Thursday, 4 December 2008

Christmas Walks Programme 2008

There seems to be a demand for Christmas walks so in response we've devised a short programme between Christmas and New Year, Pete and Lyn will be leading them together. Our accompanying view of Blencathra shows part of the walk planned for Monday 29 Dec. Lyn and Bella have walked up Mousethwaite Comb from the bus stop at Scales, they're at 345279 and are about to disappear down into the valley of the Glenderatera in front of them. That's the steep grassy flank of Bannerdale Crags on the right; beyond is Blencathra with the bare rock of Sharp Edge leading upwards to the top of snow clad Foule Crag. The route follows the Glenderamakin to the col between Bannerdale Crags and Blencathra at 328292. From there it's a stiff climb to the top of Foule Crag followed by an easy stroll to the summit of Blencathra 868m/2847ft. From there we make a fine airy traverse of the summit ridge to Blease Fell top, then descend to the Blencathra Centre and back to Keswick along the old Railway Track.

Grade A, 9 miles, meet 10am Keswick Moot Hall, £12 each, bus fare extra.

Saturday 29 December's walk starts as usual from outside the Moot Hall in the centre of Keswick; we'll take the launch across Derwentwater to Hawes End then ascend the steep north ridge; there are some surprising rocky outcrops towards the top that need to be negotiated with care, especially in the wet; the views from the ridge are wonderful so we hope for clear weather over the Christmas week. It's about a mile from the summit of Catbells 14181ft to Maiden Moor 1887ft, our second Wainwright peak of the day, then on along the broad ridge between Borrowdale and Newlands Valley to High Spy, highest of the day's tops at 2143ft. We descend steeply from this point south towards Rigg Head then follow Tongue Gill down through the old quarry workings to the valley floor and the village of Rosthwaite for the bus back to Keswick.
Photo: Catbells from Latrigg above Spooney Green Lane last winter.

Grade B, 6 miles, meet 10am Keswick Moot Hall, £12 each, transport extra.

On Wednesday 31December the walk is a circuit of Derwentwater, there's no transport involved, we start and finish walking from the Moot Hall. It's a varied and interesting walk with fine open views. It's just over 10 miles but there are no serious ascents, only the short pull up to Walla Crag at 1234ft the highest point of the outing, then it's easy going down to Ashness Bridge and along the track towards Watendlath, though we turn down through the woods to High Lodore Farm well before the hamlet is reached. We cross the marshy head of Derwentwater by the newly refurbished boardwalk and turn north along the west shoreline of the lake. The path wends its way through fine woodland with ever changing vistas across the lake, it leads past Peter Rabbit's garden to Nichol End and from there it is a short walk through Portinscale back to the bright lights of Keswick on New Year's Eve.

Grade B, 10miles, meet Keswick Moot Hall 10am, £12 each

Photo: Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake from Walla Crag last winter.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

California dreaming

Those of you who came on the later walks will probably remember us saying that we were going to California. Well we did and we climbed a big.... mountain: it's like their sandwiches out there you can't eat them all so you need a doggie bag! Imagine a mountain to match......

Yes it was 10834 feet. Here is the evidence.

But what you don't know is that we took a tram up to about 8000 feet! Or that once on the top is was occupied by monks in saffron robes!! I kid you not, check out the sandals......
Actually, they were really very nice and took a photo of the two of us, but when we first saw them they had their umbrellas up against the sun, can you imagine just a few days before we had been on Haystacks doing navigation with rain and hail and cold numb hands with no umbrellas. Perhaps we can learn something here. Please post all comments regarding umbrella usage to Pete.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Whinlatter Top 1696ft.

Lyn and her group all look pleased to have made it to Whinlatter Top, the last of the summits on the Aiken Beck round. There's Kim and Jill on the left, Charlie from Stirling next to Lyn and Tracy and Clive, who were taking a short break from the farm in Derbyshire, on his left. Bella's ready for off and having nothing to do with photo opportunities at all. From here it was downhill all the way to the Whinlatter Forest Centre for tea and cakes and the minibus back to Keswick.

