Wednesday 31 December 2014

Happy Outdoor New Year!

I've had a great year in the outdoors, the only problem I've had is finding the time to fit it all in!
Here's a few images of my activities....

A change of motorbike, and a tour of the Highlands
Winter daywalking on Crinkle Crags

On Cairntoul in the Cairngorms, during the TGO Challenge.

Quite a few nights were spent under silnylon!
Here at Derry Lodge.

A decent amount of off-road cycling.
This is the top of Walna Scar in the Lakes.

Lots of road almost became an addiction :-)

Lets hope 2015 brings more of the same
Thanks for looking and Best wishes to all who pass this way.

Sunday 28 December 2014

Rough Stuff Fellowship Ride from Tewitfield

Icy roads greeted me this morning as I rode from home to Tewitfield to meet the others. I actually didn't quite make it to the meeting point meeting Gwen, Ken, John & Ian beside the canal at the bottom of the old locks.

Back the way I'd just ridden a few minutes before beside the Lancaster Canal.

Once off the canal towpath we climbed up through Holme Park Fell.

Which once over the top gave us access to a good descent down towards Lupton.

We then had the misfortune to "ride" this overgrown lane to Lupton Bridge....there were a lot of thorns!

...Which meant a lot of pun###res! this is John repairing the 4th!
As always other members of the group give "Helpful" advice during repairs! :-))

Down to cross Lupton Beck. Before climbing back over the back of Farleton Knott.

As we descended towards Clawthorpe we took the bridleway across Burton Fell.

This is an excellent bridleway, giving a good (although muddy) descent to Burton-in-Kendal.
After a short section of roadwork we were back at the canal. I said my goodbyes and rode home, the others riding back to Tewitfield on the canal towpath.
Thanks to all concerned for a great and entertaining day.

Saturday 27 December 2014

A Snowy Kentmere Horseshoe

Always a great walk, and very easy for me to access. I could see there was a bit of snow down from home, but I was surprised by quite how much there actually was. Anyway on with the piccies (I'm afraid there are rather a lot of them!)........

I reached the snowline just below the summit of Garburn Pass.

The Coniston fells seemed to have more snow on them, perhaps I'd come to the wrong area?

I'd made good progess from Kentmere, I was on the top of Yoke in just about an hour. Ill Bell beckoned me on.

Another overly wide path (IMHO) as I start the climb to Ill Bell.

There was a snowperson in residence on the summit of Ill Bell, the views back to the South showed a great contrast to the snow covered fells.

The next top Froswick, with the sun catching the flanks of Thornthwaite Crag beyond.

Looking back to Ill Bell, Kentmere looking very green!

As I started to climb up to Thornthwaite Crag the light just looked great. Wansfell has a dusting of snow, but Troutbeck Tongue has missed out!

I sat in the sun here beneath the beacon for a snack, before heading off into the murk on High Street. I thought it might clear....

And it did for a short time I captured this photo in one of the clearance's. looking West to the airfield and Helvellyn hills.

It's downhill almost all the way to Mardale Ill Bell, from here I could see down to Nan Bield and the ridge up to Harter Fell.

From Nan Bield to Harter Fell I was enveloped in a snow shower, visibility was poor although it was starting to clear from the North at this point.

As reached the dip before Kentmere Pike the snow shower had passed and the sun was making a re-appearance.

The wall leads the way onward.... Kentmere Pike. Years ago there was no stile to access the Trig I remember. 

On my way to Shipman Knotts I made the detour to Goat Crag, an excellent viewpoint for Longsleddle.

It's also gives an unusual view of Shipman Knotts

Shipman Knotts, the last nail in this side of the "Horseshoe" The light still really special.

After descending to the Stile End track I just had to cross the valley back to the car at Kentmere Church.

Friday 26 December 2014

Boxing Day Stroll

Just a short walk, to walk off yesterdays Turkey etc!
 A circuit of Rydal Water from White Moss, the image sums up the weather...Wet, Overcast, Dull and Raw! Still good to get out for a breath of fresh air though.
We weren't alone in our ambling there were hundreds of other folk with the same idea!

