Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Ghyll Head 2014. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ghyll Head 2014. Show all posts

Friday, 12 December 2014

Thursday 11 December 2014 – Ten Lakeland Summits from Tilberthwaite

1105sunshine

Firstly, an addendum to yesterday by way of a ‘post blog’ portrait of the inestimable John P, who after jarring his knee on Tuesday had spent the day purchasing bling that apparently served as a pinny for his baking exploits.

The dessert was delicious.

1040JP1

Our group was now down to six for this short bimble from Tilberthwaite, which proved a suitable venue for celebrating Kath's fiftieth birthday.

We set off in bright sunshine on the cool day, but as we gently ascended the old miners' track the sunshine moved across to appear like a searchlight on Lingmoor Fell (top picture).

After passing some mine buildings an 'off-piste' route was followed. The Langdale Pikes showed signs of recent snowfall. We enjoyed views in that direction whilst taking a roundabout route to Summit Number 1 - Great Intake on Low Fell (405 metres).

1106greatintake1

There were great views across the southern Lakes.

Soon we headed off and nearly climbed Birk Fell by mistake. After realising our error (four of us were equipped with GPS units!) we battled the wind up to Summit Number 2 - High Fell (428 metres). The snowy heights of Wetherlam towered above us as we looked down towards Coniston whilst trying to avoid being blown away.

1110highfell1

A small tarn led to Summit Number 3 - Hawk Rigg, at 441 metres the highest point of this entire trip, but very windy.

1113toHawkRigg

A little further on was Summit Number 4 - Haystacks (421 metres), featuring Roger trying not to get blown away, and snow clad Wetherlam behind us.

1115haystacks2

Summit Number 5 was Blake Rigg (423 metres) – there was quite a breeze up there. Five down, five to go.

1119blakerigg3

After some unnecessary faffing by four of the party (Tilberthwaite Gill being the easy obstacle that they were reluctant to step across) Roger, Viv, Peter and Barbara deigned to join Kath and me for lunch in a sheltered spot in Yewdale Moss.

1121lunch

Excellent miner's paths past some wonderful wild camping pitches led to Hole Rake, and much evidence of mining. We'd skirted around the upland plateau of Yewdale Moss. Eventually we gained Summit Number 6 - Kitty Crag (435 metres). There was a good view down to Coniston Water.

1127kittycrag2

Ghyll Head was just about visible from Kitty Crag, across a distant Windermere.

Here we are at the next top - Summit Number 7 - Long Crag on Yewdale Fells (421 metres). There's a dished shield of rock on the top of Long Crag on which Roger and Barbara enjoyed a snooze.

1131LongCrag2

A little further on we reached Summit Number 8 - High Wythow (410 metres). It was going well. Everyone seemed happy despite the unnaturally short (for the LDWA) length of the walk.

1133HighWythow2

It was largely downhill to Summit Number 9 - Low Wythow (372 metres). The wind was a bit kinder here.

1137LowWythow4

There was no cairn on Summit Number 10 - Brackeny Crag (370 metres), but Barbara did her best to impersonate one before the rest of the team arrived to celebrate with afternoon tea. Yes, that's ten (10) summits we managed to climb on this windy day.

1141Brackeny4

The weather held as we descended back to Tilberthwaite, pausing only to pick ourselves up when blown over by the occasional severe gusts of wind, before adjourning to Chesters for coffee and cake by way of ‘Kathy’s Birthday Treat’.

1142descent

Here's our route - 11 km with 500 metres ascent, in 4.5 hours.

1192route

Back at Ghyll Head, there were mammoth celebrations.

1143Kath50

There’s a 96 image slideshow here, and this link takes you to all three years’ reports on my visits to Ghyll Head.

A slideshow for our 2013 visit is here, and 2012’s is here.

Finally, thanks to Reg for organising this trip, to all the wonderful chefs, and to the various ‘Quizmasters’. A most enjoyable few days.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Wednesday 10 December 2014 – Gummer’s How from Ghyll Head

1023lunch1

We enjoyed a lie in today, before leaving Ghyll Head after 10 am on a low level circuit involving Gummer’s How. This was as a result of an atrocious weather forecast, but apart from a bit of wind fuelled hail above 300 metres on Gummer’s How, conditions were relatively benign for the nine of us on this walk. Others were lazier.

