Monday, 6 December 2010

Deja Vu

Sunday we had an early start, but when we got to the Thirlmere lay-by beneath Brown Cove it looked like everyone else had had an even earlier one.  The lay-by was full of snow so cars were parked all along the verges. We squeezed in and joined the coach party and heading for Brown Cove.

There were similar queues at the bottom of the gully.  Anyone following this blog will have realised that we did the same gully last year.

I did not take any photos in the gully but kept the camera in the sack until  the top.

 Greg at the top.  There was some ice in the gully but the snow was unconsolidated powder.

After a knee aching descent , guess what,  Keswick for chips.  I can report that the Kingfisher portions are bigger that the Old Keswickian portions we had last week.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Nearly skiing

 After a dusting of snow I headed for the Lake District  Ski Club.  I was late, the roads were covered, I had to go via Rhegged to defrost the windscreen.  I was later.  The Skoda is the worst car I've had for coping with snow so I parked in the main car park rather than risk the lane to Greenside  Mine.

Just as well as there was a Landrover in the ditch on the first hill.

By the time I was climbing the hill behind the mine I was nackered, carrying the heavy skiis and wearing the boots.

I got as far as the first plateau,  I told myself it was still a long way, conditions looked marginal to say the least.  Headed down for the car and Keswick for chips.

Sunday, 21 November 2010


A strong, cold north easterly was forecast with cloud on the eastern fells. So we headed south west for , hopefully, the best weather. It clouded over but we did stay out of the cloud.

Scafell, across the valley, was also out of the clouds but everything further north was cloud capped.

We did not linger on the summit but scooted along the top until there was an "off road " escape to the valley and somewhere warm to eat the sandwiches.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Beda Fell

This must be my least visited area of the Lakes. It's quite a drive and I've never liked the narrow lane down the side of Ullswater. I parked on the hill above Martindale walked across the bridge and up onto the ridge.

This is an attractive ridge with good all round views. Martindale forest across the valley looks worth exploring.

After the summit and a few sandwiches I descended to Dale Head farm and the road. There's a gate just north of here with a track across the valley. If you wanted to explore the forest or climb Gowk Hill you would cross the valley here. Unfortunately walkers are forbidden.
The excuse seems to be that it's a deer park. The real reason seems to be that the Bungalow is a Holiday cottage. So the cottage occupants don't seem to be upsetting the deer.
I guess if you went up the valley past the Bungalow deer might be encounterted, but to cross the valley north of the bungalow to climb Gowk hill would disturb nothing.

Interesting door lintel spotted on road side.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Winter Preparation

I had a bad cold at the weekend so took the opportunity to put the new cover on the campervan. I dont know how well these work , but we sustained frost damage to the water system last year. I've drained it more thoroughly this time.

Saturday, 30 October 2010


I received an e mail and the photos from my brother who has just completed all the Munros.
Totally amazing , he had the last one to do for about a year, then just took off and did it.

If I had one to do I wouldn't be able to wait that long. What if you broke a leg and couldn't do it.
Anyway the mountain is called Aonach Mor.
Well it makes my 3 rounds of Wainwrights look a bit tame. Wonder if I could do the Inn Pinn ?
Would the knees make it at this age, I'm 5 years older than Andrew.
Well done bro.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Almost the same Place

I went back to the same car park today but this time went straight up the fell to Bell Knot and then onto Little Hart Crag. About 2 weeks ago the last of the swallows left the factory down near the coast, but unbelievably I saw 4 swooping around at 400m in the lea of the ridge.
The top was in cloud so I didn't see any thing again until I emerged in the upper Hogget Gill corrie.
This area looks very impressive with lots of little corries and crags with the imposing Dove Crag in the background and a view down Dove Dale.

I dropped off the NE end of Stangs and descended the stream to the main valley just above the bridge. The mist seemed to have cleared off the tops a bit as I walked back across the valley to the car.

I wonder how much longer places like this will remain with trees. There were lots of sheep in this area. The trees in the bits I walked through seemed quite old with lots of stumps and bits broken off. As they die there doesn't seem to be anything re growing as the sheep just eat everything. Is it time to remove them for a while ? We might get some flowers then as well.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Getting Fit

There's a need to get fit for Christmas as we've just booked a skiing holiday in Belle Plagne. The cost of skiing always means we are on the first lift in a morning and coming down last at night. If you're not fit it's exhausting. So today we went for a walk.

Middle Dodd from the foot of Kirkstone Pass.

We tried parking at Hartsop but it was mayhem as as organised mines walk was just getting under way. So we drove a couple of miles up the main road to a deserted layby near a footpath sign and away we went. Lakeland fells might be small but this fell goes straight up. The forecast on MWIS said sunny and it was at first but it soon clouded over and the summit was in mist and hence no photos.
A road runs through it.

So after Red Screes it was down the Caiston Glen and back to the car. The Innov8s handled it well , but I did notice the bog water is starting to feel decidedly colder and I had to put the gloves on for the first time in a while.

