Burn Moor summit

Burn Moor summit cairn

Friday February 22nd saw temperatures round my home in Yorkshire that were ridiculously high for the time of year (20ºC or so). I had to wait until yesterday, Saturday 23rd, to get out on a walk however, and though the sun did continue to shine through the morning, a brisk wind kept the temperature well down, so visions of a fleece-less February walk were unfulfilled. Nevertheless, walk 159 was done in very decent weather for the time of year and this allowed me to rebag five lonely and hard-to-reach summits down in the south-west corner of the District, from the Whit Fell, Stainton Pike and Hesk Fell chapters of volume 8.

View from The Pike

View from the Pike. Caw and the Coniston fells behind the only other walkers seen today.

Worth doing, but a very long walk of some 17 miles, making it the fourth-longest of all the walks described on this blog. Read all about it, and see the usual crop of photos, on the walk 159 page.

As of today, then, I have bagged 190 of the 330 Wainwrights a second time,  so have 140 to go. The next walk should be in the first two weeks of March, while I am just about still a citizen of the EU.

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Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay, from Grange-over-Sands station this morning

I’m not saying walk 158, which took place yesterday (5th February), was a poor one, but on a grey February day, the low altitude fells around Gummer’s How at the south end of Windermere do not have a great deal of visual appeal. The best views all day were of Morecambe Bay pictured on arrival at Grange-over-Sands station, as you see here. It rained from 1pm until the end of the walk, and so I got a soaking as well. Still, on top of Gummer’s How itself, I rebagged three more Outlying fells — Staveley Fell, Cartmel Fell and Newton Fell (North) — and have now passed the halfway point of that volume, 59 done out of its 116 index entries. As usual, have a look at the walk 158 page if you want more details and photos. Not to mention detail on the heroic public transport fail that is bus/train connections at Grange station.

Gummer's How

Gummer’s How, from near Simpson Ground

As of today, then, I have bagged 185 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, thus have 145 to go. Still sticking to my target of two walks a month until August I hope there’ll be a next walk around the 21st February. Probably still in the Outyling fells, as I do need to catch up on these.

Brant Fell summit

The summit of Brant Fell, looking south, with Windermere below.

Walk 155 took place yesterday as I type, 20th December, and like all walks done around this time of the Solistice, was grey, damp and rather gloomy. Nevertheless it was good to get out as there was a time when I thought the previous walk, on 2nd November, might end up being the last one of the year. But yesterday I did bag four more summits: the three in the School Knott chapter of the Outlying Fells, and then Brant Fell above Bowness. Read all about it and see more photos on the walk 155 page. The walk mostly took place along the last few miles of the Dales Way, which runs from Yorkshire to Bowness, so another nice feature of it was that there was plenty of good signposting. No one’s going to get lost on this walk.

Dales Way signpost

Follow these: there are plenty of them. This was one of my best-signposted walks.

Almost certainly, that was my last walk of 2018. As of today, I have done 174 of the 330 Wainwrights a second time, meaning I have 156 to go. 2018 contained 15 walks (if the two-day walk 152 is counted as one), and 43 fells were bagged, starting with Latrigg in January and ending with Brant Fell today. This is down on my yearly average for both walks and fells, but never mind. With more time coming up in the new year I hope to pick up the pace a bit. Meanwhile: have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and if you’re out on the mountains, be sensible and stay safe.

Sands of Morecambe Bay

The sands of Morecambe Bay, as seen from Grange station

I have calculated that of all the walks done on this project thus far, today’s walk 153 was the one that reached the lowest altitude. Bigland Barrow, the first summit reached on the day, stands at only 630′ above sea level. And that was as high as it got.

Nevertheless this was a very good walk. In advance, I feared that it might be a bracken- or mud-choked agricultural trudge, but in fact it was an easy walk, all done on good paths and was accompanied by some fine views. So if you want a bit of healthy exercise on a fine autumn day, you could do a lot worse. Get all the necessary details plus more photos on the walk 153 page.

Bigland Barrow summit

The summit of Bigland Barrow, with observation post

As of today, then, I have bagged 168 of the Wainwrights on my second round, so have 162 to go.

I’d like to think there’ll be another walk before October is out — but then again it is the longest month of the year. (This is true, even if you do have to think about it…). As is always the case — let’s see how it goes.

Longlands Fell

Longlands Fell from the back (south)

Thought I wasn’t going to get in a walk on my Easter break but the weather relented enough on Friday, April 6th, to allow me to complete walk 144 in the Uldale Fells, north of Skiddaw. I bagged five peaks on my second round, the two on Caermote Hill, then Longlands Fell, Meal Fell and Great Cockup from the Northern Fells.

A decent day on the whole but what the pictures can’t show is the ferocious wind which blasted me for the whole way around and made this a rather harder walk than it might have been. Still, it was nice to get out…. as it always is… Read all about it and see more photos on the walk 144 page.

New lambs and Skiddaw

The new lambs are out enjoying themselves… Skiddaw in the background

As of today then I have bagged 144 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round. (Today was also the day when this number met my count of walks, how trivial is that.) I therefore have 186 to go. The walks have been coming at a fixed rate of one a month for some time, but hell, I might push the boat out and try to get one more in between now and the end of April.

 

Tree and clouds

View on the way back to Ulverston

As has been the case for some months, my free time has not been coinciding well with spells of decent weather, an indication that winter 2017-18 has been rather grim. Not harsh, just very damp and grey at home, and in the Lakes, quite a lot of snow.

