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.

Saturday 22 October 2016

Stonethwaite, Borrowdale

We had a stroll from Stonethwaite in Borrowdale on Thursday. The sun shone for much of the day, the Autumn colours are just starting to develop. Here's a few pictures from the day.......

From the floor of Borrowdale looking towards High Spy

Castle Crag

If this Holly is any's going to be a real hard Winter!

Looking back towards Castle Crag and Maiden Moor. Catbells in the distance

Thursday 6 October 2016

Blowing The Cobwebs Away

Only a short walk along the coast at Bardsea near Ulverston. Out and back the same way, a real "big sky day". Good to be out in the fresh air, and a real chillout after lots of chasing myself inside out!