Yewbarrow and Red Pike, 4th May 2015

Pillar continues to elude me, in that I’m not yet ready for it, or at least I have to reconsider how to get to the west side of the Lake District, do big, long walks and get home. The answer is not to try to do it all in one day. I spent as long driving the car as I did up the hill.

So despite getting up at 6 a.m. I didn’t start walking until 10.35 from the National Trust car park at Overbeck on Wast Water. I’d stopped for a very express espresso at Lancaster services and once to send a text. As I put my boots on the lace broke but I had the emergency laces to hand (probably the most essential of the emergency kit). My original plan had been to walk the Mosedale horseshoe which is a very big walk and so I cut it back to climb Yewbarrow and then decide how much further to go. I chatted to a Dutch family in the car park. They had 2 small children and it was their first ever mountain.

The climb up Yewbarrow is quite stiff and quickly reaches scrambling territory. I had to think out my moves but at least with scrambling you get to cover a lot of height quite quickly. I met up with the Dutch family at the top of the gully and they had wisely (the children were only about 5 or 6) decided to retrace their steps. They seemed to have had quite an adventure. It took me 2 hours to get to the top of Yewbarrow. I then whizzed along the top ridge and scrambled down to Dore Head and stopped for lunch on the col.

I decided to climb Red Pike as it seemed a straightforward climb and would notch up another Wainwright. And it was and it did. On the descent there appeared to be a rescue taking place on the side of Great Gable, the Sea King helicopter spent a lot of time going back and forth and eventually went away without apparently having rescued anyone. A rescue did take place, see Wasdale MR for more info.

Back down the valley along a wet path on the western flank of Yewbarrow and down to the car. And then 3 hours and 20 minutes to get home.

Pillar still on the To Do list!

Apart from the first one, photos are in reverse order.

Yewbarrow looking very pointy
Yewbarrow looking very pointy
U shaped valley along Over Beck
U shaped valley along Over Beck
And with Herdwicks
And with Herdwicks
Great Gable looking very mysterious
Great Gable looking very mysterious
Pillar and companions in the background
Pillar and companions in the background
Such poise
Such poise
Stirrup Crag on Yewbarrow's north end
Stirrup Crag on Yewbarrow’s north end
Dore Head col looking to Red Pike
Dore Head col looking to Red Pike
Yewbarrow ridge to Stirrup Crag
Yewbarrow ridge to Stirrup Crag
Great Door (and so it is)
Great Door (and so it is)
Wast Water
Wast Water

 

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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.

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Coledale round 6th July 2014

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Wally the MR bear on the top of Grisedale Pike
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A peek through to Crummock Water
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Peeking to Derwent Water
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From Hopegill Head looking back to Grisedale Pike
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From the top of Eel Crag/Crag Hill
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Towards Outerside and Barrow

Our village had the Tour de France coming through today so I managed to escape by driving to the motorway via Denshaw. I guess it only added 10 mins or so each way but it feels like a long way round. The village was pretty much blocked off.
I like cycling but I don’t like crowds so after 2 and a half hours I had parked in Braithwaite and was heading up to Grisedale Pike. Chris and I went up a couple of years ago and it was so windy we had to cling to the mountain and my map blew away.
Today there wasn’t any wind until I’d reached the summit.
Next was Hopegill Head for figit pie lunch although I saved a bit for after the next peak.
Down to Coledale Hause and back up again to Eel Crag or Crag Hill. The trig point has fallen over and I had a chat with a couple of railwaymen.
I ate the rest of my lunch, glad most of the climbing done.
Down to Sail where I walked for a while with a chap who collects Marilyns and trig points.
I should have walked up Outerside but decided to give it a miss as my knees were starting to hurt. Took some ibuprofen and this enabled me to get up Barrow and get back to Braithwaite and the car.
I drove home the way I went in case my little single track short cut had not been reopened.

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Lakes in April 2014

Tuesday 22nd April
I picked Chris up from Todmorden and we set off smartly, stopping at Lancaster services for supplies from M&S and coffees, Tebay services for more supplies, Penrith for diesel and Keswick for an anorak and a head torch for Chris to add to her collection. We ate our M&S salads in the car park. She had butternut squash and I had a beetroot and mint one, they were very tasty. 

