloody hell did he bother to put it in, it’s not even a summit as such. There is a suggestion that it was put in to provide some filler for the book on the Northern Fells. The common is a large, flat stretch of featureless bog. And very tedious because the bog got boggier and boggier as I went along, reminiscent of the bogs on the Isle of Jura. It started to rain so once I’d been and found the “summit”, I squelched my way back stopping for lunch on the way after I’d got off the bog. Not a soul in sight on the common.

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I’m on a road to nowhere
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A helpful navigational aid, just where it needed to be

Back at the col, I went down the River Glendaramackin to reach  a footbridge. Over this and then quickly up onto Souther Fell. The rain was coming in fast over Blencathra by this time. There was a path marked on the map which would take me directly to my car so I aimed off but crossed it without noticing (probably because too faint). So I headed back up a little (I’d overshot the distance) and then located the path in the bracken.

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Blencathra disappearing
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Why it’s called Sharp Edge
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Top of Glenderamackin River

This now brings my total of Wainwrights to 74 which is properly over one third of them done. Five and a half hours of walking. Home by 6 p.m.

 

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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