Sunday, 23 December 2012

Shaun the Sheep Birthday Cake

I made this cake for Evie's 5th birthday.

The basic cake was a 9 inch round cake, that was cut up and reassembled.  The sides went to make the head.

Now covering with buttercream.

Then decorated.  The body was piped buttercream icing to get some texture, the head was covered with black roll out icing, the offcuts were used to make the hands and ears.  The eyes were more piped white icing, with a very small amount coloured red for the tongue.  In the picture he looks zany.  In the cake he just looks a little crazy.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Driving, rain and hobbling

After my knee was hurting from the day before, now is the time to confess that it was actually injured from running already, and I already and proscription anti-inflammatory drugs, so I dosed myself up (I'm sure my liver wasn't that happy) and we set off for a shorter walk before driving back down south.  The weather report wasn't great, but how bad could it really be for a short walk?

Difficulty: 3
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
10:58, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (384)
12:22, 2.9km 1h23 324m, Cold Pike (701)
13:20, 4.6km 2h21 493m, Pike of Blisco (705)
14:57, 7.1km 3h59 507m, End (382)

We parked the car up Wrynose Pass, to be honest I had partly picked the walk since I know it was going to be a fun drive in the car up the pass...

The view looking back to the car, we started up heading for the Red Tarn.

I think this is called an 'optimistic' path on the map.  This basically means that we headed straight up the fell with no visible path, but picking our way through the grass and trying to avoid the worse of the rocky outcrops.  It could just have been our bad navigation, so let's not rule out having another go at this route.  At least we got to look down to Red Tarn and know we were going in the right direction,

Okay, let's not beat about the bush.  The weather now was really terrible.  Very occasionally the clouds parted for a few seconds allowing you to see more than just the bog underfoot, this is the view looking north.  However the rest of the time it was not great.  The only thing to be grateful for was that we were sheltered from the worse of the wind by the hill.

The view up to the top of Cold Pike.

The top of Cold Pike.  At this point we hit the wind, which combined with the rain and wet slippery rocks made this a wonderful place to be.

So we left pretty quickly.  We got back down to just above Red Tarn the the knee was feeling pretty good, so we headed up towards Pike O' Blisco.

This is kind of near the top.  At this point, things were as blurred as the photo - it was great to get to the top, but better since we could start going downhill.  Finding the right path was a little challenging, but we found a way that looked about right.

Turns out we were not quite right, so ended up having to get down from this cliff like rock formation.  I'm still quite amazed that Caroline got down safely, but it really was the better prospect than having to climb back up and find a better way down.  This is one of the reasons why I don't share the exact gps route - sometimes you really don't want to go the same way we did...

The only downside is that soon after this my knee gave out in quite a major way.  So for the last mile or two Caroline helped me down, as I leaned on her to take the weight off that leg.  I really did feel pretty useless and foolish for tried to accomplish the little that we did attempt on this walk.  Still, this photo marked a significant moment - we could see the car again...  It did occur to me that if we saw anyone trying to steal it then there was nothing we could have done to reach them in time, but thankfully (perhaps not surprisingly) no-one else was visible at all, and when we finally reached the car I was even able to drive with one dodgy leg all the way back to Birmingham.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Fairfield Horseshoe

This seemed the ideal walk - challenging, fairly close to where we were staying, and covering quite a few peaks.  The weather wasn't going to be great, but better than the continual rain from the day before.  We set off early to make sure we got a parking space on the up hill road next to Rydal Church - as it turned out there was plenty of space when we arrived.

Difficulty: 7
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
9:37, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (75)
10:27, 1.9km 0h50 394m, Nab Scar (450)
10:56, 3.1km 1h18 550m, Heron Pike (612)
11:58, 6.2km 2h20 670m, Stone Arthur (504)
12:32, 7.8km 2h55 930m, Great Rigg (766)
12:58, 9.2km 3h21 1071m, Fairfield (873)
13:50, 10.6km 4h13 1117m, Hart Crag (822)
14:15, 11.6km 4h37 1162m, Dove Crag (792)
14:46, 13.3km 5h08 1165m, High Pike (Scandale) (656)
15:29, 14.4km 5h52 1179m, Low Pike (508)
17:27, 19.4km 7h49 1218m, End (73)

The route from Rydal is fairly straight forward - upwards and onwards.

Early morning sun as we climbed out of Rydal, looking back towards Windermere.

The gate and the path leading up Nab Scar, this didn't require my finest navigation skills to work out the right way to go.

Beautiful views looking down towards Rydal Water, great reflections, scattered clouds and the grass really was that green.

Now at Nab Scar, looking back the way we had come.

