Wednesday, 21 February 2018

The High Stile Ridge.....From Buttermere

Wonderful weather today, I'd seen the forecast and had planned to get back onto this ridge on the first fine day I was "free". Today was it!
A relatively early start (for me) saw me at Buttermere for 10am, things were looking promising.
Enough of this preamble and blather lets get to the pictures....a great day:-)

Its a bit of a drag up through Burtness Wood, it was good to emerge into the warmth of the morning sun. Pretty soon I was back in the shade of High Stile though.
Buttermere was as you can see like a milpond!

Over the lip of the corrie and the headwall behind Bleaberry Tarn reminded me of a Highland coire rather than the Lakes. Red Pike was looking.....Red!

Red Pike reflected in Bleaberry Tarn

The view looking Northwest from the summit of Red Pike. Crummock Water flanked by Grasmoor on the right and Melbreak on its left.

Northeast, again from Red Pike

Looking back towards Red Pike, Great Borne beyond from point 806 on High Stile. The two stretches of water are Ennerdale Lake on the left and Loweswater on the right. 

View of the day....well I thought anyway!
Looking down to Gatesgarth and Fleetwith Pike from above Grey Crag and Burtness Comb.

Looking back to High Stile from High Crag....beautiful.

Pillar, a real mountain....seen from the summit cairn of High Crag.
Looking into the sun unfortunately. 

The hills at the head of Ennerdale, the Scafell Group beyond from High Crag. 

I dropped down to Scarth Gap Pass via Seat.
 I was soon down beside the shore of Buttermere, I couldn't resist this pic of a Highland Coo with Fleetwith Pike in the background.
The cloud had built up a little, I felt as though I'd had the best of the day...A great day :-)

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Midweek Fat BIke Fun Day....Kentmere

Coldest morning of this Winter here in the South Lakes! Sunny off I drove to Staveley (its so handy for me, and no traffic). I parked near Barley Bridge and got the bike out of the car. In the few minutes it took to get sorted I was pretty was -7c so no wonder! Little wind as I pedalled off and took the bridleway through Scroggs Farm. Then it was up through Elf is almost always the case, here's some pics to give a flavour of the day

 I didn't have a proper plan at this point above Elf Howe on Hall Lane, but thought I'd see how icy the tracks were with a possibility of heading up to Nan Bield after Green Quarter Fell.

The first section almost over here above Skeggles Water.
The snow very dry and powdery, providing lots of giggles, on the fatbike you just can't help being a kid on a BMX again :-)
Not total snow cover on the descent to Green Quarter, the sun had a fair bit of power in it...although not enough to melt the large ice patches.
The Coniston Fells are in the background.

A little further down and the head of Kentmere fills the view. My mind was mainly on avoiding the ice! Lots of it here as you can see.

I made the decision to head towards Nan Bield, but time seemed to be running away. To much playing about I think. I stopped here beside Ullstone Gill for a snack on the way back down.

As I headed back down the valley I took a diversion up to Kentmere Park and down "The Three Rivers" to Ullthwite Bridge
The sun had gone replaced by cloud, colder as well.
It was back down the road to the car from Ullthwaite....still below freezing when I got in the car!
The Strava track is here should anyone wish to see my route in more detail.
A great fun day, this bike always puts a smile on my face...makes me feel 16 not 60!!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


A really wild walk today, it was forecast! Today's walk completed my revisiting of the "Three Peaks"....which I started with Whernside in November. I like Pen-y Ghent the most of the three, I'm pretty sure its the one I'll have climbed most often. I'd thought when I st off that I might include Plover Hill but the terrific wind made me change my mind!

I set off up to Brackenbottom on the trade route. As you can see the snow was down to was thawing though at this level.

Looking South from Brackenbottom Scar the sky seemed to be a little lighter.

Sure enough the sun caught the top of the South ridge, I could also see that the wind was picking up the snow/spindrift and throwing it high into the would be a wild clamber!

True enough it was incredibly windy on the ridge and here on the summit....I had to kneel down to get a half decent image. Plover Hill would wait for another day I decided, and headed off Northwest into the teeth of the gale...and a vicious hail shower.

Back down the Pennine Way I paused to look back to see the top once more catching an another snow shower.

Slightly off route is Hull Pot, no stream pouring in today (frozen!). Its only a couple of hundred metres there and back, well worth it.
From here it was down the walled lane/Pennine Way to Horton, the snow was thawing quickly lower down....perhaps it'll be topped up tonight? 

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Kentmere and Garburn.....Skinny Mountain Bike!

A late start today so a minimum drive to get to some good trails found me at Staveley, only 20min drive so just the job. A rather dull overcast sort of day, so the plan when I set off was to stay low down. The bridleways and tracks were quiet today....excellent!
A few photos of the ride below, rather a lot of my bike....but its bright colour did brighten the day!

I rode up Hall Lane and past Park House, the track has been improved recently here partly as flood prevention I think.

I then dropped down by HP plantation, and climbed up into Kentmere Park. The low cloud mist had perhaps lifted a little.

As you can see!? on this photo, the top of Garburn looked to be clear of mist,,,,its a long climb from here to the top of the pass.....

....but of course the top arrives eventually, and the top was clear. No view though, downhill from here past Dubbs Reservoir to Moor Howe Road.

