Wednesday 31 May 2017

Scafell Pike

So we had the weather on our side, the daylight was long, and we were staying close enough to get a decent car parking space.  Time for Scafell Pike.

Difficulty: 8
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Grace (12), Evie (9), Poppy (6 1/2)
9:17, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (102)
13:59, 9.5km 4h41 1027m, Scafell Pike (978, Wainwright, Hewitt)
14:35, 10.1km 5h17 1071m, Broad Crag (934, Hewitt)
15:07, 10.9km 5h49 1107m, Ill Crag (935, Hewitt)
15:54, 12.2km 6h36 1166m, Great End (910, Wainwright, Hewitt)
16:42, 14.1km 7h24 1223m, Allen Crags (785, Wainwright, Hewitt)
17:51, 16.4km 8h33 1312m, Rossett Pike (651, Wainwright, Hewitt)
19:40, 22.0km 10h22 1329m, End (102)

We parked at the National Trust car park at Old Dungeon Ghyll, there were just a couple of spaces left at 9.15am when we go there.  You could tell there were lots of people heading the same way as us, but it wasn't actually too bad until the top.  We met a couple of groups several times, leapfrogging them on the water stops.  Exchanging more than a few words was great, one three-generation group taking their grandfather up to the top.

Up to Angle Tarn, with Esk Pike overlooking on the left.

After the hot climb up we decided to stop for lunch before getting to the summit, so got some peace and quiet before we hit the crowds...  There were several boulder fields to cross, which always slows things down.

Made it to the top, Poppy looking proud.  We got quite a few comments praising her for making it, although we never really had any doubts - she certainly is a star walker with years of practice. There were a load of people at the top - lots of people stopping to soak up the sunshine and recover.

Across to Ill Crag (having crossed more boulder fields via Broad Crag), with great views across to Scafell Pike.  We decided to try and catch a bunch of extra peaks on the way back, not surprisingly the crowds disappeared straight away on these diversions! 

Across to Great End, and met another couple at the summit who offered to take a rare family picture.

Along to Allen Crags.  We'd made sure we had plenty of water, unlike a couple of days earlier when we had run out in the sunshine.

Back to Esk Hause, looking down towards home.

We stopped for a while by Angle Tarn to finish off our last food supplies (maltloaf, appropriately for this blog).

And finally to Rossett Pike, for a last panorama of the growing shadows.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Langdales in the rain

So the forecast was some rain in the afternoon, but I was hoping that by the time we got to the group of peaks it would have cleared.  Best laid plans...  Still, it was another walk from the house, going up the path onto the fell side.

Difficulty: 6
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Grace (12), Evie (9), Poppy (6 1/2)
9:49, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (96)
11:23, 3.0km 1h34 474m, Blea Rigg (541, Wainwright)
12:23, 5.3km 2h33 660m, Sergeant Man (736, Wainwright)
12:42, 6.3km 2h53 705m, High Raise (High White Stones) (762, Wainwright, Hewitt)
13:37, 8.1km 3h48 750m, Thunacar Knott (723, Wainwright)
13:56, 8.6km 4h07 752m, Pavey Ark (700, Wainwright)
14:41, 9.7km 4h52 826m, Harrison Stickle (736, Hewitt, Wainwright)
15:31, 10.7km 5h42 879m, Pike of Stickle (709, Wainwright, Hewitt)
16:08, 11.5km 6h19 926m, Loft Crag (680, Wainwright)
18:42, 16.5km 8h53 991m, End (98)

So first up Blea Rigg, conquered the day before, but en-route to Sergeant Man.

The morning was nice, warm and sunny.

Now at the top of Sergeant Man, the last steep climb up on this walk.

And now all the way to High Raise.  A little wet underfoot, but much less soggy than when Caroline and I had walked up here before.  With the wind direction most of the walk up the gradual slope was in shelter, but once at the top there was a very strong wind.  We took cover in the walled shelter at the top and had lunch.

Now along to Thunacar Knott, and it was starting to rain.  

Across to Pavey Arc, and the rain was only getting worse, with only occasional glimpses down the valley.

 A fairly easy climb up to Harrison Stickle, and it was really raining hard.

