Sunday, 13 May 2012

Lingmoor Fell

Saturday and not working, and it's reasonably sunny, so we head for Chapel Stile and Lingmoor Fell.  Previous visits have all been from Blea Tarn side so we are soon lost amongst the quarry workings. Well at least its interesting amongst the workings.  We dont find the path til we reach the gate to the ridge.

Must be one of the best viewpoints in the Lakes.

The views from this ridge are splendid.  I could say breathtaking but I am still waiting to see a view that has me doubled up gasping for breath.

When you get to my age everywhere you go brings back memories of past trips.  walking down  Mickleden, nackered, with my dad when I was 12 after climbing Scafell Pike.  My brother and me jogging down from Pavey Ark in trackies and trainers, 30 years ago, after a day climbing in the sun and wondering why walkers were dressed as if for the Antarctic.  The arrogance of youth.
Well we go off track again and descend from  Lingmoor Tarn to the Cumbria Way via some interesting little gills and detours to avoid vertical vegetation.

Another great day topped off by a visit to the cafe in Chapel Stile.  I can recommend the bacon bun.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Illgill Garnets

I was parked up by 09:00 in a small lay-by in the lane just south of the YHA at the foot of Wastwater.  Crossing Lund Bridge I headed up Whin Rigg in a sleet shower.  The primroses and blue bells were lovely in the woods and I heard my first cuckoo of the season.  Yesterday, when I had once more been at work, had been a lovely day.  Now the high fells were covered in grey clag and there was fresh snow on Gable.

At least the wind was light and I spent a long time exploring the small tarns and peering down into the incredible gullies dropping to the screes below.

I followed the edge of the drop off rather than the main path and eventually ended up on Illgill Head, a strange name as there appears to be no Ill Gill there abouts.  Now here's where the memory is faulty.   I remembered reading in my Wainwright guide that the Borrowdale Volcanic rocks on the summit of this fell contain garnets.  So as I eat my sandwiches I break a few open and sure enough there are beautiful little garnets the size of small peas.

The weather starts to clear as I photograph Yewbarrow reflected in Wastwater.  29 years ago I climbed it from the road and straight up the prominent gully visible on the south ridge.  I used to love those kind of lines in those days.

Spurning the tourist route I discover some interesting little valleys above Straighthead Gill.

I descend to the lake on the west side of Fence Wood and head back along the screes path.

The screes seem to go on for ever but I eventually reach the end and head back to the car with a red head.

The reference to garnets in Wainwright?  can't find it .