Showing posts with label hillwalking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hillwalking. Show all posts

24 February 2018

3 Fells and a Bob

The first weekend where the weather wasn't horrendous with promises of dry, bright, sunny and calm days meant only 1 thing.  Bob was quickly packed after work on Friday with all the necessary things we'd need for a weekend in the lakes and off we set.

Approaching Keswick we found that the A66 was closed a few miles before Keswick and if we planned to stop at our Castlerigg spot then we'd have a heck of a detour.  We pulled off before the road closure and found ourselves on back roads, some very narrow, around the Mell Fells and after 10 mins or so found a lovely spot to park up on a bridge over a river.
What a spot this proved to be.  In the morning we had a red squirrel peeking in and it danced around for a few mins before heading off to the forest, we had a dipper in the river below and a massive fox crossed the field in front of us, keeping its beady eye on us as it crossed.  All that wildlife and we hadn't even had breakfast.

We were soon dressed and on our way to park up for our walk.  Honister was our destination for parking as today we'd planned to head for Great Gable taking in Grey Knotts, Brandreth & Green Gable.  I'd done Green and Great Gable before but Grey Knotts & Brandreth were ticks for me, yay!

The forecast was proving correct with the sun shining down on us as the cold wind bit at my face.  It wasn't long after we got going that I began to warm up and as there was very little wind at this point it was quite pleasant.  The initial part of the walk is fairly steep up the side of Grey Knotts but this kind of path is great because you gain great height in a short space of time and the distraction is all the gorgeous views opening up around you.

At the top of Grey Knotts we took the obligatory trig pics and set off towards Brandreth.
The higher we got the windier it got but it wasn't uncomfortable at all.  What else was noticeable was that the higher we got the icier it got and the ice/snow patches were becoming more frequent.  We knew that most of the high hills were in winter conditions but for some reason our winter gear was still in Bob.  No crampons and more importantly no ice axe which always came in handy when going up or down snow/ice patches.  No sliding down any patch on your bum if you've got nothing to stop you.....bah !

After posing at the summit cairn of Brandreth we could see over to Green Gable and more importantly over to Great Gable and it looked pretty wintery to me.  We said we'd make a decision on the top of Green Gable whether to continue as it wasn't sensible to get involved with any larger ice/snow fields without the proper equipment and sure enough as we stood on top of Green Gable it was aparent that we wouldn't be going any further but would find our homeward path which was visible just below us and call it a day.
So off we went down the path, which I must say was a brilliant path.  The homewards route took us right past Pillar and we could see down the Ennerdale Valley and over to Buttermere and all the gorgeous Fells round that area.

We couldn't have asked for a better day weatherise and it really is a privilege to get to do what we do and experience the world from a different prespective and glad I've always got my camera to take advantage of the most perfect conditions.

Thats me up to 194 Wainwrights meaning only 20 to go !

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 !

29 July 2017

The Great British Bakestall

After a few weeks of non hill activity we headed out early on Saturday morning to tick of 1 or perhaps 2 more Wainwrights from the list.  Bakestall was the initial target but with the weather forecast looking decidedly dodgy it was debatable whether we'd even get out of the car.

Parked we changed into boots and got bags ready when the heavens opened and we quickly jumped back in the car and thought we'd give it a few mins to abate before venturing out.  After 15 mins or so it had eased off and although only spitting it was decidedly brighter so off we went.

The first part of the walk took us up the same path we'd been on a few weeks before with the mountain bikes.  Heading towards Whitewater Dash but before then we took a right turn and headed steeply up the flanks of Bakestall.
It was a wet and slippery ascent of the first part of the hill and with frequent showers it meant hoods up then hoods down intermittently.  The higher we got the windier it got and although there wasn't much of a path we plodded onwards and upwards.
At the first plateau we could finally see the hill in the distance and although it didn't seem that far away it was slow going as there now wasn't much of a path and heads down we tried to follow a shallow track through the moss and grass that was leading us in the right direction.

Finally on top it was a lot more pleasant.  The wind was still buffeting us about but the rain, thankfully, had stopped and there were a few dots of blue sky beginning to appear.
2 choices at the summit with 1 that would take us up onto the Skiddaw hills and 1 that would take us back down to the original path right at the point of the waterfall Whitewater Dash.  Skiddaw wasn't in our plans for today so down we went.

Directly ahead of us was Little Calva and Great Calva which if the going had been better we'd have tackled today but alas those were going to be for another day.
Stopping at the waterfall we had a bite to eat and then followed the well defined track down round the base of Bakestall back to the path where the car was parked.

Thoughts were to pop into Keswick for a bit of shopping and a bite to eat at the Dog & Gun but Keswick was so busy we couldn't even get into the town far less get parked so we headed for home with the promise of a stop off at our favourite cheese shop in Settle.

So not the full compliment of Wainwrights ticked off today that we'd planned but still 1 more off that ever decreasing list.  Chris is on 207 with 7 left to do and I'm on 181 with 33 left to do.

Fingers crossed we'll be in the Langdales next weekend with our beloved Bob we we can tick off a fair few more.