We parked in Bowness Knot car park and then walked the 7 miles to Black Sail youth hostel which really does feel remote as that’s the only way to get there although the YHA does have a Land Rover which trundles up and down with duvet covers and bottles of beer. We were in a room on the left of the main room with 4 bunk beds in it. Chris very kindly took the top bunk as I was worried that if it was hot, the heat would rise which would probably melt me as I’m currently having thermostat problems. We made up our beds. There was one other occupant. We made our dinner of boiled mixed veg, rice and LWIF meatballs. C didn’t feel so well so I had some of hers too then yummy Simnel cake I had made.  We drank Jennings’ Cocker Hoop and Snecklifter. I liked the Cocker Hoop better. Early to bed.
Old YHA Land Rover at Black Sail
Old YHA Land Rover at Black Sail
Ennerdale Water
Ennerdale Water
On the road to Black Sail
On the road to Black Sail
Wednesday 23rd April
C snored and I sneezed but the woman we shared with from Birmingham was very forgiving or at least too polite to say we had kept her awake. I haven’t really slept for 3 weeks since my internal thermostat decided to go on the blink and give me the experience of random hot sweats at any time. The only good thing is that they don’t last very long but I do long to sleep through an entire night without either sneezing or sweating.
We had breakfast of yoghurt jam and granola pots. We tidied up and set off for Pillar. It soon became clear that Chris really wasn’t going to be able to go very far uphill so we changed our plans and walked a little further towards the head of the valley and then back to Bowness Knot along the south side of the river. This was a lovely walk going through different types of woodland. On the way we had pork pies for our lunch. We had planned to walk up Pillar and across to Steeple and down to Ennerdale YH but the walk we did do was still very pretty with the river burbling away.
Back at the car we went for a drive round to Wasdale and stopped at the Wasdale Head Inn for a pot of tea and shared a piece of cake.
Then drove back across the moor road to Ennerdale Bridge and stopped at the Fox and Hounds for supper. C had Cumberland sausage and mash and veg and gravy and I had sea bass and chips and veg and homemade tartare sauce. Washed down with Jennings beer on tap. The food was ok but not totally top notch. My fish was overdone.
We then drove back to Ennerdale YH for the night. I had asked by email if we could park here for last night while we walked to Black Sail but got a reply that we couldn’t. I then found that the woman from Birmingham had done so and she hadn’t even been staying there, Ggrrr! When I get time I will write a letter. However this reminded me that they never replied when the man in charge of Bryn Gwynant broke the noise curfew he was supposed to be implementing by playing rock music so loud it woke me up. Anyway it was lovely to shower and drink Moretti beer.
I watched the manager reverse the brand new YHA Land Rover in the dark towards the gate posts. Probably best to learn how to do this in the daylight IMHO!! I think it was unscathed but looked a close shave.
Early morning at Black Sail
Early morning at Black Sail
Chris at Black Sail
Chris at Black Sail
Head of the valley
Head of the valley
It was this big!
It was this big!
Mad woman on bridge
Mad woman on bridge
The heron
The heron
Ennerdale Water
Ennerdale Water
Wasdale in the gloom
Wasdale in the gloom
Thursday 24th April
We had a leisurely yoghurt breakfast again and then set off to drive across the mountain Whinlatter Pass to Keswick’s west side. We parked up and walked up Catbells. Chris found this hard work but I’m very grateful to her that she stuck with it and helped me reach my 61st Wainwright.  After all her efforts, we went into Keswick and had some food in the Square Orange cafe. C had a ciabatta and I had 2 tapas, a sort of omelette and some fresh tomato on bruschetta. Very delicious and a nice relaxing cafe.
Then we drove home.
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Mountain Rescue bears Ted and Wally on Catbells
Mountain Rescue bears Ted and Wally on Catbells
Towards Skiddaw from Catbells
Towards Skiddaw from Catbells
Chris with Derwent Water after exertions on Catbells
Chris with Derwent Water after exertions on Catbells

Sheffield Pike, 10th November 2013

I got up really early, well same as a weekday and I should have been at Chris’ house at 7.30 but first I nearly went flying along the paving slabs because of ice and then there was so much ice on my car that I couldn’t get into it! I eventually got the passenger door open and then had to kick the driver side door open from the inside. Couldn’t get into the boot at all. This all took ages.

