Saturday, 12 October 2013

Five Boys and a girl do the Coldale Round (almost)  October 11th

  Britons of a certain age will remember Frys "Five Boys" chocolate bars with their faces and captions which were, just in case you can't remember:
 They vanished from sweet shops years ago. Perhaps as well, ask for five boys today and you would be whisked off as a sex offender before you could put your sixpence on the counter.
 Last week Anonymous commented that there was a reference to a Blondie song in the blog. Unintentional, unlike the Don McClean quote but I shall try to embed (wonderful word) a line or two in this and future blogs but not Nina Simone.

Today we are heading back to the Lake District and there are six of us, Brian, Dave, John, Ben me and Brian's wife Margaret, a qualified gadgette who has asked permission to join us for the trip.
The walk starts at Braithwaite west of Keswick. From our north east base take the A69 west, M6 south, A66 west and just beyond Keswick turn left for Braithwaite. Past the camp site, ignore the road to Newlands and with a bit of luck you find a small parking area near the Coldale Inn- and it's free.
Of course we stopped in Keswick for breakfast but suffering slightly from the previous night's ale and curry feast I opted for a toasted tea cake.

                                              Inserted to invite sarcastic comment from daughter.
The whole of this walk is covered by OS Outdoor Leisure map 4 The English Lakes North West area and the car park is at NY 228235
The walk; warning, there are steep bits
 We crossed the footbridge by the car park and emerged on the road to Whinlatter. Walking uphill we soon reached the National Trust Car Park on the left hand side of the road, currently closed for some reason. In the north corner there is a footpath that is the start of the 2400 foot ascent to Grisedale Pike. Initially it has steps but as it turns back on itself it eases off very slightly and reverts to a simple steep footpath.
                                     The stile that leads to open land. Note the little door on
                                     the right that can be raised to allow dogs or small children
                                      through. Or sheep.
The steady but steep plod upwards gets some relief on the slightly more level stretches called the Kinn (1mile) and Sleet How (2) before the final rocky killer stretch towards the summit of Grisdale. It has been uphill from the car park, the best walks have a gentle opener on the flat.
In one of his many books on the Lakes the great Wainwright comments that on one occasion as he reached the top of Grisdale he saw a flock of swifts feasting on a cloud of flying ants. Not today, all swifts have returned to Africa.
Nothing special on the summit but we stopped for a breather and photograph.

                                           Group photograph on the top of Grisdale what's it called? 
                                           Don't tell him Pike! (By permission of Brian)
                                           This one's for you Cathy of a village near Goole. Sorry I
                                          said you were from Grimsby, but be thankful Rowntrees
                                          didn't open their factory in Goole.
You can see from the picture that someone is blocked out by John playing an imaginary clarinet. You can also see that the cloud was low but there is no indication of the strength of the wind which at times did make walking difficult. From the top of the pike we followed the path south west and then west along Hobcarton Crag (3) to Hopegill Head where we called a Herbie Spot.                
In addition to sandwiches we had Ben's Ginger biscuits, Dave's flapjacks from Morrisons and Peanut butter flavoured fudge from Thanks Kate, it was voted a great success, any more flavours will be willingly tested.
Lunch over we headed almost due south down Sand Hill, (4) which is steep and a bit of a scree slope, take care. Continuing south at the junction which is Coldale Hause    we then turned south west climbing steadily to the next junction as we were blowing in the wind and turned left to climb (5) the cairned route to the top of Crag Hill which has a sort of rustic trig point
                                              More picturesque than your standard trig point 
From Crag Hill we followed the path east and downhill on the Scar. We paused briefly to remember a friend and colleague who had collapsed and died here some 23 years ago on one of our walks out.
At the next junction (6) we stopped to make a decision: should we go straight onwards to Causey Pike and complete the whole round or  take the footpath north east which led more directly back to Braithwaite. We agreed that we were tired of being battered by the wind and headed off  downhill across High Moss and Outerside (7) to Stile End  and the grassy path (8) back to the car park.

                                                One of the locals.

                                                Grisedale Pike doesn't look too steep here.
                                                    But it is, believe me.

                                                 Keswick from Crag Hill.
We headed for The Sally in Threlkeld for a drink after the walk. The pub had Wainwrights, Cumberland Ale and two others on offer. Five barrels
The Matrix XXV

                                                          steps                                miles

Hi gear                                              22485                             10.6
Dave's 3D                                         20764                               9.65
USB                                                  20808                              10.07
OUTDOORGPS                                                                         8.9

            Contains OS data, Copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2013

Too windy for birds but we did see a couple of ravens. And a apair of boots
                                                           The hanging tree,these boots were made
                                                                     for walking.
                                           Bring back the pies.