Showing posts with label Cumbria. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cumbria. Show all posts

07 January 2018

Rosthwaite Fell - A puzzler of a hill !

After spending the night just outside Keswick we headed back to Seatoller for our second hill of the weekend which would bring Chris's total of wainwrights to 212 and I'd be on 191.  Rosthwaite Fell was our intended target and we parked in the Stonethwaite Farm campsite near the Glaramara Activity Centre and not too far from the start of the walk.

The forecast for today was cold, frosty, clear skies and not much wind and that suited us fine as the hope was to get some great pictures and tick another wainwright off the list.

The path leading from the farm was pretty clear to start with and then it all got a bit muddled.  There wasn't exactly a clear path but we knew from the map which direction we should have been heading so kept on that heading.

Chris said on the way up, over slippery rocky, grassy, frosty and quite steep ground that this would be fun on the way down as neither of us had brought our poles with us today but we had a few hrs before we had to contemplate that.

The path up was confusing.  There was an older couple ahead of us and they seemed to find their own route which is what we did in the end.  It wasn't a bad route up it was just confusing as we knew that on top there were 2 summits and we wanted to claim them both, just to make sure we'd actually done the Wainwright.

So onwards we plodded over slippy rocks and at some point beside a little stream running down.  The weather was lovely and with all fells in fine weather, the higher you got the more the surrounding landscape opened up to you.  Stonethwaite & Borrowdale behind us was just lovely.  Thornythwaite Fell in front of us reminded us of the day we did Bowfell - Thornythwaite leaving a car over at Langdale and one at Seatoller which turned out to be a belter of a day.
Finally reaching for the Tarn at Leaves at the top we turned left to make our way up Bessyboot.  It was a rocky affair reaching the summit cairn but extremely pleasant as the conditions of the day meant we could take our time and really enjoy the views stretching out before us.
After a quick drink we were off again back down to the tarn to make our way up to Rosthwaite Cam. Whilst on Bessyboot we spoke to the older couple that had reached the top before us and he assured us that Bessyboot was indeed the true Wainwright and that our tick had already been completed so the wander up Rosthwaite Cam would be for pleasure only and I did wonder if it was worth doing as I was a little bit tired from yesterday's walk and wasn't sure I had the energy but boy oh boy I'm so glad I did.
Starting out on the path from the tarn up to what seemed like an extremely rocky top of Rosthwaite Cam got me just a little bit excited as I do like a bit of a scramble and looking up it was just possible that we had a little treat in store.

The top of Rosthwaite Cam was just that.  A short but nice little scramble up through the rocks to the summit where the wind blew and left you feeling quite exposed which was tremendous.   This is one of the reasons I love walking so much.  That thrill of standing on a stone on top of a rocky hill with the elements whipping around you - exhilarating.

Not much time was spent on the top and we quickly made our way back to the path that would lead us down hoping we'd find a much clearer path for the descent.
The path was patchy in places but we made it down and back in good time and enjoyed the lovely golden light bathing Borrowdale and the surrounding hills with the faint warmth of the afternoon.
So there we have it.  2 more Wainwrights achieved this weekend and just a few to go before we can claim to have ticked them all.   Chris is already talking about his next challenge (could be Corbetts) this space !

06 January 2018

Seathwaite Fell - A Winters Tale

Hurrying home from work on Friday night I was super excited as we had a weekend in the lakes planned and I couldn't wait to get up there.  So off we went in Bob, our camper van and found a great little spot near Blencathra to settle down for the night with the prospect of a wintery walk over Seathwaite Fell in the morning.  

We heat up some chilli and were soon in the land of zzzzzzzz's with the alarm set for 7 so we could make the most of our day.  We woke to misty, skies but the forecast was that it may start off a bit murky but would brighten up later.  There would be a bit of wind on the tops and it would be cold with the odd snow flurry which didn't bother us a jot so after breakfast we drove round to the start of the walk at Seathwaite Farm. 