Lord's Seat 1811ft ; Whinlatter Forest Park

Lords Seat at 1811ft or 552m is the highest of the fells that form a rough horseshoe of tops round Aiken Beck, which rises on the southern slopes of the fell. It's breezy on top but the sun is breaking through at last on Ling Fell behind us. Bassenthwaite Lake can be seen far below.

Summit of Graystones 1476ft, NW Fells

It was cool and breezy on the top where we stopped for a breather after the steep ascent. We decided to make for the col between Graystones and Broom Fell before we took a break for elevenses. In the background the tops of the Skiddaw massif are still shrouded in cloud.

A Round of Aiken Beck, Whinlatter

Friday 17 October was a good day for walking on the NW Fells, no rain, little wind, cool and mainly clear conditions with fine views in all directions. Here Lyn and Bella are leading the way up the steep flank of Graystones from our starting point at Scawgill Bridge on the Aiken Beck, seen far below.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Thanks to Tess and Ewen

Guess what dropped through the letter box this week? Yep some photos from last years walk taken by Tess of our dear old Jockey. So this posting is for Tess and Ewen to say thanks for the memories and as you particularly liked the one of Jock on his own, well here he is just for you.

Some of you will know that Jock passed away this February at the age of 14 with many many fells bagged and even more Munros. He was a lively, lovely lad and I just wanted to share this photo with you. You may not realise but when he was younger, no butty was safe... I was once on a remote Munro with only one ham roll for sustenance (rations were short that day) and Pete and I were just starting lunch when I glanced aside at something at the same time inadvertently placing my butty on the lunch box lid (uneaten). Well in the next instant it was in Jock's voracious jaws and the tug of war contest which ensued resulted in a 50:50 split.... I was not pleased!

So you see this next photo shows how Jock had mellowed or perhaps Pete (two hand grip) was not in a mood for sharing.

I wonder who the other fellow is? Does anyone know? It's not Tess that's for sure.

A Classic with weather to match

With the Langdale Pikes "in the bag" we stopped for afternoon tea in the sunshine on the top of High Raise before the descent to Greenup Gill, Stonethwaite, and the last bus back down Borrowdale to Keswick.
Though we can't do much about the weather in the Lakes, Keswick Rambles can guarantee a good walk and they don't come much better than the July Langdale Pikes ramble. The weather conditions, the enjoyable company and the exhilerating high level route all made it a day to remember. Definitely a "must" for the KR programme next year, look out for it.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Hamish and Angus set the pace

Pike o'Stickle forms the background as Hamish and Angus, two memorably well behaved Tibetan Terriers, set the homeward pace from Harrison Stickle towards Thunacar Knott and High Raise, Bella looks keen too.

Langdale Pikes Walk

The Langdale Pikes walk is one of the longest that we undertake, all of fifteen miles, with a good many ups and downs along the way. The conditions for the first outing on the 1 July were ideal, warm and sunny all day, and we thought at the time that the summer was here to stay, how wrong we were. We started from Stonethwaite and walked up Langstrath, where this picture was taken, towards Stake Pass, the key to the Langdale Pikes from Borrowdale.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Occasional 'ramblings' about our walks

I thought that our wanderings over the Lakeland Fells could be shared with each other, so the idea of this blog was formed. Many of you have not met each other and yet so far this year I can honestly say that I bet you would all have got on well with each other and nattered away all day if you had all come together! Not that I could have taken so many of you up the fells at once. But perhaps in the comfort of your homes, after the wind, rain and sometimes snow this year, you can sit back, relax and reflect on the walks we did together. Perhaps you will be planning ahead to the walks we offer next year and maybe you will find some new inspiration.
So although there are not many weeks left until we hang up our boots for the season, I hope to post a few entries here, mostly in retrospect at the summer which came and went within the blinking of an eye....At least that's how it seems now but at the time, well didn't we do well all the hills we climbed and the sheep we saw, and the cairns we sat at.