Saturday, 31 December 2011

Christmas day was a tad windy......

Windy Walla
Here's yours truly trying to stay upright and not lose me cap...... This was just on the path on Walla Crag near the summit cairn, I was trying to stay on my feet and reach the cairn too.  We only met one other person whilst up there.  Usually we go much further on Christmas Day but not this year the wind was gusting across the lake and it was a struggle, reminded me of the mountain festival up on the Hindscarth ridge where Jane and I could not stay on our feet back in May....

So its been a windy December so far and I wonder what is in store for the next few weeks. Meanwhile, we want to wish you all A Happy New Year from the KR team and hope you all have a prosperous and peaceful year and your very good health; cheers!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Christmas Walks 2011 - Bookings now being taken £20 per person

6th December 2011 Carrock Fell back of Blencathra, snow drifts were 3 feet deep on the top

These Christmas walks need to be booked so you must contact the leader by phone or email to confirm if you are going and leave a mobile phone number.

Wednesday 28th December
Catbells at Christmas
Time for a walk today? Come and join experienced and knowledgeable local leaders Alison and Halle, walk off some of those Christmas calories whilst discovering the history of the landscape.

Meet at 1000hrs at the Moot Hall, Keswick (Tourist Information Centre). If the launch is running ( weather dependant) we'll go across the lake to start this classic walk up Catbells.

Enjoy the beautiful views over Derwentwater and the Newlands Valley. Returning along the lakeshore, this walk encapsulates the best the Lake District has to offer.

Distance 8km/ 5 miles
Ascent 460m / 1510 ft

Thursday 29th December
Blencathra with Pete and Lyn Armstrong and Bella the Border Terrier.
Phone for details as the route and length of the walk depend on the conditions on the day.

Friday 30th December
Barrow above Braithwaite
Meet at 10am in the car park of the Swinside Inn for a walk up Barrow to burn off all that Christmas indulgence! Join Cathy and Skye for a winter walk up one of the best of Lakeland's lower fells. The exact route will depend on the weather. A glorious sunny day may tempt us up Barrow's ridge and over to Outerside as well but a wet and windy morning might lead to a dash for the summit and back to sit by the fire in the Swinside's cosy bar. Families are welcome (children half price) Ring or email Cathy to book. Let her know if you need a lift from Keswick or would like to share a taxi

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Keswick Mountain Festival 2012

2012 dates are 16th - 20th May

The Keswick Mountain Festival website has started highlighting all the walks we are doing next year but for some reason they have not included any dates......Now that is a problem for some of you who have started to ring us up and email us asking when our hikes are on.  So ever obliging yours truly will now put the record straight as the KMF site does not......

Wednesday 16th May

Alison and Halle    Skiddaw 6 Wainwrights
Pete and Lyn          Cam Crag Ridge and Glaramara
Cath Colam            Buttermere Bluebells

Thursday 17th May

AH                          2 lakes, 3 tarns, and 2 cafes
PL                           Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell
CC                          Great End, wilderness way

Friday 18th May

AH                         Blencathra, scenic way
PL                          Catstycam, Swirral Edge  to Helvellyn
CC                          Footloose on the fells (part of a 3 day event)

Saturday 19th May

AH                        Catbells and lakeshore
PL                         Borrowdale to Grasmere over the tops
CC                         Footloose

Sunday 20th May

AH                         Honister to Keswick over the tops
PL                           Buttermere to Keswick over 7 Wainwrights
CC                          Footloose

What more can you all want?  Any queries just give us a bell or email, you can book early too, by just giving us a ring and we will sort it out, we always do.