I picked Chris up and we set off after I’d drunk her delicious coffee, literally her cup of coffee that was part of her breakfast. We’d just turned out of her road when we saw a dying cat, so I stopped the car and we went over but it had died by then. A nice man came out and covered it up. He said its owners never let it out.

So after all this we were late getting going and then we had to stop for loo and coffee at Lancaster services plus a little visit to M&S Food and WH Smiths.

We arrived at Glenridding and got togged up and managed to leave the car park at 11.40, not quite the 10.15 in my head!!

I’d wanted to go up to Glenridding Dodd but from the track there was no obvious access to the access land and clear signs saying no path. Despite magnifying the map I couldn’t see how we could reach the access land so we abandoned that plan and instead decided to go for Sheffield Pike first.

We went along the path to the Youth Hostel to where there are a lot of old mine buildings which are now activity centre bunkhouses, and a sign referring to skiing but no sign of any ski slope, I’ve now found that the ski slope is at Raise and better accessed from that side I would have thought: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raise_%28Lake_District%29 However we did see snow on the top of Helvellyn as it came into view.

We then moved around the substantial mining area and pondered what had been mined, I suggested lead and copper and this page says it was lead and silver: http://www.mineexplorer.org.uk/greenside.htm although you have to read the lot to work that out.

Eventually the path beside Greenside flattens out to a sort of wide, sandy beach by the stream, another less beautiful relic of the mine. Then it was our bog walk because Chris and I can’t go out without one. We stopped for our lunch but although the sun was stunning with the white tops it was quite cold. Then to the top for fabulous views across and around for long distances.

To descend we went east. I took a bearing so as to avoid some cliff areas, this was wise and worked a treat, we snaked down to the wall and then decided to go right and along a path we could see to the road as this was shorter than left along the wall to a PROW and down to the road. As it turned out not necessarily quicker! We handrailed the wall until we could get onto the path. Some people were at this point going down from Glenridding Dodd which meant that there must be a way through the access land to get back to the car park but we decided to stick with our path that we’d selected and follow it down. As it got darker and darker the path got harder and wetter. My dear companion had aching legs and did not enjoy this section. Apart from being concerned for Chris, I’m afraid I did!

Onto the road, we put our headlights on, batteries dying in mine and flash function not working in Chris’. A short hop and back to the car.

An adventuresome day all in all, but QMD as well.

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Who’s that girl?
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Over to Striding Edge
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From the top of Sheffield Pike
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Ullswater
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Getting dark
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It was dark from where we were standing but camera said OK

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Hartsop above How, Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Little Hart Crag and High Hartsop Dodd, 11th August 2013

I parked up at the FREE Cow Bridge car park in Hartsop at just after 9.30. I got going quickly or rather I didn’t as immediately on leaving the car park it’s a near vertical climb to get up the first couple of hundred metres through old deciduous woodland. A good warm up and a fast height gain which brings you out nearly on the top of the ridge. The path winds its way along the ridge with some knobbly bits to either circuit or crest. I did a mixture. The first Wainwright is Hartsop above How which is really just a high bit on a ridge but it’s in the book.

There were a couple of showers along the way but so brief that it wasn’t worth getting the hard shell or anorak out (Cath laughed at me last week for calling it an anorak!) Towards the end of the ridge there’s a short section of scree and then it’s a quick move across to reach Hart Crag. By the time I got there I was in the full force of the wind and it was chilly so I ended up wearing t shirt, merino long shirt, soft shell, hard shell, buff over my head and gloves. Wet, wind and cold.

I didn’t stop long on Hart Crag and carefully levered myself down the somewhat treacherous big lumps of rock and across to Dove Crag. At this point I actually saw some people. There were some people behind me going along the ridge earlier but even though we’d said hello they became spots in the distance before long. A quick lunch sheltering behind a rock and then on to find the wall or fence to follow down to Little Hart Crag.

