Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Ullscarf....Nothing to See Here...Or So I Thought!

Last of the Central Fells 2000'er's today. I could hardly see more than 25m at home, but felt that I should do something...Ullscarf I thought. Where to park for this hill though? I'm reluctant to give United Utilities any more of my hard earned cash....they operate a monopoly with their water anyway!!
So I parked near the old AA box on the top of Dunmail Pass, my plan at this point was a simple out and back via Harrop Tarn. The new cycle path and "back a' Thirlmere" led me to the bridleway near Dod Gill. The bridleway doesn't seem to see much use, and was extremely slippy. I arrived at Harrop Tarn relieved to stayed upright! Enough of this rambling, on with the photos....

Wonderful view of  a mist shrouded Harrop Tarn!

....But as I reached the edge of the forest things were looking up, blue sky!

The cloud closed in again. As a Westmorland lad we'd say "it's gay wet up 'ere"

As I approached the top of Standing Crag the cloud started to disperse with the height gain.
Inversion time, the Helvellyn range with Thirlmere hidden beneath a blanket of cloud.

Following the broad wet ridge the views to the East were excellent.

Up until this point just before Ullscarf summit the cloud finally cleared to the West. Another inversion below The Scafells and Great Gable...Great!

It's almost flat from the last image to this...the summit of Ullscarf. As I arrived the mist started to drift across the plateau. I quickly snatched this image before I was engulfed in damp greyness again

The remains of the old fence and intermittent paths brought me to Greenup Edge and the Coast to Coast Path. I followed it to the head of Far Easedale, and rather than go back down Wythburn I decided to return via calf Crag and Steel Fell. 

Calf Crag summit and I was back in the clag....it hung around all the way along the ridge to....

...Steel Fell, no view here either. I followed the fence Northwards above the unseen Ash Crags, before dropping down the incredibly steep fellside.

This is below the really steep bit! The photo as usual doesn't do it justice. I won't be repeating this route...and I suggest no one else does either.

Near the bottom of the slope and Dunmail Raise I was out of the cloud and just the short distance along the road to the car.
It had been good to be out on a relatively calm day, and a privilege to be treated to such wonderful views.
Should anyone wish to follow my route (don't use my descent from Steel Fell though) my Strava track and stats can be found here 

Sunday, 19 January 2020

2000'er's East of Kirkstone

Not a particularly late start (makes a change!) but parking was to say the least problematical....for the hills I had in mind the Hartsop area would have been best. Not a hope in hell anywhere near, cars were parked/abandoned everywhere including dangerously...some people need their arses punched.
I managed to park (sensibly and without inconveniencing others) at Bridge End. So just a 2 mileish walk each way to the bottom of Pasture Beck. Some pics of the day follow....

Grey Crag and Hayeswater Gill from part way up the brutish Northwest ridge of Hartsop Dodd

Further up the ridge, and a superb view today of the snowcapped Helvellyn range.

This is the summit cairn of Hartsop Dodd, not the highest point to my eyes (this is becoming a habit!) Cloud drifting in over Hart and Dove Crags

This was the high point IMHO of course. Thornthwaite Crag in the distance, 2 climbs and a descent before I get there.

It's an easy stretch from Hartsop Dodd to Caudale Moor. There were quite a few folk about here, and on the descent to Thresthwaite Cove.

The cloud was spilling in from the West as I started the descent.
A distant Windermere is glinting in the sun.

It's always a drag from Thresthwaite Cove up to Thornthwaite Crag and today was no different.
I was glad to see the impressive tower. No view from the top though, it was just catching the cloud.

I soon dropped out of the cloud as I ran down the ridge towards Grey Crag.

This was on the high point, the top of Grey Crag. Knott, Rampsgill Head, High Raise and Kidsty Pike across Hayeswater (unseen from here)

A run down from Grey Crag and I was soon beside Hayeswater Gill. The weather had bucked up a bit and provided a great view up Pasture Beck to Thresthwaite Cove.
All I had to do from here was trot back to the car...my Strava track and stats can be found here should anyone wish to see my route.




Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Tarn Crag & Grey Crag from Sadgill

I slept in this morning...the forecast was for winds up to 70mph on the Lakes summits. So I felt that a walk above 2000' wouldn't be that enjoyable! The forecast sunshine wasn't that evident either. I hadn't anything planned as I ate breakfast, but thought that perhaps the hills to the East of Sadgill might be a suitable target for a wild day...

Looking up Longsleddle towards Buckbarrow Crag.

Out on the open fell, and a look back to Wrengill Quarry, a light covering of snow on the back of Harter Fell.

I was roundabout the 600m mark here...windy as hell!...and the fellside was extremely wet...good job I don't mind wet feet!

It wasn't far to the summit of Tarn Crag...again the cairn didn't feel like the highest point. I jogged over the other bumps to make sure. 

This is one of the sighting towers built to help with construction of the Haweswater Aquaduct, there are a few others on these fells.

Between Tarn Crag and Grey Crag lies Greycrag Tarn...morass would be a better name..abandon all hope of dry feet at the moment across here. I was soon at the summit of Grey Crag, seen here. It was all I could do to stand up in the wind.
From here it was a great run down to the track in the valley bottom, and a short jog back to the car.
My Strava route and stats can be found here 

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Langdale Pikes...and A Few More Hills

2000'er bagging in the Central Fells this morning. The weather wasn't as promised unfortunately, and as I parked at Rossett Bridge the cloud was sat at about 2000'. There was a cold wind blowing as well which would batter me all the time I was out. Off I went and headed up Stickle Gill....


Today was also new shoe day! Having mainly used Inov8's for quite a few years I have decided to try VJ Sport's...these are the EXTM....I shall post a review once I've used them a bit. Most of the reviews I could find were by runners I would describe as "pro"!

