Thursday, 28 February 2013

RSF ride to Pooley Bridge

Todays ride started at Shap, we left promptly at just after 10am.
We rode out of the village and heading west passed through
the hamlet of Keld. Once on the old waterworks road we headed
north and followed the private road round to Burnbanks.

We made the short detour to the Haweswater dam, before returning
to Burnbanks and continuing on the minor roads through Bampton.

Before Helton we  turned off to pass Wide Wath and take the bridleway
which gave us access to Moor Divock and Askham fell. The views opened
up once on the highpoint, Blencathra in particular very prominent.

At the high point we turned southwards and crossed to the stone circle
known as the Cockpit.

The bridleway continues and generally descends throughout its length
all the way to Howtown. The views on here of Ullswater and fells beyond
were superb.

From the end of the track we crossed the foot of Fusedale. The bridleway
opposite contours under Steel Knotts meeting tarmac next to the church
on the hause. We had our lunch here looking down onto the zig-zags
and Ullswater .

We made good progress on the quiet road on the east side of Ullswater .
A short bridleway brought us right to the bridge at Pooley Bridge.
Our objective had been reached!!

It was a warm climb back up onto Askam Fell, almost reaching where
 we'd been earlier . Before turning northwards skirting Heughscar Hill
and enjoying the descent over short cropped turf down to Askam.
We stopped at the PostOffice/Shop/Cafe for coffee and cake.

Following the Lowther valley we turned up into Whale and riding the
 byway through the parkland. From Whalemoor be dropped on what
appears to be a little used bridleway down to Knipe Moor. From here
it was minor roads back to Shap and the cars.

Sunday, 24 February 2013


Ingleborough from the Hill Inn
On the minor rosd to Bruntscar, with today's objective,
Whernside in view
Ingleborough  across Chapel-le-dale from the slopes of Whernside
The windswept summit of Whernside, no lingering here today!
Huge icicles near Force Gill. Can anyone explain why
only a few of the icicles aren't growing straight down?
Force Gill waterfall
I took the option of the bridleway to Ivescar, this is Winterscales Beck
and BleaMoor signal  box
Ingleborough  from near  Hawes Gill Wheel
A last look back at Whernside

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Stenkrith Park Kirkby Stephen

Kirkby Stephen church

The River Eden tumbling over and round the rocky outcrops

Footbridge over Pod Gill, and some welcome shelter
from the nithering wind.
Incredibly cold wind today even on this short sheltered stroll. There's lots of interest on the paths and bridleways round K. Stephen, but today we cut our walk short and headed back. A retreat no less!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Pennine and Ribble Ways


Beautiful weather today, we couldn't believe it was the middle of February. Parking in Horton-in-Ribblesdale we walked up the Pennine Way past Sell Gill Hole enjoying the easy going on the short turf.

Whernside from Sell Gill

We peered into the depths of the potholes before climbing the last few metres to where the path levels out
Ingleborough from Sell Gill

We passed the "new" improved Three Peaks path freshly surfaced, with its attendant sign, all very impressive. Although the section over to Birkwith was a morass!

New sign, new path!

From Birkwith we followed the Ribble Way as it contours the hillside. The terrain hereabouts is terraced in a wonderful way, it makes for easy walking although the wind was blowing into our faces all the way back. 

Looking back along Sheep Scar

As we approache Sell Gill again we descended across the fields to New Houses farm and followed the minor road to Horton and the car. A great day, spring feels as if it is just round the corner. That should curse the job!!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

RSF ride from Chapel Stile

View from Brambles Cafe before we started
Today was the first ride I'd led for the Rough Stuff Fellowship, and the starting/meeting point was Brambles Cafe above the Co-op in Chapel Stile. There was alot more snow left after yesterdays 7hrs continous snowstorm than I anticipated. I was pleased to see Mick, I thought I might be on my own!

Ullets Nest track looking towards Wetherlam
 Due to the 4-5" of slushy snow we modified the route, wondering if we'd actually get to our planned objective,Coniston. We crossed Great Langdale beck and rode/pushed the bridleway up through Elterwater quarry, crossing the minor road to Base Brown and heading up through the wood to pick up the Ullets Nest byway


 A short bit of tarmac as we rode down to Little Langdale ford. Sensibly we used the footbridge. We continued through Tilbirthwaite before climbing up to the gaping quarry workings at Hodge Close. Here we took the bridleway which skirts the western slopes of Holme Fell.


 Once down in Yewdale the cycle/footpath makes a pleasent option to avoid the road into Coniston. Butties were eaten at Waterhead, the sun was trying it's best but not hard enough! A relativly new permissive bridleway follows the lakeshore before bringing you back onto the road to the head of Coniston Water.