The fence turned out not to exist except for the uprights but they were still there slowly rotting. I basically followed them all the way to Scandale Pass at which point I went up onto Little Hart Crag, where I had a wee thinking that I was quite alone as had seen no-one coming in any direction. So I was a bit surprised when a couple and a dog turned up shortly afterwards. I asked the woman to take my photo so that Brothers Water was in the background but as you will see, she didn’t manage to do this and it’s just as well I had my iPhone to piddle around with! By this time it was very hot and sunny and I was back in just my t shirt.

Little Hart Crag is at the top of High Hartsop Dodd so I just got going along a nice grassy path which ends in a truncated spur and is thus very steep to descend but fast. The couple with the dog went off the hill at top speed.

At the bottom there was a field to cross and I’d been wondering what the large brown thing was. It turned out to be a sleepy bull so I was glad that the hopeless photographer’s dog had not upset it.

Then it was a quick walk along a good flat gravel path by the side of Brothers Water and back to the car by about 3.15 and home by 5.30.

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

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With Brothers Water in the background
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Hart Crag on the way up
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I think this is an example of sedimentary rock, any geologists out there?
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Clear water tarn on Little Hart Crag
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Brothers Water
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Me without Brothers Water
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Brothers Water
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The whole horseshoe

Hellvellyn via Striding Edge and Catstye Cam 3rd August 2013

Cath and I met up at Glenridding car park. We set off at about 10.45 after I’d done some pfaffing about. The car park still costs £7 for the day.

We went up to Hole in the Wall which doesn’t dispense anything and has possibly been filled in as can’t say I even noticed it. This is the point for starting Striding Edge. The first part is a inevitably quite gentle and just starts to ease you in to a bit of exposure, we stayed to the right just under the ridge. We saw a young man in jeans who was clinging to the path and obviously very terrified. We gave some words of encouragement but we didn’t see him later on so I reckon he’d backtracked which would probably have been the right thing to do as he wasn’t in a particularly terrifying spot when we saw him.

Mostly we stayed to the right on the path just below the ridge. At one spot you have to make a move down and most people were just doing this in their stride but we stopped to weigh it up and Cath was getting a bit anxious. Instead of following the crowd I moved to the left and got to a steady spot and I think this encouraged Cath to do the same as she soon followed me. We hadn’t liked the look of the drop to the right. Some guys were being helpful and making suggestions but we didn’t really follow them. We reckoned on making our own decisions and doing what was right for us.

The next tricky spot was soon after where we had to get down a narrow gully. I like doing these but Cath felt a bit less sure so she told me and one of our new friends to stay at the bottom to spot her. Just when her foot was at my eye level I started to move away but she told me and the chap that we were to stay in place, so we did! I told Cath that she had girl balls and this seemed to help!

That was the worst of it and we next took a path that went round the side of the big outcrop that most people were going over. This was a good route and we climbed up easily. After that we were practically at the top. Once we got to the shelter, a man came round and sold us cake for the British Horse Society which I didn’t even know existed. The lemon drizzle cake was just the ticket at that point. It was pretty cold and breezy on the top which meant the photos were a bit bonkers, and no-one there at that time to take one for us.

Next we went down Swirral Edge which seemed nothing like as scary going down it as it had going up it last year. There wasn’t anyone on it this time which helped. Then along and up to Catstye Cam where we were the only people. It’s quite a small summit so this was just as well. Then down off the top and back along a good path all the way to Glenridding via the Youth Hostel which looks great and is in a good location. Cath said it was nice as she’d stayed there with Lee earlier on this year.

We got back at about 5.30, went and had some not so nice cake in the wrong cafe. I’d forgotten Fellbites. But the tea was fine and just what was needed.

A Quality Mountain Day with a fab companion!

