Thursday, 24 November 2016

Fatty Rides Again...Tilbirthwaite from Skelwith Bridge

Its been a long time since I've had a day on the Fat Bike for various reasons. Today though was the day....cold, crisp and sunny. care was needed on the ice patches mind!

Still a lot of frost as I left Skelwith and headed for Elterwater

Great reflections in the Brathay

I rode/pushed over Owlets Nest and was greeted with the familiar view of Wetherlam and the Greenburn Fells

Once in little Langdale the next port of call was Slaters Bridge...Still frosty!

In the shade here....very chilly! As I headed back over to Tilbirthwaite

Gratuitous pic of the Fat Bike at my lunch spot in the sun. Froswick, Ill Bell and Yoke in the distance

I had a good play round in the quarries of Hodge Close.
 Its a favourite area for me, the Silver Birch looked superb today.

On the bridleway through to Stang End.

Back to the car on the multiuse track to Skelwith.
The last of the days light shining on the Pikes and Silver How

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Rough Stuff Fellowship Ride From Wilfs....Staveley

A really cold wind greeted us as the 3 of us left the warmth of Wilfs Cafe. We pedalled up Brow Foot Lane in Kentmere. The hills all round had a scattering of snow, but it would be a while before we were riding in it. First we tackled some bridleways above Ings before we headed over to Troutbeck and back...heres a few pictures of the day.

Adam on the way back over to Ings, Kentmere Fells in the background

The Coniston Fells from Brow Head Lane

The Langdale Fells from Moor Howe

The head of Troutbeck from Dubbs Road.
A great day, although my toes may disagree!!
The track of our route may be found here for those who use Strava! 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

The Jaws of Borrowdale

Today found us at Grange-in-Borrowdale. The plan being to do a circuit of Castle Crag...and indeed that's what we did. Although not in the direction we'd planned! It rained for the first mile or so....

It faired up though and the last of the Autumn colours were still excellent

As we had lunch beside the Derwent the sun lit up Kings How

Lots of berries waiting for the winter migrants

Looking down into Borrowdale and Ullscarf beyond from Tongue Gill

A foreshortened view of Great End

Derwentwater and Skiddaw seen from below Castle Crag.
Back to the car from here, all downhill but into a bitter wind.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Skippool Creek

A poor forecast had us heading for the coast. We've walked much of it hereabouts, but a glance of the map this morning and I saw a bit of coast untrodden by ourselves near Skippool on the Wyre off we went.

Our arrival at Skippool coincided with some boats being craned into the creek.
good to watch the expertise of both the crane driver and the handlers.

The tide was well in, the creek and the edge of the estuary here has many homemade jetties and piers in various states of repair...or dilapidation!
All very scenic in a quaint kind of way we thought.

Many of the yachts and other craft looked abandoned, a shame.

The path continues round the coast giving us a view back across to the boats beside the creek.
Our route back was via Stanah and Little Thornton, having had a dry walk.
No hills but all new terrain :-)

Friday, 28 October 2016

Last of the Summer Wine Ride.....

This was the first time Tim, Ian and I had met up for almost 15 years. Time we acted our ages rather than our shoe sizes!! A road, easy trail/bridleway was planned and  having met in Bowness we rode down to the ferry and crossed to the West side of Windermere....

The island of Crow Holme as the ferry reached the west side of Windermere

Heading up the side of the lake, the islands of "Lilies of the Valley" covered in Autumnal trees

Top of the first climb under Claife Heights....time for a breather

Having ridden past Blelham Tarn, and through Hawkshead. We climbed the bridleway past Walker Ground, and had a buttie stop just before we entered Grizedale Forest.

Leaving the forest, the new multi-use trail down to Monk Coniston gave us a great descent.

Gratuitous photo of my 29er in front of a log pile!

A bit of tarmac through Low Tilbirthwaite and Holme Ground and the beautiful colours of Hodge Close were revealed.

Another multiuse trail led us back to Wray Castle.

Followed by a return along the edge of Windermere, then back across the ferry to the cars in Bowness.
A great ride, good to be out with Tim and Ian on the bikes in such great weather :-))
A strava track can be found here for anyone who may want to see just exctly were we went!

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Backpacking The Ettrick Hills

This was a walk which had been on @ianwood2011 and my radar for quite a while. The weather window was Mon/Tues of this week, and after an easy drive up through the Eskdalemuir Forest we parked beside the Ettrick Water near Crook Cottage.

Last minute checks to make sure we haven't forgotten anything!

Glad to leave the tarmac and start to gain some height on the South side of the valley.

The fist summit of the day as we head Southwest...ish was Ettrick Pen, a Donald, Marilyn and Graham.

It had been dull and overcast since we'd left the car, but as we descended Ettrick Pen the sun was trying to break through. 

Ian on the Donald Hopetoun Craig, with Ettrick Pen receding into the distance.

Last summit of the day Wind Fell, not particularly windy...but very wet underfoot!

A knee punishing descent over pathless tussocks brought us to the col of Ettrick Head.
Take ggood notice you'll see a very similar scene later on!

Following the Southern Upland Way down into the valley to Over Phawhope, an MBA Bothy.
In very good order....lets hope it stays that way.

We were carrying tents but as the bothy was unoccupied (although a cyclist did turn up later) we decided to take advantage of the stove and stay inside.

After a decent nights sleep we woke to dense mist/cloud. But it soon became clear that higher the sun would be shining.

Sure enough the inversion tarted to appear as we headed back up to Ettrick Head.

Back at Ettrick Head and time for the climb to Capel Fell.

Ian looking back towards the Ettrick valley, still filled with mist.

From the summit of Capel Head the view to the North meant we could see the hills North of Moffatdale.

Meanwhile West was Croft Head.

Looking North into Black Hope, Hart Fell being the high point.

Our route lay generally Northeast, the next hill being the Donald Bodesbeck Law.

A stiff climb up pretty pathless terrain and the summit arrived, this is the view North.

The broad ridge undulates (lots of them) Eastwards towards Mid Hill.

The next Donald is Bell Craig, from here White Comb is the hill above Loch Sween across Moffatdale.  

This is the summit of Andrewhinny Hill, the last "listed" hill of our trip. Another Donald, Marilyn, Graham.

Before we descended back to the Ettrick Water, we walked over to Mid Hill (another one) and its ancient cairn.

Mid Hill's Southeast ridge led us unerringly back to the valley and the car.
Fortunately it had a quad track for much of the way which made for quicker progress.
It had been a great trip, we only saw 1 person and his dog on the hill 30km of solitude, the Southern Uplands deserve a better press we thought.