Quite a hard walk down to the bottom of the bowl and up again to Pike of Stickle - at this point Evie was really not having fun, and Poppy was soaked through as well.  Evie had not wanted her waterproof trousers on when it started to rain, and Poppy's weren't actually that waterproof, so it wasn't too surprising.  A pity, since scrambling up Pike of Stickle was something I hoped both of them would have enjoyed.  Caroline at least was having fun.

Getting down was a team exercise.

Finally onto the final peak of the day, Loft Crag.  

The view across to Pike of Stickle.  The weather was improving a little by now.

By the time we were down it had brightened up quite a bit.  We took the opportunity to start to dry out...

And finally the walk back to the house was lovely - the Langdale valley bathed in beautiful low sunshine.

Monday 29 May 2017

Lingmoor Fell in Bank Holiday drizzle

With the forecasst for rain most or all of the day, we picked a shorter lower walk from the house.  It was typical bank holiday weather, constant drizzle with occasional bouts of harder rain...

Difficulty: 4
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Grace (12), Evie (9), Poppy (6 1/2)
10:21, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (93)
12:43, 6.3km 2h22 477m, Lingmoor Fell (469)
15:38, 12.9km 5h17 591m, End (98)

We set off from the house, with a short road section before heading across the valley.  Past a couple of great places for Pooh Sticks, and then along the path just below the trees.  Grace was navigating, and doing quite a good job - spotting an easier path up than the one I had mapped out.  Gaining some height we got to the older quarry workings, including a mine going into the side of the hillside.  We didn't dare to venture inside, but it wasn't gated off so probably would have been safe.

Further up the ridge we were definitely inside the clouds.  Still raining, but raincoats were still holding out well.

Finally at the top of Lingmoor Fell, with occasional view down to the Langdale valley, although the other side to Blea Tarn was completely covered.

And along the ridge, down towards Side Pike and to Squeeze Rock.  Thankfully no child carrier to fit through on this trip, and everyone fitted through - Evie and Poppy just fit facing the front, Gace, Caroline and I sideways.

We found a much more sensible path down than the previous trip, with Caroline leading the way.  Someway down we could finally see Blea Tarn.

And back along the side of the valley, before resuming our Pooh Sticks competition.

Sunday 28 May 2017

Tarn Crag: finding the path

First walk of the week staying at Pye Howe, right next to the path we had failed to find previously. Given the footpath was marked from the road, we took this opportunity to start from the house and to discover where the footpath went.  We were without Isabelle, since her DoE practice expedition was scheduled for this week, her help with Poppy up and down will be sorely be missed.

Difficulty: 6
Walkers: Tim, Caroline, Grace (12), Evie (9), Poppy (6 1/2)
9:44, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (97)
11:16, 3.0km 1h32 348m, Silver How (395)
14:46, 9.2km 5h02 803m, Tarn Crag (Easedale) (550)
16:14, 12.5km 6h30 947m, Blea Rigg (541)
17:45, 15.5km 8h01 986m, End (98)

Out of the house, and almost straight up the hillside.  With little difficulty we found the stile over the wall that we had missed 2 years before.  It was pretty hot work climbing up, despite the partial cloud cover and the occasional wind.  After getting to the ridge, we walked along to get to Silver How.  Here we were able to see lots of walks we'd done in years before.

Now the sun had come out more, so out came the sunscreen.  Evie decided to focus protecting her best bits.

We walked back along the ridge, starting climb up to Blea Rigg, but turning off to the left before reaching it, to walk down to Easedale Tarn for lunch.

It was the start of the bank holiday weekend and there were quite a few people, but still room to find our own rocks to sit on.  Most of the walk was fairly empty of people, as we'd deliberately picked less travelled paths.

After lunch we climbed up to Tarn Crag.  This was the hottest part of the walk - full sunlight, very little wind, and relentless climb up for a couple of hundred meters.  Evie especially was quite hard to motivate, we had to time the sugar rushes causes by the sweets we'd brought for best effect.  Still, we made it to the top of Tarn Crag.

We went back via Codale Tarn, a little less descent before climbing back up to Blea Rigg, but also a slight circular walk.  After passing the tarn, we then climbed back up to the ridge on the other side.

Back up to Blea Rigg, after missing it on the way out. 

We returned, not quite the same route back down, but close enough to find the stile back over the wall, I think give it another couple of goes and we'll find it with no problems!  This was the view looking up the Langdale valley, with the Crinkle Crags just visible at the end.