Sunday, 14 January 2018

Kentmere and Garburn.....Skinny Mountain Bike!

A late start today so a minimum drive to get to some good trails found me at Staveley, only 20min drive so just the job. A rather dull overcast sort of day, so the plan when I set off was to stay low down. The bridleways and tracks were quiet today....excellent!
A few photos of the ride below, rather a lot of my bike....but its bright colour did brighten the day!

I rode up Hall Lane and past Park House, the track has been improved recently here partly as flood prevention I think.

I then dropped down by HP plantation, and climbed up into Kentmere Park. The low cloud mist had perhaps lifted a little.

As you can see!? on this photo, the top of Garburn looked to be clear of mist,,,,its a long climb from here to the top of the pass.....

....but of course the top arrives eventually, and the top was clear. No view though, downhill from here past Dubbs Reservoir to Moor Howe Road.

Back to Kentmere Park via High Borrans, then down into the Kentmere Valley and back along the road to the car in Staveley.
Sorry for out of focus pic...I was probably on my last legs at this point!!
A good ride, I'd made the best of the weather.
The strava route of the day is here should anyone wish to follow the route.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Don't Be Fattist.....Call Me Omniterra!

Back to Langdale today, but on the Fatbike.....say it quietly (don't want to hurt its feelings! :-)) not walking. It wasn't a day to be up high, misty barely describes it. I did a loop up Great Langdale and back down Little Langdale, with an out and back up Mickleden. Lots of gratuitous pictures of my bike I'm afraid


Leaving Elterwater and climbng up through the quarry (which seems to be having a resurgence, excellent!) Then the minor road to Baysbrown Farm to join the bridleway to Oak Howe.

Looking back from near Oak Howe the fields were covered with a layer of mist. Then it was bridleways to the head of Mickleden.

I turned round at the foot of the Stake Pass and road back to the ODG....surprising how downhill it feels. Always good.

Then up the Blea Tarn road and into the mist. Nothing to see here...except the handy bike stand!

I dropped down into Little Langdale, crossing the valley at Fellfoot Bridge and climbing up towards Atkinson Coppice. There was a lot of ice on this section, and on the drop down to the ford.

Through the bottom of Tilbirthwaite, followed by the climb over to Oxen Fell. The climbing continued on Arnside Intake and Iron Keld.
This photo is at the highpoint of this bridleway, it was downhill more or less to Skelwith Bridge.
The multi user track beside the River Brathey took me back to the car in Elterwater.
A great day, not many miles, but the fatbike always makes me smile :-)

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Great End, Esk Pike and Bowfell...from Great Langdale

The forecasters had promised a superb days weather for today, and they were right! I parked in Great Langdale, it was chilly in the shade. But I was soon in the sun as I set off up Mickleden, without a firm plan....as is often the case!! This post is a bit picture heavy, hopefully they give a taste of the day.

The walk up Mickleden never seems to get any shorter, there were quite a few other folk heading for the head of the valley

Rossett Gill on the other hand does seem to get easier...I think. I was back in the shade of course, but there were great views back towards the Pikes. 

Back in the sun on the col below Hanging Knotts, and I had decided on Great End as my first hill for the day. It is seen here peeping over the Allen Crags/Esk Hause col.

The snow was just right for good progress, no postholing! This is the view North from the Easterly cairn on Great End, Skiddaw in the distance didn't seem to have as much snow as the Southern Fells.

Meanwhile to the East it seemed rather more cloudy, so I'd come to the right area. I had the summit to myself for a few minutes, but folk started appearing from all directions.

So off I went to the Westerly cairn, and its splendid view of Great Gable et al.

I headed over Long Pike and dropped down Calf Cove back to Esk Hause. Then it was up Esk Pike, arriving here just before a group turned up. Bowfell looked close....

....and soon enough I was on the summit. This is the classic view of the Scafell range. Mickledore the obvious "nick" in the skyline. Once more I had the top to myself!

Great view to the East as well!

To the South Crinkle Crags, but time was getting on, and they'll keep for another day. So I headed down towards Three Tarns....

...pausing to have a look at Flat Crags, although there's no one in this photo there were still lots of pilgrims heading up to the summit.

I paused again above Three Tarns to look down Eskdale lit up by the lowering sun.

From three Tarns its an obvious path down The Band. I had to put Microspikes on for the first time. The path takes a lot of drainage, it had become a mini icefield.
Just a simple walk down to the valley floor, through Stool End and back to the car.
Great weather, a great day. The Strava route is here should anyone wish to see my route.



Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Greenburn Horseshoe....Grasmere

This walk is an old favourite, don't know why? It's not the longest, highest or has the best views. It is generally quiet...until you arrive at Helm Crag! Today with much of the circuit covered in fresh snow it was a cracking walk. Once more hopefully the photos do the day justice.

I only just managed to park beside the road near the Travellers Rest, taking the short cut across a barely frozen field towards Ghyll Foot and the bottom of the Southeast ridge of Steel Fell.

Its a grand walk up the ridge, pretty much direct to the top of the fell.
Across Dunmail Raise the Helvellyn range were looking splendid.

The other side of the ridge lies the quiet valley of Greenburn....it is rather wet mind!

This isn't quite the top of Steel Fel,l but IMHO it is the better viewpoint.
Helvellyn range beyond.

Rounding the head of Greenburn the ground is usually wet. Today it was in the main frozen, including almost all of this tarn. As far as I'm aware unnamed. 