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Start of Striding Edge
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Intrepid Cath on the top of Striding Edge
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Cath in movement on the Edge
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Buttress after the hard bit
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Looking back along the Edge from the top
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Despite appearances I am not about to punch Cath in the head!
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Happy Christmas
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Cath all cool and relaxed
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On summit of Helvellyn

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Wetherlam, Swirl How and Great Carrs 7th July 2013

Left the car at Tilberthwaite (150 m) and started walking at 10. The plan was to climb Wetherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs, Grey Friar and Brim Fell. It’s a very pretty walk along the side of the gill, this time I took the shorter route by going down to the beck and crossing over on the footbridge and up the other side. I managed to keep up a reasonable pace all day but within half an hour I was soaked through and panting as it was incredibly humid. My new levels of fitness certainly paid off as the day involved a lot of ascent and stamina. I passed where Carol and I had lunched the week before after 40 minutes. The path then goes up to the ridge overlooking Langdale, this is a pretty route and passes a stand of pines which is a haven of cool loveliness. I greased up to counteract the sun but then walked through a section with lots of horse flies. Horrible, the humidity must have brought them all out but at least they didn’t bite me. Then it was time to start the serious climb which was quite scrambly, although nothing like the north face of Tryfan as only short but still good fun. I reached the summit at 12 and stopped to eat a piece of flapjack. The summit is at 762 m.

Then on to Swirl How, this meant descending to Swirl Hause at 620 m and ascending Prison Band to reach the summit at 790 m. I stopped here to have my pork pie and then it was a quick whizz over to Great Carrs at 780 m. On the way across there is the wreck of a Halifax bomber which crashed here in 1944, killing all 8 on board. There isn’t much wreckage to be seen, but apparently there is more that got chucked over the side of the mountain that’s still on the hill. It was a little cooler over this side which was very welcome. A semi naked runner and his dog passed me. He looked very hot and very pink just in his knickers. I saw a lot of very pink people and one man who asked me if he was nearly there yet! I also met a couple I’d been leapfrogging with for about the 4th time, we had a little chat and then it was time to return as I was too hot to face doing any more ascents than necessary.

Back to Swirl How, back down the Prison Band, passing a poor dog who looked like he’d had enough, and then back up to Wetherlam. I’d been slightly nervous about descending the Wetherlam scramble but I’ve no idea why as it was just a walk, with only a couple of places where I had to lever myself down. I got back down quickly to the car before 5. I was so hot, I got a bottle of water I wasn’t planning to drink and tipped it over my head, neck and back. Instant relief!

I climbed about 980 m in total which given the heat of the day is pretty damn good and I know I wouldn’t have been able to do that without the running regime, I was tired but my legs have been fine today. I got home a bit late as traffic was slow on the motorway.

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This spot calls to me
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Crinkle Crags and Bowfell
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Crash site
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I do like this spot
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Still want to walk up here

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Lakes June 2013

Thursday 27th June

Carol went off to dialysis at the crack of dawn and I collected her at lunchtime. As we left Leeds it started to rain and so the forecast “shower” continued for the next 3 and half hours. We stopped at Booths’ supermarket in Kirkby Lonsdale for supplies and arrived in Far Sawrey just as the rain stopped and parked up opposite the Cuckoo Brow pub. We set off for our camp site that we’d spotted when here last. A fox crossed the path a bit ahead of us, thrilling to see her. Just as we had identified a suitable location for the tent, the midges came and started to eat us alive. Despite all our efforts with insect repellant scarves, they kept on biting us so we quickly decided that perhaps camping wasn’t the right thing to do. We weighed up a few alternatives including sleeping in the car but in the end I rang Belle Green B&B and they had a vacancy so we were able to arrive a night early. Hattie (the daughter) welcomed us in. We had a few snacks in the bedroom and some wine and then wandered down to Esthwaite Water and walked the Beatrix Potter walk which goes along the edge of the lake, very pretty. Belle Green B&B is comfortable and easy going.

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Esthwaite Water

Friday 28th June

Lovely bed, lovely sleep. Big breakfast cooked by Ann and Steve. They are nice people, helpful and made me feel completely at home. We set off and parked up by the side of the road to walk up to Latterbarrow to the “mon” at the top. This turned out to be not much of a monument but more like a “standard” as in the Nine Standards. We did a bit of a circuit with a good mix of terrain and returned to the car. It started to rain again so we drove to Cockermouth, stopping in a car park near Thirlmere to eat our lunch. It rained a lot but luckily not whilst we looked round Cockermouth. Interesting little town with some good snacks. We stopped briefly at Booths’ supermarket in Keswick for more supplies including wine! Back to Near Sawrey to get ready to go out and then into Ambleside to Atelier resto where Carol had booked a table. Carol had 2 starters, one of goat’s cheese and one chicken terrine, I had 2 deep fried risotto balls with wild mushrooms inside. The food was fine and the service was good. I enjoyed watching everything being delivered by the dumb waiter. Back to Belle Green where a fire was lit in the guest sitting room. Lovely and peaceful.

