Category Archives: Lake District

Lakes Super Bus….and Super Views…..

With all our legs lacking the oomph they had at the beginning of the holiday (including those of us with four legs) and a precarious weather forecast, we opted against the high stuff in favour of a ramble in the Central Fells via Ashness Bridge.  We were just musing about the fact that Ashness Bridge is one of the most photographed views in the Lake District, when on cue the ‘Lakes Super Bus’ turned up, packed with Japanese tourists…armed with cameras…and obligatory sun hats….very amusing…they were there just 6 mins to get their snaps…before being herded on the next ‘big attraction’.  Must thank them for the entertainment!

From our lunch spot on Dodd, we had the most amazing panoramic views and an especially fitting end to the holiday since we could take in everywhere that we have ‘bagged’ so far….and the list is becoming formidable.  From right to left in view the list includes Blencathra (2,847 ft), Skiddaw (3,054 ft), Grisdale Pike (2,595 ft), Eel Crag (2,752 ft), Cat Bells (1,480 ft), Maiden Moor (1,890 ft), High Spy (2,242 ft), Great Gable (2,949 ft), Green Gable (2,628 ft)….a real sense of achievement….but next time we here, we are going to have to start going further afield….which means getting up earlier….hummm…

Reached the summit of High Seat (1,995 ft) which looked down to Thirlmere and across to Helvellyn (3,117 ft), which we have also summited previously.  The top was a massive bog, which pleased Julian since he wouldn’t have deemed it a ‘proper walk’ unless we had all been up to our armpits in stinking bog juice…..flo smelling particularly fragrant.

Back down Cat Ghyll as the tops became shrouded in thick cloud…a lucky escape without getting wet….

Ashness Bridge - Looking down to Derwent Water

Derwent Water, Cat Bells and Maiden Moor

Derwent Water with Bassenthwaite Lake behind

Scramble up some rocks to lunch stop. Mountain Dog needed a shove from behind, bewildered by the whole experience.....better than taking the conventional route up the Ghyll...

Dodd for butties and cake...Skiddaw in all it's finery in the background

Eel Cragg (birthday walk) Grisdale Pike and Causey Pike

Any more biscuits??

Cairn on top of Dodd. Blencathra in the background

Summit of High Seat (1,995 ft) with the Helvelyn Range in the background. It is the highest point for about 5 miles in any direction; a consequence of the curious fact that the centre of the district is lower than the surrounding parts.

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Birthday Boots

A birthday treat!  Up Eel Crag (Crag Hill) 2,753 feet, via the Shelf Route.  The shelf route as Wainwright puts it “adds a little thrill to the climb”, he also goes on to say that “ladies in ankle length skirts may find odd places a little troublesome”…..I suppose he did write this book in 1963, but I am surprised that anyone in a skirt would attempt to hoik themselves up this route, however exhilarating.

Flo is really getting the hang of the mountains and managed to navigate her way up the precarious ascent of Eel Crag way ahead of us.  Certainly thrilling…..providing an excellent spot for birthday butties (ham and mustard).

The disused mine at Force Cragg, has a long history of mining lead, zinc and barytes, also known as barium sulphate….so in a link to pottery, some of the main constituents of popular glazes could have been extracted from this area.

Ascent starts gently on the disused mine track towards our target 'Eel Crag' and Force Crag mine.

Who said I couldn't capture the sunshine peeking through the clouds...

That right....have a big drink, you're gonna need it where we are going....

Force Crag Mine, with Grisdale Pike behind it. This was the last working metal mine in the Lake District, prior to its final abandonment in 1991. The site was mined for lead from 1839 until 1865, and for zinc and barytes from 1867

Not a bad spot for lunch, looking over Coledale Beck towards the Pennines.

We made it, the summit of Eel Crag (2,753 feet)

Cloud just hovering over the tops of the big stuff, we just caught a glimpse of Gable on the top.

Looking out to High Spy, Maiden Moor and Robinson

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‘Knees up’…..or Not…..

Set out to bag Mellbreak, but plans scuppered by dodgy knee playing up, so made wise, but frustrating decision to skirt round it instead and take in the fells from the banks of Crummock Water.  Mellbreak, not high, but uniquely positioned, will have to wait for another day…..or another knee!!

Big hairy doggie enjoyed splashing about in Crummock Water and someone else managed to get their feet wet…not me…doh!

That's Crummock Water, Scale Force waterfall just out of sight on the right hand side.

Can't understand where these balls keep disappearing to? View up Crummock Water, over Buttermere to Fleetwith Pike.

Low Ling Crag on the left protruding into Crummock Water, looking over to Grasmoor, it's base just peeping in on the left.

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Big Dogs….Small Trains….

What a contrast….one day in the beautiful North Western Fells, the next at the low level waste respository near Sellafield!  Decided a rest day was in order after injuring knee on the way down Haystacks, so was talking into exploring the Cumbrian coast, which is where the better weather seemed to be hanging out.

Ravenglass is a lovely village.  The steam railway takes you right up to Dalegarth in Eskdale, which I am sure is spectacular, but I hadn’t imagined the trains to be so minature….and the thought of sitting on that for an hour (each way) with a big hairy doggie did not fill me with joy……we gave it a miss!