For complete descriptions of all these hikes just go to the KMF site here

Monday, 7 November 2011

Wonderful Japanese Views and Hana the Border Terrier

Hi fans,
If you want to see some stunning photography, check out the blog list for the latest update from Julian about his running adventures with Hana, enjoy!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

KR's guided walks are over for another season, it's our quiet time now and on Tuesday Pete, Lyn and Bella went off for the day on their own for a change and what a great day it was. We took one of Stagecoach's new buses over to Ambleside and walked over Loughrigg Fell to Grasmere. It's not very far and it's not difficult either or particularly high, but the views are from near the top of Loughrigg you can see the vista opening out down Langdale with the Pikes in the distance.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Final posting - coast to coast

Photo by Tracy Testin
Phew, at last I finished this posting, it seemed like a marathon, rather like the walk itself.  There were so many excellent photos from the group + the ones we took, so I was musing over which ones to put in the blog for ages. Anyway, here it is finally done.

Friday, 28 October 2011

I have now finished day 12 c2c

Signpost at St. Bees
We have reached The Lion Inn at Blakey in my posting and there are just two days left to record. I will be completing the posting sometime over the weekend, with any luck tomorrow.

The weather was lovely and sunny in Keswick today but fairly cool and no one turned up for my last guided walk of the year, which was sad.  It seems to me that sometimes when you look around, that Keswick is just full of people for half term but they do not look like walkers; more like daytrippers. One local shopkeeper came up to me and said 'why don't they go to Blackpool?' he then added that trade had been ok last weekend but since then it had been bad. So its not just me then I thought, its all of us who don't seem to get customers at this time of year.  Well I shall be taking a small break myself next week, Pete, Bella and I will be walking over to Wasdale and returning the next day.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Morning folks, just to let you know I have not forgotten

What, another field to cross!
This is for you readers who are following my C2C posting, I am going to be out today at Cumbria Patchworkers, (my other hobbie is making quilts) so I hope to get back to this posting later today. It might be much later as we fancy going to see the Jane Eyre film and it starts at 5.45pm, then we will need to eat.....So keep watching for an update.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Another day done on the C2C

I think this is a Swaledale
I have now done the posting for day ten which was Richmond to Danby Wiske, and I am getting there, like I said I will be posting this over a few days as I have to keep sifting through photos.

Bella and I went on the Round of Aiken Beck today with 4 adults and 2 teenagers and had a good day out. The weather changed for the better and it stopped raining almost to order as we disembarked from the 77 bus at Scawgill Bridge and then we had to plod up the steep fellside. Once up though we had a splendid high level walk across towards Lord's Seat and then down to Whinlatter before going to the visitor centre for a welcome cuppa whilst we waited for the bus home. I think at this time of year its always a good idea to have a cafe at the end of the walk. Sadly, I forgot the camera and so did all the others.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Getting back to the C2C posting

I hope to be able to re do the posting I lost tomorrow and I have some more photos too because I have been given some more to share.

This is just a taster for you who have been so patient waiting for me to get on with it.  I do have an excuse as I have just finished Hunter Davies biography on Alfred Wainwright, so I now know a little bit more about him. I suppose my curiosity about his life started when I was on the Coast to Coast wondering how it was he came to think it up and why. I also used to live in Kendal and taught for many years at the college so he would have been living there when I was, gosh I might even have passed him on the street.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Lost the lot

I have just spent over an hour doing the next part of the coast to coast and then I just switched pages and blogger lost the lot, to say I am not pleased is an understatement........why doesn't this programme save drafts properly?

OK its too late now to do it all again, so maybe tomorrow I can do Reeth to Richmond.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Wild Boar Fell 11th October

We went up Wild Boar Fell last week on a very miserable day, when it had stopped raining but the ground was sodden. Pete had the compass out most of the way as it was a p soup as usual.  This was a row of cairns we saw looming up in the mist, they were obviously placed as a warning because beyond them was a cliff. We crossed at the stile you see at the top of the fence and then continued with our direction on the compass for the summit cairn.