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Latterbarrow monument

Saturday 29th June

And another huge breakfast. Drove to Tilberthwaite and parked the car in a large car park. We walked a good part of the way up Wetherlam but Carol’s legs weren’t so good so we didn’t push it to get up to the top. Very pretty walk up the side of the beck which we then crossed further up, after a bit of pfaffing about. Lunch on the hill away from the path and in the lee of a big crag. Back down the other side of the beck to the car. Decided to tour a bit so drove to Ulverston and had a wander round. We were still feeling very stuffed so decided to cancel our booking for a resto in Ambleside and just have snacks back at the B&B. Bought some more snacks in Booths’ supermarket in Ulveston! Steve said it was fine for us to use their guest breakfast kitchen so we did and then ate in the dining room. They let us use their fridge which meant we could prepare our lunches and snacks very easily. Short walk to Esthwaite Water again and round to the car park and the boathouse, back along the road.

Esthwaite Water
Esthwaite Water
Entrance to copper mine
Entrance to copper mine

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Comb over
Comb over
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I can feel this path calling me
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My latest scarf, fetching, n’est ce pas?

Sunday 30th June

Another sizeable breakfast. We packed up and paid up, getting a discount for staying 3 nights which was an added treat. Had nice chat with Ann. Left car at Belle Green and walked up to Moss Eccles tarn, round the southern edge of the tarn and then onto Wise Een tarn. Short detour to try to go to Three Dubs tarn but I was very put off by a few cows who were looking at me so we didn’t do it.

Back to car and final farewells to all the Crabtrees at Belle Green. Quick visit to car park at Esthwaite Water so I could go to loo at the boathouse. Lots of people fishing and boating. Then to the ferry across Windermere which Carol greatly enjoyed. Back home the scenic way along the A65 through the Dales, managing NOT to stop at Booths’ supermarket! Still lots of lumpy midge bites made more itchy by warmth.

Moss Eccles Tarn
Moss Eccles Tarn
Monet!
Monet!
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Stonecrop

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Lake District April 2013

Sat 6th April

Carol went and did an early dialysis slot and I picked her up about 11.30. We arrived in Chapel Stile at 3 after being held up by a nasty looking accident on the motorway and then stopping to eat some lunch in the car at the services. After unloading the car very quickly because we were blocking the road we soon got settled in.
We walked up Meg’s Gill, quite steep up to just over 300m. The cottage is at 100m. Then we turned east on a great proper little mountain path with sharp drops to reach a col overlooking Grasmere. Through some leftover snow to the col to take us back to the village and down some very steep sections.
We are eating in tonight and because it is a bit like camping we are having chicken korma and rice from the Look What We Found range.

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Elterwater

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Lingmoor Fell backdrop
Lingmoor Fell backdrop
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Grasmere backdrop

Sun 7th April

Another lovely crisp sunny day. Parked at Colwith wood and went to Black Crag, my 50th Wainwright, via a different route from when we last came here and only got some of the way.
We lunched near the top overlooking Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, the Langdales. Then back via our own route across the access land. Off piste and very nice too.
Tonight we are going to the Jumble Room in Grasmere for our dinner.
I had kedgeree for starters, the hard boiled egg came separately and it came with some pale jam. Very good. Carol had fish and chips main which had some bones but she coped and the fish was also very good. I had chicken curried which came with beetroot and sweet potato. All very nice. Carol had sticky toffee pudding, no surprise there then. I managed to resist pudding but was feeling quite unwell with allergies. I have sneezed a lot in the cottage which is a bit dusty and something set me off in the resto. I must be a bit susceptible at the moment. Also have excema on my legs and feel very itchy and uncomfortable. Came out of resto streaming.