Coniston Water

 We had decided to climb to High Cross on the Hawkshead road by tarmac rather than a loop into Grizedale forest, the minor roads by Atkinson Ground were quiet enough and once at High Cross we dropped down to Knipe Fold and settled in for the long climb up the Arnside Intake byway, we had great views of the Langdale Pikes and Wetherlam.

Langdales from Arnside Intake

 Straight across at Oxenfell and through the farmyard at High Oxenfell. most of this byway wasn't rideable, there was spinning wheels aplenty. Turning right at Hodge Close cottage the undulating byway brought us to  Stang End

Approaching Stang End

 Here another right turn and a short stretch of tarmac before the last bridleway of the day started at High Park this lane was very wet. we declined the ford just before the tarmac at Low Colwith! From here it was just a short stretch of minor road back to the cars on Elterwater Common. We both agreed it had been a good ride, inspite of the snow/slush. My feet were numb with cold, but what can you expect, it certainly hadn't spoilt my enjoyment at all.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

RSF ride from Clapham

Bike comparo at  the junction of Thwiate and Long Lane's
Ian our leader today, had originally planned todays ride to make a circuit of Ingleborough. However the weather was not brilliant, sleety snow was falling as we sat in "The Reading Room " cafe. As we chatted we formed a revised plan! So out into the wind and snow we ventured, the first obstacle the two tunnels as we climbed Thwaite Lane. The full force of the wind was met, not nice, the lane descends gently to meet Crummack Lane. The lane climbs easily until the tarmac ends, this coincided with the snow settling nicely.
The climb out of Crummackdale
The bridleway was well covered with snow which made the climb interesting, my 29er was fantastic in the snow.
Inbred playing in the snow
Starting the descent to Borrins in Ribblesdale
The lane levels out then from Sulber Gate descends to Borrins in Ribblesdale. Here the ground was clear of snow, but not the sky! We had a bite to eat sheltering under a bridge, before continuing on the Pennine Bridleway to cross the Ribble on the new bridge. The thought of mugs of coffee lured us into Horton-in-Ribblesdale, before continuing to Helwith Bridge. Here Simeon left the rest of us to ride over to Feizor on the Pennine Bridleway. From Feizor more bridleway led to Austwick before riding back to Clapham over Thwaite Lane. A great ride today in spite of the weather.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Loughrigg and Langdale MTB Ride

An overcast day by the time I got out.
Lingmoor Fell and Langdale Pikes taken below Ivy Crag
on Loughrigg Fell
The bridleway round Loughrigg tarn provides easy riding
with excellent views of the Langdale Pikes
The classic view of the Langdale Pikes
(although this doesn't do it justice!)
The boulders in the foreground  are home to ancient rock art.
The misplaced sign on the bridleway from
Oak Howe to Base Brown.
Grasmere and its surrounding fells from
Loughrigg Terrace
The stepping stones across the River Rothay
I spent many happy hours here as a lal lad
on Saturday mornings.
Wansfell is the hill in the background.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Kentmere and Garburn Pass

Below Staveley Head Fell  looking towards the Kentmere Horseshoe
A solo ride on the mountain bike, having parked at Staveley I rode up the well graded road to Park House farm. The bridleway starts here to go over to Longsleddle, but my route branched off here to contour along the east side of Kentmere before descending to Long Houses.
Above Long Houses in Kentmere
Garburn and Yoke
A short stretch of tarmac past Kentmere church led me on to the main ascent of the day, Garburn Pass. The sun made a very brief appearance as I rode, but mainly pushed up the pass. As I neared the summit there was ice on the path, I was hot but clearly the actual temperature was rather lower! The wind across the exposed top was strong enough to make riding difficult.
The windswept summit of Garburn Pass
The track was suffering from the recent frosts turning what should have been firm going into very stiff porridge. The very wet spell we've had has also left its mark, the track had become very washed out. Large sections unrideable (by me anyway!) once down at Applethwaite quarry the old road improves and I was able to make better progress.
The head of Troutbeck from Applethwaite quarry
Down the Dubbs road was easy going, and turning left along Moorhowe Road on the tarmac once more for a mile or so until the bridleway to High House led to the final offroad for the day. The easy tracks in Kentmere Psrk brought me down to Ullthwaite Bridge.
The bridleway descending to the valley from Kentmere Park
All that remained was to ride down Kentmere to the car. I'd only seen 1 mountainbiker, 1 fellrunner and 2 walkers, on a mild Sunday...great suits me!