Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Ingleborough was visible from here today, and sunny intervals lit much of the farmland below us. The brief squalls had subsided by now (we did enjoy better weather than you, Alan, I think you must be attached to some sort of rain magnet!) and we enjoyed a leisurely descent down Ben End to the Cross Keys, with fine views back to Cautley Spout, and to a variety of summits in the Yorkshire Dales.
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Fortified by coffee and tea cakes from the excellent Cross Keys Temperance Inn, we headed up the Cautley Spout Staircase to Great Dummacks and Calders, where we joined the motorway from Sedbergh. That led quickly to The Calf, where we briefly shook hands with The Sky, which presented us with its own moist offering, as can be seen.
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Monday, 16 November 2009
Mike joined Andrew and me on a trip up The Calf back on 20th July. His new project – climbing the Yorkshire 2000 footers – required him to climb it again.
So Mike, Bruno and I duly assembled outside the Cross Keys Temperance Inn at 9.30 am today.
Sun was forecast.
I’ve tried to over-expose these shots to give the impression of sunshine, which I am assured by Sue bathed Timperley all day.
As you can see, the horses fancied Bruno, but he wasn’t sure…
Then it started to rain. I’ve managed to digitally wipe the water from the lens, though Mike may not have been so lucky as his camera had lost the will to ‘view’ (ie its LCD monitor had died, showing a constant image of a blobby cloud).
Lots of water was cascading down the Spout. A foursome who had set off with us, and gone ahead, were already returning to the valley.
The Pie Man needed a snack. He claimed it was a quiche, but it looked more like a pie to me. Bruno likes pies. He ate some.
Mike lost his compass, but luckily I had one, so we managed to locate The Calf’s 676 metre summit. This despite the distraction of Mike’s camera suffering heart failure. After a selection of “b*****d, I thought I’d recharged them” remarks from Mike as he fiddled with a selection of batteries, the camera finally zz’d back into its own version of pathetic death throey noises.
Q: “Do you think it will last until Christmas?” A: “No.”
Thanks go to a conveniently encountered man with a SRC1 walking pole, for composing the above masterpiece.
Meanwhile, the rain had relented, though in the cool, breezy conditions we were happy to keep waterproofs installed for the rest of our stroll.
Bruno dried out as well, though at the far point of our walk, by Bowerdale Beck, he developed a severe limp. “Oh s**t” said Mike, “I’m not carrying him back from here.”
Meanwhile, Mike seemed to become aware of his impending strangulation, which turned out to be the errant compass – in its efforts to remind Mike of its existence it was slowly tightening its grip by winding its way around his throat. It’s usually Bruno who does this – by running in circles with his lead gradually wrapping its way around the unsuspecting traveller.
Large lumps of jelly, with the consistency of wallpaper paste, lay beside the path. Mike knows about these things – apparently its source is a mystery (the puking birds theory seems a trifle unlikely!), but it does contain organic material. John Wyndham would have a field day…
We gave the limping Bruno a five minute break. He went to sleep. Then we embarked on the steep ascent of Yarlside, ready to abandon the dog if he couldn’t keep up. Luckily, he’d forgotten that he had a limp, and he proceeded to haul Mike up the hill, our second Marilyn of the day, (Mike’s an ardent ‘Bagger’).
The summit of Yarlside was free of clag, but in the dull weather the views were unremarkable. The descent was steep. “This would be good in snow” we agreed, surveying the smooth, steep hillside. It was wet and slippery. We sat down and raced each other to the bottom, enjoying the bum-warming qualities of the friction of overtrousers on wet moss.
Here’s our route – if the weather had been better we’d have included Hazelgill Knott as well – 13 km, 890 metres of ascent, taking just over 5 hours.
We spent a pleasant hour in Cross Keys Temperance Inn – surprisingly hospitable despite the lack of beer, with coffees, a tasty scone for me, and a glass of mysterious red liquid that seemed to bring Mike back to life.
Then we interrupted a photo shoot and went home.
Tuesday, 21 July 2009
But it was Monday, the traffic was sparse, and being in our dotage we could indulge ourselves whilst our erstwhile friends and colleagues were beavering away in their efforts to rekindle the UK economy.
Mike (The Pie Man), being (still without bus pass) the junior member of the party, had the energy to relate his tale of this day out more or less as soon as he got home. Here it is - an excellent report - I will try not to be too repetitive with this belated entry.
We reached a magnificent lunch spot, as related by Mike, by which time the rain had stopped and we could ease ourselves cosily into the lush grass for lunch and a snooze.
Superdawg didn't sleep much - he was much too interested in my sandwich (chicken tikka and peach - I shared it with him).
After last week's excesses on the botanical front, the specimens on view today were rather more sparse, but the fells were carpeted with Heath Bedstraw (pictured below). Tormentil, Melancholy Thistle, Lousewort and a selection of grasses and sedges added a bit of colour on the lower slopes.
The descent of Bram Rigg was an absolute delight, with clear views to the Lake District (High Street) beyond the impressive viaduct at Beck Foot.
The Magnums went down well, though.
I've uploaded a full set of 24 images here, for anyone who may be interested.
Mike's statistics were pretty accurate - I reckon our route was roughly as shown below - 17 km with 1000 metres ascent, taking us 7.5 hours including a good hour of breaks.
A fine day out. We shall have to meet up again. Perhaps on Eel Crag?
Mike has written a most entertaining series of articles on his walks in the Howgills over a period of a year. I commend you to dip into them - here.