Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Website is up

Well I managed to finally get through to the right people at the right place and hey, they gave me back our website, yippee. That was on Friday evening, so on Saturday I launched into design mode and quickly put together a couple of pages for the Home and the Programme and linked through the email address and the blog of course. Then tonight after doing Catbells today, I came home and set about putting the files onto the servers of our hosting company in California. So its all up there in the ether now and it works ok with Internet Explorer 8 and with Mozilla it is ok but the Programme page Home Button is floating where it should not be, but never mind, its just a small niggle in a big world.

Bella has taken all of this in her stride of course....

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Sheffield Pike and Raise

The sun came out in the Lake District today, even in Keswick, and we took the 0925 Patterdale bus over to Glenridding, navigated our way through the village, and took the steep path up through the bracken from Greenside Road onto the col between Glenridding Dodd and Sheffield Pike; it was certainly shorts and T-shirt weather when Pete took the photo.

Lunch at the top of Sticks Pass,between Raise and Stybarrow Dodd. Pete took John and Sally back to Glenridding as they just couldn't make Sheffield Pike, then he walked up Sticks Pass and met the rest of the group at the top. They had walked over Sheffield Pike and on to Hart Side with Lyn; she's in the middle of the group in the high vis. jacket; both her and Jane in front are enjoying a bite of their lunch; so is Liz in red. behind her are our two friends from New York; Daniella and Jeff; then there's the two Alans and Michael smiling on the right. The weather's deteriorating now, the wind's getting up, and we've all got our jackets on.

Here's some of the group heading from Raise towards White Side 863m, our final peak, in the background the mist shrouds the graceful pyramid of Catstye Cam. Lyn and Bella lead the way.

It was wild and windy when Pete took this group photo on White Side, and all managing a smile too despite the worsening conditions; we were all glad to head down the NE ridge where we were soon out of the worst of the wind and an hour or so's descent saw us at the bus stop at the King's Head. The bus was there sharp and the usual ludicrous exchange with the driver took place..."Four pounds twenty; is that for all of us; what! Each?" A droll finale to an interesting day.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

I was glad to be in the house today

The rain has come down in bucketfuls today, so it was just as well that it was not designated as a walk day, mind you Alan rang the other day and was full of woe that we were not going out today. Well Alan if you are reading this you may be pleased that we saved you a soaking.

I spent some of the day in email wrangling with our previous registrar of our website which I have been trying to wrestle off them so that we can get it going again after Terry pulled the plug...But no luck, I have drawn a blank so far and they say I must go back to the UK company that looks after website domain names, anyway, I won't bore you with any more of this piffle except to say that they don't make it easy. So it is not for want of trying on my part that we don't have a website that I can access as the moment, but I will persevere.

On a happier note, we did receive some rather pleasant photos from Tess so I will post a few.
First up is Ewen, David and Jane on the summit of Clough Head all looking rather smug that they have completed the climb in sunshine.

Next we have the distant view of Skiddaw from Clough Head.

Then Blencathra seen in all her autumn glory decked out in her purple heather, and many a time I have come down those slopes in amongst those lovely flowers. I never tire of seeing heather in bloom and if you want to see some of the best in Lakeland then take a walk up Walla Crag, you will not be disappointed.

Lastly, Tess sends this photo with the comment "Don't we look a happy lot."

Well I must agree that Tess and Ewen do look very happy, so well done to all of you happy hill climbers on Clough Head last Saturday (22nd) in the sunshine.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

St. Sunday Crag and Fairfield

Tuesday 11/8:
There's a very useful little bus, service 208, at 0925 from Keswick to Patterdale which drops you near the Patterdale Hotel just a short walk up the road from the lane that leads up Grisedale. Not far up the lane is a gate which gives access to the open fellside and a path leading up the steep NE ridge of St Sunday Crag to a top known as Birks, 602m/2040ft; a name probably derived from Old Norse for birch tree. St Sunday Crag refers to St Dominic, but beyond that bare fact I know no more. The photo above was taken from the slopes of Birks above Patterdale, looking over Ullswater as we made a brief stop to admire the view. At the same time Jonathan took the next picture of the group; Cliff, on Bev's right,appears to be saying something amusing to Pete though Sarah seems aghast; Bella's not so sure what it's all about. The unconcerned couple by the stile are mere bystanders to these events; Heather was with us too, I think you can just see her hidden behind Bev.

Jonathan's next image captures the essence of the smooth grassy top of Birks which proved a windy spot for elevenses. Beyond Birks lies a shallow boggy col which leads to more rugged terrain and a steep ascent onto the high rocky summit plateau of St Sunday Crag 842m/2756. It was still sunny on the top though the wind was increasing and I knew that the weather might deteriorate as forecast, which it did before we reached Fairfield.

