Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cold Pike and Crinkle Crags (2816 ft / 859m)

After the introductory walk from the previous post (Loughrigg Fell), I was ready to do something a bit more serious with the above image showing some of this walk's targets from near the start. The undulating Crinkle Crags at the centre with Great Knott protruding from the horizon on the left. The ascent was diagonally to the far left with the descent route down the green rounded ridge of "The Band" in the right hand side of the photo.

Even though this clockwise walk at the head of Langdale valley was based on a one I did back in July 1996 when I climbed all of the Wainwright Mountains and Hills in a 10 year period, the motivation for this walk was to cover the unconquered lesser known tops of Great Knott and some of the sub summits of Cold Pike.

On leaving the Old Dungeon Ghyll car park, it is always a joy to take in the sights  ......

.... and sounds of the Langdale valley. The unconventional view of The Langdale Pikes is always prominent in the background.

A working farm ... Stool End

... and some bits that don't work !!

It was time to leave civilisation behind and head for the mountains. The route up was right to left in front of the dark crag heading for the horizon at the left hand side of the photo. First objective was the top of Great Knott on the left of the photo.

The view from there looking back to where the last photo was taken and The Langdale valley. The Helvellyn and Fairfield mountain ranges are on the horizon towards the left and centre respectively.

Crinkle Crags from Great Knott
Crinkle crags is made up of five individual rocky crinkles that become a mountain range on their own that stretch between Cold Pike and Bowfell. Wainwright describes them as ".... too good to be missed. For the mountaineer who prefers his mountains rough, who likes to see steep craggy slopes towering before him into the sky, who enjoys an up and down ridge walk full of interesting nooks and corners, who has an appreciative eye for  magnificent views, this is a climb deserving of high priority. .... Crinkle Crags merits respect and should be treated with respect. "

Firstly though, I had an appointment to keep with Cold Pike and I endeavoured to keep my boots dry in this a generally pathless terrain from the main footpath.

Having failed at that task with my right boot anyway ( I need a new pair !), I had some of the locals either looking or smiling at my misfortune !

I met a family had struggled to the top of Wrynose pass with their car and climbed the shorter route to the top. Apart from the father, most of the family didn't want to walk any further which included their dog. Mind you at this point in the day, Crinkle Crags in the distance doesn't look too appealing !

The weather was kind to me as I reached the main summit although the cloud to the left was never very far away. There are two routes from the south side, one is the walkers route that you can see skirting around and up to the summit on the extreme left and the other is a classic scrambling and aspirational rock climbers route called ... The Bad Step.

Not so classic ascent !!

After a lunch break and traversing the rest of the Crinkles, I had 15 minutes to take in one of my favourite mountain locations at Three Tarns with Scafell Pike and Scafell providing the eerie backdrop. As the weather didn't look promising at this point, I retreated from the mountain tops down The Band to the gentleness and calm of Langdale...

Farmer's rest at Stool End
"Peace in the valley"
"The Band"

After the long and seemingly unending walk, The pub of Old Dungeon Ghyll was a welcome sight beside the car park where I could relax for a bit, but I would have much preferred to take it a step further !!! .....

(Have a great weekend, I'm away for five to six days, I'll start catching up with your blogs at the end of next week)

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Loughrigg Fell 1099ft/335m

Loughrigg Fell is one of the smaller Fells in the Lake District which A.W. Wainwright once quoted as being the fell that had a wealth of interests and delights, for many people who now find pleasure in walking over the greater mountains, it served as an introduction and inspiration.

(The above view from the summit looking west is of the Langdale Pikes to the right with Bowfell and Crinkle Crags moving around the horizon to the left.)

This is usually thought of as an opening walk for an Ambleside based hillwalking holiday, which I was on, although it is still considered as a pleasant enough hill climb for those unaccustomed to the higher Fells.

See if you can spot the head. It's not meant to be but me being me ... I found one !!

The walk began from Ambleside commenced in Rothay Park and although I had done this walk some time before, there was one noticeable new feature in the shape of the Sculpture named "Turning point". This was unveiled in July 2000 and contains a newly buried time capsule.

