Thursday 14 February 2013

RSF ride from Chapel Stile

View from Brambles Cafe before we started
Today was the first ride I'd led for the Rough Stuff Fellowship, and the starting/meeting point was Brambles Cafe above the Co-op in Chapel Stile. There was alot more snow left after yesterdays 7hrs continous snowstorm than I anticipated. I was pleased to see Mick, I thought I might be on my own!

Ullets Nest track looking towards Wetherlam
 Due to the 4-5" of slushy snow we modified the route, wondering if we'd actually get to our planned objective,Coniston. We crossed Great Langdale beck and rode/pushed the bridleway up through Elterwater quarry, crossing the minor road to Base Brown and heading up through the wood to pick up the Ullets Nest byway


 A short bit of tarmac as we rode down to Little Langdale ford. Sensibly we used the footbridge. We continued through Tilbirthwaite before climbing up to the gaping quarry workings at Hodge Close. Here we took the bridleway which skirts the western slopes of Holme Fell.


 Once down in Yewdale the cycle/footpath makes a pleasent option to avoid the road into Coniston. Butties were eaten at Waterhead, the sun was trying it's best but not hard enough! A relativly new permissive bridleway follows the lakeshore before bringing you back onto the road to the head of Coniston Water.

Coniston Water

 We had decided to climb to High Cross on the Hawkshead road by tarmac rather than a loop into Grizedale forest, the minor roads by Atkinson Ground were quiet enough and once at High Cross we dropped down to Knipe Fold and settled in for the long climb up the Arnside Intake byway, we had great views of the Langdale Pikes and Wetherlam.

Langdales from Arnside Intake

 Straight across at Oxenfell and through the farmyard at High Oxenfell. most of this byway wasn't rideable, there was spinning wheels aplenty. Turning right at Hodge Close cottage the undulating byway brought us to  Stang End

Approaching Stang End

 Here another right turn and a short stretch of tarmac before the last bridleway of the day started at High Park this lane was very wet. we declined the ford just before the tarmac at Low Colwith! From here it was just a short stretch of minor road back to the cars on Elterwater Common. We both agreed it had been a good ride, inspite of the snow/slush. My feet were numb with cold, but what can you expect, it certainly hadn't spoilt my enjoyment at all.


  1. Looks a great ride and some wonderfully atmospheric photos. I know that numb toe feeling too well!

  2. Hi Peter
    Yes its one of my favourites, always lots to see through the old quarry workings. As usual snow alters things considerably. My toes have told me not to use the sealskinz again :-) I'll be reverting to my goretex socks! Glad you like the photos.