On to Drigg, the site of the low level nuclear waste respository….Nice!   I wouldn’t imagine many people experience the wild and windswept Irish Sea along this part of the coast…..this is remote!……and the vision of Sellafield in the distance, a little bit eerie…..

Back to Cockermouth via Seascale, where unbelievably we had the best home-made rum and raisin and raspberry ripple ice-cream….who would have thought it…..maybe that’s what keeps the locals going….that and the fact that they have this untouched, rugged and beautiful landscape all to themselves (apart from the little nuclear power station).

Lovely lunch spot on the beach at Ravenglass

Humm...this train a bit smaller than I expected....did no-one think to mention??!

Seascale in the shaddows of Sellafield behind

Remote!

Oh Buoy!

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Haystacks

I have been lagging behind with my blog postings…..and have amassed a long queue of musings, including 2 glaze firings.  I will do my best to get up-to-date, pronto…..but I am going to start with latest first…

In the Lakes again and on the first night here coincidentally ended up watching a program on the background to Wainwright’s pictorial Guides.  He was an obsessive, cantankerous and solitary rambler, but his guides are still fascinating 40 years on.  As a nod to his great achievements and to fulfill a long-held ambition, we decided to climb Haystacks.  Wainwright’s most favourite mountain of all, and where his ashes were scattered……I can see why he chose it, I think it has also now become my favourite too.

We made the ascent via Fleetwith Pike 2,126 feet, which when we reached the summit was typically in the clouds.  The walk round the ridge to Haystacks 1,958 ft, passed the workings of Honister slate mine.  The cloud had lifted by the time we reached Haystacks and we were rewarded with wonderful views down the Buttermere Valley, but also the summits of Great Gable and Pillar were visible.

Ascent of Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere

Are we nearly there yet? Nope.....that's Haystacks in the background...

Summit of Fleetwith Pike (2,126 feet)....in the clouds...great!

Yes...we can't see beyond our noses...even big black noses!

Honister Green Slates....ready for some lucky roof

Honister slate mine

That's where we are heading, you can see why it's called Haystacks.....it looks like them!

Amazingly, on closer inspection, there was someone living in this mountain hut. Talk about a room with a view!

Inominate Tarn (on the top of Haystacks) The purple heather was beautiful as were the 360 panoramic views.

Where we've come from, Fleetwith Pike in the background

Pillar in the background.....Been up there a few years ago......but it was totally in the cloud so needs tackling again.

Woo Hoo...I like it up here, that view of Buttermere is amazing!

I've turned into a real mountain dog....that's Great Gable in the background.

Fleetwith Pike on the descent from Haystacks

Relaxing in the beautiful sunshine in the garden.....totally different weather from the top of Fleetwith Pike earlier....

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‘Cockup’

Mission for the week accomplished, we have scaled Skiddaw, 931 m (3,054 feet),  the fourth highest in The Lake Distict.  Weather looked great this morning and the forecast was good, sunshine and hardly any cloud….and it remained like that until we reached Ullock Pike…….when just as the views of the Derwent Fells poked out from over the ridge……the cloud came in.  It is clear to see how people get into trouble on the fells, one minute it was sunny, then I turned around and couldn’t see a thing, it was that quick.  Typical…..I had a made a pact to myself that it was only worth climbing mountains if there was a stunning view waiting at the top….otherwise, what is the point?

Over lunch, the cloud broke to give good views of Blencathra, and the views on the way down, when the cloud had lifted again were also magnificent.  A nice gentle descent over Cockup, which provided a good spot to finish off our hot cross buns and look out towards the Solway.

Having been hit by the dreaded lurgee yesterday and resigned to the sofa for the day, I was hell bent on getting up Skiddaw today, which made me wonder whether fell walking is mind over matter.  This walk was a breeze…no achy legs, no shortage of breath, a real treat.  Maybe if you go out on a mission…..you can crack all the fells with relative ease – wishful thinking….?

Now when we drive into the Lakes on the A66, I will see another of the big fells ticked off the list and even more importantly when I’m having  breakfast at Dad’s and looking out the window, I will know that I have been up there.  Very satifying.

'Cockup' to the right, 'Great Cockup' on the left. Great names, wonder how they got them?

Skiddaw

Ullock Pike and Longside ridge

Bassenthwaite Lake from Ullock Pike....just before the cloud came in...

Here comes the cloud...

Steep acent over slate shale to Skiddaw

Lunch just before the summit (summit too busy!!)

Flo finds more snow....can you believe the weather up here? It was nice and sunny with no clouds when we set off.

Hurrah.....mission accomplished - The Top.

Descent over 'Cockup'. Looking out to Blindcrake and the Solway

Think I've had enough now....paws ache!

Sale Fell (another one ticked off my list)

Hello....Baa Baa Baaa

Great to get down and be able to see where you've been....especially since the cloud has now lifted...typical!!

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Come in Number 209….

Look who was eyeing me up this morning when I was eating my breakfast.  It is great waking up and seeing the fells….they disappear when the weather is rubbish.  Even better seeing them now we’ve been up them.  Have to do Grasmoor now, the one on the right hand side.

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