Now at Heron Pike, and from here the horseshoe comes into view - all along the ridge in front to Fairfield, then turn right at the head of the valley and back along the other side.

Now with a proper view back to Windermere.  Quite impressive to see the cloudscape matching the mountainsides for awe.

However, since all was going really well, we put in a slight detour to go back down the hill to Stone Arthur.  You either get to it now, or it deserves a walk in its own right, so as we were almost there it seemed rude not to.  However, you end up losing a lot of height that you have to gain back straight away...

All the way back again to the main horseshoe walk, and up to Great Rigg.  Caroline still smiling!

However, the weather was looking more ominous, our path up to Fairfield rapidly vanishing into the clouds.  Still, at least route finding was still fairly obvious.

So this is the top of Fairfield.  Really not much to see apart from a fairly flat expanse of lots of rocks.  When visiting Fairfield again around four years later it was much better weather, but there still wasn't much to see, so we didn't really miss out.

Hart Crag, and still not much to see other than rocks.  At least this time they were slightly interestingly arranged.

Now to Dove Crag.  The view is arguably getting better, but really not much.

Finally coming back out of the clouds, down towards High Pike.  By this point I was feeling some pain in my knee, I later worked out that I was always using the same leg stepping down from rocks, however this was too late to matter much for this trip.  Since then I've become a little OCD at making sure I step downwards the same number of times on each leg...

Finally at High Pike, worth taking some pictures here.

Now at Low Pike, looking back towards High Pike and the clouds.  The 9th Wainwright of the day, even despite walking through clouds it really had been a great walk.

The final descent took a while, having to come quite south of the car before turning back and finding our way through the last couple of fields as it was getting dark.  Still, we were treated to some excellent views of the sunset.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

High Raise via a bog in the rain

This was definitely one of my planned walks where I had mapped out all the Wainwrights and split them up into walks that I felt were achievable.  Achievable it was, although I had some doubts as to my sanity when walking through miles in a bog - be careful what you wish for...

Difficulty: 6
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
10:19, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (68)
12:44, 6.3km 2h24 565m, Tarn Crag (Easedale) (550)
13:56, 9.2km 3h36 794m, High Raise (High White Stones) (762)
14:16, 10.2km 3h57 796m, Sergeant Man (736)
15:14, 12.7km 4h54 811m, Blea Rigg (541)
16:23, 16.1km 6h03 866m, Silver How (395)
17:11, 18.7km 6h51 872m, End (68)

The route was fairly straight forward - park in the main public car park in Grasmere, head up to Easedale, and continue going in that direction for quite a while...

So it was raining, and was forecast to rain most of the day.

This was looking up Easedale, towards the waterfall.  The path went right next to the waterfall in places.

Finally above Easedale and looking back down.  I was hoping to cut the corner off the path, so not going all the way to the tarn and back again, but it was far too wet to consider going cross country.

And finally to the first Wainwright of the day, Tarn Crag - here Caroline beating me to the top.

Me finding my way to the top, looking slightly bedraggled.  Oh well, only another 4 1/2 hours in the rain to go...

This is High Raise, finally. The walk to get here was pretty flat along a wet bog, in the rain.  I'm really grateful for waterproof boots.

And now to Sergeant Man, where we were treated to this awesome view across to the Langdales.

Finally we made our way to Blea Rigg.  I was so grateful to have gps confirming our path and our destinations at this point.  I'm happy that we would have made it down safely without, but it does make life easier.

And finally to Silver How, here looking back the way we had come.

Same point, looking forward towards Grasmere and Rydal Water.  It was starting to get a little gloomy by this point, so we were glad to descend and get inside in the dry for a change.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Sour Howes and Sallows

We picked a fairly short walk to do after driving up from Birmingham that morning.

Difficulty: 3
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
14:10, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (142)
15:21, 2.7km 1h11 347m, Sour Howes (483)
15:45, 4.3km 1h35 410m, Sallows (516)
16:54, 8.5km 2h44 422m, End (142)

The parking spot wasn't too far out of the route in from Windermere to the Drunken Duck, and the route fairly obvious to start with.

I love the view on your first walk of the trip when you start to climb up and get enough height to start seeing across the valleys.

The view back looking to Windermere.

Caroline at the top of Sour Howes.

Looking to the north, with the dimple in the middle being Troutbeck Tongue and Caudale Moor opposite and Thornthwaite Crag on the right.

 The view from Sallows, looking more towards the west, with Wansfell now in view.

Another shot from the top of Sallows, with Caroline taking more pictures.

The route back down, seeing a number of cyclists brave the stony path.