06 May 2018

Sannox Horseshoe - Change is gonna come.......

Day 3 on Arran and after the fog and mist of yesterday we woke today to a promise of brilliant sunshine breaking through at some point in the morning which was a great start since today we were going to attempt the Sannox Horseshoe.  A walk full of scrambles, ridges, high peaks and right up my street. 

We parked at the designated car park and the fog and mist was still low but undeterred we made our way up the path, through the Sannox valley with the path getting gradually steeper. Trees loomed in the mist and it was all very dark and gloomy. 

As we made our way up the side of the first hill we could almost feel the cloud lifting and by the time we'd reached the scramble part the skies were blue and the cloud was receding as the sun shone and provided some much needed warmth of the day. 

The first scramble bit was fantastic and really was a good logistical challenge.  There were parts that at first looked impossible and then with a bit of thinking and choosing the route carefully we navigated our way through the steep rocks. 

Once we'd reached the top of the first part of the hill the ridge before us was jagged and a little bit exposed in some areas but looked amazing. 
It was here we could see the full horseshoe and the ridges and peaks that waited for us later in the day including the witches step which looked a bit ominous. 

The ridge would take us up and over the next hill leading us to North Goat Fell which is the sister peak of Goat Fell which we did yesterday and the we'd follow the path down to the saddle away from North Goat Fell and onto the remaining peaks in the horseshoe. 

Looking behind us we could see the scramble bit that we'd just come over and most of the initial ridge.  The views really were magnificent and totally made up for yesterday's lack of visibility. 
Over all of the initial scrambles we popped out near the path that we took yesterday up onto Goat Fell but took another direction and since it was around lunchtime we hunkered down behind a rock to eat something before heading down to the saddle and across to the other peaks. 
It was as we were eating our sandwiches the cloud started to drop again and visibility became non existent.  We made our way down off North Goat Fell onto the path which we believed would take us over to the saddle but visibility now made it practically impossible to see what direction we should be taking.  We got out our map and could see the path we should be taking but felt that due to the weather closing in it would be sensible to retrace our steps back to North Goat Fell and then back down the path we took yesterday. 

Disappointing we had to call the walk off short as when we got back to ground level the sun was once again out and skies were clear.  It was just not to be today but I think we'll be back on Arran and we'll give this a go again, definitely.  

Date walked: 06/05/2018

Time taken: 7 hours

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1032m

05 May 2018

Goaty Mc Goat Face

It was our first trip to Arran and Goat Fell had been on our to-do list for a while so after a day exploring the island and a first night camped in our trusty Bob on the southern shore looking over to Ailsa Craig we were off early to Goat Fell. 

We parked half way up the track and soon found the path which was really well signposted. The weather looked ominous up ahead but we were kitted out for all weathers so off we plodded. 

The path took us up quite steeply quite quickly and took us over to a river and the sliders which we could just make out in the fog and mist. 
The higher we got, the foggier it got and we really were going to be unlucky today with any view but as with all walks, it didn't matter really.  We were on the island all weekend and hopefully we'd fair better with the weather on the other days.  Today was just Goat Fell and fog or not it was still enjoyable. 
The path was really good and took us up over all sorts of terrain.  Rocks, bog, gravel and before long (2.5 hrs approx) we were on the summit and dropped down behind some of the summit rocks to eat lunch. 
We didn't hang around long, just enough for a picture and to get some food and then we were on the path down.   The  mist and fog was so bad we missed our turn off which would take us back over to the path we'd come up on so we had to retrace our steps somewhat but soon found the right path.

We met many walkers who asked us repeatedly how far it was to the top as they were pushed for time as had come off 1 ferry and were booked to go back on the next but thought they'd get Goat Fell in while they were here.  Well done for having a go! 

Soon we were back on the path we'd come up on earlier (the lollipop stick) and wound our way down through the bracken towards the parking spot where Bob was waiting.

Great walk, great day, rubbish views ! 

Route description: Goatfell, from Corrie

Corbetts included on this walk: Goat Fell

Date walked: 05/05/2018

Time taken: 6 hours

Distance: 8.5 km

Ascent: 928m

28 April 2018

Pen y Ghent - A fell of a race

Today we were bound for Pen y Ghent again because of the Yorkshire 3 peak Fell Race where Tom was a participant.   We got their early so we could get up and half way down before the start of the race at 10am to get a good vantage point to watch the race. 
It was a glorious day with just enough of a chill in the air to make it comfortable for the runners.  I cant imagine running in wind and rain up a hill but then again I cant imagine running up a hill full stop but fair do to those who do. 
It wasn't long before we'd reached the top and climbed over the wall by the stile to start making our way down the path.  We'd planned to stop about half way down to see the runners go up and then come down again before heading back to the finish line to see them come through. 
Tom was doing really well and quite far up the pack on the initial climb and still one of the front runners coming down of Pen y Ghent. 
They still had Whernside and Ingleborough to do but we had a wander down to Hull Pot and then stopped for a pit stop in the pub whilst the runners were tackling the other 2 peaks.  
An hr or so later we were at the finish line to watch Tom complete the race.  He did really well and out of nearly 1000 runners he was in the top 15.  Impressive. 