Warning Cairns
 This was it. A quick nibble and swig of tea and we were off again.
 We had to get the right line for our descent because more cliffs were around but just as we approached the area the mist cleared suddenly as it often does on mountains. So our descent was made easier. This is me coming down through the rough grass with the ridge in the background which we had taken down.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

More posting on the Coast to Coast

Edward vii letter box in Grasmere
We have been away for a couple of days back to Ravenstonedale which we stayed at on the recent C2C.  We both liked the idea of investigating some of the hills around the area so yesterday found us up on the top of Wild Boar Fell.  I will post a few photos in a couple of days but meanwhile I wanted those of you who are following it to know that I have continued the C2C section but it is still only half way through the walk.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

It may take some time

The Shepherds Arms Hotel
I will be adding more to the coast to coast page as and when I have time, so keep a look out as I cannot write this journey up in one go. Someone commented the other day that they liked to see the hotels and pubs where we stayed, so I am trying to include these as well. As I did not put in the Ennerdale Bridge pub I show it above.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Coast to Coast

Lyn and Pete set off on the coast to coast walk with a group of clients on Monday 12th September just as the winds hyped up and the sea turned into a white foamy rage.
Hurrican Katia hits the UK
Leaving St Bees up the rocky path which winds its way along the Cumbrian clifftops we were finding it difficult to keep going in the extremely strong winds.

This is why I have not posted anything to this blog for over 2 weeks because we only reached Robin Hood's Bay on Sunday 25th September and came home on Monday. If you would like to know more about this walk I will be doing a separate page about it over the next few days, its going to take me that long to recount this extreme journey which certainly proved to be strenuous.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Programme Changes to September Walks - Final Version

Please note that some of the September walks have been changed today.

So go and check out the programme again if you intend to come on some of them.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Out and about today

Sometimes its just great to snap away at odd things on the KR guided walks, things that you sometimes take for granted.  So today just for a change I thought I would show you some of the things we saw.  This for instance was a wonderful, full, bubbling beck, gurgling and splashing down over its stones and we stopped beside it to admire its course.  We followed it for some time before taking off up a gentle hillside on an old track just discernable in the grass.

It wasn't long before we came across this very ancient cairn. It must have been here for a very long time and what a view as we stood around and admired its stones.  The conversation turned to where they might have come from and I ventured the theory that each time someone passed by in the area they had to find a stone and carry it to the spot, others thought they might have been taken from a Roman road nearby.

We soon came upon another odd structure in our changing landscape, and someone said if they had been a child they would have wanted to stand on top of it.... Well it was inviting and it was shaped just like a giant loaf, completely on its own in all its glory with the Pennines for company behind it.

Lastly, you have a view of nature shaped by man in the form of a great dam across a reservoir which makes it look very square and sort of cut off at the end. You can see that autumn is on its way too as the bracken is starting to change colour, but what a glorious day it was.

Monday, 29 August 2011

September Walks

There have been a few changes to the September programme so please take a look if you were planning to join us in September as there are one or two days when walks are not available.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Pete's Coast to Coast Adventure

Between August 7 and 20 Pete helped guide a group of nine very determined Americans on Wainwright's coast to coast walk...14 consecutive days of walking. Here's Pete and Bella taking some shots of the group at the starting point at St Bees with 190 miles to go. Wainwright chose the route for the richness and diversity of its landscape and I've selected a few pictures that I hope will illustrate this.

The walk begins with a high level traverse of the dramatic sandstone cliffs of St Bees Head then heads east across the West Cumbrian plain towards the Lake District National Park.

The rough path along the south shore of Ennerdale Water leads towards the head of Ennerdale where we stopped for a welcome lunch break at Black Sail YHA.

The path from Rosthwaite alongside Greenup Gill leads past Eagle Crag towards Lining Crag and Greenup Edge in the distance. This was day three of the C2C and the sun smiled on the group that day.

High above Far Easdale, the ridge leading from Calf Crag over Gibson Knott towards distant Helm Crag and the village of Grasmere is enlivened by the shadows thrown by the afternoon sun. There followed two very wet Lake District days as we made our way from Grasmere to Glenridding and on towards the village of Shap.

We had a late lunch high above the river in Swaledale in the Yorkshire Dales National Park before descending towards Richmond, a very attractive and historic town, and the only one of any consequence on our route.

