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

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.