Above: Kirkfell and Great Gable from the Screes. Flank of Lingmell near right.
23/3/2013: High winds and heavy snow meant Ingleborough would be an interesting challenge on my own doorstep. The Hawes road was drifted in and impassable, so had to walk up from Ingleton whcih meant going into the teeth of the wind and plumes of spindrift. Made it as far as the final step where the wind speed was often near 70 - 80 mph and conditions often white-out. Goggles were essential, but they iced up so quickly it was only by occasionally raising them any route could be vaugely seen. The final step was blown rock and ice leading to hugh cornices. Couldn't say what wind speed would have been on top plateau but estimate 80 - 90mph. Decided to retreat, but the easy return with the wind on back means I'm less than happy i didn't push it to the top. Today Ingleborough had shades of Everest!.
My usual video camera lens iced up into wind almost instantly so the bits above are with my Samsung.
31/8/2013: Horton in R/Foxup/Plover/ Pen y ghent/Horton - With the August weather continuing to be non pg conducive I've begun my series of Autumn/Winter walks early. Perhaps because Pen y ghent is forbidden to us by the the 'landed gentry' brigade, I don't often get to walk it as often as Ingleborough and Whernside. I decided, as it was a nice looking day, although very windy; to take in the full ridge by heading from Horton over towards Foxup, then cutting up the north side of Plover Hill. A very enjoyable walk that was dry underfoot throughout with extensive views in all directions along the top ridge (which does go on a bit). Scouted a few approaches and take off's for future reference and may give it a covert fly this Autumn, the aim being to try both east and west faces.
29/9/2013: Sedbergh/Winder/Arant Haw/Red Gill Head. Great looking day spoiled by the strong winds. Easy walking on good dry paths throughout. Having flown a lot of this route the Friday before from Yarlside I thought I'd scout it from ground level. Met a few lone walkers and some large groups - with company I'd have left a car at Cautley to avoid returning via the same route.
2014: Been a bit lazy this year or flying too much. Done a few lone walks that I've not written up (hard enough keeping up my flight log) and I have a some planned for the Autumn. Must get back and do Fleetwith Pike again - brilliant ridge and a few other summits in the NW fells.
Catch-up notes on a couple of walks in mid - late September ....... whilst it was still dry and the weather was OK.
Long Sleddale: Originally set off for Whinfell flying but it wasn't on so I thought I'd do a nostagia walk up to Buckbarrow for some light scrambling. It was very quiet ..... hardly saw a soul. Didn't take long, afew hours but very pleasant.
Fleetwith Pike: I flew it a few years ago, not long after I'd been introduced to it and it stuck as a favourite. I think it's both the setting and the way it weaves back and forth up the steep spur. I feel like a Hobbit on it ..... if that makes any sense. Anyhow .... I kept meaning to go back and just re-aquaint myself with the ridge and Haystacks area. I was enjoying it immensely and meant to carry on this time to High Stile which I've not done but the weather turned a bit grim as I progressed so dropped back down into Buttermere (pub suck). I'll may go back and do it separately at some point. A lot of hills I haven't walked in the NW fells so some to go at in the area. Plenty of exploring via the air too.
Wasdale: Decided to go back and do the Mosedale Horseshoe (my version) via Kirkfell, Pillar and the steep scramble down from Dore Head. Last time I walked here was about 25 years ago so it was a nice quiet weekend to go back. I had a bit of an ulterior motive in trying to check the ground over from Ennerdale for a bit of a plan.
October now and getting colder and wetter, but despite an increased workload and less available time there may be odd good days to get out for a winter walk ...... or a fly down with the lightweight gear.
13/12/14: Swaledale and Mallerstang. Went over to see Alex, but was surprised at the amount of snow over the Buttertubs. Almost got REALLY stuck on minor road up to house - then it snowed again. Didn't think I'd make it out again. A lovely day - but it had clouded over and warmed up a bit. Went for a walk along most of Mallerstang then back in the dark.
My ankle is getting better, I think, but still feels a bit sore at the end of a day.
Semer Water 24/12/2014: Ian was of a mind to do a walk, despite the wind and showers! So ..... we went to Semer to find the lake overflowing onto the road and very limited parking at 20mm above lake level! A stiff 30 minutes pull saw us up onto the tops and we headed towards Wether Fell in the teeth of a biting gale until we met the Roman Road. With showers now more frequent as they passed down Wensledale we set off back, and on meeting the tarred road passed easily over the col with the wind now on our backs to the long, steep drop down to the lake.