It was a bit breezy and really cold but we were soon wrapped up and off on the walk.  We could see bits of blue sky and as we walked along the path from the farm little white tipped peaks were poking out from behind the hills surrounding us.  
As we  started up the base of Seathwaite Fell the sky was really beginning to clear and sunlight shone down on the valley behind us and started to illuminate the landscape around us.  The wind however was getting stronger and the higher we got the colder it got but it was so much better than what was forecast so we were happy. 

Half way up the initial path you take a left turn and take a more direct route up the side of the hill.  Its not the most clearly marked route but there was a faint outline of a path so off we trotted.  The path tended to follow up the side of a little stream and with most walks the higher you got the more impressive the views and with each step a little bit more was revealed and the surrounding fells were just breathtaking.    Base Brown opened up to Green Gable with Great Gable emerging from behind.   It was magnificent. 

The funny thing about Seathwaite Fell is that there  are a few points on top which could be considered the summit.  There's a nice big cairn on the first hump you come to then realise that just a bit over ahead there is another lumpy bit which seems a bit higher and then begins the ups and downs touching every bit of elevation on the summit just to make sure you've actually hit the top. 

The wind by this time was really starting to whip up and the clouds had gathered once again and were looking an ominous grey.   Coming down of the last top tiny ice pellets started to fall and in the wind they were a wee bit stingy on the face.  Muff's and hoods up we found the path that would take us downwards into the valley and then round to the right back to the farm. 

It was a path we'd been on many times before as we started downwards off Seathwaite Fell we could see the crossroads which joined paths from Great Gable, Scafell and other surrounding peaks.  The Mountain Rescue box was just over the other side of the paths and we swung right down to meet the path we'd originally come up on earlier in the day.   

Walking into the wind with the icy bits hitting your face wasn't the best fun but thankfully that only lasted 10 mins or so. The sky was still laden with clouds but ahead, down into the valley and beyond we could see sunshine so hopefully the weather was on the turn.
By the time we'd reached the last leg of the path the weather had turned again and the sunshine had gone.  We could see cloud moving in over the tops behind us and we were thankful when we reached Bob and his heater.
A quick drive up into Keswick a change of boots and we were ready for some dinner.  The Wainwright in Keswick was our pub of choice tonight and very nice it was too.  Great meal and good value for money with the added benefit of a TV screen in the corner of the room showing all the great peaks and the various routes up them.

A great end to a fantatstic day.

Chris is now on 211 wainwrights and myself, we'll I'm just hitting 190 so a few to go yet for me but we're nearly at the finishing line for Chris, woohoo ! 

01 January 2018

New Years Day take 2

This years New Years Day walk is one that should have happened New Years Day 2017 but on that day the walk was cut short by the Keswick Mountain Rescue team having to helicopter Chris to hospital with a broken Femur and Tibia after slipping on a patch of grass on High Spy.  This year we planned the same route, up onto Catbells, over to Maiden Moor then onto High Spy and then down to the path that would lead us back round Catbells back to the car and thankfully all went to plan with no drama nor incident, phew !

The weather wasn't forecast to be great but we went anyways as after the disappointment of not being able to get in and amongst the hills in Glencoe earlier in the week we needed a good leg stretcher.  Rain, wind and cold were forecast and on the drive up we were hampered by all 3 causing once or twice to consider whether it would be worth it to continue.

When we got to the car park at the base of Catbells the wind had dropped a little bit and the rain had stopped so there was nothing really holding us back.  We had all our wet weather gear, gloves, hats and some sandwiches so off we went.
Up onto Catbells and although a little bit slippy the ground was good and the wind only caught you when slightly exposed to the valleys to either side.

The path over to Maiden Moor was a bit boggy in places but if you were careful you could avoid most of that.

The wind whipped up again on the route up to High Spy and at sometimes it felt like it would whisk you off your feet but a few sheltered spots gave some respite.
Sandwiches were quickly eaten at the top of High Spy and we could see behind us the weather closing in.  A few drops of hail started to fall and cameras were put in their little waterproof bags and coats and hoods shut tight.

Every time we looked back we could see the sky getting darker and the surrounding hills that had been illuminated that morning were now black and gloomy.

