Above the Clouds

After a couple of weeks in which preparing for and holding my first art show proved to be pretty much all-consuming, I was keen to get out into the landscape again, and to do so before winter started to rear its ugly head. By which I mean not the winter of crisp days on snow-covered hills, but the winter of rain and gloom that is the more normal state of affairs. Memories of a successful late autumn trip to the Lakes a couple of years ago were in my mind as I looked at the forecast to identify a likely window. The forecast appeared to be predicting conditions of valley mist and warmer on the tops themselves, or in other words temperature inversions. This was an opportunity too good to miss. Continue reading “Above the Clouds”

The Gathering of the Clan

From far and wide they came – the south west, the south east, the bit in the middle, and one on foot from Langdale – the Social Hikers gathered near Keswick for our third crack at the 10-in-10 and 5-in-5 in aid of MS Society. Now less a gathering of people who know each other online but had never met face to face, increasingly these meets are bringing together established friends. Old banter and jokes are reworked and the fun continues where it left off last time. Continue reading “The Gathering of the Clan”

Beach Boys, Buttermere and A Bail-Out

Sunday Afternoon

…The bus departed for Penrith, and I turned round and headed in the opposite direction. With Cath now on her way home, here on in was a solo trip. The Western Fells were waiting. Continue reading “Beach Boys, Buttermere and A Bail-Out”

Favourite Fells – Castle Crag

When I first heard of Castle Crag my main thoughts were “what a poxy low fell” and “why is it included at the expense of much higher places?” Well, we all know that Wainwright created loads of anomalies when he compiled his 7 volumes, and after much pondering, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not worth dwelling on, as that way lies insanity.  Best to consider it a part of the charm of his list which is after all much more famous than any of the more objective hill lists that cover the Lakeland fells.

Even Wainwright states that Castle Crag is technically part of High Spy, but clearly he considered it separate enough to warrant treatment in its own right.  And Wainwright clearly didn’t consider Castle Crag to be a poxy little fell, as he broke his guideline of fells being above 1,000ft so as to include it.  It’s little certainly, but packs a lot in. Continue reading “Favourite Fells – Castle Crag”

Looking back over Causey Pike

Favourite Fells – Causey Pike

Causey Pike makes it into my top group of fells for one reason.  She looks good.  I know it’s shallow of me, but there you go.  My first sight of Causey was in April 2007, when I descended from Robinson into the Newlands Valley for two nights staying at Little Town, in the middle of a trip that hadn’t gone well.  From the farm, I looked across the valley at Causey Pike, almost in disbelief.   Continue reading “Favourite Fells – Causey Pike”

A Lakeland Round (2011): The Stats

Not everyone is interested in the stats, so let’s keep the analysis in a separate post. Continue reading “A Lakeland Round (2011): The Stats”

Causey Pike, Scar Crags, Sail, Eel Crag and Outerside

A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 3 – Wednesday 6 July

Keswick to Buttermere

Today was a day of comparisons with past trips, in particular my long Lakes trip during my sabbatical 4 years ago. Continue reading “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 3 – Wednesday 6 July”


A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 2 – Tuesday 5 July

Whinlatter Fells

There are few things more annoying than busting a gut to meet a deadline, successfully meeting it, and then finding the deadline moved earlier and no one told you. That’s what happened today. Continue reading “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 2 – Tuesday 5 July”

Catbells in mist and rain

Cumbria Way Day 5

A big dose of inertia, justified as “giving the weather a chance to calm down”, meant I didn’t leave the barn until 10.

I set off along the Cumbria Way across the fields towards Castle Crag, gradually rising up the fell, as the wind picked up. I didn’t linger there and carried on down towards Grange. Then I got my first mobile phone signal since Tuesday afternoon, a flood of emails and texts and a call from tongiht’s B&B. I perched in the lee of a rock and caught up with the outside world. Continue reading “Cumbria Way Day 5”

Review of 2008

After the 3 months I took off work last year, 2008 was never going to come close, but all in all I’ve not done too badly and I’ve managed to arrange things to optimise my use of annual leave. A quick trip up to the Lake District in April started things off. A wet and windy first day saw me walking over Catbells, Maiden Moor and High Spy with a detour to Castle Crag on the way down. The second day was better weather to start with and I headed up to Skiddaw via Ullock Pike, Long Side and Carl … Continue reading Review of 2008

Waterfall below Dalehead Tarn

A Lakeland Round 2007: Day 7 – Sunday 22 April

A taste of things to come

After two nights at the farm at Little Town, it was time to move on and the plan tonight was for a B&B in Keswick.  But the day dawned cloudy and grey and so the joy of yesterday wasn’t looking to be on the cards.  But it wasn’t until I was outside putting on my boots that I realised that it was drizzling too.

Now I can cope with rain kicking off while I’m out on the fells, but it’s another thing entirely to start the walk in the rain.   Continue reading “A Lakeland Round 2007: Day 7 – Sunday 22 April”

Looking back to Causey Pike

A Lakeland Round 2007: Day 6 – Saturday 21 April

The Grisedale Horseshoe

I awoke to lowish cloud over Causey Pike, which I can see from my bedroom window, and whose nobbles have intrigued me since I first saw them yesterday afternoon.

I had second thoughts about my planned walk as the last thing I wanted was to bail out part-way through, especially now that I seem to have found some form.  The alternative was a walk up to Dalehead Tarn then back along the ridge of High Spy, Maiden Moor and Catbells, but that would be much better tomorrow as my fully laden walk to get to Keswick.  So eventually I decided to stick to my original plan and do the horseshoe. Continue reading “A Lakeland Round 2007: Day 6 – Saturday 21 April”

Robinson and Hindscarth from Dale Head

A Lakeland Round 2007: Day 5 – Friday 20 April

Buttermere to Little Town

Today’s plan, formed in the pub last night and refined as I lay awake listening to the wind and rain, was to have the easiest possible walk over into the Newlands Valley, whilst still gaining some summits.  So it was quite obvious to pick Robinson and Hindscarth, but I made the job a bit easier by getting the bus up to the Honister Pass to reduce the ascent slightly.

But first I had to strike camp, and waited for a gap in the rain so I could get the tent down.   Continue reading “A Lakeland Round 2007: Day 5 – Friday 20 April”