Useful exercise, a test for my ankle and the bonus was the car hadn't yet floated away.
25/12/2014 Ingleborough summit walk: I could happily have lazed around and done nothing, but Alexa insisted and she's not to be argued with.
So it was that on Christmas Day, Matt, Ian, Alexa and I set off up Ingleborough in pleasant sunshine, a light wind and with orographic clinging persistently to the summit. We made good time and from the Hill Inn made the top in about 1hr and 10 minutes. After opening a shared bottle of beer in celebration (we forgot the mince pies and a candle ...... and of course oddly a photograph!) we set off back. This could have been straightforward, but my shortcut went along the summit ridge towards Park Fell in thick mist. I know it very well, but the others were a tad apprehensive, "Is this really short-cut dad?" Anyhow, we cut along and then down to the pavings and back to the car.
I usually save Ingleborough for New Years day .... it just came early. I'll do another one NYD instead.
14/2/2015 Skiddaw via Ullock Pike
Nice, but breezy day. I got a delayed start and only got started about 12.30pm. Ullock is one of my favourite ridges - can't say the same about the pull up the final scree to the summit. Got overtaken by a lycra clad female on the last section. Great views along the summit ridge as the wind tore in from the east. Descended via the graasy shoulder of Broad End and into Barkbethdale. Chanced on a friend for a chat and coffee. Enjoyable bit of winter exercise.
20/6/2015 The Yorkshire Three Peaks
Aside from all the walking I do within my flying, which is often arduous enough, I hadn't done any long, proper walks for some time - so this was a bit of a test of mind and body. The weather didn't help being mostly misty and with occasional rain - in fact most of Whernside was undertaken in rain. I latched onto daughter, Alexa and a group of her Leeds based friends; they had had it planned for some time for this date - until Thursday I had thought it was the 27th ....duh!!
Just a few notes
Horton to PyG - left Horton at 7:45am. A fairly straightforward, steady climb onto PyG, but of course when you're fresh it should be no problem if the rest is to go OK.
PyG to Ribblehead - to be honest long and fairly boring and little to see in the mist other than a few sheep and disinterested cows. Most interesting being the crossing of the Ribble and Ingham Lodge (grade 2 listed from 1687) .... amazing place and in need of serious renovation.
Ribblehead to Whernside - another very long section but a steady, gradual ascent without a lot to see. Had I gone off track via my own, more direct route it would have saved a lot of time. I won't be doing Whernside by that approach again. The descent is a bit of a pig being steep and coming down was always harder, slower and more tiring than going up. My trekking pole was invaluable for easing the knees and safe passage. The CRO team plus police, helicopter etc were out in strength to rescue an injured fell runner I found out later .... think he'd fallen running down the steep part.
Hill Inn to Ingleborough - I thought this would be tough! I know the approach intimately having done it many times. But this time I expected to be in a tired state. Actually, it was very straightforward - maybe I was going through a good patch but I reached the top with barely a stop and took the steep step in a single blast. Probably took only a little longer than a normal ascent - pleasantly surprised.
Ingleborough to Horton - I can't say I ever use this approach which was probably a blessing. God! But it seemed to go on - quite gradual, but slow on the legs and knees which were starting to feel it. Finally, the mist rose and some sun spread across the base of PyG - to also reveal the long gash of Sulber Nick. Another bit of a trek but at least the end was in sight - well over the edge of the final fields. Then back to the cafe starting point and very satisfied that whilst a bit stiff legged I'd had no dramas - the legs held up, ankles fine and I never felt near being out of breath.
Met up with the others later and had a few pints in the pub by the bridge.
Time: 10hrs 15 mins. Reasonable for an old(ish) guy!
The video below has nothing to do with me - I just like the images, the story and of course the music :)
Lex and I took the long drive around (via Wrynose and Hardknott) to Wasdale. A rather breezy day but fairly warm, although cloud swirled and lingered around the high tops all day. Lex hadn't ever climbed Scafell so I thought it would be good to do it with her. After the previous week this walk seemed like child's play, even the long steep pull up Lingmell and onto the Corridor route. Being a decent day and a weekend the summit was busy and unfortunately the cloud level denied us the views.
