Monday, 24 October 2011

Winter Hill – 22 October

With a day slaving over a hot stove planned for Saturday and some gentle recovery likely to be needed on Sunday this didn’t ever look like being a weekend of vast landscapes and sweeping panoramas. I set out early intending to meet the sun on the summit of Winter Hill and while I was there the sun wasn’t; it remained hidden behind a bank of heavy cloud.

20111022-winterhill-6Winter Hill mast

After our badly needed gentle recovery on Sunday we were content to wait on the late afternoon sunshine for a stroll on Winter Hill. For the second time this weekend the sun failed to materialise and we were left under dull grey skies.

20111023-winterhill-20Another way to spend a Sunday afternoon


One of the walls of the quarry that could be extended into an adjacent one, closing a significant footpath in between them – look for the local “Stop The Quarry” posters for more information

20111023-winterhill-2Moss and more on one of the stone walls

20111023-winterhill-27Stone cottages dating from 1801

Monday, 17 October 2011

Middle Fell with Joss – 16 October

As is the tradition, Joss led the Sunday morning walk from Greendale. Unlike Saturday, the weather was cloudy, claggy, sunny and rainy so the views weren’t extensive and non existent from the summit of Middle Fell.


20111016-JNLCDinner-20Wast Water and the head of Wasdale

20111016-JNLCDinner-22The Screes

20111016-JNLCDinner-5052Joss with his walking poles

20111016-JNLCDinner-5065With his dogs on his seat

20111016-JNLCDinner-5070Looking back down to Greendale Bridge

20111016-JNLCDinner-5076The summit of Middle Fell

20111016-JNLCDinner-5079Just below the cloud base on our way back down

20111016-JNLCDinner-5082Greendale Bridge, Wast Water and the Screes

Joss Naylor Dinner – 15 October

Twenty years ago, on the 6th September, Don Talbot became the first to complete the Joss Naylor Lakeland Challenge and he was “invited” to say a few words at Saturday’s Dinner.

20111015-JNLCDinner-111Don Talbot (Clayton-le-Moors Harriers / Rucksack Club)

20111015-JNLCDinner-106David Powell-Thompson officiating for the final time


Joss’s Challenge is a great day out has provided hundreds of great days out on the fells and gave me one of my best days on the hills on 18th April 2009 for my own successful crossing.  One way or another it seemed like a good time to say “thanks” to Joss and a framed copy of a photo of him with dogs seemed appropriate.



Sunday, 16 October 2011

Pillar by the High Level Route – 15 October

With the Joss Naylor Dinner providing the excuse for a weekend in Wasdale we had a leisurely trot up over Pillar from Wasdale Head by the High Level Route, passed John Robinson’s cairn to Pillar Rock, followed by the short steep descent to the head of Mosedale and a pint at the Wasdale Head Inn. There is nowt more you could ask for than a day like this.

20111015-JNLCDinner-5012Overbeck Bridge

20111015-JNLCDinner-1008Mosedale and Yewbarrow above Dore Head

20111015-JNLCDinner-1016Ennerdale with the Buttermere fells beyond and Grasmoor in the distance

20111015-JNLCDinner-1025Head of Ennerdale with Black Sail Youth Hostel

20111015-JNLCDinner-1032Plaque below John Robinson’s Cairn

John Robinson of Lorton was a Cumbrian Yeoman and a pioneer climber and guide in the Lakes who is remembered by the above plaque placed below a large cairn on the route he used to walk between Lorton and Wasdale Head. There are few routes in the Lakes as delightful, interesting and thoroughly satisfying as the High Level Route to Pillar.


