Showing posts with label Skiddaw. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Skiddaw. Show all posts

23 January 2016

A wintery wander up Skiddaw & Little Man

Come hell or high water (no pun intended) we were getting on a hill today if it killed us.  The forecast was fair throughout the day with rain coming in later so up we got early doors (6am) and we were out the door by 6.32.  An obligatory stop at Tebay for a couple of scotch eggs (hill food) and a couple of coffee's it wasn't long before we were heading into Keswick.   Seeing the sight of how high the river rose and peoples gardens strewn with rubble and occasional recognisable pieces of furniture was sobering as it really hit home just how devastating those floods were.

Parking up by Latrigg the road was closed half way mainly due to the fact one side of it had washed away and there were pot hols 1 - 2 ft deep running down the centre of the road.  More evidence of the devastation of the water.   We parked, got our boots on and  made our way up the rest of the road towards the start of the walk.   There were a few birds about and a fluttering of red caught my eye and although we got a blurred picture of around 6 birds that landed in a pot hole in front of us we recognised them later as being Crossbills.  Beautiful and colourful.

The start of the walk starts fairly steeply and the fair forecast was holding out.  I didn't think we'd be luck for long as we couldn't see the summit or even anything past half way up the initial hill.  It was all foggy and looked damp and a bit bleak.  Onwards and upwards and time would tell if we'd get a dry day.

The views behind us was a bit dark and cloud swirled in and out of peaks previously climbed.  My fav little hill, Causey Pike with its distinctive nobbles and cute little nose like feature was there in all its glory with just a little dusting of snow.  Keswisk lay before it and as we climbed, more hills became visible as well as Derwent water.
The initial path was a good one, in fact the whole way up the path was really good.  The higher we got the more snow there was but there wasn't really any deep stuff.  More patchy and icy.

The higher we got the less we could see and soon enough all views behind us an ahead of us were obscured.  I'm sure this walk would have been gorgeous on a clear day but today we could only see what was ahead and soon that wasn't much indeed.

I think it was just after Skiddaw Little Man that the ice rain started but thankfully we had our goggles with us and although after they steamed up I couldn't see a thing they did keep the wind and ice off our faces....RESULT!  The wind was fierce (50mph forecast) so we didn't stick around long at the summit of either hill and instead of carrying on we decided to venture back down the way we'd come up as conditions were fun for no one.

Cameras were packed away as we made our way down off the hill on a great path that flanked round and met our original path which then led down again towards Keswick and Derwent Water.
There were a fair few folk out on the hills today.  Some fell running, some walking and some just having a wander out.  We were back down by 2pm and glad that we had time to pop into Keswick to visit the butcher and the cheeseman and of course we'd pop into the Dog and Gun for a nibble and some well earned refreshment.

A great day out, a quick walk and weather that was different than forecast but that's just par for the course and all in all superbly enjoyable.

07 February 2015

This is what I Dodd today......inversion city!

After a long week at work up and down the motorway from Gatwick/Heathrow and Manchester it was a pleasure for the alarm to wake me at 6am to pursue something less stressful - a make that a weekend on the hills.

We headed north and before long (but after a 32 mile motorway detour!) found ourselves outside Keswick and heading to the base of Skiddaw which would take us up the path towards the first peak of the day.  Dodd.  The first part of the walk took us through a lovely forested area and up past the Osprey viewing sites.  None there today as they would be off on their holidays in Africa but we'll come back one day so see if we can spot the birdies.  The day was forecast sunny and clear and although at the moment it was a bit gloomy was still quite beautiful.

It was an hour or so upwards before we broke through the cloud and witnessed a blanket of thick cloud carpeting us below in every direction.  The clarity of the day was impressive and although there was a bit of snow on Dodd the real attraction was the wonderful cloud inversion that just took your breath away.  As far as the eye could see there it was.

We stayed on Dodd for quite a while snapping away and then realised we still had a few big hills to get up so moved back down off Dodd and headed for the path that would take us up Carl Side.  It was a bit of a slog going up there and the higher we went the snowier it got.  Not deep fluffy snow but icy snow that had been there for a while so you had to watch your footing.

By the time we reached the top I was exhausted.  The week was taking its toll.  We decided against going on to Siddaw but headed instead for Longside and Ullock Pike and then back down to near where the car was parked.

It was bitterly cold and as the sun was weakening as the day went on so gloves, had and scarf were essentials.  Top coats on we ventured forwards.

Longside as a peak was pretty unexciting but the little ridge after it, Ullock Pike looked a bit more tasty and looking back we could see clearly the route we had come

Finding the path down was a little bit tricky and what I though was a path turned out to be the descent from hell.  A steep shaley path which turned into an even steeper dirty rocky and scree path.  It was the most undignified descent from a hill ever.  At one point I was on my stomach, head facing up the hill, holding on to a bit of heather for dear life.  My hands and clothes were dirty and I have some spectacular bruising and scratches.  Nightmare but it was a challenge and at no time were we in danger.  Chris seemed most amused at my discomfort but thankfully we made it down and were soon on the path back towards where the car was parked.

The last delight of the day was the sunset we were offered.  Pinks, oranges and reds streaming across the sky.  Absolutely beautiful
A perfect end to a wonderful wintery walk.