Hewitts included on this walk: Pen-y-ghent

Date walked: 27/04/2018

Time taken: 3 hrs

Distance: 12 km

Ascent: 525m

21 April 2018

Buttermere Round

After a lovely night wild camping in a little secluded parking area near Buttermere we were up and out early and ready to start the days walk which took in High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike (of the Buttermere variety!)
The light was fantastic as we started the walk.  A real glimpse of summer was starting to creep into the days and the sun did indeed have some warmth in it even at the early hour. 
As we walked up the side of the first peak Red Pike we gained height fairly quickly as it was quite steep and soon found the views, as always, spreading out in front of us. Fleetwith Pike behind us with its formidable form. 
Up onto Red Pike was a marvellous walk but we didn't hang around for long at the summit, just long enough for a picture or 2 and then it was off to High Stile.  A fantastic path to follow really made it easy to move from one peak to the next.  

A challenging day but a beautiful one and the weather gods were with us as it stayed clear and dry all day. 
Views to die for with some good up and downs really made the day.  
Wainwrights included on this walk: High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike (Buttermere)

Hewitts included on this walk: High CragHigh StileRed Pike (Buttermere)

Date walked: 07/04/2012

Time taken: 7 hrs

Distance: 14 km

Ascent: 1089m

07 April 2018

Pen y Ghent - a wander up a local dragon

Well we always said if it was raining when we started a walk then we'd not bother but if it started raining while we were on a walk then it was ok as we'd have our waterproofs with us.  This day it was raining but we decided to give it a go anyway and off up the path towards Pen y Ghent we went. 
It wasn't the most pleasant walk but hey, we were out and anything is better than resorting to a TV couch afternoon.  
As with most walks the views sometimes save the day and today was no different.  The changing weather gave the most remarkable skies and as the clouds swirled around us we pushed on up the hill. 
Pen y Ghent is a lovely hill, I've been up here many many times and each time I've always loved the little bit of scrambling that you get just before the summit.  Today was no different and its always a little bit more challenging and exciting when the rocks are wet but not difficult enough for it to be dangerous. 
At the top the views were not too bad, clouds became picturesque and we stopped at the trig point for a few pictures. 

We didn't stop long at the top and were soon on our way back down the hill.  The downward section is mainly stepped but a little bit slippy when wet so care had to be taken. 
After only a couple of hours were back at the car, a little damp but exhilarated after a brilliant walk in some challenging weather.   Glad we got out and my favourite of the Yorkshire 3 peaks never fails to offer a good walk. 

01 April 2018

White Cliffs of Dover - looking for blue birds!

Easter weekend and the prospect of a rather large and scrumptious Easter dinner means that a fair walk needs to be on the cards.  We chose the Folkstone to Dover walk and since its a linear walk we parked 1 car in Dover and then headed to Folkstone to start the walk. 
The English Channel looked marvellous in the morning light and although there had been a little rain lately the path was not too muddy (famous last words!!!) 
Any coastline is fabulous with the smell of the sea and the sounds of birds, waves and the stillness of the day.  Today was no different it was a lovely day and we were making the best of it.
We stopped of at the RAF museum which was a newish building but with some stunning sculpture and inscriptions from what looked to be the Commonwealth.  Countries represented with individual inscriptions of Air Force squadrons from their respective areas.  The main sculpture below was really poignant. 
As the day wore on the clouds began to gather threatening some weather which wouldn't bother us really as we had all our waterproofs with us and although the path was getting a little more muddy now it was still fairly clear as we plodded on along the path. 
The light was spectacular as shadows appeared in the coastline and my eyes were peeled on "fin watch" but sadly I saw no fins, not one, not ever a flicker of anything marine-like. 
Just as we thought the going was good we hit the muddiest part of the walk and I can tell you it was a squelchy moment.  Hanging onto fence posts so not to get the worst of it didn't help much and we all were resigned to just getting on with it and dealing with the consequences.  Boots could come off before we got in the car if the worst came to the worst ..... and oh boy it did ! 
Seascapes make lovely pictures and I couldn't help snapping this lovely little tree all on its own with the coast and horizon (France) behind it.  Beautiful sky! 
Approaching Dover we could see the ferries moving in and out of the Port indicating that we were almost at the end of our walk.  We walked past Samphire Hoe which was the rubble brought out of the ground when making the Channel Tunnel which is being developed along the coast edge.   Quickly the path moves downwards and our walk for today has ended.  On the bright side we have a superb Easter dinner to look forward to, yum yum x