20111015-JNLCDinner-1041 Another look down to Black Sail Youth Hostel

20111015-JNLCDinner-1056Great Gable, Great End, Scafell Pike, Sca Fell on the far horizon

20111015-JNLCDinner-1062Ennerdale – the very best of the Lake District

20111015-JNLCDinner-1072Mosedale with Scafell Pike beyond

20111015-JNLCDinner-5032Great Gable at the head of Wasdale

20111015-JNLCDinner-5019Wasdale Head Inn – the home of British climbing

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Langdale Horseshoe fell race – 08 October

Conditions weren’t as bad as the forecasts suggested they might be for the 14 mile, 4000 feet race around Great Langdale but they were something of a contrast with those enjoyed in 2010. This year, to describe it as “treacherous underfoot” gives an idea but doesn’t really come close.

20111008-lakes-1Car park with low clouds hanging about

20111008-lakes-3Leo and some Achilli Ratti runners “warming up”

20111008-lakes-4Getting ready

20111008-lakes-5 At the start

20111008-lakes-6Climbing out of Great Langdale

20111008-lakes-7Towards Stickle Tarn

20111008-lakes-8Climbing towards Tongue Head

The rain after Tongue Head was heavy enough to threaten my camera so I stowed it for the rest of the race which is probably just as well as I took a couple of heavy falls and I doubt the camera would have survived the first one. On both occasions traversing a steep muddy slope the ground gave way and fortunately I avoided rocks both times. Results aren’t published yet but I wasn’t disappointed to be only 10 minutes slower than last year in in 03:28:54 . I did add half a mile to last year’s route – without even knowing I had been lost!

Thanks to the Race Organiser Roger Bell, Marshals and all other helpers.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Arenig Fawr fell race – 02 October

The Arenigs are completely unknown to us and our knowledge of mid Wales is almost non existent apart from a route to Aberystwyth from the English border used by the “Across Wales” LDWA type event that we have walked and run a couple of times. An invite to marshal from Yiannis provided the excuse to which we added the previous day’s visit to Snowdon and decided to make a weekend of it.

The results are available here but without number so I am unable to identify some of the runners but if you know who they are please leave a comment with names & numbers and I’ll update this post.

20111002-wales-88Registration and the cafe

20111002-wales-102First Man - Martin Cliffe

20111002-wales-103Second man – Ed Gamble

20111002-wales-107First Lady and third overall - Jackie Lee




20111002-wales-114Paul Bowes



20111002-wales-115Andy Howie

20111002-wales-118Steve Cliff



20111002-wales-125The cairn at CP1 that provided a little, badly needed shelter from the wind

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Snowdon Sunset – 01 October

At the end of a week of magnificent sunsets we decided we would watch Saturday’s from the summit of Snowdon – we should then be able to run back down to Llanberis in time to eat in one of the pubs. A day with a plan and the first part went well – a great sunrise.

20111001-aspull-3Sunrise in Aspull

We left Llanberis after lunch and followed the Paddy Buckley route up Moel Eillio and along to Moel Cynghorion and on to Snowdon.

20111001-wales-9Looking back to Llanberis and the slate quarry

20111001-wales-15Looking over Moel Cynghorion to Snowdon

20111001-wales-32Cwm Brywnoc and Snowdon summit

20111001-wales-40Looking south west from above Cwm Brwynoc

By now we were beginning to wonder about the sunset – the clouds rolled in on schedule and while they more or less cleared from above the summits there was a pretty solid bank of clouds out to the west. These weren’t supposed to be there and they didn’t look like they would be moving. Snowdon is the most commercialised of the high places in the UK and also, apart from the train, one of the most accessible – which doesn’t make for a quiet peaceful day out.

20111001-wales-41Descending the Ranger Path

20111001-wales-47Descending by train

20111001-wales-57Not descending by (abandoned, again) 4x4

20111001-wales-52The Miners Track descending below Crib Goch

20111001-wales-50Snowdon summit with Y Lliwedd beyond


The bank of clouds out to the west stayed put and thwarted our plans to watch the sunset from the summit but we did catch sight of the moon just before darkness and for an hour or so we had Snowdon, mostly to ourselves.