The rain was now persistent and the path downwards was a little bit slippy but not too bad.

Back at the car outer layers were soaked but we had smiles on our faces as there would be no helicopter today, no 2 hr drive to furness general hospital and no pain and discomfort for Chris.

There would be however a nice lunch and a pint (Chris), Gin (Lynne) at the Dog & Gun in Keswick to celebrate the start of a new year which will bring all sorts of new adventures and Fell Top Stories.

10 December 2017

That there Nab.......

With Chris getting so close to finishing the 214 Wainwrights there are only a few single ones he has to complete and The Nab was one of those.  So on Saturday with the prospect of a clear sunny but cold day we set of early up the M6 and over a very wintery Kirkstone Pass to park at the start of the walk.  There wasn't any snow at low levels but the surrounding fells were sprinkled with the white stuff and with the temperature well below freezing we hoped that the ground would be solid and provide us with a great walk.
We started up the track that took us past the little house with the green grassy and mossy roof.  Grey Crags was to our right and the further up the path we got the icier it became.  In some parts the path was just like a solid sheet of ice and we had to precariously pick our way round the sides on to any sort of gravelly or grassy bit to save from slipping.
Turning off the path up to the left, over the bridge that would lead us ultimately up and over Rest Dodd the ground, had it not been frozen, would have been a boggy affair I would imagine.  In fact most of this walk is billed as a bogfest so we were thankful that the temperatures were low enough that in only a few places did the ground give way underfoot just enough to send a little shudder through your body in the expectation of your foot or leg disappearing down into the murky world of damp and peaty bogginess.

But enough of bogs this walk was proving to be quite something with the views that were starting to come into view the higher we got.  To the left we could see the Helvellyn and the surrounding peaks and behind us was the high street range and its neighbours.   The air was crisp and clear and plenty of blue sky to keep the views in view.
The walk itself over Rest Dodd was easy enough and before long we were down onto the final path that would take us over to The Nab.   As it was a linear walk today once we'd reached the summit we turned and headed back the same way, remembering that we only had till mid afternoon before we'd lose the light so we didn't loiter around but kept a steady pace back up and over Rest Dodd and then down to the icy path that we tackled earlier in the day.

There were some young folks coming down on the path also but other than them we'd saw no other people all day.  Shame as the weather was beautiful and the views a delight on the eyes.

Before we knew it we were back at the car.  Boots, hats, gloves, outer layers off and the heater on and we could successfully tick another Wainwright off the list.  With Chris only having a few more to do I don't think it will be long before we're celebrating :-) Roll on 2018 and all the good walking next year will bring.

12 November 2017

A windy wander up to Great Calva.....Knott

I've got 28 more Wainwrights to conquer before I can happily say I've completed all 214.  Chris has only 7 so off we went, up to the lakes to tick a couple more off our lists.   Knott & Great Calva were the targets and we had a glorious day for it.  Just like it should be at this time of the year with blue skies, a distinct chill in the air and no rain forecast with only the stiffest of breezes, no gusts, well not gusts yet.

I love it when it gets a bit frosty as the ground underfoot is a bit firmer and those fells which are the boggiest of fells are a little bit more manageable when the ground is harder.  Hopefully as we gained some height today we'd find that firmness, fingers crossed.

We set off up the side of a river which lead us up through a wide valley which opened up behind us the further into it we got.  The route up was on a path that quite frequently disappeared and wasn't the best marked path I'd ever seen but we managed fine.  The trickle of the little waterfalls trundling down the river was the only sound and as we walked up next to the river we surprised a large buzzard who had either stopped by the river to grab a bit of prey or had just spotted something and we startled it before it could grab it.  Either way it swooped up next to me and flew away down the valley.  Had I been quicker or spied it sooner I may have got a shot but it was too fast and was gone before my jaw hit the floor.