Living the Dream

Back from the long awaited holiday. We went to Southern Germany in the campervan. The weather was atrocious on the way down but did improve when we got there. We stayed at the above site and cycled into Fussen and the surrounding countryside on the excellent Radwegs.

We then swung right past the Bodensee and through the Black Forest , climbing Feldberg from the ski resort at its foot.

Lunch was eaten whilst an old German man told us how he had been in a prison of war camp in Shropshire. I'd tried not to mention the war..........

More rain followed in the journey up through France so lots of Flunches were eaten and a great time was had by all.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Two nights around Beinn a Ghlo

Click on images to make them bigger.

Feeling a bit jaded I managed to get two days off work. The forecast was good so Saturday at 2 pm found me parking beside Loch Moraig above Blair Atholl.

The path up Carn Liath is quite obvious from the car park. I am not very familiar with Scotland so had rung about deer stalking and have to say the answer was not particularly helpful. Based more on the fact that there were other cars parked and that they don't shoot on a Sunday ( the following day) I went ahead. So two hours later I was on the summit and for all those people who haven't already asked, no its not snow its quartzite boulders.

The light was disappointing for photography but the beautiful ridge beckons you on to the two munros for tomorrow.

In the event I camped just above the col on the shoulder of Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhaigan (BCC). The wind dropped and the midges came out forcing a retreat into the tent. Later I looked out to see herds of un- shot dear on the summit ridge silhouetted against the evening sky.

I awoke on Sunday to sunshine and no midges.

After traversing BCC and descending to the col I was on the summit of Carn nan Gabhar by 10 am.
I decided to press on instead of reversing my tracks and ended up descending steep slopes above Loch Loch. Cool name, if it was in the Lake district some pratt would call it Lake Loch Loch.
(eg. Lake Windermere , Lake Ullswater etc.)
Heading for a gill I stopped for my dinner , again herds of deer were in all the hollows on the fellside.

After dinner I had a paddle in Loch Loch then walked out along the east shore. There were two landrover loads of folk having a barbeque at the southern edge. Weren't very friendly when I shouted hello.
By the time I had walked around to upper Coire Laggain I was hot and tired. I pitched the tent besides a beck coming down from Airgiod Bheinn. There were more than a dozen ruined shielings here and the place was very atmospheric.

And boy oh boy did those midges go crazy when the sun went down.

I did not bother trying to make tea or eat breakfast next morning but just packed as much as I could in the tent , put on the net and headed out into the mist. As long as you keep moving they can't get you. I headed for the car and hopefully a breakfast in Pitlochry.

I thought they might stop serving breakfast at 10 am so just went into the first cafe I came to in Pitlochry. Full Scottish ? asked the lass. I' m thinking what could be the difference between full Scottish and full English ? I can now tell you : at least £5 dearer (£11.50) undercooked bacon, cheap poor quality sausage, and toast that must have been re toasted as it was as hard as iron.

Lessons learned: lighter less bulky tent needed as this item of equipment weighs at least twice as much as anything else I carry, Innov8s work brilliantly in Scotland ( a ML training instructor told me they wouldn't) , you don't need fancy expensive socks as I just wear ordinary grey nylon ones the same as Ray Jardine, and finally don't go into the first cafe you come to no matter how hungry.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Laal Walk

More commitments this weekend meant we did not get out for a walk until 1500 hrs on Sunday afternoon. Luckily Rannerdale Knott is only half an hour away and makes a grand short stroll with good views.
There was one place in the car park. It had obviously been a busy day as there were cars parked everywhere and people having barbecues by the lake.

We continued along the ridge before slanting off left to the valley just before the hause.
Rannerdale is a beautiful little valley and in spring is carpeted with bluebells.
A reminder that autumn is just around the corner as the rowan berries are ripening and the bracken is going brown in places.
Oh well it was a lovely afternoon , the company was good and I got to practice with the new camera.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Panasonic G2

Well I'm still coming to grips with the new camera. My 6MP Pentax istds has served me well but thought I'd try something a a little lighter and more modern so bought a Panasonic G2. I find it easy to use inside when I can read all the screens, but outside it is difficult to see. Similarly the info in the view finder is difficult to focus on when wearing glasses.

We have not been out for a while so decided on a short training walk up Eycott Hill from the Mungrisedale road. This is an interesting area geologically. Various volcanic rocks lie on the Skiddaw slate and are overlain by the carboniferous deposits. The grass was long and wet and we were bitten by clegs. There was an absence of sheep and lots of wild flowers. Maybe the sheep are managed here?
I think this is campanula rotundifolia. A white version. Alba?

Had the usual cup of tea on the top and watched a big shower just miss us.

We were a bit worried about some cows in the fields below but they did not move. We have had a herd stampede towards us in the past so were a little nervous.

Well I'd better get back to that incredibly complicated instruction book....