Monday, 21 June 2010

Still Going

I am still going with the challenge, just not had a chance to update this site for a while.  I will hopefully get some pictures up later this week.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Grasmoor (10/04/2010) - 8.2 miles

I am still alive!  Not been out in the Lakeland hills for a while as I have been skiing on some bigger hills in Austria!  But I am back now and plan to get cracking on with the challenge.

Apologies for some of the photos in this entry.  I messed up some of the settings and don't have the time to fix them on Photoshop!!

I started from the car park in Lanthwaite and headed up the path towards Whin Ben.

Looking towards Whin Ben from the car park

The weather was great, with practically no wind and the sun giving a pleasant warmth, so very different from many of my walks so far this year!  As I made my way up the steep but clear path the vuew behind of Crummock Water were amazing.

A very still Crummock Water with Mellbreak in the background

Looking over Whin Ben to the reflection of Mellbreak in Crummock Water

It wasn't long before the step scree path began to level out and I made the first Wainwright of the day - Whiteside.

Looking towards Hopegill Head from Whiteside

From Whiteside it was a really nice path along the ridge to the top of Hopegill Head, the second Wainwright of the day.

Grasmoor from Hopegill Head

From Hopegill Head I headed down the clear path over Sand Hill towards Coledale Hause.

Looking back towards Hopegill Head from Sand Hill

I was planning to meet some friends who were on a stag do on top of Grasmoor. As I was making good time I decided to walk up to Wandope before going up Grasmoor.  

Crag Hill from the summit of Wandope

It was a short walk back from Wandope to the main path up Grasmoor.  It was a steady pull up a well worn path, but is wasn't long before I made it to the top.  The views were great from up there.

Grasmoor Summit shelter

Loweswaer from Grasmoor

Buttermere from Grasmoor

As found a grassy spot to lie back and wait for the guys to turn up. It was so warm and sunny up there, I didn't mind waiting.  I drifted off a few times and was really enjoying the peace up there.  After over 3 hours, I was wondering where they had got to, and I finally got through to them.  They had gone back down and not let me know!!

So much later than planned, I head back down to Coledale Hause and then took the path down Gasgale Gill to the car.  The winter rains haven't been kind to this path, there was a lot erosion and the path had a lot of detours, but after a while I made it back to the car.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Greenburn Round (07/03/10) - 7 miles

With forecast for clear sunny skies, I was somewhat disappointed when I opened the curtains in the morning to be greeted with low cloud.  But the bag was packed and a meet time was arranged, as once again I was joined by Sarah for today's walk.

As we headed down Dunmail Raise the sun was burning off the cloud and it looked  like it was going to be as good a day as forecast.

Steel Fell from the Ghyll Foot

From Ghyll Foot we headed up the first Wainwright of the day, Steel Fell, as the picture above shows there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  Just goes to show the early bird doesn't always catch the worm! If we would have started earlier this would have still been in the cloud I think.

The gentle path up Steel Fell

The path was a good one going up Steel Fell, a nice long steady climb.  However there did seem to be an awful lot of false summits, which allowed for lots of pictures to be taken along with the rest stops!!

Looking across to the Hellvelyn range on the way up Steel Fell

We also had the opportunity to see the rest of the days walk across the valley.

Helm Crag (The Lion and the Lamb)

Finally the top of Steel Fell comes into view

After a while the top of Steel Fell appeared and it wasn't long before we were at the top enjoying the stunning views.  There were only a few patches of snow lying about, the sun shinning on the south facing slope had melted most of it.

Steel Fell with Thirlmere in the background

Steel Fell cairn with St Sundays Crag in the distance

Me on Steel Fell

Sarah on Steel Fell

After a sandwich and some flapjack it was time to head towards Calf Crag. On the way we passed a number of small unnamed tarns, all of which were completely frozen over.  There was also a lot more snow and ice on the northern facing slopes, including a great slide down a slope on some hard compacted snow!

One of the many frozen tarns

The area was boggy, but frozen enough to be able to make a fairly direct route to the top of Calf Crag without getting wet feet.

Calf Crag

It was a reasonably short climb to the top to reach the top of the second Wainwright of the day.

On the top of Calf Crag

From Calf Crag it was a really nice walk along the ridge heading towards Helm Crag via Gibson Knott.  As we walked along we could see Morecambe Bay in the distance and could also see Easdale Tarn which was frozen over.

Gibson Knott

It didn't seem to take long before we on the third Wainwright of the day, Gibson Knott.  We had another long rest stop here as the views were so good and there was no wind so wasn't cold at all.  After looking at the watch we decided we should get going again as we wanted to get up Helm Crag before the sun went down.

We passed to path back down to Ghyll Foot on the way up the steep but short climb to Helm Crag.

Helm Crag

Helm Crag is also known as The Lion and the Lamb as it the rocks look like a ion and a lamb from the valley.  It isn't so easy to make it out from the summit, but it didn't matter as the views were great!

The Lion and the Lamb, with Grasmere in the distance

From the top we retraced our steps back to the little saddle and down the grassy slope back to the car.  An excellent days walk completing another 4 Wainwrights.  

When I got home I realised I was my head was glowing rather, yes I have my first sunburn of 2010!!  Don't expect to be needing sun hat and cream during March in the Lakes!

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Bowscale Tarn Camping

No Wainwrights this weekend.  I went out to test a new tent I have been sent and also to take a friend on his first wild camp in the snow.

We set out on Saturday afternoon for the short walk from just outside the village of Mungrisdale to Bowscale Tarn.  It wasn't long before we were in the snow.  To make it a bit more interesting we left the path and took an ever increasingly steep route up!  

But it was worth it as the tarn was frozen and look stunning.

