Monday, 18 September 2017

Baxton Fell - 17 September

Meandering on a warm sunny afternoon from Slaidburn over Dunsop Head to Upper Whitendale remembering a long day here in 2014 to bag White Hill. Baxton Fell seemed too good to miss until we fell for a trod that seemed to bee-line to summit. In fact is disappeared a considerable way short of the summit and heather bashing became the "order of the day." 

Sadly, we came across what we thought was, probably, a dead female Hen Harrier but having sent some photos to the RSPB we and they are happy it is a red grouse. Apart from the bit of heather bashing this was a delight and it is too long since we spent time in this part of Bowland.

Monday, 11 September 2017

Lake District Mountain Trial - 10 September

Starting from Gatesgarth Farm in Buttermere the 2017 Mountain Trial was always going to be a difficult day. The forecast foul weather arrived as forecast and after about 3 hours and 2 check points I found myself unable to move fast enough to keep warm. The driving rain and gale force winds were forecast to get worse in the afternoon and I decided I had had enough and retired. Even in good conditions I would have had to work very hard to get round the Medium Course, ahead of the cut off times, but in these conditions I didn't really have any chance.

A little over an hour after I retired both the Classic and Medium courses were abandoned because of the deteriorating weather.

High Stile
Buttermere II
Approaching Registration (i)
Approaching Registration (ii)

Buttermere - 09 September

Late afternoon at the end of a rainy day and the sun came out.


Monday, 4 September 2017

Black Combe - 02 September

White Hall Knott, Hook Knott, Gray Stones, Raven Crag, Stourdale Head, Black Combe, Black Combe South Top

2 new Birketts, 504 in total, 37 remaining
4 new Synges, 549 in total, 98 remaining

Route finding was more difficult than expected because of the proliferation of bracken, shoulder high in many places which meant we could only follow existing trods. To begin with, as far as Hook Knott, this wasn't at all inconvenient but we then found ourselves on the wrong side of the river below Knott Hill. I intended to visit Knott Hill on the way to Raven Crag but we had to turn round and go to Gray Stones then to Raven Crag as an "out and back".

From Raven Crag to Black Combe and its South Top is easy walking and the views make it all a pleasure. The final descent turned into a bit of a meander, mostly in the wrong direction because the alternative would have been bushwacking or brackenwhacking direct to Whincham Mill which was not an attractive option.

I think this is the first time we have been on Black Combe and enjoyed any views at all. It was a little too hazy to see Winter Hill but that was only a small disappointment.

Whincham Mill below Black Combe
near Gray Stones
Looking North from Black Combe
Black Combe Trig Point
Approaching and Leaving Black Combe Summit
Black Combe South Top

Monday, 28 August 2017

Chipping Show Fell Race - 26 August

There was a time I would have carried a small camera and taken photos during the race but those days are gone, just racing is hard enough. Last year this was a Bowland FR Club Championship race which helped swell the field and this year the field was back to its more usual small size.

Somewhere up the first climb I remind myself short races like this really need a warm up because, as usual, I get left behind in the frantic start in the show ring. I'll have forgotten by next year and will, again, have the fun of working through the field after the first climb is done. Unofficially, I am about 1 minute slower than last year and happy with that.

This is a great day out at a classic Lancashire Show with a good, hard race that deserves more support. Thanks to everyone who helped from Preston Harriers, and anywhere else. We'll be back for more next year.

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Around Sty Head - 21 August

From Brackenclose over Kirk Fell, Great Gable, Green Gable, Brandreth, Grey Knotts, Brandreth, Base Brown, Glaramara, Allan Crags, Great End, Broad Crag, Lingmell and back to Brackenclose.

A day out to recce most of the "FRCC Tops" which were purchased after the First World War as a permanent memorial to those who would not be coming back to enjoy them. The tops listed above plus Seathwaite Fell were donated to the National Trust in 1924.

Although I am familiar with all these fells and most of the route in between them there are a few bits I wanted to have another look at before putting together a route around all twelve.

The first part of the day was a cool, clear morning and ideal for my recce but from Glaramara onwards the route was above the cloud base until the final summit, Lingmell. Glaramara apart it all went well and was a fabulous day out.

Great Gable



North from Great Gable


Great End

The Scafells

Great Gable


The Scafells


Scafell Pike

Wasdale Head