Sunday, 30 January 2011

Black Crag

Only time for a short walk, as I'd been out on the pushbike in the morning. I parked at Knipe Fold (no sign of Pies, Northern or otherwise, or indeed Superdawg!), and walked up the old road over Arnside Intake. At the junction of paths and bridleways I entered Iron Keld plantation, which isn't any more because all the trees were cut down about 10 years ago. Where the path exits on to the open fell a branch heads north over hummocky ground to reach the low summit of Black Crag, which is a Wainwright of course.
Part of the reason for my visit was to explore the broad northern ridge with a view to spotting some likely bivi spots for the summer. There seemed to be several suitable locations, I backtracked to the trig and had my buttie behind the wall, sheltering from the bitter wind, there was a few snowflakes in the air. The view from here is beautiful, but today the overcast dullness meant only the close fells were visible. I dropped down on a permissive path through Poolscar on a twisting trail which eventually brought me back onto the minor road, which led back to the car.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Bench Marks

Bench Marks seem to be all over the place if you manage to spot them! This one was on a stone in the middle of the much used path to Darwen Tower. It got me thinking, I wonder how many of them there are in the UK?
Does anyone know?

Darwen Tower

With Ian, The West Pennine Moors, this is a new area for me as regards walking. We parked just off the Belmont Road and followed the Witton Weavers Way up on to Belmont Moor. Although it was overcast the views were extensive in all directions. We turned north on some of the well marked paths in the general direction of Darwen Tower (which at this point isn't visible!). Eventually the tower appeared in front of us with the trig point below it, the wind had brought the temperature right down, it was freezing.
A dark spiral staircase led to the top of the tower, the moors stretched out to the south, and below us beyond the reservoir lay Darwen and Blackburn. A bit of backtracking and a quick descent led us down to the visitor centre and cafe at Tockholes, we had a snack and then made our way back to the car via Plantations no2, 3, and the ruins of Hollinshead Hall. This was a great walk and theres lots of scope for more trips.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Barbon Low Fell

Ian and I parked beside the road at the northwest corner of Low Barbon Fell. The steep grassy slope soon eased and the view opened up, the Lune Valley spread out below us. Despite living within 6 or 7 miles of here I'd never been on this knobbly top! Lots of minor summits were visited on route to the trig on Brownthwaite, the dizzy height of 437m. The huge cairn above Brownthwaite Pike was passed (and posed on) as we dropped down to the metalled road to Bullpot Farm, then down the bridleway into Barbondale and back along the road to the car passing an Andy Goldsworthy sheepfold on route.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Rydal Caves

After a week of feeling really grim due to a dose of "man-flu" a spot of fresh air was required. A short walk from Pelter Bridge at Rydal to Rydal Caves and then onwards to the terrace. Lunch was taken on a bench overlooking Grasmere, in the company of five Rooks. We returned to the car on the path beside Rydal Water, which was flooded in several places.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Bansko New Year

I'd just like to wish everyone out there a belated Happy New Year, may all your doings in the outdoors exceed your own expectations.
I've just returned from a weeks snowboarding in Bansko, Bulgaria. Silly old fool I should know better at my age! Since I decided to try and learn snowboarding last February its been a steep learning curve, in more than one sense! After six days on somewhat limited slopes, due to a lack of new snow I can now confidently say I am an "Intermediate". I can also say with great confidence that the 50+ body does not take kindly to repeatably hitting hard frozen snow/ice.
The Bansko area, and the Pirin mountains would seem to offer excellent walking/backpacking in the summer months, the locals are very friendly and accommodation plentiful, the old town away from the modern ski developments particularly attractive.
I should point out that the chap in the photo is not me but another member of our party.