The frozen Bowscale Tarn

We soon found what we thought we be a great spot to pitch the tents, so with the light fading it was time to get some shelter and some food before the sun went down.

The tent on test - more details of its performance to follow

Jordi's tent along side mine

'Camp' Jordi!!!

With hot food and drinks consumed it was time for any early night - 7 pm!!  Well it was dark and getting very cold, so not much else to do!

The last of the days sunlight

We woke as the sun came up, and the ground had become very crunchy with the overnight freeze.  My boots were frozen solid and it took a while to be able to tie the laces!

Sunrise at Bowscale Tarn

With breakfast cooked and eaten and the still frozen tents packed up, we decided to head back home for a warm shower.  Good conditions to test out a new tent, but I don't think I will be using this over the trusted Akto.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

High Tove, High Seat and Armboth Fell - 5.3 miles

Yet another clear and sunny day in the Lakes! Today I was joined with my first guest Wainwrighter!  Hopefully it won't be the last, people are always welcome to join me!

We headed up to the NT car park at Watendlarth, stopping off a surprise view on the way up.  From the car we took the clear path heading towards High Tove.  As we gained height it was clear that Watendlath Tarn was frozen.

Watendlath Tarn frozen over

The clear path soon disappeared once we crossed the fence line.  But the normally boggy underfoot conditions were frozen so it was a pleasant stroll across the plateau to the cairn marking the top of High Tove. 

Carin on High Tove, with Dale Head behind me

Sarah on High Tove

High Tove cairn with High Seat in the background

Armboth fell in the foreground and the Helvellyn range in the distance from High Tove

From High Tove we followed the fence up to High Seat.  There we encountered the odd patch of snow, but nothing too deep.

High Seat summit cairn

The trig point on High Seat

Looking towards Helvellyn from High Seat

Me on the trig point on High Seat!

The wind picked up a little on the top of High Seat, so we dropped down to find some shelter to have a break.  And what an eventful break it was.  Firstly we meet Sail Chapman.  Who is he you may be asking?  Well last year at the age of 5 became the youngest person to complete all the Wainwrights!! An impressive achievement.  He was out helping his sister complete her round.  I often think that the parents of these 'youngest to do....' types must be pushing them.   But it was clear that Sail and his brothers and sisters were having a great time out in the fells.  I just I wished I had half their energy!!

After they had left two young ladies (from eastern Europe I think) came and asked the classic question, "do you have a map?"!  If only I had a pound for every time I get asked this!!  They had go a map from the Barrow house Youth Hostel and set off.  When I say map, what I mean is a hand drawn route, not to scale missing some important features! So I showed them where they should be heading and off they set.  I haven't heard of any news stories of 2 young ladies getting lost......

From High Seat we decided to head back towards High Tove and then onto Armboth Fell.  This doesn't have an obvious top, so we took a direct line across the heather to what we thought was the highest point.

On top of Armboth Fell

Sarah and I on Armboth Fell

Looking across to High Seat

The sun came out and the views were wonderful :-)

The clouds started to build to we decided to take the most direct route back to the car.  As we descended into Watendlath, we could see some people at the side of the tarn.  So when we got the car, we decided to go and see what they were up to.  To out amazement, they were diving under the ice in the tarn.  Rather them than me!

So that's another three completed, and yet another day in which the weather was stunning.  So far I have been very lucky with the conditions, long may that continue. 

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Mellbreak & Hen Comb (13/02/10) - 6.4 miles

After last weekend's break I headed down to Loweswater for an early start.  Really glad I did as I go to see a young deer with its mother and a red squirrel before I had made the car park!  At the Maggie's Bridge National Trust car park I found a VW camper van, not sure what they were doing but they quickly close the curtains when I pulled in!

From the car I headed towards to Kirkstile Inn, they preparing breakfasts for the guests and it smelt wonderful.  However, I was string and walked passed and headed for the farm track which would take me to Melbreak.


As I walked through the small plantation of pines I saw my second red squirrel of the day.  I did try to get a picture, but I didn't have my zoom lens with me so the result wasn't worth putting on here sadly.  From there the path steeped and I was soon onto the scree.

The path through the scree on Mellbreak

There seemed to have been some damage to the path during the winter which I guess is to be expected on this steep scree.  However, it wasn't so badly damaged that I could make progress to the summit.  The clouds were starting to build as I reached the top and I wondered how much longer I would be out of it.

Looking south from Mellbreak towards Red Pike, High Stile and Fleetwith Pike in the distance

Mellbreak's summit cairn with Grasmoor and Whiteside in the cloud

Looking north towards Loweswater

From the top I headed down what turned out to be a much steeper path that I expected to Mosedale.  I saw the first walkers of the day as I descended, and they stood and watched me for a while, think they thought I was mad!  

Hen Comb

Once down in the valley the path headed south along the side of Mosedale Beck.  There was clearly some damage from the heavy rains back in November.

Land slide in Mosedale

Seeing the damage I was concerned that the footbridge I was planning on crossing was still going to be there.  But to my relief a study metal bridge had survived the bad weather and I crossed making my way up the steep grassy slope of Hen Comb.  

There is no path up here, which made it slow going.  As I headed up the sun came out and some of the clouds lifted.

Hen Comb summit cairn with Mellbreak and Grasmoor in the background

Looking south from Hen Comb with Buttermere in the distance

From Hen Comb I decided to head back to the car.  It was a much more gentle decent than from Mellbreak, over Little Dodd and towards High Nook Farm and back to my starting point.

On the way home I decided to drive over the old Mosser Road.  It has been a while since I have been over it, and since last time it has become very interesting!! The sign saying unsuitable for cars is quite correct, but my the Landy managed just fine!  At the top four buzzards were circling just above the road, which made a nice end to the day.