Sunday, 31 January 2016

Orton Church - 31 January

Fittingly it was Sunday morning when we visited Orton Church although, perhaps, the chocolate factory was the real reason we were in Orton. Earlier in the morning the overnight snow had turned to sleet and was becoming rain. We had other fells on this weekend's bagging list but preferred to keep them for fairer weather and so we headed off to other things.

Orton Church

Orton Church - other gate
The two sets of gates and their lamps are a memorial to villagers who fell in the First World War and I think they are a delightful memorial.

Gowbarrow Crag - 30 January

Spending the morning struggling against the wind and watching the sun wash over Gowbarrow Crag made us wish we were there - so we went!

Down from Arnison Crag, along the side of the lake to Aira Force and up on to the fellside. We enjoyed some sunshine but couldn't escape the wind and almost inevitably the best views were back along the lake to where we had just come from - here are three of them.

Of course, after all this excitement some refreshment was needed and the White Lion beckoned, not for the first time.

White Lion, Patterdale

Arnison Crag - 30 January

The forecast alone was enough to persuade us to drop St Sunday Crag from the route so we set out to bag Arnison Crag and Birks before thinking about Birkhouse Moor. That was the plan which lasted until we had almost reached Arnison Crag summit where we realised that climbing into the headwind to reach Birks just wasn't going to happen. As we were considering whether we really should retreat another gust of wind made a serious attempt to lift us off our feet - we were persuaded!


Hallin Fell

Birkhouse Moor


Birkhouse Moor


Black Fell - 29 January

An afternoon stroll with Richard to bag Black Fell for our "Third Round". The three of us were in Tanzania together so this was our third summit together and somewhat lower than the previous two. The wind here was much worse than we experienced on the other two and we spent most of the time around the summit holding on to our hats, literally.

Richard and Pauline on Black Crag

Low Arnside Farm

Skelwith Force

Monday, 25 January 2016

Thorn Crag - 23 January

A weekend at Raw Head for the FRCC Burn's Supper Meet and the opportunity to bag a couple more peaks - or so we thought. Climbing up from the New Dungeon Ghyll car park park towards Stickle Tarn the already poor weather began to deteriorate. Thoughts of Thunacar Knott, which we want to bag again for our Third Round began to get blown away by the strengthening wind. Heading straight to Thorn Crag meant we could traverse under Pike Howe and seek as much shelter as possible before heading, almost, directly up to Thorn Crag.

With zero visibility, persistent rain and a gusting wind we decided to head back down by Dungeon Ghyll which wasn't our best decision of the day. Patches of soft snow on the path didn't help but worst was the gusting wind attempting to pluck us from the path. Despite having to re-cross three large snow fields retreat was the only sensible option. Back in the heart of the Langdale Pikes the rain began to ease a little. In the hope of dropping below the clouds Sticks Pass became our next destination and although the wind didn't drop until we reached the valley floor we did drop out of the clouds.

Finally, with one more Birkett bagged we decided we deserved the Old Dungeon Ghyll.

Great Langdale

In The Corner By The Fire

Monday, 18 January 2016

Winter Hill - 17 January

A slip coming off Kilimanjaro about a fortnight ago left me with an injured knee - not badly injured, it didn't prevent me walking then or subsequently but it isn't any better now than it was the day after it happened. Walking doesn't seem to aggravate it while twisting it does and I am reluctant to run on it because I am frightened of twisting it.

A Sunday morning run over Winter Hill has been a regular fixture for local runners for a very long time and now there are enough injured runners to form a "Sunday Morning Walking Group". Pauline and I joined Michele and Erica for a walk, mostly, round the Monday Night Recovery Run route. Saturday night's snow allowed Winter Hill to live up to its name for the first time this winter.

Path I have never noticed before - wonder where it goes.

George's Lane

Tree below The Pike

George's Lane

On the Two Lads

Top of the Mast Road

Towards Great Hill

Trees below Ammunition Corner

One of the many!

Arusha Street Scenes

Over the period of the trip we were in and out of Arusha, always staying at the Ilboro Safari Lodge. We saw little of Arusha apart from driving through and these are the best of the photos grabbed along the way.

Well Deserved Rest Day

Ngorongoro Crater - 06 January

The final part of the trip is a half day safari in the Ngorongoro Crater before heading back to Arusha. We may have seen a Black Rhino but it was too far away to be sure, we did see elephants but they were too far away to photograph and leopards are nocturnal so it was always unlikely we would see one.

The buffalo and hippos we did see looked so benign it was hard to believe they vie for the "most dangerous" badge but they do. Twice we saw female lions so close we could have touched the. One of them was clearly irritated and threatened a passenger in an adjacent car, rearing up and roaring but so quickly that she couldn't be photographed. This was a great way to relax at the end of a pretty demanding trip.