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone who may pass by...I think we're due a bit of this!!

Tuesday 9 December 2014

TGO Challenge 2015...My Route Vetted!

This will be my 2nd Tgo Challenge. I did mention to a number of people both as I neared  the end of the Challenge and when I got home that I probably wouldn’t do the it again for a few years.
 As I finished I felt somewhat underwhelmed partially by the extensive road walking I’d done on 3 of the days. (I’ve no one to blame but myself! I planned my route!)  But mainly I didn’t feel like I’d challenged myself enough. Obviously the weather was good last year, I’ve spent enough time backpacking in Scotland backpacking in Summer and Winter to know that!!
So I’ve tried to address these issues with this years route…the weather will be what it is.
I’ve tried to minimize any road walking, I wanted to climb at least 10 Munro’s like last year, and I didn’t want to walk any of last years route! (This years and last years routes coincide for about 200metres) As much as possible it had to be new ground to me.
So now I’ve had my route vetted and OK’ed I thought I’d outline my plan for next years TGO Challenge.
I’m starting from Mallaig, I’m very familiar with Mallaig but I’ve never taken the ferry to Inverie. My visits to Knoydart have always been via Kinlochhourn. So this will be a tick for me.
            As I shall be taking the ferry to Inverie the walking won’t actually start until I disembark. Then It’ll be up to the Mam Meadail for an ascent of Meall Buidhe, back to the Mam, down to Carnoch and round to Sourlies. There the plan is to camp, although if the weather is grim the bothy might well be welcome shelter.
Hopefully Saturday will dawn fine and dry! I hope to climb Sgurr na Ciche before following the ridge east over the Munro’s this has long been on the wishlist. I plan to camp on the wide col below Gairich.
Sunday and it’ll be over Gairich first thing then it’ll be “mainly downhill” to pass south of Loch Garry to camp at Faichem.
Monday will take me down to the Great Glen and a chance to buy a few goodies at the “Well of the Heads” Then its over into Glen Turret, there’ll be a bit of bushwacking on this stretch I think! I’ll then head down to Glen Roy before following the Burn of Agie. It’ll be a wild camp further up the burn under Creag Meagaidh.
Another good weather day required for a high level traverse of the Meagaidh  group another tick on the wishlist. I’ll end the day by crossing the valley at Kinloch Laggan and camping in the region of Lynn of Pattack.
Wednesday should see me crossing to Dalwhinnie via the River Mashie and the Allt an t Sluic. Across the A9 a definite milestone, and I’ll follow the aquaduct to the foot of Meall Cuaich. Over this solitary Munro and descend into Upper Glen Tromie and a wild camp.
A low level wander down Tromie and on through the forestry and tracks to Aviemore.
Friday and another chance to gather goodies for a stroll beside Loch Morlich, then through to Bynack Stable and over Bynack More. I climbed Bynack More almost 25 years ago, in appalling weather…lets hope things a rather better for the last Munro of this trip. I shall wild camp at Faindouran Lodge.
Saturday is a long day, the longest of my planned crossing! As I follow first the Avon then after passing Loch Builg it’ll be along way down Glen Gairn to Ballater and a night at Habitat Hostel.
Sunday and it’ll be virtually all new ground as I follow the Deeside way to Dinnet across the Dee and over to Glen Tanar to pick up the Firmounth Road and a wild camp.
Another good weather day required for a high level march over to Mount Battock and another required tick. I plan to drop down to the Water of Dye for a wild Camp.
Down the Water of Dye and across into the Fettereso, hopefully most of the work will be finished by next May! I have a planned wild camp here.
Wednesday morning will see me leaving the forest and strolling down the short distance on tarmac into Stonehaven. A major attraction for this finish in my mind!
I need to finish on the Wednesday, so that I can travel home on the Thursday ready for work on the Friday!  Arrrgh the thought of it!!
So there we have it, I fear it might be a rather anti-social route once out of Knoydart, but we’ll see. I’m pleased with the route I’m to walk and am looking forward to it immensely.
Hope I haven’t rambled on to much…….. 

