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

High Spy - 22 April

Marshalling on the Anniversary Waltz/Teenager with Altitude on High Spy. A glorious bright, sunny day tempered by a cool wind - perfect for running and pretty nearly perfect for the marshals too.

Over Catbells to the Northern Fells

North Western Fells from High Spy


On The Scrounge


Approaching High Spy

Having Too Much Fun

More race photos here.

Base Brown - 21 April

Despite the forecast for a dry day and glimpses of sunshine when we arrived in Borrowdale rain drifted into the valley as we set out for Base Brown. The climb by the side of Sour Milk Gill became a climb into the clouds and a little rain. The latter didn't last but was quickly replaced by the cold wind which has become so familiar of late.

We reached in the summit in zero visibility and followed the path from Green Gable back to the top of Sour Milk Gill, dropping below the clouds as we did so. Only three more "Third Round Wainwrights" outstanding now.

Borrowdale Below the Quarries

Borrowdale from the side of Sour Milk Gill

From Base Brown

Looking into Grains Gill

Top of Sour Milk Gill

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Creag na Sroine - 17 April

Creag na Sroine sits above Stronetoper on the west side of Glen Feshie. Coming here was a "last minute" decision which meant no research on routes until walking down the glen. A fairly unconvincing track climbs from Stronetoper in the direction of the summit but whether it reaches the summit or not cannot be determined at the bottom.

Heather-bashing is rarely an attractive option and today is no exception so after crossing the river from Achlean we followed the road up the glen to reach the track that climbs back over the shoulder of Creag na Sroine. Eventually it becomes a path and about 500M away from the summit we followed a firebreak to the summit. Low clouds and restricted views made this a bit of joyless trudge but the three deer running immediately in front of us, twice, made it a worthwhile.

A bitter wind drove from the summit while gathering, heavy clouds persuaded us to follow an old track back towards Glen Feshie. This turned out to be the track rising from Stronetoper which saved a great deal of time and avoided a serious soaking because we were only minutes from the car when the heavy rain arrived.


Upper Glen Feshie

Lower Glen Feshie

Creag na Sroine Summit looking towards the Cairngorm plateau


Beinn Bhreac & Carn an Fhreiceadain - 16 April

Easy stroll over Beinn Bhreac & Carn an Fhreiceadain on the big track out of Kingussie. Low clouds probably hid the best of the views but the wild life more than made up for it.

Four hares playing in the heather wearing the last of their winter coats suggested Spring is just around the corner although the weather doesn't seem to be paying attention. A little further up Beinn Bhreac a fifth hare seemed unsure whether to keep an eye on us or on the pair of ptarmigan cavorting nearby. Descending Carn an Fhreiceadain a black grouse wandered over to see us, stood on the track and chatted at length before turning his back us, seemingly in disgust, and walking away.

Looking down to Speyside

Beinn Bhreac Summit

Carn an Fhreiceadain Trig Point

Carn an Fhreiceadain Cairn

An Torr & Creag Dhubh - 15 April

Creag Dhubh is a fine Marilyn above the A86 at Newtonmore with a subsidiary summit, An Torr.  A cool wind driving snow flurries accompanied us all along the ridge - saving the heaviest flurry for the summit. The Cairngorm plateau remained concealed by heavy clouds all day and we were glad to be below the worst of the weather.

Ruthven Barracks

Snow Storm on Speyside

Kingussie Carpet Shop (i)

Kingussie Carpet Shop (ii)

Kingussie Bench

Glen Tromie - 14 April

Weather forecasts for Easter Weekend in the Cairngorms suggest winter won't leave the plateau for some time yet so we arrived in Kincraig with a long list of lower hills to bag, far more than a weekend's worth. The area between Glen Tromie and the A9 looks interesting but we have no idea how good or bad the ground might be so a walk down the glen and back over Croidh-la should give us an idea.

The heather cover is almost complete and without a path, trod or track to follow the going will be difficult and, probably, slow. Even paths shown on the map are faint and not always easy to find or follow as Croidh-la proved. Today's conclusion is while the said area is of interest it won't be explored this weekend.

The Ospreys are back on Loch Insh and much to our surprise and delight we were able to watch them on and around the next this afternoon.

Looking West from Croidh-la

Croidh-la Trig Point

Work In Progress (i)

Work In Progress (ii)

The best way up and down the glen

Osprey Watching