Between the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors lie the flat farmlands of the Vale of Mowbray. It took us two days to traverse the plain with the Cleveland Hills ahead beckoning us ever eastward.

High above the Cleveland plain the C2C route follows that of the well engineered Cleveland Way which makes for good progress across the heather clad moors. The 19 miles we covered between Osmotherley and the Lion Inn at Blakey Howe made for a long hard day.

From the 1317 ft point on Cold Moor the dark rocks of the Wain Stones appear to block the path ahead over Hasty Bank.

The Wain Stones were easily negotiated to reach the top of Hasty Bank. We ate a late lunch on Carr Ridge a mile or so beyond before setting out on the last eight miles to the Lion Inn.

At Bloworth Crossing our route joined the track bed of the old Rosedale Ironstone Railway which eased our progress over the last five miles of the long day.

Remarkably the whole group made it to Robin Hood's Bay; unsurprisingly, fourteen days walking took its toll on our feet many of which were much the worse for wear by the time we arrived, yet high morale and sheer determination overcame all adversity. Here's the "Team Awesome" on Ness Point with Robin Hood's Bay beyond.

Outside the Bay Hotel in Robin Hood's Bay after we'd dipped our feet in the North Sea. It's a very quaint and jolly little town with a great atmosphere, the boots are off now and we felt we'd earned a pint or two .

Thursday, 18 August 2011

This is the Lion Inn at Blakey

Pete and his intrepid Americans have reached this point on the C2C, it was a long hard 19 mile walk.

Only 2 more days to go now and it is much easier tomorrow through Danby High Moor and Glaisdale Moor then onto Grosmont. The last day into Robin Hood's Bay should be all downhill too. I can't wait to see the photos he has been taking en route.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Programme changes

Please note that the following changes have been made to the programme

19th August Glaramara will now be lead by Cathy Colam
20th August Castle Crag is CANCELLED
21st August Scafell Pike will now be Cathy's walk too

Friday, 12 August 2011

Ravenstonedale for Pete tonight

This is where they are tonight on the C2C except its not sunny but raining again. However, they are all in good spirits and had a hearty dinner.

Shap - Coast to Coast

Some of you know that Pete is doing the coast to coast with a group of Americans.  I was with them for the legs from Rosthwaite to Grasmere and then on to Patterdale. They are a determined group and lovely company. They all  managed to reach Shap yesterday evening, rather wet but still going strong. This is the very welcoming hotel which has put them up for the night and is drying all their boots ready for today's leg.

The weather has been so bad this last few days that Pete has not been able to take any photos at all. I am hoping that the camera gets out today.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Last Wednesday the weather was kind

Top of Fairfield
The walk on 3rd August was St. Sunday Crag and Fairfield and for some reason no photos were taken until we reached Fairfield when suddenly a very good SLR was whipped out of a rucksack. Not surprisingly it was used for some serious photography, Lyn amused by the antics of the would be 'David Bailey's' took her own shots.  Well says Bella, wots all the fuss aboot? 

P.S. since Bella has been given access to Twitter we have discovered her education in the spelling of the English language has been sadly neglected.  Wot R we 2 du?

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Programme change

Please note the walk on 9th August has changed to Stonethwaite to Grasmere (A) starting at 9am

Monday, 1 August 2011

Lurg Mhor

The shapely peaks of Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich 945m and Lurg Mhor 986m grace the skyline high above Loch Monar in NW Scotland. This view was taken from the steep southern slopes of Sail Riabhach above Creag Dubh at about 700m. These remote Munros are best approached from Attadale from where it is a two hour bike ride to the foot of the mountains.

The summit of Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich reflected in one of the numerous lochans scattered along the ridge between the Munro and Sail Riabhach.

The summit cairn on Bidein a'Choire Sheasgaich with Sail Riabhach beyond and below a glimpse of Loch Calavie which lies between Bidein and the Corbett, Beinn Dronaig 797m.

To the east of Bidein beyond the 740m bealach which seperates the two mountains is one of the most remote of all Munros; Lurg Mhor.

