Thursday 27 February 2014

Lancaster Canal & Wyre Wander

An easy and more importantly flat wander...the other member of the party is to have 2 knee op's in approx 12 weeks, a daunting prospect indeed. We had a great day...just so good to stroll along in the sun, it almost felt like spring.

A typical scene on this stretch of the Lancaster Canal.
 Blue Sky!!

These concrete blocks are just South of Nateby Hall, adjacent to the canal.
There a bit of a mystery...are they the remnants of a World War 2 defence? Does anyone know?

Lots of boats on the canal at Garstang

The Wyre Aquaduct just South of Garstang

This sculpture is in the Millenium Green Park.......Go on give us' a Big Hand!!

Thursday 20 February 2014

The Wainwrights of Applethwaite Common

After a ride on the bike this morning and a spot of lunch I spent the afternoon walking across Applethwaite Common. There are 2 Wainwright's to be claimed for the bagger, Sour Howes and Sallows. Sadly it rained from Sour Howes onward...sadly I am able to confirm that my 10 year old Golite Reed overtrousers now leak in a catastrophic manner :-(  Still didn't spoil the walk tho'.....and I have another pair :-))

The Dubbs Road track, which eventually leads to Garburn Pass, the highpoint in the photo is roughly the summit of Sour Howes.

There has been a lot of repair and renovation of the Dubbs and Garburn Roads recently.
This rather special animal pass is a new addition...if it was larger I'd call it a Hogget Hole!

As I turned towards the Troutbeck valley the sun tried it's very best to break through, lighting up the fields on the flank of Wansfell

As you gain a bit of height up the fell Windermere is revealed, the sheet of water to the left is Dubbs reservoir.

This is one of the two summits of Sour Howes, I've always thought of this one as the higher....but there can't be much in it. The cloud was down by now and as I set off along the broad ridge to Sallows the rain/sleet/hail came on driven by a strong gusty wind.

This is the summit of Sallows, theres no cairn as such. It was very wet at this point, there's rain on the lens if you look closely. I didn't linger, but headed roughly North to drop down to Garburn Pass, turning left to walk back down the pass. It rained all the way back to the car unfortunately, as I have already mentioned above finding the weak point/s in my overtrousers!

Todays footwear...New Balance 606's. Very comfortable, warm when wet and surprisingly grippy as well.
Like a lot of my gear....not made any more I think.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Pike O'Blisco and Crinkle Crags

 A cracking day above the head of Langdale....although it took a while for the sun to make an appearance!

Having parked at the foot of the Blea Tarn Road. I walked up beside Redacre Gill.
The snow line was basically at the head of the gill

As I gained height the sun was doing it's best to light up Side Pike behind me.

Here on the summit of Pike O'Blisco the wind was trying to blow me over, below me lay Red Tarn

The sun was finally burning thro the mist/cloud as I approached the Bad Step.
There was quite a bit of dillydallying by a party of three, two elected to go round and one climbed it with me.
It was a bit of a thrutch...It's a while since I've even had my crampons on!

The weather continued to improve, here I'm looking back to the summit of Crinkle Crags

And to the West the Scafells were starting to emerge from their blanket of cloud.

Ahead Bowfell  above Three Tarns, I must say I was tempted but by now there was folk everywhere so I decided to drop down to the Band 

Scafells clear at last

Today snow made for rapid progress if you had the spiky stuff on!

Down on the Band the views were still great, here Wetherlam is seen thro the Red Tarn gap

Crinkle Crags from the Band.

Once below the snowline the landscape had an almost springlike appearance.
Looking into the head of Mickleden and Rossett Pike

Pike O'Stickle looking very impressive, almost back to the valley.
A great day!

Today's footwear choice unlined ancient Manta M4's with Yeti Gaiters.
Dry warm sweat free feet, no worry's crossing streams There is no finer combination for walking in snow with flexible crampons IMHO....are the Yeti's still available?

Friday 14 February 2014

TGO Challenge 2014 Route Vetted!!

Well that was fast going....From hearing I'd been promoted from the Standby List last Friday to yesterday finding my route had been vetted. A huge thank you to my vetter Alan Hardy for his kind comments and welcome advice.
And what of my route... Well although I know Scotland well, there are still blank patches on the map so to speak.So I've engineered my route to fill some of these gaps. I have elected to start at Shiel Bridge and finish on the beach at Nether Warburton. Should I be blessed with good weather, I shall see the Falls of Glomach, scale a few needed Munro's North of Glen Affric, before strolling down Glen Affric. Eventually I'll arrive at Fort Augustus to re-supply and cross the Corrieyairack Pass to follow the Spey. Then its over to Glen Feshie and a climb to the Moine Mor for a high camp and some more needed Munro's. The descent to Corrour will be followed by the walk out to civilisation at Braemar. More re-supplying then its up Glen Callater to cross Jocks Road into Clova, before a sharp climb to Loch Brandy and Muckle Cairn. The descent North East will take me to Tarfside. A final day of hills with a crossing of the Wirren hills, Edzell and then the walk out to North Water Bridge and the coast.
So there we have it hopefully the weather will be kind and allow me to see at least some of the above....if not the FWA will still be interesting walking.
 I'm looking forward to the social aspect of the walk and hope my path crosses some of those who visit these pages.I can hardly wait!

Sunday 9 February 2014

TGO Challenge Planning, Cycling...more TGO Challenge Planning!

With the news last Friday that I'd been promoted from the standby list to gaining an entry to the TGO Challenge. It's been a long wait since the disappointment when I found I hadn't made the initial draw, of course some poor soul has had to the news is tinged with sadness.

Planning tools!!
Check out the age of that Glen Carron map...tight old git!!

I'd planned a route last year before the bad news, so today really was only tweaking, filling in the requisite forms and booking accommodation. So that's all done and the paperwork is away in the ether to "Chez Manning"
As the weather had improved  I decided to get a ride in on the bike.
A quick ride to the coast at Arnside, the sun even shone...but my word the wind was strong!!