Thursday, 8 October 2015

And next day we went to the Lakes.............Oct 9th(Lake District)
  A tale of two forecasts. One said the Lake District would suffer high light cloud and be dry apart from a light afternoon shower. The other claimed a heavy cloudy day, possible rain. Regardless, six of us (Ray, Dave, Harry, John H, John C and I) set out in two cars for a walk in the Cumbrian Hills. With nothing prearranged we met at Rheged, shopping Mall and Viking exhibition centre near Penrith. Over tea/coffee we chose a variation of the ever popular Coldale Round from Braithwaite village near Keswick.
To get to Braithwaite from base, A69 West to Carlisle, almost, south down the M6, west along the A66 past Keswick and turn left into Braithwaite. There is a good camp site in the village, chalets, space for caravans and lots of room for tents. Beyond the village itself a right turn brings voyagers to an open area next to a hall occasionally used by the Orthodox Church. Parking is limited but free and is at NY229235. A map for the walk is very useful, OS OL 4 The English Lakes North West covers the whole of the walk.
                         Today's car park, limited.
   Booted we set off. Turning right at the bottom of the parking area we followed the road past the Coldale Inn and turned up a rough track that led to several houses before it turned into a grassy track that climbed steadily upwards in a south west direction.  Although cloudy it was warm enough to walk in T shirts only, apart from trousers and boots of course. The path became a stony track, then a footpath befrore, beyond Barrow Door, it joined  the track leading alongside Outerside and then climbing quite steeply on a narrow precipitous path to the top of Sail. (743 m, 2437 feet) 

                          Looking back at Derwentwater.
             From Sail the footpath along the Scar is narrow and rocky, high above  Coldale and needs a little care in poor conditions. Fortunately it was so misty I couldn't see what lay below, good job the gadgette wasn't there. At the end of the Scar another short steep section leads to the summit of Crag Hill, a plateau with a broken trig point. (834m  2736 feet) By now it was drizzling steadily and the view wasn't up to much so we pressed on downhill to a cross roads of footpaths and turned right. Once in a sheltered spot we pulled up rocks and called a Herbie Spot. It's a bit like communion really, gadgies making offerings to each other, or at least to those who join in. We shared Club biscuits, carrot cake and individual bramley apple pies. Sadly Mrs A is sunning herself in Crete, no cake from her then. Those who do not join in claim to be dieting. I offered them my diet for free. It has been successful and I have managed to lose 16 pounds over the last couple of months. It works like this: you eat and drink exactly the same stuff as before but in smaller quantities (Well not the drink). Be patient, try it.
Lunch over we continued to Coldale Hause, another meeting place for footpaths. Here the party split, unable to agree on a single route. Three, all under 66 years old  headed up   Hopegill Head, probably adding another half mile to the walk. The 70+ contingent headed straight up Grisedale Pike, a steep climb.
On the way up I spotted a dotterel. Quite rare  the only other I have seen was On Anoch Beag in Scotland.
                           Dotterel, bird of the blog.Member of the plover family, likes mountains.
So unusual the Scottish SPB likes to hear about them. The one in Scotland was named as Emmett's Dotterel.
                                            Grisedale Pike from Herbie Spot
                                and from a little closer The straight line is the remains of a boundary wall.
                                                    Local resident
As we approached the top of Grisedale it started to rain quite heavily so we pushed on without waiting for the other three. The descent from Grisedale is very steep and the footpath initially has a lot of loose stone. It can be very slippy, especially in the rain, and requires some care. And should you go the other way round it is a long steady ascent.
                                       Grey day above Derwentwater
                              Season of mists alright.
Eventually we reached the grassy slope beyond Sleet Howe, the path levelled and we walked through acres of bracken. The footpath, still slippy, emerges in a small car park off the road to Whinlatter. We turned right down the road, took the footpath through a wood and used the footbridge across Coldale beck to get back to the car park.

                                               Coldale Beck in Braithwaite.
Changed, and dried, we headed for the Royal Oak in Braithwaite. A popular pub for walkers with a large version of The New York Times headlined "Titanic Sinks" and a strange collection of foreign bank notes. It sells Jennings Beer, Bitter, Cumberland and Cock a Hoop. Not the world's greatest beers.
It was however a good day out in spite of the disappointing weather.

The Matrix MMXV     UU
                                                             steps                              miles
LIDL3D                                              28867                             8.86
Dave's LIDL3D                                  24733                             10.16
Dave's USB                                        23923                              9.81
OUTDOOR GPS                                                                        8.4
Etrex                                                                                            9.1

Contains OS data, Copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2015.