Down we went to the col between St Sunday Crag and Fairfield, in the distance is Grisdale Tarn and Seat Sandal beyond; high above us the summit rocks of Cofa Pike reared dramatically out of the swirling mist. By the time we reached the top of Fairfield it was misty, windy and wet; we stayed only long enough to take a bearing then made our way down the rough ridge to Grisedale Tarn. After a short breather there we took the path down Raise Gill to Dunmail Raise and caught the bus back to Keswick.

Jonathan's last image is a view north towards Helvellyn and is a testimony to the honesty of the fell walkers out that day, as shortly after taking this picture Jonathan and his Mum's new camera parted company. When, to his dismay, he realised his loss we were on Cofa Pike and despite Jonathan going back over to St Sunday Crag it was nowhere to be found. I had an email from him today and happily he and Mum's camera have been reunited, as it was handed in at Keswick Police Station. So thanks to an honest fellow walker a good day on the hill was had by all, including Jonathan!

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Recent Walkers photos

We are always pleased to see our happy customers smiling at us from all sorts of peaks and fell tops. Recently, we have had a glut of photos sent in which is great, but I have only chosen a selection today as I will keep some of the scenic shots back for posting later in the year when the walks have finished. It is the best time to look at them then by the comfort of one's fireside etc, when it is snowing outside or similar conditions prevale.

So first off we have a smiling trio down by the stile at the end of their walk with Pete and Bella which took place on 2nd August and was Red Screes to Fairfield and back down to Dunmail Raise, where instead of the bus, they were all picked up by me in the car.

Next we have a rather soggy shot, yes even the camera lens has raindrops all over it if you look carefully. This is the shot on top of High Spy with its large cairn in the background giving a real sense of achievement to the situation. Mike sent in this one and the walk was on the 4th August up Maiden Moor and High Spy.

Lastly we have a walk David led up Pillar on the 8th August with a smiling group on the top with Ewan leaning on the trig point, Nicky, Ivan and David on the right.

And also a piccie taken on the way up with Gable looming above them, so as not to leave out Tess, (on the right of David), who sent in the shots. So thank you all so much for sharing your days out with the rest of us.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Away day

Sometimes the lure of far away places drags one away from the Lakes. Much as we love the familiar scenes we know so well, it just gives us a wider experience and is good for morale and training purposes. So with the greater good in mind, we went off in pursuit of a Munro called Beinn Sgulaird. It is renowned for its wonderful views and this piccie of Pete and Bella shows you why. Of course you need the weather on your side and we waited for our moment before embarking upon this classic Munro.

When we pitched our tent at Glen Coe with this short break in mind we did not expect the weather to be so kind or indeed the midges, so our arrival at the foot of the hill with the prospect of good weather was wonderful. The climb itself was quite steep most of the way with cloud covering the top obscuring our objective. This next shot shows me looking away from the summit which is indeed shrouded in mist.

The rest of the way to the summit was rocky with pink granite outcrops becoming increasingly more steep until at last we had the expected small scramble to the summit itself. Quite a large well made cairn greeted us and we thankfully sat down for our well earned bread and cheese lunch (camping is often very Spartan with us) and if you think I exaggerate you should have seen our breakfast! Bella turned her nose up at it as her dog food was much more appetising. But I digress. The summit was 3074 feet high, not too bad but the guide book gave it a time of 3 hours and 10 minutes to reach the top, we took 3 hours and 25. But stopped on the way up to take photos and admire the views.

Coming down we decided to go for the more direct route rather than backtrack keeping the views and that was to lead us into very difficult conditions with long grass hiding tussocks and drops of over 18 inches either side of them for most of the descent. The guide book described it as 'long easy grassy slopes' well I beg to differ; it was vile. Pete was fairly vocal in his descent, but I cannot repeat it here. Neither can I claim to have been immune from some expletives.....I can only give you my advice which is go back the way you came.

That evening the breeze dropped and the campsite was becalmed and dark before rain clouds hovered above us, this meant a retreat to the tent. In the morning decisive action was called for, as the midges were putting their bibs on outside awaiting their meal. Unsurprisingly, Bella could not be pursuaded to be the forlorn hope, so Pete made the sortie and after a mug of hastily made tea we broke camp with alacrity.

The result was worse than the cricket score, I counted at least 15 bites and poor Bella had a tick. Pete has been coy, he has not revealed any damage.

In conclusion, we decided that it was not a good idea to camp in the midgy season and combine it with the rigours of Munro bashing. Probably that is a condemnation of most midge repellents which never (believe me) do what they say on the packet.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Scheduled walks

The walks programme is up to date on this blog but on the website it is not going beyond August for the time being, this is because Terry has given up doing it and I am going to be sorting it out time permitting.

So if you want to know what walks are scheduled you can find them here. If you want to know about specific days or times, then please feel free to contact us. You can do this very easily by leaving a comment on the blog and we will reply.