Saturday 14 April 2012

Blea Tarn and Squeeze Rock

For the final walk for this week we picked a fairly easy route, after hearing about the intriguing Squeeze Rock.

Difficulty: 2
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Isabelle (9), Grace (7), Evie (4)
0.0km 0m, Start (209)
1.4km 255m, Lingmoor Fell (469)
4.7km 287m, End (202)
(around 5 hours total time)

We parked in the car park near the edge of Blea Tarn, then walked along the road north until we reached where the path went up the hill, just south of a stream.  From here to Lingmoor Fell, to Side Pike and back around.  I don't have a gps track of this walk, so the exact path we followed or the distances given might be a bit off.

Up the path from the road, fairly overcast conditions for setting off.

Evie, very proud of finding a tree to climb and a vantage point, demanded to have several photos taken. 

Climbing up to Lingmoor fell, looking back down to Blea Tarn.

Now just after Lingmoor Fell, the route down towards Side Pike

And finally to Squeeze Rock, which was as narrow as advertised.   

With the weather clearing up and the sun coming out, there were pretty stunning views in all directions.

Time for a refreshment stop.  Isabelle showing the approved technique of refuelling Poppy.

At this point we headed down, and Caroline made the mistake of following Evie - our resident mountain goat finding the most interesting path to her.

A final chance for a little piece of family harmony, although I seem to remember an argument breaking out over whose tree it was, and who was allowed to sit on which branch.  

Friday 13 April 2012

Around Buttermere

After taking the older girls up high the day before, it was time for a more gentle day.  We drove over to Buttermere, parking in the National Trust car park at the north end of Buttermere village.

Difficulty: 3
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Isabelle (9), Grace (7), Evie (4)
11:56, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (133)
15:48, 9.5km 3h51 275m, End (178)

Lots of opportunity for combining sticks and water.

Poppy did get some walking done, although she didn't manage all of the way around - we're not quite that patient...

Thursday 12 April 2012

Grace conquers the Old Man

So two years earlier, when we stayed at Bank Ground (Holly Howe of Swallows and Amazon's fame), I had set off with Isabelle and Grace to walk up the Old Man of Coniston.  Grace was feeling under the weather, but was determined to try - however after an hour or so of walking it was clear that she wasn't able to complete the walk.  We had to return, take Grace back, and then I set off with just Isabelle and did manage to climb to the top.  So this time, Grace was determined...

Difficulty: 6
Walkers: Tim, Isabelle (9), Grace (7)
9:24, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (57)
12:00, 4.5km 2h36 738m, Coniston Old Man (803)
12:20, 5.4km 2h55 761m, Brim Fell (796)
13:28, 7.6km 4h03 887m, Swirl How (802)
14:53, 9.5km 5h28 1025m, Wetherlam (763)
16:54, 14.9km 7h29 1056m, End (56)

We parked at the large car park at the bottom of Coniston, then walked up through the town before taking the traditional route up the Old Man.  

Two brave explorers, keen to get started.

Taking a small break and (by the look of things) some extra calories.  Grace knew well that when Isabelle did the walk two years before I'd needed some strong encouragement to get all the way to the top.  She was very determined to complain less than Isabelle had done, and was frequently asking me to compare the two ascents...

Investigating some of the workings on the way to the top.

And made it to the tarn, still fairly sheltered and hot on the climb, 

And finally at the top!  At this point with Isabelle we'd already done a couple of extra hours, so we had taken the path down to Goat's Water.  However this time things were looking a lot better, so we set off from here to the north, along the ridge towards Brim Fell.  

Now at Brim Fell, we found our first snow!  Grace was delighted, and spent most of the rest of the walk searching out patches of snow to make snowballs.  The girls even invented a song, I seem to remember the words were mainly around snow...

I think Isabelle had realised my plan at this point, to do a circuit and pick up Swirl How and Wetherlam, since Caroline and I on our honeymoon had done a similar walk.  However she was happy to not let Grace to just yet what we'd got planned.

Grace, on the other hand, was showing off her split personality, occasionally manic (more often when walking on snow) and occasionally morose.

Still, there were more patches of snow to conquer.  On the path from Swirl How to Wetherlam there is a fairly obvious place where you can turn right and head back down the hills, or continue on and up to Wetherlam.  To their credit the girls, having come this far, consented to carry on and climb back up for a last peak.

Now at the top of Wetherlam, the last peak on a walk well done.

We decided to head down the valley path.  The valley itself was easy to fine, the path less so.  The bogs more so.  I have a feeling that it was on this stretch that Grace lost a shoe in a bog and ended up getting mud everywhere on her foot & sock.

Finally back down at Consiton, to admire the new lambs and find the car.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

Circumnavigation of Elter Water

Time for another low level walk, but quite long and beautiful.  I really like the circular nature of this one, there is a sense where you have to commit to the distance, rather than knowing you can just turn back at any time and retrace your steps.

Difficulty: 3
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Isabelle (9), Grace (7), Evie (4)
10:22, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (62)
17:17, 10.9km 6h55 280m, End (63)

We parked in the car park in Elterwater, right next to the River Braythay, and started walking along the path next to the river.  This gets to Skelwith Bridge, at which point we track west until Slater Bridge, before turning north and back towards Elterwater.

A great chance for Poppy to stretch her legs for a bit, and some great puddles to aim for.

It was spring, and the sheep & lambs were out in force, and frolicking merrily.  At one point, two of them got quite friendly, starting discussions of animal husbandry. 

View looking back towards the Langdales.

Further along the River Brathay there was a great chance for posed photos.

As in previous walks sticks, and the uses of, feature heavily.

This was on the southern leg of the journey, and Evie was struggling for motivation.  Despite telling her that she would walk quicker if she wasn't checking every gap in the stone wall to see if her stick would fit in, she persisted.

Slater Bridge, now we turn north.

At this point the kids were fairly happy to learn that we would be skirting around the bottom of this, rather than climbing to the top.

Still playing dogs, swapping owners and games.

Short piece of road walking, around Little Langdale.

Quite impressive quarry workings.