Sunday 7 December 2014

Tarn Crag

A later start than I planned! But with patches of blue sky appearing I walked round Butterlyp Howe and along Easedale Road as I headed West out of Grasmere. It had rained heavily during the night, Easedale Beck was over the path in a couple of places.

Helm Crag from the start of the Easedale Tarn path.

Sour Milk Gill was quite a sight, (no pics I'm afraid) although I saw it through a heavy hail shower. Here the shower has passed and is over Helm Crag here in the background.

Once at Easedale Tarn I felt the full force of the wind, a good viewpoint for Tarn Crag.

Beyond the tarn and into upper Easedale, the prominent feature is Belles Knott...almost flat from behind!

I had no real plan and was just out for a wander, but once above the steep climb out of Easedale I decided to have a look at Codale Tarn. It seems like ages since I've been there but actually only a couple of years!

I'd brought the Deschutes Tarp with me for a bit of shelter whilst I had my lunch. I also wanted to see how difficult/easy it was to pitch in windy conditions...with cold hands as it happened!
It went up very easy, I was able to enjoy a draught free lunch as another heavy hail shower passed through.

A by-product of the shower was this rather good image of the footprint of the Deschutes! The poles are set at 122.5cm for scale!

Its only a short climb from the tarn to the ridge to Tarn Crag. There were good views to the South over to the Coniston Fells beyond the Blea Rigg ridge

The summit of tarn Crag is barely any higher than lots of other outcrops on the ridge. It does however offer a grand vista to the East, to Fairfield and Helvellyn.

There are no problems on the mainly grassy east ridge, it offers a splendid walk. I then dropped down into Far Easedale.

The light was fading as I walked down Far Easedale and back to the car in Grasmere.

Friday 5 December 2014

A Short Stroll Beside Derwentwater

A very short stroll beside Derwentwater yesterday, under leaden skies. Indeed it had chucked it down as we drove over Dunmail Raise, but at least it stayed dry for our walk. A day of reflections in the lake....

North towards Lonscale Fell and Blencathra

South towards Grange Fell.

Neither of us can remember so many Holly Berries...sign of a hard winter?

Sunday 30 November 2014

Rough Stuff Fellowship Ride from Orton to Warcop.....and Back!

Just the 3 of us this morning at Orton for the planned ride to Warcop, short days at this time of year so we were off prompt at 10am under blue skies and with little wind. Ian was our leader for the day...seems he likes mud!

The first climb of the day out of Orton, here looking back towards the Shap Fells

Quick check of the map, straight onfor us into Great Asby Nature Reserve.

Descending the twisting singletrack through the reserve, greasy with muddy tyres on the limestone.

From Great Asby we rode by Breaks Hall and Bleatarn.

Before dropping down to cross the River Eden on the edge of Warcop.

We had our butties here at the convenient picnic bench, Warcop was very sleepy, hardly anyone about!

Leaving Warcop we rode the bridleway through Blacksyke (very muddy) and on to Little Ormside.
Then along the lane above to Ormside Mill. 

Where there's a ford! Luckily the water was low! 

Are we lost?...Only joking Ian!

Another ford, this one at Rutter Force. Handy for washing the mud off our tyres!

Looking East fro above Gaythorne Hall to the North Pennines.

The bridleway across Gaythorne Plain is never easy, not steep, not really muddy, just awkward.
But eventually after gaining some height, the limestone outcrops and the views open out. here we look North.

From the top of Orton Scar it was all downhill, and actually not as wet and boggy as I remember!
The late evening sun was bathing the scar in warm light, a great way to end the ride.
Just over 25 miles, lots of off-road. A good ride, thanks for the company.