Friday 20 January 2017. I drove south today to meet Jacqui at Sizergh Castle before travelling on to start our walk at Arnside. I missed a turn on the drive between Sizergh and Arnside which meant I had to negotiate some narrow winding country roads. Not my favourite pastime.
When I last did this walk in April 2016 I started at the foot of Arnside Knott which meant that I had an uphill slog at the end of the walk. This time, we parked in Arnside on the banks of the River Kent estuary which meant that the 500ft climb to Arnside Knott came much earlier in our walk. Visibility wasn’t great to start with but improved throughout the day as I finally got to see the sun for the first time this week. Photographs from my first walk on this route can be seen here.
This is the only picture that I took today with the sunshine just breaking through as we looked out across Morecambe Bay.
Our route soon took us back down to sea level as we walked on a slightly elevated path which then dropped down to the beach to walk to New Barns. I slightly lost my way in Grubbins Wood and had to back-track to find the path for the last half mile or so back into town. The walk was 7.3 miles with 1,100ft of ascent.
Thursday 19 January 2017. This was Karen’s last walk with me for this week so I decided to be easy on her with what I thought would be a gentle walk. It is many years since I last did this route and whilst I could remember the steep climb up onto High Rigg and the steep descent at the northern end, I’d forgotten about the many undulations in between.
I parked at the LDNP car park at Legburthwaite and as the pay & display machine was out-of-order I saved myself the £7 parking fee. The initial 400ft climb up to Wren Crag was just as steep as I had remembered and a few stops were required along the way. I run an App called “Social Hiking” on my phone and this sends me an email every time I summit one of the peaks listed in their database. The incoming email ring tone on my phone was going at regular intervals today as messages were received on Wren Crag, High Rigg SE Top, High Rigg and High Rigg (Naddle Fell). It was only 2.5 miles across High Rigg but it felt a lot farther. We stopped for lunch in the church at the foot of the northern end of High Rigg.
I wanted to bag Low Rigg and Tewet Tarn as I hadn’t visited either of them before so we made an extra 2 mile loop to take in these landmarks. Back at the church, all that now remained was to walk a couple of miles around the side of High Rigg back to the car.
The walk was 7.25 miles with a total ascent of 1,700ft. For Karen’s benefit the walks over the last 4 days have totalled 27 miles and 7,000ft of ascent.
Wednesday 18 January 2017. Karen wanted a slightly easier walk today so we drove to nearby Braithwaite to do a short route up and over Barrow, returning via Stoneycroft Gill and the Newlands valley. This was an odd walk with most of the uphill (1,200ft) being in the first mile and a half which, at our now normal blistering pace of 1mph, took us 90 minutes to complete. It was a little chilly on the top of Barrow so we descended a little before stopping for our coffee break. I’ve added a picture of nearby Cat Bells which is just 12ft lower then Barrow but looks more “pointy”.
I was pleased that our route took us alongside Stoneycroft Gill as this enabled me to revisit the scene of a badly sprained ankle acquired many years ago whilst on a team-building exercise from work. This required us to partake in a Ghyll Scramble. For those who are unfamiliar with this hairbrained activity, you are required to lay down, fully clothed, in a freezing cold stream and then slide downstream over waterfalls and other obstacles until you reach the bottom. Unfortunately, hitting the bottom was exactly what I did resulting in the sprained ankle.
On of my photographic ambitions is to take a picture of a waterfall which has a “milky” appearance. This is achieved through a combination of camera manual settings, most important of which is the exposure time. The waterfalls in Stoneycroft Gill provided an ideal opportunity to try out my waterfall shot. 2 second and 1 second exposures were too long and 1/30th second too short. After a little trial and error, 1/15th second seemed about right. Judge for yourself from the pictures below.
The last part of the walk alongside Newlands Beck was a gentle stroll where we watched a farmer on a quad bike going from field to field to check his flocks of sheep. A little later on we met him at the farm in Little Braithwaite where he had brought in some of the more colourful members of his flock.
The walk was just 5.4 miles with a total ascent of 1,500ft.
Monday 16 January 2017. Before I get into telling you something about today’s walk, I must first say what a delight it was to bump into Yvonne Booth and Ann Bonington who were out training for the 10in10. I hadn’t really met either of them before but, as I took part in the 5in5 last June, they looked vaguely familiar. I follow them through Facebook and Twitter. I was pleased to help by taking an “action shot” of them before they sped off in the opposite direction. The work they do for MS can only be commended and I urge you to look at their website and make a donation, if you can.
Now, back to today’s walk. Karen has joined me for 4 days and I didn’t decide which walk to do until the very last-minute. It looked as if the low cloud might clear so I opted for a walk up the Glenderatera valley, almost as far as Skiddaw House youth hostel before turning to climb Burnt Horse Fell and then on to Lonscale Fell; a new Wainwright for me. The 1,000ft climb up Burnt Horse Fell was steady to start with but then changed dramatically as we dragged ourselves up a 1in3 slope and across a small residual snowfield. It was from here that we had a good view of a couple of walkers on Lonscale Crags but sadly, by the time that we got there, the mist had descended obscuring the view.
Our route back soon pick up the “tourist track” down from Skiddaw which brought us back to the car. I was glad that I’d driven out of Keswick and up to the small car park just below Latrigg as this cut off about 3 miles and about 600ft of ascent from our walk which turned out to be 6.5 miles with a total ascent of about 2,000ft.