Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Lake District of England

When I approached Grace asking her if she would like to organize another trip to the Lake District this time with me on board leading the B walks I was delighted when she agreed. Grace has a good knowledge of the area having organised trips previously.

I wasn't surprised by the amount of interest the trip received and we had 38 of us in total occupying 11 self catering houses in the Falls, the accommodation was placed along the stock ghyll river about 2minutes above the beautiful town of Ambleside a short stroll away (I think I will always remember penny's lane!)

Our first day in the area we decided to walk loughrigg fell just north of Ambleside overlooking Grasmere and Rydal water, this short walk provides excellent views to the east of the Fairfield area, west the Greater Langdale and away to the south lake Windermere. Unfortunately these views were hindered by the downpours that we received while ascending and the low cloud above 600m.

Monday saw the split in the group as we divided into our B and C walks for the week, I had 14 on my walk which was Coniston Old man to Dow Crag this was a very pleasent walk up the front of Coniston passing the quarry on the way and then over to Brim Fell then Dow Crag and Brown Pike (B: 806m 12.5km 6hrs)

Tuesday we climbed Englands highest mountain Scafell Pike (977m) leaving from Seathwaite heading to Styhead tarn and ascending Scafell Pike from the corridor route which was a very pleasent route up. from Scafell then onto III Crag and Great end returning to Seathwaite via Sprinkling tarn and Ruddy Gill. (B: 1057m 13km 6hrs)

Wednesday was the Fairfield horseshoe which we climbed in serious wind conditions and low cloud cover, leaving Ambleside we headed north through Rydal park and turned up Nab Scar, Heron Pike, Rydal Fell and Great Rigg in 50mph(80kph) gusts of winds! A warning to other people hoping to walk this route the summit of Fairfield will pull your compass off due to the magnetic properties found in the rocks here, we returned via Harts Crag and Hartsop above How. (B: 913m 16km 7hrs)

Due to the weather forecast for Thursday (strong gusts on higher ground impeding steady walking!) I decided to give the exposure from scrambling Striding Edge ridge up to Helvellyn a wide berth and opted instead for the shorter scramble up on Swirral Edge, from Helvellyn we walked south so as the north-easterly winds would be behind us and went on to climb Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike turning east at Red tarn and walking out through Grisedale back to Glenridding. (B: 947m 13km 6hrs)
Our last walk of the week was the Langdale pikes in the beautiful Greater Langdale with a short climb up from New Dungeon Ghyll to the impressive dome shaped summit of the Pike of Stickle with views across to Bowfell and the Crinkle crags, then across to Harrison stickle and Pavey Ark returning via Stickle tarn. (B: 713m 7.5km 4.5hrs)

Despite the winds, rain and low cloud cover I think the members of the club enjoyed the walks, the Lake District is an extremely beautiful area with each dale, fell, tarn and beck a pleasure to walk in, I sincerely hope that we return to this area of England to enjoy more walks in the coming future.