On the far side of the park, there was a short climb on a tree lined lane and on reaching the open countryside, the Fell was noted on the right.

Even though the route to the summit seemed unending, the walk was not difficult with a variety of scenery on way including views to the south of distant Windermere.

It took 90 minutes to reach the summit from my B&B in Ambleside and it was a place where everyone enjoyed the view !!


The view to the south of Windermere & the title shot looking west to Langdale valley is supplemented with Grasmere to the north and a chance for people to replicate calendar scenes that they may have seen on their kitchen wall !

The serious part of the walk is the descent towards Grasmere & Loughrigg Terrace but with views above of the ever increasing Grasmere, who can complain about this.

On my return route I decided to stay high away from Rydal water in order to cover Rydal caves, an amazing geological feature created by the extraction of stone by quarry men 200 years ago. It is said that the whole population of Ambleside could fit inside this cave. I'm not quite sure how that would work as most of the surface is covered in water.

Dangers lurking in the deep !!

One of the most photographed subjects on Rydal water is this boat house. It is often seen by motorists driving southbound on the main Keswick to Ambleside road, but once seen, is impossible to stop. Consequently having seen it on numerous occasions in beautiful conditions and ... otherwise, this was a rare opportunity to photograph it albeit from a distance and without the picturesque reflections.
Rydal Water has provided inspiration for the poets and writers William Wordsworth, Sir Walter Scott and Samuel Coleridge with Rydal Mount and Nab Cottage being nearby.

I made a little de-tour to check out some buildings next to the main road in Wordsworth country. The above building is at the bottom of the lane that leads to Wordsworth's Rydal Mount.

Lake District church architecture nearby
I crossed back over the road and continued my walk on quieter lanes back to Ambleside only to be stopped, tempted and be succumbed by my favourite ice cream ....

English Lakes Ice Cream .... Blackcurrant and cheesecake

Monday, 3 October 2011

Ambleside, Cumbria

The town of Ambleside at the North end of Lake Windermere is one of the main hiking, walking and tourist centres in the southern half of The English Lake District. The above photo of The 300 year old Bridge House is the classic image that marks the town.
It's original use was a river crossing over The Stock Ghyll with a room upstairs to store Apples from the orchards of Ambleside Hall.
Later it had connections to the mill industry for a short time before becoming a home to a furniture craftsman called 'Chairy" Rigg. His wife and six children lived in this two roomed house that was deemed luxury at the time. Other 20th century uses were a shoe repairer, an antique dealer and a plant seller. In 1926 a group of early preservationists including Beatrix Potter's husband bought the unique building and donated it to The National Trust for all to enjoy. In 1956 it became The National Trust's first visitor information centre.

21st century use of water !!
(I was a bit unsure of what to post next from the three threads available to me and decided that I didn't want to continue with yet more Glasgow material or start a major variety topic from this year ... I'll start that in January when material is a bit thin on the ground.... inversely proportional to the white stuff !! These next few posts depict 5 days at the end of July with Ambleside being my Bed & breakfast base at Kingswood B & B.)

Stock Ghyll
There seems to be a constant tension with regards to shopping in the town. Each year another outdoor and walking shop seems to open their doors to the public while the traditional establishments that have survived for years battle on ...

tea shop

Pub food

 Much to the pleasure of the local resident, the intermediate satisfaction of the tourist and disgust of the walker is an unexpected Lake District enterprise. Hayes Garden World at the south end of the town is a different kind of outdoor centre with additional indoor retail opportunities to please a wide range of visitors on a rainy day.

Keeping an eye on business !!

Awaiting the menu

Throwing light on the ever increasing number of outdoor shops

A mountain to climb ?

... even the seats are talking about it !!

During the week, there was little opportunity to visit Lake at Windermere at the south side of the town, but it was a relaxing walk after evening meal on one occasion. I thought I would take the camera ...

Boats settling ....

... down for the night

Time to think about ...

... heading back to the B & B ...

... to be welcomed by Skip !! ...

.. and to make sure I get a good nights rest so that my eye is alert for things to look out tomorrow ...

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