The cairn on Calf Crag and the start of the return leg. Fairfield is seen to have a good covering of snow in the background.

Here the ridge is laid out before me, this image hides most of the up and downs involved mind!

Looking back along the ridge from Gibson Knott, not much snow from here onwards.
Still quite a few bumps and humps between here and Helm Crag.
Really clear views today though. 


The summit rocks of Helm Crag, here seen as "The Howitzer", sadly there was some ice on the climb to the top so I gave it a miss.
From here it was a quick jog down to Easedale and the road back to the car.

Just a few words about my footwear choice today. I wore these New Balance Goretex lined trail shoes with Inov8 mini gaitors and for some of the way Kahtoola Microspikes.
This combination worked well (as usual) my feet remaining dry throughout. The microspikes work at their best with trailshoes IMHO as more of the spikes grab due to the very flexible soles....less well on boots I find. Anyway thats my twopennyworth! 

Monday, 25 December 2017

Ingleborough....A Christmas Day Hill

For the first time in 60 years I found myself able to have a "proper" walk on Christmas Day. I chose Ingleborough, handy enough to home but high enough to be interesting. I parked above Cold Cotes and took my favourite way up....although it was incredibly wet today. I only took a few photos but they should give a feel for the day.

The path is very obvious and as it rounds Grey Scars the summit of Ingleborough comes into view for the first time. Whernside is also seen in the distance on the left of this image.

The sun made an appearance as I left Grey Scars behind. Here as I crossed the flat moorland the path was at its wettest!

Just me and my shadow out today!
The sky to the North looked stormy, as I gained height the wind strenghtened.

As I reached the summit Plateau the cloud lifted, so I had a view...nice Christmas present!
It was blowing a real hoolie tho' so the pics are a little blurred.
Not surprisingly I had the top to myself, I didn't linger that long and having taken in the view....

....I walked over to the Northern edge of the plateau to look at view over towards Whernside and the Ribblehead area. I returned to the car the same way, meeting a group of 5 or so walkers om Little Ingleborough.
It had only taken 2 hours up and down, (it had stayed dry against the forecast) and I enjoyed it immensely:-)

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Yoke, Ill Bell, Yoke, Sallows and Sour Howes

The cold spell continues, and after flirting with the idea of having a day on the Fat Bike I saw sense at the last moment and went for a walk. I parked near Troutbeck church and passed through Limefitt Park to take the bridleway up to the Garburn Road. Wonderful views today I hope the photographs do the day justice....

Looking across to Red Screes and the head of Troutbeck from the Garburn Road 

A little further up the Garburn Road, it occurred to me that almost 40 years to the day I fell off my trail bike here in the foreground in very similar weather conditions. I remember sitting against the wall discussing with my mate Tim whether I would be able to ride the bike home....I did and then spent 3 weeks with my leg in plaster!

Anyway onwards and upwards...I left the Garburn Road and headed up Yoke, the improved path makes it a much easier proposition than the bogfest of years ago.

Yoke summit with Ill Bell beyond

Looking down into Kentmere, cloud seemed to be hugging the other arm of the horseshoe

The Northern top of Ill Bell looking Northwest towards the Helvellyn hills.
It was absolutely "baltic" here the wind bringing the temperature right down. I had originally thought of continuing over Froswick and dropping down into the Troutbeck Valley, but decided I'd walk back along the ridge in the sun. 

This rocky knoll just below the Yoke gave a great viewpoint.

From there it was back to the Garburn Road and the short climb to Sallows...a rare treat toady with everything frozen solid.
Just look at that array of hills on the skyline :-))

Round the head of Kentmere Park, and over the numerous tops of Sour Howes to this the summit, with its view of Windermere.
From here it was back to the car via Backstone Barrow,more or less straight down!
A great winter day.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

A Few Tops Round Rossett Pike

A cracking morning today. Quite an early start for me found me parked up in Langdale for 10am. There was a bitter wind blowing, so I put all my gear on to set off, this made my sac light except I had ice axe and spikes....I wasn't convinced I'd need them but better safe than sorry. As is usual hereabouts a few pictures follow....

The head of Great Langdale from the ODG

Part way up Mickleden and my ascent route came into view, I was aiming for the grassy ridge in the centre of the image just beyond the gill containing Troughton Beck

Here high above Mickleden I am almost at the top of the zig-zag path which runs up the ridge.

Its along time since I've been here, Martcrag Moor (a Synge), there was a great view
L-R Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike

And from this exceptionally large boulder also on Martcrag Moor looking broadly East
The skyline L-R Shoulder of Bowfell, Esk Pike, Great End, Allen Crags, Great Gable, Glaramara

I then descended over wet ground (a few more degrees of frost would have been helpful!) to the top of Stake Pass. There is a large "Broad Arrow" on the boulder in the foreground...but is it a "proper" one? I don't think so....

The path seems to have been improved on the ridge of Rossett Pike, I was checking alternative routes on here for a future trip.

Pike O'Stickle beyond Buck Pike

Just enough snow to make things look better? Southwest from Rossett Pike.

Short winter days of course, so after a bit of thought on Rossett Pike I decided to nip over to pick off the Synge of Tongue Head. There had been a fair bit of freeze/thaw so I put the microspikes on for the jog back down to Angle Tarn. I took them off there tho and didn't need them again.

Down Rossett Gill and into the shade! Pike O'Stickle was still blessed with the afternoon sun tho. Just the long walk out back along Mickleden.
A grand day, sadly no Strava track...silly old fool forgot the GPS!!