Monday, 18 May 2015

Grasmere Parish Boundary – 16 May

The second in an occasional series of Parish Boundary walk – the first was about 7 years ago we won’t be waiting another 7 before the next one. Amongst the books A Wainwright published is a large coffee table one entitled “Westmorland Heritage” in which he describes his beloved county as it was in March 1974. He describes it parish by parish and in doing so identifies the boundaries and produces another list. The Grasmere parish boundary crosses the A591 near White Moss car park and then takes a more or less direct line to High Nab which is for all intents and purposes impossible to follow. The north west corner is close to Sergeant Man and it would seem a pity not to visit both Sergeant Man and High Raise, so we did. The “we” this time is a party of 6 plus Dylan from The Rucksack Club.

Starting at Dunmail Raise and over Steel Fell to High Raise and then Sergeant Man to reach the rarely visited ridge running to Silver How.


20150516_001_GPB-117Looking back across Dunmail Raise

20150516_002_GPB-126Towards Blea Rigg and Silver How with Windermere in the distance

20150516_003_GPB-127Towards the Coniston Fells with a glimpse of Stickle Tarn

Beyond Silver How, in contrast with the rest of the ridge Loughrigg Terrace is very busy but it gets us to the A591 crossing. Thereafter we use Dunney Beck to provide a way of gaining the ridge on the west side of the Fairfield Horseshoe just below Heron Pike.

20150516_005_GPB-149Helm Crag with Easdale Tarn and much more beyond

Now the route is straightforward – Heron Pike and Great Rigg to Fairfield then back to Dunmail Raise over Seat Sandal.

20150516_006_GPB-157Dylan watching Andy descend to Grisedale Tarn

20150516_007_GPB-159Coming off Seat Sandal looking north to Skiddaw

A grand day out. Not, perhaps, on the scale of the Old County Tops whose front runners we saw from High Raise as they approached Greenup Edge but 17 miles with 6000 feet of climbing in an unusual circuit around Grasmere.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Andy’s BGR Leg 5 – 10 May

On Friday night Andy decided to delay his midnight start by three hours, or so, to let the worst of the weather clear out which meant a later than usual departure from Honister for the last leg. Drifting a little from his revised schedule caused some concern for those of us with nothing to do other than wait at the slate mine. Somewhat ironically this concern wasn’t shared by the rest of the interested world who were able to follow his progress on Live Tracker.

20150509_001_AF_BGR-50No signal – no Live Tracker!

20150509_002_AF_BGR-51He is up there somewhere

Behind schedule but with time in hand the drag up Dale Head must have seemed endless even although we were recovering lost time. This continued over Hindscarth and Robinson so that by Chapel Bridge all doubts had gone and the only thing remaining was to enjoy the steady jog back to Keswick. A real privilege to be with you this morning on the way back to Keswick Andy, thanks for the invite!


20150510_004_AF_BGR-26Congratulations from the local Police too

20150510_003_AF_BGR-24Welcome to the Club, Andy Ford !

Monday, 4 May 2015

The Best of the Lakeland 3000s – 02 May

The title doesn’t refer to the weather but rather to a version of the route which, albeit an incomplete circuit, avoids the road sections – at least, that was the plan. After an early breakfast in the Salving House a small FRCC group set off for Scafell via the Corridor Route and the West Wall Traverse.

20150502_001_lakes3000s-1-EditSteak Breakfast almost done



20150502_002_lakes3000s-2-Edit-2Base Brown catching the morning sun

20150502_003_lakes3000s-4-EditSty Head Tarn with Lingmell and the Scafells beyond


The fells provided welcome shelter from the bitter wind as we made our way below Scafell Pike to the foot of Lord’s Rake where the clock went back a season or more. Pauline’s blog “Out & About” has some photos in the West Wall Traverse. From there we emerged into winter on Sca Fell and, without lingering, descended to Foxes Tarn.

20150502_004_lakes3000s-9-EditScafell Pike with Sca Fell beyond

20150502_005_lakes3000s-10-EditSca Fell

From Scafell Pike to Esk Hause, Stake Pass and Greenup Edge to Steel End car park where Helen was waiting for us with food and warm drinks. Here Pauline withdrew and four of us prepared for Helvellyn. The plan had been to avoid the road sections and the long drag down Borrowdale had been avoided by starting from Seathwaite and finishing in Keswick while the road to Keswick would be avoided by traversing the Dodds, according to the plan. The weather, however, determined that wasn’t to be. Almost immediately after meeting Nicky Spinks, below Rossett Pike on an OCT recce, the rain showers more or less joined together to provide much more constant rain which would be falling as snow higher up, and it was.

The decision to come off Helvellyn to Thirlspot was the right one despite it leaving the road to Keswick as the only option. Helen & Pauline met us here and Gerard decided that was enough excitement for one day so Julian, Phil and I set off along the road to prepare from Skiddaw. After a final support stop in Keswick we started the fourth of the “4 Threes”. Little could have prepared us for the fell top conditions that weren’t even hinted at as we passed through the last gate before the summit. The rain, after reverting to showers, was falling as snow or hail and being driven, in sub-zero temperatures, by a 40-50 mph ferocious wind. The cold was so intense I watched ice forming on my gloves and walking poles. As soon as the summit was reached we turned and descended to Keswick where Helen, Pauline and Gerard were waiting for us.

Thanks to Helen for the road support, to Phil for organising the Meet, to Julian and Gerard for the company and to Pauline, of course, but especially for the photos in the West Wall Traverse.

A proper day out!

Monday, 27 April 2015

Winter Hill – 26 April

A rare Sunday on Winter Hill but with a heap of chores to get get done in between weekends away I preferred a shorter run on Saturday morning, about an hour (during the only rain of the day). For old times’ sake I had a trundle over part of the old race route and failed to find the trod off Counting Hill, much to my disappointment. I’ll have to make another attempt soon before the Spring growth begins. The warm sunshine was very welcome and the ground is still very dry – a delight to run on.


20150426_002_WinterHill-21-EditDriving Horses



20150426_003_WinterHill-27-EditWelcome to the West Pennine Moors

20150426_001_WinterHill-16-EditSteps at Waters Meet

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

High Raise – 19 April

Up out of Borrowdale by Greenup Gill to Lining Crag, Low White Stones and High Raise. In complete contrast to yesterday, glimpses of the sun were fleeting and the sky was leaden. Every now and again we come across memorials to those who were quite as fortunate and didn’t make back down the hill and here we found a small plaque to the memory of Gordon Hallworth, a Manchester University Climbing Club member.






20150419-3-Borrowdale-18-EditPauline climbing to Low White Stones with Ullscarf beyond and the Northern Fells in the far distance

20150419-4-Borrowdale-20-EditNorth West from Low White Stones

20150419-5-Borrowdale-25-Edit-2From High Raise with a patch of sunlight on Glaramara

20150419-6-Borrowdale-38This could be the last time we see one of these yellow rescue helicopters flying

Anniversary Waltz & Teenager With Altitude – 18 April

All taken from Catbells where we were marshalling


Monday, 20 April 2015

Catbells – 18 April

Marshalling on the Anniversary Waltz & Teenager With Altitude but with time to watch and wonder at the hordes on a sunny day. Some had maps and didn’t know how to use them, others seemed to know that they were no use if you couldn’t use them so didn’t bother and the odd one or two knew where they were and were they were going but it was all great fun. Race photos will follow.