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Monday, 18 April 2011

Five days in the Lakes-Days One and Two-Blencathra low level and Haystacks..

It's Monday the 11th of April and I'm accompanying a party of Wigtownshire Ramblers to the  Gordon Walker Chalet in the Lake District National Park.
My car is staying at home while I get a lift south from the Stationmaster.
We're delayed in getting out of Galloway by a road closure to Corsock.This  resulted in a frustrating detour around several country lanes.
We make good headway once we reach the motorway though,and after a light lunch in Keswick we pick up two other ramblers and head out to today's walk start.Or so I thought !.
We were in Skiddaw Car Park when we should have been in Blencathra Centre Car Park.
A slight error with a grid reference was the fault,but we eventually all got together to start our walk.No recriminations,we just don't do them.
It's a slightly overcast day,but there are occasional glimpses of sunshine.
A number of pictures in the following posts are from my fellow rambler Scoop.I thank her for their use.

To the south west at the start of the walk we've a view over to Derwent Water.

Today's walk is one from a book called Rainy Days Walks.It's about seven miles long.
It takes us up one side of Glenderaterra Beck on Blease Fell under Blencathra,and back along the other side under Longscale Fell and Skiddaw. I hope the above lady bottom left finds the picture.

Roughten Gill tumbles down from Blencathra.

We reach our outward point and cross the beck to Lonscale Fell.I take a short cut amongst the boulders looking for a mine entrance,but later after looking at the map I realise it's been a quarry rather than a mine.

Now along the other side the sun shines down on Roughen Gill.

We've seen a few buzzards around.I'm not sure what this wee fella was.(Update:- A fellow rambler and somewhat twitcher tells me this may well be a Wheatear)

The footpath we're on now is part of the long distance footpath the  Cumbria Way

Looking down to the beck below,traces of it's history can be seen in building ruins and the disused adit of a copper or lead mine.

Longscale Crags are next negotiated.

After the crags the path changes direction from going south to heading west.We're a happy bunch today.Aren't we always ?

Climbing up from Whit Beck, we reach what is known as the Hawell Monument.This is dedicated to three members of the Hawell family who were shepherds on these fells.

Now we reach the Skiddaw Car Park.We were here earlier remember !
We leave the Cumbria Way and head east.There's a lot more sunshine now.

From this side we can see the path we followed over on Lonscale.
We're on a downhill slope now.

Reaching Whit Beck at Brundholme we take a welcome coffee break.

It's definitely spring now.

The last stretch of today's walk is back uphill to Blencathra Centre car park.Here's my first picture of the predominant sheep breed around these parts.The Herdswick.

A further climb gets us to colourful Blencathra and a short break.

Lead,Copper and Baryte were mined here.

An easy question for us,but to many overseas visitors it may well be a toughie.

Scoop's looking for a smile here.It's the end of the walk.
That'll do the walking for the first day.Very enjoyable.

We head on to the chalet.Opposite the chalet sits The Newlands Activity Centre
A very popular place.

Chalet Views


Haystacks from Honister Pass.
We're a group of ten as we head off in two cars to Honister Pass via Grange.
It looks to be a nice warm day.
Reaching the centre,I realise it's not as warm as I originally thought.
Luckily for me I get a loan of gloves from a fellow walker.

Honister Slate Mine is England's last remaining working slate mine,and quite an experience to visit.
Lucky for us we have National Trust members in our party and get free parking.
Parking in the lakes can be a problem.

I get put on a pedestal.Ha ha.
Haystacks from Honister Pass is today's walk.
The favourite fell of A Wainwright.

We begin climbing westwards along the dismantled tramway.It's quite a steep climb so I and some others are pacing ourselves.

Across the other side of the pass can be seen the remnants of the rope and tramways that were in use during the areas most productive times.
A film showing slate production in 1926 can be seen on Honister Tv.
Here's the link. Honister TV

A look behind us shows how much height we're gaining.

Now comes a straight level section.
Remnants of the tramway are still scattered around.
Dubs Hut is a mountain bothy,and is apparently still used as an overnight stop by many a fell walker.
Any interested party check with the slate mine first.

We continue on crossing Warnscale Beck.After this there are a few steepish rocky sections requiring care and consideration.

We're soon getting views over Buttermere and Crummock Water.

Time for some group pictures.Hey! That's me at the back.

During our climbs this week we've seen quite a number of ravens.It's mating season,and the male does some fabulous tumbles trying to impress.Brilliant to watch.My attempt to video the aforementioned manoeuvres was a complete failure so I won't be posting it.

Continuing on at a steady pace we reach Innominate Tarn .This is the final resting place of A Wainwright.
Cabbie poses like he's about to ski down to Buttermere.

And now we reach Haystacks with it's several summits.

We take photographs on most of the tops.

Some of us are more intrepid as we take gingerly steps to dramatic looking outcrops.

Just below the summit we have lunch.There are a lot of walkers out today.
Most people are friendly,but there are still those out there who will give a 'how dare you talk to me' look.

After lunch the group splits up.Four are retracing their steps to the summit,while the rest of us will venture down the Buttermere path.

The first obstacle is getting over the summits to find the path.We get there though.

I get in the picture again.

It's  a zigzag descent.We encounter quite a few coming up this way.
We're amazed at the number of youngsters and dogs amongst those climbing up.

Our descent takes us via the Scarth Gap Pass.There's a lot of stone piles along the route.Apparently Wainwright makes a note of these.
Someone has lost their car keys.There is a phone number,but there's no signal.
The keys are handed in at the farm.Lets hope the owner retrieved them.

Scoop poses amongst the rocks for effect.It works !

It's a long way down,but we're soon seeing more greenery.
We're low enough now for me to take a panorama.

Buttermere Gatesgarth and Fleetwith Edge are prominent.

A full screen panorama can also be seen on Panogio here Buttermere

Finally on level ground we wait at Peggy's Bridge for our last two walkers.They're not far behind.

Now we reach Gatesgarth Farm where we'll await our transport back to Honister.

A bit of fun ensues over the pay and display sign.Nothing's coming off until the three pounds are paid !.

The Ice Cream picture above right also has a funny story.
Too much ice cream in the cornet prompted an offer to share.
After delving into my rucksack and producing a small tub of fruit and a spoon,the attempt to add a little ice cream had to be reversed when the whole contents of the cornet landed on the tub of fruit.After much hilarity and spooning,we managed to share the ice cream. I'm sure I got most of it though.

We didn't have to wait too long for our transport,and were soon back at Honister and a look round the shop.
Purchases were made.

On our way back to the chalet we've scheduled a stop at the The Bowder Stone between Rosthwaite and Grange.
It weighs approximately 2000 tonnes and is named after the norse god Balder.
There's a spot at the base, where with an outstretched arm you can shake hands with someone on the other side.Me and the Weaver got down and dirty.but we managed fingertips.

Lots of pictures get taken.

Back at the chalet after tea,Scoop organises a viewing of the days pictures on her laptop.
It's been a great and very enjoyable day

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