Here we are, early in the day at Winster House. Nearby, a pheasant shoot was in progress. Apparently John P, on a separate walk, was offered a ‘snifter’ and a job as a beater. They obviously recognised his thirst for alcohol but didn’t notice his crippled knee.

1004group

The River Winster was slightly inflated after yesterday’s rain, which had continued overnight. We managed to cross without incident, but the ford may have proved tricky for the average Renault Laguna.

1013river4

Elevenses with brownies in a field were soon surpassed by mulled wine and coffee in the Mason’s Arms. The coffee was much delayed by a mechanical failure, as a result of which we managed to avoid leaving the pub until after a sharp squall had passed over.

1017masons1

Lunch was taken in an initially sheltered suntrap in Raven’s Barrow (pictured, top), then, after recovering various items that had been snatched by the sudden arrival of a heavenly huff, we made our way up to the summit of Gummer’s How. Roger and Peter managed to join me in getting directly to the summit. Others arrived by a circuitous route. Some were just happy not to be blown away in the squall that arrived just as we approached the top.

1027gummersummit

Views towards Windermere could at least be admired.

1032gummerview5

After the Mason’s Arms we had dropped off my map, so I have Kathy and Barbara to thank for pointing us all in the right direction after that, thanks to some routes being downloaded to their GPSs last night. Well done all concerned. We found the correct path through Blake Holme woods and along good paths, with a pause for afternoon tea and the last few brownies, to reach the road to Ghyll Head and get back in time for a cuppa at 4 pm.

1039woods2

Here’s our route, more or less made up as we went along – 19 km, with 700 metres ascent, taking a little less than 6 hours. Another excellent day out.

14121099route

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Tuesday 9 December 2014 – Claife Heights

14120901group

A rather damp day out with the Plodders, from Ghyll Head, where we are staying for a few days. Reg the chicken wisely chose an easy stroll, whilst the twelve of us pictured above embarked on a mini adventure.

It was dry for the walk to the Bowness ferry, but once we got to the west bank the rain started and waterproofs were needed all day.

The anticipation of crossing the lake in typhoon conditions had caused great concern, but thankfully the weather was not as bad as predicted and we crossed safely, albeit in a frenzy of excitement exhibited by those not accustomed to this form of transport. The ferryman did warn us that we might not get back, due to high winds. This caused some of the more anxious members of the party (Roger, Hilary, Peter – most of us actually) some worry for the rest of the day.

14120902ferry

A half dead wood pigeon resisted Viv’s attempts to feed it.

After a while, and after some clamour for elevenses, our leader conceded to a brief halt.

14120924elevenses

“Lunch will be later” claimed our 78 year old guide. Sadly, his memory seems to be fading, as lunch had still not been taken by the time many of us got back to Ghyll Head at 4 pm!

Some rather slithery sections were encountered as we wound our way through mist laden countryside.

14120926lake2

Moss Eccles Tarn’s dam proved a bit of a slippery challenge for Peter Haslam, who despite his commando training encountered much difficulty. “My soles are smooth” he claimed. (Not verified.)

Here he is, faffing over a simple stream crossing.

14120927lake3

However, Peter soon recovered, and he and I were the only ones out of the twelve of us to venture to the easy summit of High Blind How.

14120928petersummit

The forest walk in early afternoon seemed more like a night hike – the light has been brightened considerably in the following image, taken in heavy rain.

14120931woods3

Eventually a few of us did manage to get a view across to Bowness, but the town was only just visible through the gloom. The predicted view of Helvellyn remained in the imagination.

14120934view2

Mulled wine in the Cuckoo Brow Inn was enjoyed by most of the party – Kathy in particular enjoyed her half pint laced with dregs. Some of us surreptitiously ate our lunches outside, whilst the executive committee indoors raised their glasses to us. Then the rain got torrential, so we went in.

Some ‘slippage’ occurred, John P’s knee falling victim to the slippery rocks, so he and Neil walked back along the road, dutifully chaperoned by Hilary.

Here’s our route – 23 km, with 600 metres ascent, taking 6.75 hours. Thanks go to John B for leading the ‘west bank’ section of the walk, and to Peter H for guiding us to the ferry from Ghyll Head – and back, as nobody could remember the way.

14120999route

And tomorrow’s forecast is worse!

Finally, thanks go to Kathy and John P, who helped me to compose this entry.

countercounter