Sunday 23 June 2013

RSF ride to Littondale

Only three of us on the ride today, probably due to the weather forecast! We had a great ride over to Littondale though, in spite of the heavy showers and very strong headwind on the return leg.
It was actually dry as we unloaded the bikes from our cars, this was only temporary!

Back on the Pennine Way, having ridden on the road from Clapham over to Helwith Bridge. we then road the long ascent up Long Lane, before a short downhill to Dale Head.

A short stretch of tarmac and we took to the byway across the flanks of Fountains Fell and Darnbrook Fell.

Its a lovely old track, which contours the fell before descending into Littondale, its been a good year for Buttercups

The River Skirfare was in flood, this portion of the river is often bone dry, but not today

Our route back was over Arncliffe Cote another old track.  big old "gatestoops". There is a good reason why Ian has his trousers round his knees.....

Approaching Streetgate.
Our route back from here led round Malham Tarn then a little tarmac, before dropping into Silverdale and climbing back out to cross over to Long Lane via Moor Head Lane. From here we rode back on the road to Clapham.

Sunday 16 June 2013

Rough Stuff Fellowship Weekend at Dufton Day 2

Sunday dawned a lovely morning. We had a number of options today bearing in mind the hard day yesterday.
The view to the Lakes from the road to the ATC station on Great Dun Fell

Looking back from the private road, amazing vista at this point. We would return to this point later after visiting the summit of Great Dun Fell.

This is where the bridleway branches off to Silverband and our mainly pathless descent to the Eden Valley. But first we had the last few hundred metres to climb.

The summit of Great Dun Fell and the highest tarmac road in the UK. Another tick!! It was all downhill from here for quite some time.

After the pathless section of the descent we stopped for lunch. Here we see a classic image of route planning by Committee!!

Once we'd decided on the route onward we eventually arrived in the village of Milburn. From here minor lanes and some easy bridleways led back to Long Marton.  I said my goodbyes and made my way back to Dufton and the car.

Rough Stuff Fellowship Weekend at Dufton Day 1

Something a bit different for the South Lakes Group, to have a weekend away. We were based at Dufton YHA, although some folk B&B'ed, and others camped. As always we were at the mercy of the weather, but  we were lucky, it stayed dry all the time we were out. The two routes we did certainly provided some "Rough Stuff"! more on the Saturday than the Sunday.

Ready for the off outside Dufton YHA

Finding that the MOD range was open we changed our plans at Hilton and rode up the well maintained track in Scordale

This is the end of the good track....its fair to say alot of pushing took place from here to the watershed. Some of it was rideable...but not much!

Once over the watershed we followed the mythical path down to the confluence of Maize Beck and Swarth Beck. The above photo shows the path as good as it got....but much of it is pathless. The jokers on the otherside of the infant Swarth Beck are following the "green dashes" on the OS map!

The sharp right turn in Maize Beck where Swarth Beck joins.

More pushing beside Maizebeck before I crossed it (my feet were very wet anyway), then easy riding over short cropped turf brought us to the edge of High Cup Nick.
No matter how often I visit this magical place it always thrills and inspires.
It would be nice to think its all downhill to Dufton from here but it isn't!

Sunday 2 June 2013

Bikepack to High Raise and Beyond

After a long day at work I drove over to Hartsop, amazingly I was the only car in the car park at 6.45! Half term as well! I got changed loaded the bike up and set off up the steep track to Hayeswater.

First breather! A view up Pasture Beck to Thresthwaite Cove

Rather than lug loads of water up onto the ridge I had my meal at the dam, Hayeswater. Besides I was starving. It gave me a chance to weigh up the 'best' line to pust the bike up to meet the path coming up from Angle Tarn.

Quite a toil to this point, behind The Knott, and the first view of my target for the evening High Raise.

As I rode towards Kidsty Pike, High Street was lit beautifully by the low angled sun. Sadly I was short of time so couldn't linger.

Objective achieved, The summit of High raise. 

As the sun sets its time to find a bivvy spot, and somewhere sheltered, the wind had a real nip in it. I headed north along the ridge and found a good spot in the lee of the wall.

Last nights 'bedroom', looking back to High Raise. The sun was up before me! Sadly I slept through the sunrise!

Lookig over the wall, a terrific panorama of the Eastern Fells and beyond.

Of course most folk say "oh yea...its a great downhill all the way to the end of the ridge from High Raise" No its not!! This is just before the very distinctive dip, which is followed by the climb to Loadpot Hill

The trail from whence I came! Taken from the old Lowther shooting hut on the southern slope of Loadpot Hill.

I'd ridden down to Pooley Bridge and along the Eastern shore of Ullswater over The Hause near Hallin Fell and then up Boardale, surely the quietest of the Lakeland valleys. This is the last climb on the ride. Yippee!

From Chapel-in-the-Hause, the steep bridleway gives  great views across to Deepdale. Everything is very green isn't it?

The last bit of the last descent, an easy ride back to the car at Hartsop from here. Very few folk about, which is good!