I was breaking in a new pair of hiking boots today after the soles of my last ones finally parted company with the rest on High Rigg last month, so that, plus a weather forecast for the day that was rather ambiguous (particularly in the morning), added to my general lack of interest in battling with snow and ice and led me onto the low-altitude walk 142. This takes place right in the south of Cumbria, nibbling only the tiniest little scrap from the Lake District itself — this being the summit of Burney, the only one visited today.

Burney and Combs

Burney (on left) and Combs

It’s still a twelve-miler though, so not an insignificant hike even if much of it takes place through unexciting farmland. Good views of the Duddon estuary — but the sensitive will also have to cope with wind farms and the monstrous Kirkby slate quarries, which really have to be seen to be believed. But it makes a change from the usual landscapes.

As of today then I have bagged 135 of the 330 Wainwrights for a second time, so have 195 to go. I still don’t feel like I’ve made much progress over this poor winter, and only one walk in the last six has seen me above 2000 feet. But leave it with me — hopefully the weather will start to improve and I do intend to get out more often over the next few months. In the mean time, read about yesterday’s walk on the walk 142 page.

 

The last walk of 2017

December 22, 2017

Grizedale forest

Deep in the forest

Walk 140 will definitely be my last of 2017. The forecast was for cloud and drizzle, and that was bang on the money, so it was not a day to get out on the high fells. Instead, I walked from the west end of the cross-Windermere ferry, near Far Sawrey, over to Coniston, on the way taking in the summit of Carron Crag (the only Wainwright bagged today) and trees. A lot of trees, this being Grizedale Forest, one of the largest expanses of woodland in England. It’s a decent walk to do on a day like this, but no one is ever going to claim it’s a very exciting one. Still, see what you think from the detailed route description and pictures on the walk 140 page.

Twigs and droplets

What it was like today: a) wet b) trees

As of today — and as there’ll be no more walks until January, as of the end of 2017 — I have done 131 Wainwrights on my second round, thus have 199 to go. 2017 saw me do 18 walks with a total of 47 Wainwrights bagged: there were no really great set-pieces unlike in 2016, though it was nice to get up Great Gable in decent weather (and make it number 100 of the second round).

Anyway, whatever you are doing — have a merry Christmas. I hope to be walking again before 2018 is more than a few days old.

Walk 138 around Kentmere

November 6, 2017

High Knott summit, rain shower

High Knott summit, through a rain shower

I said at the end of the last blog post that I hoped to get out onto the fells again within a week, and duly managed this on Saturday, when another mostly sunny and mild day (with a few rain showers admittedly — as pictured here0 saw me bag three fells on walk 138: High Knott, Sour Howes and Sallows. The walk was a little longer than expected (12.5 miles) but it’s worth doing thanks to some fine views of Windermere. But you will be deflected by fences and walls at various points, as I discuss in the commentary.

As of today then I have bagged 126 of the 330 Wainwrights in my second round, thus have 204 to go. Next walk…. who knows? Depends on good weather coinciding with one of my few free days between now and Christmas…

Gate above Scarside

The gate onto the open fell above Scarside: Withnail & I location, number 1 (see the text).

It feels like quite a while since I did any proper walking, even including the guest appearance of Tromsdalstinden at the beginning of October. Six weeks since my last Wainwright walk and only that one done since mid-August. Time to get out…

Half-term holidays therefore saw me take Joe to the east side of the Lake District for walk 137, which bagged two Outlying Fells, namely Knipescar Common and Heughscar Hill. Both are gentle green rises and no one is going to consider this walk a ‘mountain climb’ but nevertheless this is a fine hike through beautiful countryside, and with extensive views, particularly the one of Ullswater from Heughscar Hill (pictured). Read all about it and see more photos on the walk 137 page.

Ullswater

The view of Ullswater from Heughscar Hill

The bonus of the walk, at least for fans of the movie Withnail and I, is that it visits two of the locations, the gate pictured above (in the movie, where the duo confront the bull), and the phone box outside Bampton from where Withnail calls his agent — now supplied with a visitors’ book so pilgrims can record their presence at this hallowed scene. Well, we both like the movie anyway. Next time I will get Joe up to Crow Crag (Sleddale Hall, in Wet Sleddale).

As of today then, I have bagged 123 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round so have 207 to go. As I type I hope my next walk is only 48 hours away as I do plan to go at the weekend, so fingers crossed for the weather.

Boat on Coniston Water

Boat on Coniston Water, looking to the head of the lake.

It’s that time of year when work and not-work have to kind of meld into each other, like one of those back-and-forth edits in Easy Rider. The sun came out, which it has done only infrequently in this rather dull summer, and Joe needed some fresh air so I tempted him out on walk 135, which bagged three of the Outlying Fells a second time: Yew Bank and Wool Knott from the Woodland Fell chapter, and Beacon Fell. Mostly a good walk, on a very fine day: but there is a crappy passage in the middle, which means I would reorganise the walk if I ever did it again. Still, with this being the second (and, I assure you, final) time I will be doing all the Wainwrights, I may never go back…

Yew Bank summit

Yew Bank summit, cairn, Joe and others.

But apart from that it was a pleasant walk in a very attractive and low-stress part of the world. And it contained a boat trip as well. Read all about it on the walk 135 and associated fell pages.

As of today, then, I have done 118 of the 330 Wainwrights in my second round, thus have 212 to go. Definitely no more until at least the first week in September, though. Hope you are enjoying your own summer, however it is panning out.