1/8/2015 Blencathra via Halls Fell ridge.
Lex and I did Blencathra via the magnificent Halls Fell ridge. This has to be one of the very best ridges in the Lakes - certainly better than Striding and Sharp Edge so hard to know why it gets overlooked. A lovey day, but over windy and rather gusty as we tackled the main exposed section of the ridge. Great views as we traversed the summit towards Blease Fell.
Lex's Birthday walk - despite having a cold and an indifferent forecast she insisted on going ahead, but in deference to her virus we took a shorter version than we had originally planned. This meant Swirls car park (or from 200m along the main road to avoid the £5 parking) straight up to Lower Man, skirting Brown Cove and on to the summit. The weather was stunning, better than forecast, with a lightish north wind, but plenty of sunshine and great views - all told it made for an excellent outing, dry underfoot and good to be out.
After a brief lunch on the top we set off back down, we had intended to carry on along to Dollywagon and drop back via Grizedale Tarn, but cut it shorter by coming down from Nethermost to Wythburn and back along the forestry trail. A signpost on the correct trail to take back through the woods would have been useful as we crossed and carried on down to the car park thinking it a logging road judging by all the machinery about. A short walk along the road allowed us to take an old forest trail before clambering up to rejoin the correct one.
The only downside to the day was having only £2.18 to our name (left my wallet behind) - no amount of looking under seats, mats or door pockets would raise it above £2.23 so we settled for a single, shared half pint (nectar) in the Travellers Rest.
A very enjoyable day.
25/12 2015 Christmas Day
Not a pleasant day for walking but Lex, Ian and I walked from the Hill Inn, back to Ingleton along the limstone pavings above Raven Scar. Wind and rain most of the latter half of the walk and torrents flowing down the main road. Impressive grints, grikes and cairns. An appetizer for lunch.
1/1/2016 New Years Day
Colder than most of December with a raw east wind.Lex and I (and lots of others) walked along the edge of Underbarrow Scar. There was still plenty of water visible in the Lyth valley - with the pumps switching off it's easy to see the sea reclaiming it. Returned via the Kendal side of the scar. Lovely views with snow on the highest fells.
Great Gable with Kirkfell beyond.
12/9/2017 Great Gable
I've not been keeping my walking diary up to date but this was a bit special as it was Alexa;s Birthday walk.
Excellent weather throughout which improved mid afternoon as the cloudbase lift and the sun managed to break through. I've added a short video link which shows more than I could write.
6/9/2017 Buckden Pike
Despite feeling under the weather and having had only half a cuppa and an unfinished slice of toast I opted to do Buckden Pike with Lex.
It's a bit of a featureless flog really with the Polish Memorial being the highlight. It was nice to see flowers still nestling around the foot and it being maintained in good condition. Rather than return we continued on down to Starbotton. It threatened rain throughout - but stayed dry thanfully; very windy along the top.
Glenridding and Ullswater on a beautiful October morning
9/10/2017 Helvellyn from Glenridding
Lex and I had a great day for a great walk. Perfect weather. Lex was feeling a bit jet lagged on the steep pull onto the main ridge, but soon pulled ahead as we hit the Striding Edge ridge. We didn't dwell long on the summit given the chill winds and descended via Swirral Edge taking in Catstye cam on the way down. A lovely 5 hr walk in excellent conditions with a pint in the Kirkstone Pass Inn on the way back.
1/9/2018 Scafell from Langdale
A long day and quite tough given the conditions. Lex (her Birthday), Daniel, Ces, Robin (his Birthday too) and I had long planned the walk for this particular day - this meant the weather had to cooperate - it didn't!
It was pleasant when we left the ODG, but the clouds soon touched the tops as we progressed towards Rossett Pike, then dropped to just envelope us and with the cloud came the drizzle and a fresh wind. From that point on we never saw more than 30 yds ahead and often less. We briefly departed off route to summit Rosset Pike and Allen Crags and later by accident the horrible boulder field of Broad Crag. Eventually after the final short, but stiff final pull we reached the misty (and crowded) summit of Scafell.
The plan had been to carry on to Esk Pike and Bowfell before descending the Band, but a mistaken path saw us heading towards the col shelter, so given the lousy visiblility we carried on and really just retraced our steps back via Angle tarn and down into Mickleden.
A final pint at the ODG (Loweswater Gold) made it worthwhile.