Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Great Langdale - 17 June

A glorious summer's day in Great Langdale when we had a wander up the valley to Rossett Pike.

Clouds over The Crinkle

Great Langdale

Rossett Pike with a plume

Clouds on Esk Pike & Great End

Clouds on Bowfell

Great Langdale

Great Langdale

Clouds pouring over The Crinkles

Cumbrian Traverse - 16 June

More years ago than I care to remember we were tempted to try this on a day with an "improving forecast". Needless to say the forecast didn't improve and we were forced to abandon the attempt. Usually we try to have another go as soon as possible but this fell by the wayside where it languished until I started looking around for a way to celebrate a "not very big" birthday. Knowing a BGR contender who would be interested in a long day on the fells meant a I could avoid a solo attempt and all we needed was a "fair forecast". With only a couple of hours of rain and following wind forecast for Friday, 16th June, things looked pretty promising.

Broughton Mills to Wrynose Pass

Even at 06:30 on Friday morning it was obvious the forecast wasn't quite right - the "following wind" was blowing in the wrong direction but a cross wind wouldn't be that bad, would it? Peter and I set off in sunshine half an hour earlier than planned while Pauline and Peter's wife Sheila prepared to meet us at Wrynose Pass around lunchtime. The first leg went pretty well, through the Furness Fells to the Coniston Fells and down to the Three Shires Stone.
  1. Great Stickle
  2. Stickle Pike
  3. Caw
  4. White Maiden
  5. Brown Pike
  6. Dow Crag
  7. Conistone Old Man
  8. Swirl How
  9. Great Carrs
  10. Wrynose Pass
From White Maiden onwards we were above the cloud base for most of the time but by then the most difficult route finding was behind us, at least for this leg.

Wrynose Pass to Honister Pass

Having completed and enjoyed Leg One just a little faster than a 12 hour pace we should have been "quietly optimistic" about the next leg. The low, dark, heavy clouds sitting on the fells ahead of us suggested conditions were deteriorating, and they were.
Cold Pike was above the cloud base and before we reached Crinkle Crags the rain arrived and stayed with us until Great Gable. We missed a turning somewhere between Crinkle Crags and Bowfell and dropped about 500 feet into Upper Eskdale. This wasn't the best part of the day but we retained our sense humour and, eventually, found Bowfell. The reminder of the leg was uneventful and the rain relented so that we could eat before Great Gable. We lost about an hour overall on this leg, most of which was the error on Crinkle Crags.
  1. Cold Pike
  2. Crinkle Crags
  3. Bowfell
  4. Esk Pike
  5. Great End
  6. Great Gable
  7. Green Gable
  8. Brandreth
  9. Grey Knotts
  10. Honister Pass

Honister Pass to Keswick

After more food and hot drinks we were ready for the short, last leg into Keswick. With considerable relief we watched the clouds on Dale Head lift higher than the traverse we needed to find to reach High Spy. Conditions improved significantly and this last leg was a delight. Reaching the Moot Hall at 21:28 meant we finished 34 mile, 13,000 feet route in just under 15 hours, about an hour longer than we expected.
  1. High Spy
  2. Maiden Moor
  3. Cat Bells
  4. Keswick
Huge thanks to Peter & Sheila and, of course, Pauline for a truly memorable 64th.

Towards Caw
Morecambe Bay from Caw
Coniston Old Man
Towards Brim Fell

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Beacon Hill, Norfolk - 05 June

A friend's daughter's wedding is our excuse for spending a few days on the North Norfolk Coast, near Wells Next The Sea and not too far from some of the many Beacon Hills in the county. One of them is the county high point and worth a visit for that reason alone.

Beacon Hill
The flag pole was something of a surprise and the surrounding trees obscure pretty much all the views which is more than a little disappointing. However, another county high top which is our 12th "Historic County Top", our 21st "Current County Top" and our 12th "Administrative County Top" - not lists we pursue terribly actively.

Wells is a delight, Cromer is interesting and we probably saw Hunstanton at its best on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Blakeney Harbour is worth more time than we had to spare. Almost any other time of year would be better because of the access restrictions to protect ground nesting birds in the Spring.

Crabbing in Wells Harbour
Wells Harbour
Wells Harbour
Wells Harbour
Cromer Beach
Blakeney Harbour
Blakeney Harbour

Monday, 29 May 2017

Tarn Crag - 28 May

For once sunshine combined with no other commitments and the opportunity to visit Tarn Crag (Easedale) for the third time. This is the last Wainwright we have to bag to complete our Third Round, a round we started on 26th August 2007, seven years ago almost to the day.

Out of Great Langdale via Swinescar Pike, Lang How and Belles Knott to Tarn Crag which we visited in 1999 and 2003 on grey wet days with hailstones in 2003. Today is a complete contrast and, for the first time, we enjoy the views, especially to the south west over Windermere and Morecambe Bay.

We returned to Great Langdale via Tarn Crag at Stickle Tarn which is busy with sunbathers, paddlers and some swimmers and Pike How for the descent to Great Langdale.
Great Langdale

Great Langdale

Above Coledale Tarn

Pavey Ark and Stickle Tarn

Great Langdale with clouds pouring over Bowfell

On Pike How

Pike How

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Tony Marlow's "JOSS" - 06 May

A sub-12 hour "JOSS" is way too fast for me to help out on other than at the support points and today we were only watching at Dunmail Raise on Tony's successful 11 hour 45 minute  attempt.

Waiting (i)

Waiting (ii)

Waiting (iii)





Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Old County Tops - 29 April

A walk around the heart of Lake District visiting the Old County Tops of Scafell Pike (Cumberland), Coniston Old Man (Lancashire) and Helvellyn (Westmorland), starting in Seathwaite and finishing in Rosthwaite at the Fell & Rock CC hut. Unlike 2016 when the snow prevented us completing the route the weather was benign - cool, overcast and dry. The conditions made for less spectacular photos than last year but completing the route made up for that.

Sty Head

Wasdale Head


Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike Trig Point

Upper Eskdale

Coniston Old Man

Coniston Old Man Trig Point

Bomber Memorial on Broad Slack

Catsty Cam from Helvellyn

Monday, 24 April 2017

Around Knock Murton - 23 April

A meandering wander around Knock Murton in the Western Fells to bag two Wainwrights (Burnbank Fell & Blake Fell) for our Third Round. Along the way we bagged nine new Birketts to bring our Birkett total to 500.

Now our Third Round needs only Tarn Crag in Easedale for completion and we have only another 41 Birketts to visit.

The new Birketts were

  • High Hows
  • Owsen Fell
  • Loweswater End
  • Sharp Knott
  • Gavel Fell - High Nook
  • High Pen
  • Low Pen
  • Godworth
  • Kelton Fell

Fishing on Cogra Moss

Leaving Blake Fell

Grasmoor dominating the North Western Fells

Over Cogra Moss to the Solway Firth