Wednesday, 22 August 2018

A Short Walk to Crummock

If you've known us a while you'll recognise this view - it was on my PC at work for a start, something to dream about when the stress levels were rising.

So this is the view from Foulsyke and Crummock Water Cottages. The venue for many happy holidays and the home of our friend Joan

We're having a walk with Joan and her dog Max before supper. A miserable day has finally given way to a bit more brightness and the rain has moved away - so time for a little wander down to the Kirkstile

and then up the lonning towards Melbreak

We will walk through the trees on the right of this picture and then along the top edge of them towards the left

Breeze is coming back to see where we are, as usual she has been there and back in a circular motion about 8 times alreay

dropping down towards the lake

Max has beaten us all down there and is patiently waiting for his ball

Which Joan has brought with her - Breeze is just happy to swim

Nothing like a bit of competition

But Breeze prefers sticks in the water

One last dip
 Joan has a bench outside her property which is a stopping off point for many passing walkers, cyclists and drivers, to admire the view. She felt it was a perfect position for one of the 'There But Not There' silhouettes.

Can you see him?
A lovely short walk in very familiar territory followed by a delicious supper, thanks so much Joan.

Friday, 17 August 2018

A Wythburn Wander

We're off down to Grasmere today and had thought we would have a walk up Great how on the way - except that United Utilities have closed the path we would have used. So on the suggestion of our friend John (St John of the Vale) we followed one of his regular shorter dog walking routes from Wythburn Church

Heading up as if to climb Helvellyn - except we haven't got much time and it is shortly due to rain, for the rest of the day!

We turn right when we reach the forest road

Cracking views from here

Thirlmere - still suffering from the drought in spite of recent rainfall

Breeze is loving it. Steep banks alongside the track are giving her plenty of mountain goat moments

We hold our breath each time she is hurtling downhill towards a near cliff - she doesn't turn a hair - or slow down

Birkside Gill, this is where we turn down to pick up a path back

More mountain goat moments as we make our way back to the Church

Just time for a quick visit to the church before the heavens open

A lovely gentle 2 miles. Perfect for a stop off on the way to somewhere - thanks John, we'll use this again I'm sure!

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Carrock Fell without a Cairn

We've heard a rumour that the massive cairn on Carrock Fell has been demolished (thanks Maggie). I have pictures of me as a small child standing beside the cairn, so it's been there for a good half century and probably a lot longer than that. There is one way to find out if the rumours are true.

One of the less popular routes (but in my opinion most interesting) up Carrock starts behind Mosedale. We parked down at Swineside and headed back up the lane to divide the roadwork between the start and finish of the walk - this way we get chance to walk in a bit before we start to climb too. Virtually traffic free along here so Breeze gets warmed up too.

We start to climb and very soon the first posing stone of the day appears

The heather has really suffered in the heatwave up here

Looking down to Mosedale below as we climb. Jay is with us today

One of the reasons I like this route is that the ground changes constantly. Grass and bracken, heather, scree


and every now and then you come across a sheepfold. Breeze uses the walls of this one to watch her Dad climbing up to join us

The summit has been in cloud all the way up and if anything it's getting worse! Further up on less stoney ground the heather has faired better and is coming into flower

Someone loves bouncing through it

and posing

Through the derelict walls of an ancient forte, I suddenly spot a lek of Grouse in the mist

We are turning away from here, so we make our way quietly past them trying not to disturb them. These dozen or so would be the first if 3 leks we see around the summit - Breeze found the other two before us so they were both flying. One lot must have numbered close on 30!

Approaching the summit, it is very obvious that the information Maggie had heard was correct. The summit cairn is no more. Possibly mindless vandalism? we couldn't really come up with a feasible alternative explanation.
 By now we are in thick cloud, getting very wet (we do have waterproof coats on), it's blowing a hooley and we are all ready for something to eat. There is nowhere much to shelter - unless you want to sit in the summit shelter and get even more wet - and the cloud seems to have dropped lower than it was. So, as we carry an emergency storm shelter, we decide we might as well put it to use!
A few minutes later and three people, 3 rucksacks and one wet dog are all squeezed into the shelter. Warm, drier than we would have been without it and I'm sure raising an eyebrow if anyone had walked past - not that we had a clue whether anyone did or not!!

I had always thought that I would have to drag Breeze in here if ever we used it, but she popped in as soon as we got it set up and sat perfectly happily for the duration of our lunch stop!

The camera remained packed away for the next bit of the walk as we headed down towards Poddy Gill. Thankfully we know this area like the back of our hands as visibility was zero.

Finally we drop out of the cloud  and make our way down Poddy Gill to join the road - a lesson in how different it can be on the fells to the valleys - and this is only a little fell

A quick dip in the Caldew as we make the gentle stroll back to the car.
6.5 miles with a bit of everything today - except snow!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Back O'Skiddaw

An appointment at Caldbeck again this morning drew us back to the Back O'Skiddaw Fells. Sometimes it feels a bit unimaginative walking the same areas so often, but we explore new routes (generally off path) and find that there is always something new to discover.

Gone are the days of having the parking spot to ourselves. Too much has been made of the peace and tranquility of these fells. Too many magazine articles that have brought more and more people. As a result we haven't parked in this particular spot for a little while. Today we were the third car at 9:30am.
Enough complaining! Off we go up Longland's Beck

Cattle ahead, so we keep Breeze a bit closer

They are just a pair of Highland Stirks and take very little notice

Pausing for breath. We are heading up Trusmadoor which is the gully above Breeze's head!

So it's through some more cattle and round the drumlins then we start to climb

Heading up

Looking down on Trusmadoor from our route up onto Meal Fell. The heather is beginning to colour up

Breeze inspects the shelter on Meal Fell where we stop for a coffee

Then we make our way across to Little Sca Fell

Breeze heading for the summit cairn which some clever person has decided to turn into an art work - till the wind blows anyway.


Walking across Broad Moss to Charlton Gill where we plan to drop down out of the breeze (the other one) for some lunch

Lunch finishes and as we are leaving, Breeze flushes a fox which must have been hiding in the sieves all the time we were there, only about 15 meters away (severe cropping of picture as I didn't have long to grab the camera and snap

Here you can see Breeze is just below, that is where she flushed him from, he paused momentarily and then hot footed it away

Excitement over, we climb back onto the side of Longlands fell for an easy descent

Looking back to Charlton Gill where we had lunch

Breeze spots a posing stone - albeit it a small one

Nearly back to the car now, which is parked by that clump of trees. That's Binsey in the background (pronounced Binsa)

These Highland's seem to like us, they have made their way back to the car to wave us off.
About 6 miles today, a nice gentle therapeutic walk. Breeze, as usual has done about ten time what we have done.