28 February 2016

Ard Crags & Knott Rigg with loads of lovely sunshine!

Having climbed all the hills on either side of these 2 little ones we decided to pop up to the lakes for the day and tick them off the list.  Not many to go now and this would be 2 more closer to that hallowed 214 figure.  I've got about 50 to go and Chris about 25 so we're nearly there.

The weather was lovely, just perfect and both hills easy to do and I'm sure we were up and down both in a couple of hours.  Brilliant little walk with some lovely views with Robinson and pals to the left and the delightful Causy Pike to the right.  Stunning.

13 February 2016

Crinkle Crags & Bowfell (one of my favs!)

A wonderful day out in the snow from Langdale up to the Crinkles and then over to Bowfell.  No story to tell on this one just some great pics to savour.  Fabulous day as usual and a nice wee chance to get the crampons on..........finally! 

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.

10 January 2016

Whitby to Runswick Bay - Brisk and Breezy

A windy, muddy, cold and damp walk along the coast from Whitby to Runswick  Bay.  We chose this walk today mainly because it was one of the only places in the North that was forecast to be dry and it rung true apart from a very short shower, well more of a thick mist really but it was precipitous all the same.

We arrived in Whitby and parked up at the harbour, changed into walking boots and headed out towards the harbour wall and left and then down onto the beach.

The first part of the walk took us along the sand towards Sandsend.  It was bracing to say the least but pleasant enough.  Dogs yapping broke the sound of the waves crashing into shore and we could see a few surfers out on the swell who were brave chaps indeed but the waves were big enough that they had a surf or two whilst we walked by.

At Sandsend we climbed the steps up onto the harbour wall and walked inland slightly to cross the bridge and then followed the coast around the headland. 

We were following the Cleveland way and soon we were on a path that was thick with mud and very much on our own.  Not another soul around and we had to quicken our step as it was getting later in the afternoon and walking through all this mud was hard going.

Around a couple more headlands and Runswick Bay came into view.  We made our way down the wooden steps towards the beach but got a surprise when the path had been completely washed away and a temporary bridge put in place but still it was tricky going as everything was slippy and one false step could mean we landed in the sandy gushing water.  Yuk!

Down onto the beach we were met with what we thought would be our last challenge of the day and that was the fact that the tide was coming in and we had to get over the rocks towards Runswick Bay before that happened and we'd be cut off.  Moving as fast as we could we literally just made it before the tide made its way fully on shore.  There was a family along the shore behind us and I'm not sure they made it back to Runswick without a bit of a paddle.  The sky was pink with the setting of the sun that made for spectacular views.  Stunning.

It was 4pm and we were happy at the thought of catching the 4.10pm bus back to Whitby.  On asking a kind lady in a car where the bus stop was she said oh its at the top of this hill, I'll take you up and instead of dropping us there she took us along to the next one convinced that the 4.10 bus still had to arrive.....WRONG!.... After checking in the local pub at 4.30pm they told me that that only time that the bus was on time was at the beginning of its journey, the rest of the time it was a bit hit or miss.  So we waited, in the cold, dancing on the spot, willing the bus to come round the corner.  Too muddy to go into the pub and anyway what if we'd missed the bus.

Finally about 5.15pm  a bus arrived and whisked us back to Whitby where after a quick change in the car we headed to Threshers for a slap up fish supper and several pots of tea.
 A smashing end to a fab day out.

03 January 2016

Dreich & Drookit Old Man

The first walk of 2016 and the first walk since October 2015 - Shocking!, blooming weather!! (but sparing a thought for all the poor folks of Cumbria who's homes, belongings and lives were destroyed).

We were resigned to go whatever the weather and although showers were forecast we didn't care, we needed to get out, we needed to get up a mountain come rain, hail, wind or snow, we were going and go we did!

The drive over to Coniston was uneventful and we only had 1 large puddle in the road to deal with and although the sky was grey and not very interesting it was dry which was a blessing.   Parked up and boots on we ventured out on the path and only then did the first drops of rain start to fall.  It wasnt heavy at first but enough to pack cameras away and tighten hoods on our jackets.

Before long it was heavier and seemingly relentless and by the time we reached the small tarn the cloud base had lowered and we couldnt even see into the middle of the tarn.

Up the last rocky steps to the summit where the large cairn stood it was evident that the weather wasnt going to get any better and the showers that were forecast had all ganged up together to just rain and rain and rain.  The wind on top was blustery and whilst not quite strong enough to blow you off your feet the order of the day now was heads down and keep moving forward.
Over to Brim Fell was next on the list and then we doubled back and took the left hand turn down the path that would lead us over to Dow Crag.
By the time we'd reached Dow Crag the conditions weren't good at all and the light of the day was diminishing. It was cold, I was wet, shivvery and a little bit whingy to say the least (some would say what's new!!!)
The path downwards was thankfully a great path, wide and free from larger rocks and the walking was good.  It wasnt long before we just about won the race with clock and arrived back at the car before darkness set in for the night.  Heaters on full blast, legs weary, clothes and hair damp, rucksacs tossed in the boot we headed for home.

A grand but very tiring day out!