Back to Kentmere Park via High Borrans, then down into the Kentmere Valley and back along the road to the car in Staveley.
Sorry for out of focus pic...I was probably on my last legs at this point!!
A good ride, I'd made the best of the weather.
The strava route of the day is here should anyone wish to follow the route.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Don't Be Fattist.....Call Me Omniterra!

Back to Langdale today, but on the Fatbike.....say it quietly (don't want to hurt its feelings! :-)) not walking. It wasn't a day to be up high, misty barely describes it. I did a loop up Great Langdale and back down Little Langdale, with an out and back up Mickleden. Lots of gratuitous pictures of my bike I'm afraid

Leaving Elterwater and climbng up through the quarry (which seems to be having a resurgence, excellent!) Then the minor road to Baysbrown Farm to join the bridleway to Oak Howe.

Looking back from near Oak Howe the fields were covered with a layer of mist. Then it was bridleways to the head of Mickleden.

I turned round at the foot of the Stake Pass and road back to the ODG....surprising how downhill it feels. Always good.

Then up the Blea Tarn road and into the mist. Nothing to see here...except the handy bike stand!

I dropped down into Little Langdale, crossing the valley at Fellfoot Bridge and climbing up towards Atkinson Coppice. There was a lot of ice on this section, and on the drop down to the ford.

Through the bottom of Tilbirthwaite, followed by the climb over to Oxen Fell. The climbing continued on Arnside Intake and Iron Keld.
This photo is at the highpoint of this bridleway, it was downhill more or less to Skelwith Bridge.
The multi user track beside the River Brathey took me back to the car in Elterwater.
A great day, not many miles, but the fatbike always makes me smile :-)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Great End, Esk Pike and Bowfell...from Great Langdale

The forecasters had promised a superb days weather for today, and they were right! I parked in Great Langdale, it was chilly in the shade. But I was soon in the sun as I set off up Mickleden, without a firm is often the case!! This post is a bit picture heavy, hopefully they give a taste of the day.

The walk up Mickleden never seems to get any shorter, there were quite a few other folk heading for the head of the valley

Rossett Gill on the other hand does seem to get easier...I think. I was back in the shade of course, but there were great views back towards the Pikes. 

Back in the sun on the col below Hanging Knotts, and I had decided on Great End as my first hill for the day. It is seen here peeping over the Allen Crags/Esk Hause col.

The snow was just right for good progress, no postholing! This is the view North from the Easterly cairn on Great End, Skiddaw in the distance didn't seem to have as much snow as the Southern Fells.

Meanwhile to the East it seemed rather more cloudy, so I'd come to the right area. I had the summit to myself for a few minutes, but folk started appearing from all directions.

So off I went to the Westerly cairn, and its splendid view of Great Gable et al.

I headed over Long Pike and dropped down Calf Cove back to Esk Hause. Then it was up Esk Pike, arriving here just before a group turned up. Bowfell looked close....

....and soon enough I was on the summit. This is the classic view of the Scafell range. Mickledore the obvious "nick" in the skyline. Once more I had the top to myself!

Great view to the East as well!

To the South Crinkle Crags, but time was getting on, and they'll keep for another day. So I headed down towards Three Tarns....

...pausing to have a look at Flat Crags, although there's no one in this photo there were still lots of pilgrims heading up to the summit.

I paused again above Three Tarns to look down Eskdale lit up by the lowering sun.

From three Tarns its an obvious path down The Band. I had to put Microspikes on for the first time. The path takes a lot of drainage, it had become a mini icefield.
Just a simple walk down to the valley floor, through Stool End and back to the car.
Great weather, a great day. The Strava route is here should anyone wish to see my route.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Greenburn Horseshoe....Grasmere

This walk is an old favourite, don't know why? It's not the longest, highest or has the best views. It is generally quiet...until you arrive at Helm Crag! Today with much of the circuit covered in fresh snow it was a cracking walk. Once more hopefully the photos do the day justice.

I only just managed to park beside the road near the Travellers Rest, taking the short cut across a barely frozen field towards Ghyll Foot and the bottom of the Southeast ridge of Steel Fell.

Its a grand walk up the ridge, pretty much direct to the top of the fell.
Across Dunmail Raise the Helvellyn range were looking splendid.

The other side of the ridge lies the quiet valley of is rather wet mind!

This isn't quite the top of Steel Fel,l but IMHO it is the better viewpoint.
Helvellyn range beyond.

Rounding the head of Greenburn the ground is usually wet. Today it was in the main frozen, including almost all of this tarn. As far as I'm aware unnamed. 

The cairn on Calf Crag and the start of the return leg. Fairfield is seen to have a good covering of snow in the background.

Here the ridge is laid out before me, this image hides most of the up and downs involved mind!

Looking back along the ridge from Gibson Knott, not much snow from here onwards.
Still quite a few bumps and humps between here and Helm Crag.
Really clear views today though. 

The summit rocks of Helm Crag, here seen as "The Howitzer", sadly there was some ice on the climb to the top so I gave it a miss.
From here it was a quick jog down to Easedale and the road back to the car.

Just a few words about my footwear choice today. I wore these New Balance Goretex lined trail shoes with Inov8 mini gaitors and for some of the way Kahtoola Microspikes.
This combination worked well (as usual) my feet remaining dry throughout. The microspikes work at their best with trailshoes IMHO as more of the spikes grab due to the very flexible soles....less well on boots I find. Anyway thats my twopennyworth!