It was a nice quiet walk up Stickle Gill I only saw 2 other people. The sun was catching Pavey Ark as I reached the head of the gill...I had other hills to climb first before I summited Pavey Ark. 

I walked round the South side of Stickle Tarn and up on to the ridge. Sergeant Crag soon seemed quite close.

First top of the day, Sergeant Crag. It was blowing a hoolie although you can't tell on the photo.

After a wild walk/jog across the damp plateau i arrived at High Raise...it was actually throwing a light hail shower at this point.

A great smooth and easy run down to the col below Thurnacar Knott and as I looked back the shower had passed and the sun was trying to make an appearance.

Thurnacar Knott with Harrison Stickle in the distance.

Again an easy run down from Thurnacar Knott this time followed by a short scramble brought me to the top of Pavey Ark. Harrison Stickle my next top is prominent in this view.

It's a bouldery scramble across the slope and I was able to look back at Pavey Ark from Harrison Stickle.

Another easy run down from Harrison Stickle then the steep pull to the summit of Pike O'Stickle.
Just Loft Crag to go...seen here on the right of the photo.

Looking back to Harrison Stickle and the head of Dungeon Gill. The threat of shower had disappeared, all that remained was the run down to the valley floor...
7 more 2000'ers ticked, things are going well...so far!
The Strava track and stats of the trip can be found here 

Friday, 3 January 2020

A Few Hills West of Kirkstone Pass

Unusual for me to be off work on a Friday, but today was a lieu day from last week. The forecast was for a good day...maybe a bit windy and worsening as the afternoon wore on. I got parked just South of the Brotherswater Inn. This was my second choice, I tried to park at Hartsop...no chance! Bloody Tourists!! No matter West of Kirkstone rather than East of Kirkstone it would be.
The ground was wet underfoot as I headed across to the bridge over Kirkstone Beck...there then follows a slope of unremitting steepness until you get above the broken wall. the veiws were improving though....

Well and truly in the shade at this point and with plenty of steep climbing to go.
Place Fell is the bulky hill beyond Brotherswater, and the twin knobbles of Angletarn Pikes to its right.

I persevered with the climb and soon reached the first summit of the day Middle Dodd.
Helvellyn seen beyond the ridge of St Sunday Crag in the distance.

The trig on Red Screes...and a tiny patch of snow. You can't tell from this photo, but I'd guess there was maybe 30 folk up here...I didn't linger picture snapped I turned and jogged down the path to the head of Scandale...this seemed further than I remembered. 

A short ascent from the col and I was soon on the summit of Little Hart Crag.
Dove Crag is the prominent rock face on the left of the image. It was in theory all downhill from here.

Before I started my descent I turned to look down Scandale and Scandale Tarn. The weather looked like it would remain good for the rest of my trip.

The summit of High Hartsop Dodd. It had been an easy jog down to here...the ground lovely and soft. It looks from here as though Brotherswater and the valley bottom is just over the brow, if only!
It's a knee jarring descent to the valley floor from here. It was a simple walk back through Sykeside to arrive back at the car.
The Strava track can be found here another 3 2000er's ticked off.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

New Year...New Goals!

A New Year, and as the title suggests...New Goals...and not of the football variety! Firstly a bit of a history lesson. Back in the 70's the writer and Guardian diarist A. Harry Griffin wrote a book called "Freeman of the Hills" (I hope I have the correct volume!). This contained an account of the author's ascent/summit of the 2000' hills in the Lake District within 1 year after his retirement I believe.
I was lucky enough to met Mr Griffin on a few occasions and indeed Mr Wainwright...I had always thought that the 2000' Wainwright's in a year would be a suitable goal for myself once I was into my 60's, although not retired.
Back in the day I was a serial Wainwright completer. I've tended to do other things over the last couple of decades...7 rounds was enough...well of many of the smaller hills anyway.
I have of course climbed many of the Lakes hills since then, some many times as fervent readers of this blog will have seen.
This is not the only goal I have set myself...others will become apparent as the year goes on.
I'm conscious I'm going on a bit and it all seems about me...it is MY blog though!
But today I made a start on the 2000ers....not many photos the weather wasn't the best.

As I set off into a stiff, cold wind up Gatesgarth Pass I could see that the weather was rather better. 

The unusual trig on Branstree, I don't think it's on the highest point. There was no view...I couldn't even see the fence which must be less than 50m away.
I trotted off  towards Selside Pike using the fence as a handy guide...still in the low cloud.

The fence and wide, but wet path led me to the large cairn on Selside Pike. Once again not the highest point to me. i stowed my poles and set off down to meet the Old Corpse Road.

I was below the cloud once on the Old Corpse Road so stopped to snatch this image of the old huts below Brown Howe.
I was soon back on the road, and with some energy left jogged back to the car at Mardale Head.
The stats and details of my route can be found here 

So that's 2 down only 125 to visit! 

Wednesday, 25 December 2019

Lingmoor Fell....A Christmas Day Walk

Superb weather today....to good not to climb a hill even a small one! I chose Lingmoor Fell and was on "the Trail" just after 10am. Having parked in Chapel Stile, I walked up through the quarries and into Base Brown wood. Once on the open fell the views open up....and I met the first people of the day!...coming down!! Here's a few images from the day....

East to Loughrigg and beyond

West along the broad summit ridge

Layers looking down Tilbirthwaite

Pano from the summit of Lingmoor Fell

Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

Side Pike 

Looking back at "Fat Mans Agony" ...good job this was undertaken before Christmas Dinner!

From Side Pike I descended to pick up the Cumbria Way...great views of the "Pikes"

The bridge here near Oak Howe was in the sun so I stopped for a snack...just a flat stroll back to the car.
An excellent walk, the Strava track is here should anyone wish to see my route in more detail.