Saturday, 6 April 2013

Latrigg for lunch

To finish the day we headed back towards Keswick, but stopped on our way out to the M6 to tackle the mighty slopes of Latrigg and find a nice view for our lunch.  Quite possibly the shortest walk up a Wainwright ever.  We could have made it more challenging by starting further away, but made up for it a little by walking the slightly longer way back.

Difficulty: 1
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Isabelle (10), Grace (8), Evie (5), Poppy (2 1/2)
12:43, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (295)
13:06, 0.7km 0h22 65m, Latrigg (367)
14:04, 2.0km 1h20 97m, End (295)

Evie not impressed that she had to walk at all before getting her lunch.

Poppy was unstoppable.

Outrageously good view given the pitiful walk to get here.

Final tally for the week was 15 peaks, 8 visible from lunch today. Current lifetime totals - myself and Caroline 48, Isabelle & Grace: 22, Evie: 17, Poppy: 2. Evie wins the age adjusted total with some superb climbing this week.

Poppy's first Wainwright

The weather was much nicer, but after the fun of the day before and given we were travelling back south later in the day we didn't want to plan another massive walk.  So we picked potentially a short walk that was near the house, the northern peak of Binsey.  Throughout the week we were motivating Evie by the thought of climbing more 'mountains' but today would belong to Poppy, climbing her first 'mountain' at the age of 2 years 8 months and 2 days.

Difficulty: 1
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Isabelle (10), Grace (8), Evie (5), Poppy (2 1/2)
10:24, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (267)
11:34, 1.2km 1h09 174m, Binsey (447)
12:12, 2.4km 1h47 174m, End (267)

There was a fairly obvious place to leave the car - only space for a few cars, but hardly the most popular climb.  We saw a few other brave souls.

We didn't really intend for Poppy to make it all the way herself, and had planned to put her in the carrier when she got tired.  However, she kept going, just about.

Her sisters really helped - mainly by playing the dog game, that had been going on all week.  Poppy was the dog, and would go and fetch her stick.  By throwing the stick a little up the hill, we slowly advanced upwards.

Stopping for quite a few rests on the way up.

And finally at the top!  Enjoying a well earned drink, with Grace looking down from on high.

Isabelle, with the view back towards the lakes.

Evie very pleased with herself.

Caroline and finally myself.  Poppy made it all the way down as well, although that was slightly easier going.

Friday, 5 April 2013

The bleak fells at the back of beyond

Given our position in the northern lakes, we were looking around for some Wainwrights to pick off that would be a sensible walking length and sensible drive to get to.  We picked these, but the weather wasn't particularly kind and there was very little shelter.

Difficulty: 3
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Isabelle (10), Grace (8), Evie (5)
11:01, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (234)
12:46, 1.6km 1h45 418m, Carrock Fell (663)
14:25, 5.2km 3h24 511m, High Pike (Caldbeck) (658)
16:36, 10.2km 5h35 513m, End (234)

We parked just off the road going north off the A66 past Mungrisdale and Mosedale.

It was cold, windy, icy, and starting to sleet.

Evie, borrowing my neck warmer - this was one of the days that prompted up to make sure that everyone has their own...

Looking back down the route, right on the edge of the lakes.

At the top of Carrock Fell.  Getting the kids to eat enough was a problem, but especially for Poppy who was getting pretty cold sitting in the carrier.  We just about got her to eat a banana and some chocolate, but that was about it.

The route over the fells towards High Pike.

And going back up again, slightly easier when there is some grass to walk on.

Isabelle at the top of High Pike.

Did I remember to say that it was cold?

Thankfully coming down meant the going got easier and not quite as cold, with even Poppy warming up enough to do some walking.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Castle Crag & the slight detour

One of the Guardian's top 10 walks was up Castle Crag, the lowest of the Wainwrights, a pimple at the bottom of the valley.  We took that walk and added a slight detour at the end, lost the actual path but just about made it back for tea.

Difficulty: 4
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Isabelle (10), Grace (8), Evie (5)
11:52, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (98)
14:59, 4.3km 3h06 255m, Castle Crag (298)
17:56, 9.3km 6h03 611m, Grange Fell (415)
19:22, 12.0km 7h29 640m, End (99)

We parked at the car park on the road that winds its way through Borrowdale Valley, and set off crossing the River Derwent and then heading south to Castle Crag.

Poppy even proved that her legs worked and was up to some close encounters of the woolly kind.

Castle Crag itself is largely a disused slate mine, so Evie was at least mildly interested in the scrambling up to the top.  She complained that it wasn't hard enough.  Looking back now, 4 years later, she really hasn't changed.

Caroline admiring the views from the top of Castle Crag.

Now back down to the valley floor, time for a quick photo stop for some lambs.. ..or of each other

Now at the top of Grange Fell, the target for our detour on the end of this recommended walk.

The way up was very straightforward, but I'm not so sure about our way down.  I recall at points being convinced that we should have been on the other side of that wall, and then later thinking I was wrong, but anyhow.

The path back down turned into one of those common 'is it a path, or is it a stream' type numbers, but with the added bonus that the stream had frozen, so it was quite slow going.  Kudos for Caroline who carried Poppy for a good stretch down here.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The day Evie didn't get to do Skiddaw

It dawned a lovely day, so I was keen to do quite an ambitious walk from the house.  I was thinking of going out with just Isabelle and Grace, but Caroline was adamant that we all should go along, and if Evie was struggling then she could always turn back with Caroline.  Of course, after we all set off it was all about Evie management - judging the right amount of knowledge about the future (motivation to climb mountains like her big sisters) and the the right amount of ignorance about the route (to the point of flat out denying that we were really heading up there).  We ended up getting back a bit late, but at least there wasn't a drive home and it really was a day well spent.

Difficulty: 5
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Isabelle (10), Grace (8), Evie (5)
10:59, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (157)
14:13, 4.9km 3h13 561m, Ullock Pike (690)
14:34, 5.4km 3h35 617m, Long Side (734)
15:03, 6.2km 4h03 669m, Carl Side (746)
18:54, 14.5km 7h54 910m, End (157)

We set off from the house, a short amount of road walking, then off road paths until we reached the start of the fell proper.  Well, until the map changed colour at least.

Stopping for lunch, there wasn't much shelter, but the views make up for that.

Looking north, back the way we had come - up the ridge snaking off to the right.

Evie at the top of Ullock Pike, this walk mainly involved Evie repeatedly breaking her record for her highest Wainwright.

Isabelle, with the route to come up the ridge towards Long Side.

I did all the uphill with Poppy that day, a great way to slow me down to the pace of my children...

Evie at Long Side.  You can see the path up to Skiddaw over Evie's shoulder towards the top left, we watched many people have real problems getting either up or down on their feet, so decided that this wasn't going to be the day to do Skiddaw.  Very much the right decision.

The walk across to Carl Side.

Grace really wasn't keen on yet more photos, so the Carl Side cairn stands unloved.

There really was a path this way, going down in the direction of Derwent Water.  It was one of those paths that you only know you are on by looking back up the hill.

Quite stunning views across to Bassenthwaite.

We decided that trying to do Dodd Skiddaw on the same walk would really be a step too far, so we took the more direct route back north west through the forest.  Even Poppy got to do some walking.

Still, lots of time for songs in a rare outbreak of harmony amongst our children.  It most frequently happens once all of them actually believe that we're finally on the home stretch.