As predicted earlier the higher we got the frostier it became and the ground was indeed a little bit firmer which made the going a bit easier.  Gloves and hats on the wind started to whip up a little bit and I was struggling with a runny nose which isn't fun at the best of times but the views and the exhilaration of being out and about made up for that.
After stopping at the summit for the obligatory picture we were off down the back towards the path that would take us to Great Calva.  The views were beautiful.  We could see behind us Blencathra, to the left of us was up the valley towards Thirlmere and Helvellyn and then the tops of Causey Pike and Catbells were also in view.  Clouds were starting to drift overhead but there didn't seem to be any sign of rain.

Both Knott and Great Calva are really the most boring of fells.  The path up to Knott being somewhat interesting due to the little river and disappearing path but then the path over to Great Calva is just a sweeping gouge in the hillside with the final ascent up at the side of a fence.

At the top the cairn was over the fence but I didn't climb over, just touched it from this side and then we nipped down to the shelter stones to have a bite to eat.  We had bought some scotch eggs for lunch but at our coffee stop this morning Chris had secretly bought some mince pies (I know its still November) but these were delicious and we could save our Scotch Eggs for later.
Time to head down and this was easier said than done.  The path wasn't all that clear and it was pretty steep and slippy so I chose to hug the fence as we descended grabbing the posts as I moved past them and using them to keep me upright however the metal parts of the fence were a little tricky and I caught my gloves on them a couple of times leaving me with gloves that looked like some mice had eaten them but then I snagged my coat and caused a little tear which wasn't good so for the rest of the downward part I tried to stay away from the fence, grrrrrrrr!

Back on flatter ground the path was more pronounced and made for much better walking.  Over the little wooden bridge we only had about a mile to go along the track till we were back at the car.  The sun was still out but as we walked we watched a patch of cloud over on Blencathra that was turning the top of the hill white second by second with snow.
We didn't see as much as a spit of rain/snow all day and that was fine by me.  So another 2 hills ticked off our list bringing my total to 188 and Chris's total to 209.   Not long to go till we're celebrating on Chris's final hill.  I wonder if it will be 2017 or 2018 !

04 November 2017

Walla Walla Ding Dong on Bleaberry Fell

Here we are again in our beloved playground with a trip up Walla Crag and Bleaberry Fell planned for today.  Different forecasts saying different things meant we were equipped for all weather and with waterproofs packed along with the cheese and piccalilli sandwiches we set off up the path with the plan to venture up and over Walla Crag and then over to Bleaberry Fell, back over to Walla Crag and then down to the waters edge through the woods and if we were lucky the sun would come out and give us some light to take some nice pics (famous last words !)

The path up to Walla Crag is fairly straightforward and gave us some lovely views of the emerging town of Keswick and backwards over to Blencathra.  The sun was trying to make an appearance and give it its due it had a good go.

With Keswick and Bassenthwaite Lake and Blencathra opening up to behind us to the left we had Causy Pike and a whole host of other wonderful Fells to feast our eyes on.  The clouds were opening every few moments and letting streams of light fall to the ground.  The light changed minute by minute and constantly changed the picture before us.
 After a quick stop at the top of Walla Crag we headed down the path that would take us over to Bleaberry Fell and out came the wine gums.  We'd have our sandwiches on top of the next hill but I needed a bit of a sugar hit so dove into the bag of wine gums.

Bleaberry Fell is a lovely little hill with the added benefit of having a nice shelter at the top.  On the way up we were hit by a rain shower that we watched come all the way down the valley finally hovering over us before moving away Eastwards.  This was the first of many showers in the afternoon that would lead to more persistent rain later in the day.
After coming down from Blueberry we headed back towards Walla Crag where we'd take a left turn before reaching the summit again which would take us back down through the woods towards the edge of Derwent Water.   With the weather constantly changing it was touch and go whether we'd make it down before the next rain shower but we were lucky, the showers stayed either side of us moving over adjoining fells keeping us dry for a bit longer.
On reaching the shores of Derwent Water we could see the rain on the other side of the lake.  We were headed towards Keswick and hoped we'd make it before the showers hit us on the other side.  We were almost lucky and just had time to duck into the Dog and Gun when the heavens opened once again.
Great walk out today.  No more ticks with Chris only having a few more to go before hitting that magic 214 we need to get our act together and get those boxed off sooner rather than later.