Navigation in action
Navigation in action
Crinkles and Bowfell
Crinkles and Bowfell
Bowfell
Bowfell
Secondary summit on Black Crag
Secondary summit on Black Crag
OS trig on Black Crag
OS trig on Black Crag
Carol getting poked by tree
Carol getting poked by tree!

Mon 8th April

My dad would have been 99 today.
We went into Ambleside and lots of gear shops but I refrained and just bought a birthday present for a friend. Not saying who as they will probably read this!
We drove to Far Sawrey and parked up opposite the pub in a car park with an honesty box. Great walk covering all sorts of terrain and some lovely views. Stopped at Moss Eccles Tarn while Carol ate some lunch. I’d already had mine before we set off. Then we skirted round  where Chris and I did bushcraft. A good mix of open land, tarns, coniferous woodland, the Somme (really very reminiscent with bare trees sticking up out of bog in the forestry cleared sections) and older woodland. Eventually we met up with the path Chris and I used. We found a good spot for wild camping which is a secret. Only a 4 mile walk but it took us nearly 4 hours because of being so leisurely.
Back to the cottage and I went for a run and met a very young Jewish lad who was looking for a campsite. I met him a second time on the way back from Elterwater and asked if he was ok and he said he was but I worried about him as he seemed rather vulnerable.

Gormless
Gormless
Cute, cute, cute
Cute, cute, cute
Moss Eccles Tarn, Beatrix Potter and William Heelis' favourite place
Moss Eccles Tarn, Beatrix Potter and William Heelis’s favourite place
Wise Een Tarn
Wise Een Tarn

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Tues 9th April

Drove to NT car park at Dungeon Ghyll and saved £6.50 because I am member.  We walked along and then up to Blea Tarn on a mixture of permissive paths and public rights of way and a bit of road. Another gorgeous crisp sunny day. Looked over to Wrynose Fell and pass.
Carol was having sore knees so we went to Dungeon Ghyll pub and then for a drive back via Blea Tarn again and Little Langdale. Buggered because nowhere to park the car. Hey ho. It will be hard to pack it up tomorrow.
Dinner at the Grasmere Hotel. Smoked salmon and creamy nibble and brie and walnut nibble. C starter filo pastry parcels. J creamy forest mushrooms. Both had lemon sorbet. Both had beef casserole with veg, roast spuds and creamed celeriac. So nice I have now bought some celeriac with which to experiment. C pudding Grasmere gingerbread meringue ice cream. J blueberry creme brûlée. Complimentary coffee with mint. All very good quality at £24 per person.

Cottage on road between Langdale and Wrynose, with thatched porch
Cottage on road between Langdale and Wrynose, with thatched porch
Bowfell
Bowfell
Scoured glacial valleys
Scoured glacial valleys

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Across to Wrynose
Across to Wrynose
Blea Tarn
Blea Tarn

Weds 10th April

I got up early and went for a run to Elterwater and back, hardly saw any cars, lovely although very chilly. Packed up car with only having to shift it once.
Went to John Ruskin’s house, Brantwood on Coniston Water. Nice house but I think he would have been quite annoying, writing several books and papers before breakfast. They have kept his clothes so you can see his pants! For those of a delicate disposition it’s actually just his outer pants.
Hot drinks after chilly house. Ambled round a bit of garden overlooking the lake. Great location for a house.
Booths’ supermarket in Windermere because Carol felt like she hasn’t been in one for weeks and then home. The weather got duller and duller and finally started raining. We seem to have had the best of the weather.

Since getting back I’ve been reading Robert MacFarlane’s Mountains of the Mind where he talks at length about Ruskin’s influence on how we perceive mountains. I really didn’t pick this up from our visit to the house but it’s made me go and look at his pictures a bit more, not sure that I like them.

I had to do an OU tutorial on Tuesday in Sheffield and what should be on at the gallery I passed but a Ruskin landscapes exhibition, unfortunately it was shut at night. It’s wider than just Ruskin. What I hadn’t realised was that Sheffield Museums have a Ruskin collection.

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

Coniston Water, from iPhone. Despite my fancy cameras, this is best photo of holiday!
Coniston Water, from iPhone. Despite my fancy cameras, this is best photo of holiday!
Old Man
Old Man

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