24 June 2017

4 Fells from Pooley Bridge

Wiith the weather not being forecast as brilliant this past weekend we opted for a day trip up to Pooley Bridge to tick off a few more Wainwrights and left Bob at home.

Up and out early we were in Pooley Bridge for just after 9 and after parking the car, getting camera equipment and Garmin switched on we were off up the path that would lead us up and over towards our first fell.
It was a lovely path.  Littered with ferns and foxgloves and sky larks abound.  Their shrill chirping above our heads stayed with us as we walked up the path.
Up and over the first little hump we could see our first fell in the distance with its little knobbly top.  Arthurs Pike was its name and as we made our way towards the top we passed a couple of other walkers and so far the weather was holding.

It was a mix of cloud, with the odd spit of rain but the higher we got the more we felt the wind and with that wind brought the cold.   Glad to have brough my gloves and hat with me.   Even all the little plants were being buffeted.
 After Arthurs Pike it was down towards the next tick Bonscale Pike with the promise of Bonscale Tower.  Not quite sure what I was expecting but my wish for a grand imposing tower turned out to be a rather tall pile of stones, well 2 rather tall piles of stones but if they want to call it a tower then who am I to argue.
Wind whipping up it was a long flattish slog over towards the next hill in our sights, Loadpot Hill.  With a short semi-steep trek to the top we were soon at the trig point and by this time I was ready for some lunch but that would have to wait until we found a bit of shelter as the wind would have whipped my lunch out my hand.  Luckily the views were outstanding with St Sunday's Crag and the Fairfield Hills striking in the distance.
Making our way over to the last hill of the day Wether Hill we found a stone structure that would provide a little bit of shelter for lunch.  Today we had home made scotch eggs and a bar of chocolate. The scotch eggs were delicious and after a quick bite and a summit selfie and a lunch view of the day we were back on our way to Wether Hill.
4 hills done and we were back on our way to the car.  Not quite the same route but one that took us up over Loadpot Hill again but then followed the Roman Road practically back to where we started.   Again we were dodging showers and once or twice felt a spit of rain on our backs but the black clouds that followed us along the path never materialised into much and by the time were were about a mile away from the car our raincoats came off and gloves and hats banished to our rucksacks.

Great walk and 4 more ticks.  Thats Chris on 206 with 8 to go and my tally is 180 with 34 to go.   Hopefully this year we'll reach that magic 214 and have a bit of a celebration.

17 June 2017

Bikes on Fells

Weather forecast = scorchio means only 1 thing for weekend plans and it usually involves Bob, a campsite and a trip to the lakes (or the coast if we're that way inclined!). This weekend however it was the lakes and we decided to take the bikes with the purpose of having a tootle out on the hills.
Wallace Farm Campsite was the destination in North Cumbria behind Blencathra and Skiddaw and it was a lovely little site with immaculate facilities and views up into Scotland.  Friday night we ate chilli that we'd brought with us and planned our route for the following day.

There seemed to be a good track called Back o Skiddaw through an area of the fells that we knew well and had walked one or two times.  The track didn't take us up into the high fells but high enough that it was a challenge.

So Saturday morning dawned with the sound of birdsong and with our sandwiches packed and water bottles filled we headed off.
The first part of the trail took us along the roads towards the base of the fells for a few miles and then it was bike track all the way.  The sun was already out and the sky was littered with clouds and the temperature rising but it was lovely to be winding round the roads with the breeze in our faces but mouths firmly closed as its easy to have the misfortune of swallowing a fly yuk!
The initial track was pretty undulating and wound its way round the hill towards a waterfall where we stopped for a bit of lunch.  The water rushing down was so tempting to pop in for a dip as it was pretty hot out there but too far down the embankment to reach the cooling spray.
The track wound its way round and down the valley towards Skiddaw house and then upwards again through the next Valley.  This was the pattern of the day.  Up and down and over varied terrain, some easy to navigate and some that rattled your bones so much it put the fear of death in you.  The views however were breathtaking.