The bothy at Bendronaig Lodge, where our bikes were left, is in sight half a mile away and so are the hills in the background over which we still have to ride on our return to Attadale.

View from the top of the pass on our ride out. Beyond Pete are the two Munros that we've just climbed. The weather's glorious now...only an hour more to ride to Attadale and all downhill!

Thursday, 28 July 2011


We resume our guided walks on Monday August 1st with Cathy Colam off up Scafell Pike.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Helm Crag to Stonethwaite July 13th 2011

Helm Crag's rocky, summit not for the feint hearted
It was a perfect day yesterday as we boarded the 555 bus at Keswick Bus Station to make our journey over Dunmail Raise to Grasmere. Once there we set off up Easedale Road towards Helm Crag. 

I seem to recall that Wainwright never actually climbed this little bit of rock, tempting though it is. There is a very sharp drop off the top if you make a mistake so we did not encourage our group to climb it.  Instead we suggested posing for a photo.

Once we set off again the ridge began to be sprinkled with odd Coast to Coast walkers who were burdened with heavy loads.  We saw a few all day and chatted to the odd ones on the way. It's surprising how they like to keep stopping and nattering to folk, maybe the large rucksacks they carry are their excuse for constant respite.  It was certainly hot at times but windy and fresh on the summits.  We continued along our ridge until we eventually came up over Greenup Edge and changed valleys into Borrowdale.

We then started the descent down past Lining Crag where we met a couple of delightful chaps who were again resting from their endeavours and who were eventually going to camp wild somewhere before Grasmere. Our path took us down past Eagle Crag which is magnificent viewed from this angle and eventually it gave us a splendid photo opportunity as we neared Stonethwaite, because there is a lovely view past a sheep shelter back up the valley.
A distant Eagle Crag
All we had to do was wait for the bus after this and have an open top ride back to Keswick, it was delightful.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Robinson, Hindscarth and Dalehead Hike today

We started from Buttermere where we were dropped off by the 77 bus and walked up the road out of the village before starting to climb up the fellside towards High Snockrigg. The views were stunning. This is looking back towards Rannerdale Knotts with Crummock Water beyond and Loweswater way at the back. We pressed on and crossed Buttermere Moss which lived upto its name as it was very boggy. Pete joked to a couple of passing walkers that someone had just fallen in 'up to their neck'.  Not sure if they knew how to take his comment. Anyway, we arrived at the top of Robinson and had a lunch break before pressing on to Hindscarth.

A couple of rough fell sheep were poised on the rocks very near the summit and they looked so photogenic. Bella took a lot of interest in them and had a bit of a bark and pulled on the lead as she is wont to do......But these stalwarts did not give in to her intimidation, and carried on standing their ground. Bella had other sheep on her mind though later.

This was taken on the top of Hindscarth and shows Pete keeping a good grip on her as she surveyed the possibility of making off after the sheep seen far right. She has been known to chase off even though she is firmly attached to Pete's rucksack as an anchor. Once notably scattering its contents all over the top of Blencathra with Pete in hot pursuit. Today though, she was kept in check.
Now this is a boring photo but it has a point, because I wanted to show those of you who have not ventured up a fell yet what the going is like. You see we are often asked to explain the obvious so this photo does it for us, this is mixed rocky ground and fairly flat as its the top of Hindscarth but is fairly typical of the type of terrain we go out in. Sometimes mind it is much rockier. I hope this clarifies the situation.

Next up we have a photo of the view you are rewarded with if you climb Dalehead and it is one of the very best in the Lakes, today it was very slightly misty but nevertheless still took your breath away.  It is easy to become complacent when you live in the area but even we thought it looked magnificent today.
The view towards Skiddaw from the top of Dalehead

The top of Dalehead is graced by a fine cairn, its one of the very best and makes a wonderful photo opportunity to show that you have bagged it. This is Sarah from Cornwall who came up especially all this way because she is lured by the beauty of our landscape. It was the perfect end to the day.

Dalehead Cairn