Sunday, 30 December 2012

A stroll from Skelwith Bridge

Fresh snow on Langdale Pikes, but the valley paths were a quagmire.
At least there was a bit of shelter from the gales
Loughrigg Tarn its surface showing the effect of the wind
And so my outdoor year ends much as it began, a wild overcast day. Much of the year has been like that here in the Lakes, lets hope for rather better conditions in 2013.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

RSF Boxing Day Walk

The old chimney on the foreshore at
Jenny Browns Point
As has become tradition the RSF (Offroad Cycling Touring Club) forsake their bikes on Boxing Day and go for a walk (without bikes!) We met at Eaves Wood in Silverdale and made a circuit of Haweswater calling at Leighton Moss for coffee and cake. We are cyclists after all. Refreshed, we made our way down to the shore towards Jenny Browns Point where we had lunch in a rather breezy spot near the old smelt chimney. The weather looked like it was turning as we made our way back to the cars via Woodwell and field paths to The Row and hence Eaves Wood. Arriving back just as the rain really got started. Nine of us had turned out, and walked a bit of turkey off in very pleasent company.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Sadly this was taken a couple of years ago. At least it'll remind us
that Winter can be crisp and cold rather than endless rain!
Merry Christmas to all who pass by!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Farleton Knott

An all to rare patch of blue sky
After a morning on the bike round Arnside and Silverdale I had an afternoon stroll from home on Farleton Knott. No matter how often I walk on the Knott I never tire of the expansive views, todays dominated by the mosses resembling a lake. There's always a new track to follow and nooks to explore.
South from the true summit

Sunday, 16 December 2012

RSF ride to Dandra Garth

The Three Amigo's! 
Todays ride started at the Duo Cafe in Sedbergh, five of us set off with our new leader for the day Ian. We rode a short way along the Garsdale road before turning left to cross the Clough river near Farfield Mill, minor lanes led us, (after a bit of indecision!) onto the first bit of "roughstuff" at Dovecote Gill. The ground was very wet leading to a lot of pushing.
Pushing up from Dovecote Gill
As the track levelled out we were able to ride a bit more, before descending to the main road in the valley bottom. Rapid progress was made eastwards up Garsdale to the start of the track at Dandra Garth.
Pushing up Dandra Garth
This track is very steep, and wet, and overgrown! Basically a push!! The top always arrives eventually, and Dandra Garth was no exception, and its marshy, very marshy! Fortunately for us some of the worst bits have been bridged.
Even the top was a push!
The walled track down to Cowgill in Dentdale was a push to start but soon became ridable, however pride becomes before a fall, and it wasn't long before an over-the-handlebar moment occcured. With my catlike reactions I was back on my feet instantly, mainly because I was getting bloody wet! A quick lunch stop before we completed the descent, the minor road on the south side of Dentdale brought us into dent village and our afternoon cake stop. Cake and coffee/tea consumed we rode back to Sedbergh on the road the short daylight hours curtailing our activities. So the verdict on our leader for the day......Well, Ian did a good job I knew from previous experience that Dandra Garth would be a tough track especially for those like myself on road tyres.

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Another all to short Winters day
After an early finish from the stroll over Hampsfell earlier in the day, I made the detour on the way home to catch the sunset over the Kent estuary. There had been a very high tide earlier in the day, but now the mudflats were glistening as the sun went down. The waders were taking advantage of the soft mud, all the farmland has been frozen this week.


Limestone pavement on Hampsfell
What should have been a short stroll along Hampsfell above Grange-over-Sands, turned into us versus the bitter East wind. The lack of altitude didn't make any difference, it was all I could do to use the camera before my hands chilled. I must be getting soft! Sadly the haze meant the Lakes hills weren't seen at their best.
A few berries still left for the birds.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Green Quarter Fell

Kentmere Horseshoe from Green Quarter Fell
Only half a day to spare again today. So a quick drive up to Kentmere, I was lucky to find a parking spot near Longhouses. The bridleway gave access to Nuttera Beck which I followed steeply, eventually picking up another bridleway. At the highpoint I set off across the pathless ground, thankfully still frozen in the main, after the crossing of a low wall the view of the Kentmere Horseshoe appeared. The breeze was also getting up, a lazy wind right out of the Northwest. A thin thread of a path appeared for the last couple of hundred metres to the top of Hollow Moor (Wainwright called it Green Quarter Fell), it's a Wainwright Outlier for those who like that type of thing. There is an old slate straining post which gave some foreground interest for the summit photo. A bit of a track leads down across poor land to the path down to Green Quarter Farm. All that remained was a short bit of tarmac back to the car. No other humans were seen during the walk, everyone was probably up on the Horseshoe!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Dalesway from Staveley

River Kent from the Daleway
So today the snow came, there wasn't any at Home (Holme) but a dozen miles up the road at Staveley the snow was settling nicely. The forecast was for the snow to turn to sleet and then rain. So a prompt start from Barley Bridge at the foot of Kentmere, we headed south beside the River Kent then through the village to pick up the Dalesway. We followed the trail as far as Hagg Foot, the sleet had arrived as we turned to head back. More field paths led back to the car the sleet had changed to rain, the snow on the ground was really slushy. I had found the limitations of my ancient unlined leather Scarpa boots! I had a pair of soggy socks, thankfully these conditions are not that prevelent! It was two wet walkers who arrived back at Barley Bridge.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Turbary Road And the Cheese Press Stone

Almost sounds like a novel! Todays gentle ramble was planned to take advantage of the winter sun, having left the car on Westgate lane above Westhouse near Ingleton we strode out along Tow Scar Lane under....Tow Scar!
Tow Scar Lane, not Turbary Road yet!
The lane climbs gradually to meet Masongill Fell Lane, where we turned right onto the Turbary Road. This was originally constructed for folk to gather peat from the slopes of Gragareth for fuel. These days it provides a grassy promenade on a limestone shelf, ideal for a bit of "spotholing".
Whernside from the Turbary Road
A short way along the lane we had a chat with a couple of cavers in the process of carring out a dig, hoping to find new ground. Our turn round point was to be Rowton Pot, a bottomless gaping chasm, (its not really bottomless) 3 cavers were just packing up and leaving as we arrived.
Whernside from Rowton Pot
Retracing our steps for a couple of km and chatting to yet more cavers at Swinsto Pot, we descended to the Cheese Press Stone. This large perched boulder, two actually stands out for a good distance, there were excellant views of Ingleborough, Kingsdale and Whernside beyond.
Ingleborough from the Cheese Press Stone
Whernside from the Cheese Press Stone
The air had a real chill to it as we dropped down over the frozen slopes to the road, turning right to walk down the lanes back to the car. Our decision to stay in the sun had been a wise one, it was freezing as the sun was lost behind a low bank of cloud.