By the time the afternoon was coming to a close we were on the last part of the track which was pretty decent to ride on
and very soon it opened out into a road which took us down to the village of Threlkeld where there was a couple of pubs.  1 very large soda water and lime with lots of ice went down rather nicely.

The last part of ride over the 10+ miles home was pretty much on road, initially up the A66 to where the Caldbeck turning was and then through nice country roads through Mungrisdale Village until finally we were back at the campsite.  Exhausted, parched, starving, sunburned but thrilled at having an excellent day out.

Roll on the next adventure...................

03 June 2017

High Spy with my little eye something beginning with......

After well over a year of not blogging I thought it would be good to get back on track so to speak and start logging our walks.  Now some of you may know that since New Years Day this year 2017, Chris has been out of action after breaking his leg on our first walk of 2017 and was the Mountain Rescue Service's first rescue of 2017.  A nasty slip on some grass coming down of High Spy resulted in a broken tibia and fibula and 5 months of no hills and very little movement at all.  I'm pleased to say that his leg is very much on the mend, he's been discharged from the consultant and told that he can ease himself back into excersise so with that on board, this weekend, we headed for High Spy..........where else would we go !

With the arrival of Bob in our family last September, getting away for the weekend has never been easier so on Friday night  I left work and headed for Borrowdale.
Chris, working only 1/2 day on a Friday was already there, with Bob and had the BBQ going for my arrival.

It was a lovely evening and Hollow Farm Campsite in Grange had everything we needed for a chilled relaxing stay.

A walk after dinner down by the river was just lovely with the sun setting and throwing reflections around the pooled water area.  We saw a couple of herons flying up to roost in some nearby trees and then it was bed time for us also.  A quick spray of midge repellant and we were tucked up in our Duvalays before you could say nighty night with the prospect of sunshine and a few showers tomorrow and Chris's first venture up a hill since that fateful day earlier in the year.

The morning brought clear skies and sunshine and it was a perfect start to the day.  Breakfast eaten and sandwiches packed we popped our walking boots on, checked camera equipment and headed off up the path.

The initial path took us up past Castle Crag and then over the fence and down onto the valley path before heading up right towards High Spy.  The sky was filled with all sorts of clouds, some hanging over far away fells and some just floating gently past us overhead.
On the path up to High Spy, passing the old slate mines we saw a buzzard hovering over the ridge to the right.  It was a healthy looking buzzard and it hovered for quite a while watching its prey before making its dive.   Spectacular sight.  Unfortunately I didn't have the right lens on to get a shot but it was fun to watch.

As we got closer to High Spy Chris was trying to find the spot where his rescue took place.

 It was difficult as the differing season meant that the landscape was slightly different and he was coming at the hill from a completely different angle.  We had a good look around but it wasn't until we'd gotten higher that looking back he could piece it together and remember where it was he slipped.  Not the best of memory but what an achievement, 5 months later and here he was, back on the hill.  It's amazing.

The weather of the day was truly outstanding and better than forecast.
We reached the summit of High Spy and chatted for a few moments with some marshals in a charity walk that was taking place the day

and then we ventured on to Maiden Moor and coming down off Maiden Moor we decided to take a right and head down towards Derwent Water.   We had a choice here of heading over to the little ferry terminal or to take the path back down to Grange and as we could see clearly we had just missed a boat we headed back to Grange.

At Grange we stopped at the cafe for a milkshake. (milkshake face alert!)

We'd done a fair few miles and the ice cream was most definitely refreshing.  A short 1/2 mile walk back to the campsite and the weather was starting to change.  The wind was getting up and it was increasingly cloudy.  

Coats on and after a short rest we decided on a quick walk before dinner up Castle crag

although we decided to go the long way and 3 hrs later we were back and we had just enough light left to make dinner and fall exhaustedly into our Duvalays.  What a day! What a weekend! What an achievement by Chris!  So happy to be back in the fells and fingers crossed it won't be long before we're back.   I have around 34 before I've completed all the 214 Wainwrights and Chris has about 12 so fingers crossed we can get that milestone ticked off before too long......