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.
Despite it raining overnight and early morning 6 members travelled to the start.
We started the walk following the path along the road to Wimblington and branched off on the left towards Knowles transport depot where at the bottom a circular walk is sign posted. We then travelled beside fields on established footpaths heading towards the caravan park on the outskirts of Doddington.
From here we turned back towards Doddington by more signed route returning beside the football field near the hospital and then back to the start..
As the weather was chilly and damp we only stopped briefly for a drink and biscuit deciding to eat lunch at home .
No pictures were taken along the route as it was a miserable day but we did spot the squirrel in the car park and many wind turbines scattered along the way.
Saturday 31 December 2016. Hilary kindly agreed to lead an extra walk today around the Sandringham estate. This is becoming a regular end-of-year event and there is plenty of scope to vary the route. Much of this was in woodland with restricted views so I didn’t bother with any pictures.
9 of us took part in this 6.2 mile walk taking us from the visitor centre to the edge of Dersingham and back. The route is shown below.
Sunday 18 December 2016. 9 of us met for today’s gentle 6.6 mile walk from Holme next the Sea. We set off up beach road to cross the A149 and follow the Peddars Way to the outskirts of Ringstead where we stopped for coffee. Our route turned east and then south to re-cross the A149 and pick up the Norfolk Coastal Path to the at Holme Dunes Nature Reserve where we sat on some well placed logs whilst eating lunch. It was only a mile or so from here back to the cars to complete the walk.
I’d arranged a night walking exercise along the beach near Old Hunstanton to see what it would be like walking in the dark with headtorches. As the main walk finished at 1:45pm, it was too early for the night walk so Karen, Hilary and I went into Hunstanton to kill some time and enjoy a fish and chip lunch/tea. We were joined later by Amanda who had bought takeaway fish and chips to eat prior to starting our night walk at 4pm.
It wasn’t fully dark when we set off to walk just over a mile down the beach and back again. By our turning point at 4:30pm darkness had descended and we were able to see how effective, or not, our headtorches were. Karen had a Petzl, which, whilst being a reputable brand, didn’t provide a very bright light. Amanda’s torch was “unbranded?” but provided an adequate beam. I had my Alpkit Viper and a cheap Cree hand torch. The former provided 125 Lumens and the latter an amazing 300 Lumens for just £2.99.
I think the lesson to be learnt from the exercise is that if you are thinking about buying a torch then 125 Lumens is a must and the more the better.