Thursday 9 June 2011

Keswick Rambles 30th Birthday

Keswick Rambles has been leading visitors up the fells around Keswick for 30 years and today 20 of us enjoyed a celebratory hike up Helvellyn.  The forecast wasn't brilliant but in fact we managed to avoid the showers and fantastically clear views made up for the chilly wind and temperatures that made it feel more like February!

up the path beside Raise Beck
We took the bus to Dunmail Raise and climbed the path east up beside Raise Beck.  As we climbed we turned round every now and again to see increasing numbers of fells appearing above Steel Fell. Peaks such as Bowfell catching the sun looked no distance away.  As you reach the top of the beck Fairfield comes in to view and in time we could see Grisedale Tarn below us.  Time for coffee and a short break before a level stretch of grass and peat before climbing the path to Dollywagon Pike.  This path used to be a loose scree horror but has now been beautifully constructed in stone and the scree has become grass again -  Well done Fix the Fells!
path to Dollywagon Pike
Two hours to the top of Dollywagon where we enjoyed the extensive views in all directions

on Dollywagon with view down to Ullswater
views in the opposite direction to Great Gable and Scafells
A steady walk across Nethermost Pike to Helvellyn in a strong SW wind. Quite a relief to take shelter for lunch in the cross shelter on Helvellyn before a celebratory glass (only elderflower I'm afraid) and photos by Tom on the summit.  Across to Lower Man, down the ridge and up again to the top of Whiteside Bank.  Here we could see Alison who had been at work this morning and Dusk toiling up Whiteside.  A welcome sight because she was bearing the birthday cake which we enjoyed on the summit.

Downhill for the rest of the way to catch the bus back from Thirlspot to Keswick where we all enjoyed a drink at Bank Tavern.  A great day was had by all - here is to another 30 years of Keswick Rambles or KR Guided Walks

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Keswick Mountain Festival 2011

Been too busy!! but at last an update on this years Keswick Mountain Festival.......

All of Keswick Rambles Walks went really well in spite of it being a really windy few days as you will see on the photos.  That led to minor route changes but all walks went ahead and everyone enjoyed themselves and is looking forward with anticipation to next year's Festival.

Here are a few photos to give you a taste of this years walks

On Wednesday and Sunday I took groups up Catbells.  Most people were new to walking in the Lake District and enjoyed the challenge of scrambling up the north ridge which was rather breezy although the wind didn't really hit us until we reached the summit.  On Wednesday Derwentwater was rather choppy giving us somewhat damp rides across the Lake but on Sunday the waves were too big for the boats to go out and we had to use a taxi at the start of the walk and return to Keswick by bus. (gave us time for tea & cakes at Shepherd's Caf!)

hold on to your hat

On Sunday we had every sort of weather - rain, wind, hail and sunshine - a wonderful introduction to Lake district walking

Sundays group on the summit of Catbells

view up the lake as we crossed the boardwalk

Thursday was my biggest walk of the Festival with a group of 12 up Great Gable and it was the day with the best weather. We started up beside Sour Milk Gill into Gillercombe and then took off up the grass towards the Hanging Rock and up onto the ridge of Base Brown. The glorious views back down Borrowdale from Base Brown gave us every reason to stop and turn around but soon we were looking forward to Green Gable and Great Gable as well as across to Great End.  There are so many superb views on this walk, the peaks we could see are too many to list. From the top of Gable we dropped down to Westmoreland Cairn to marvel at the view down Wasdale and onto the top Napes Ridge at our feet.

View north from Base Brown

some of the group

Friday was my day for Ullock Pike - windy again but a late start meant we missed the worst of the early rain. By the afternoon the cloud had lifted and the sun came out giving us lovely views across Newlands and Derwentwater as we descended from Carlside.  Up Dodd for more super views and a gentle stroll across the fields to Keswick - minor excitement when Skye disappeared for 10minutes in Dodd Wood!

up a windy ridge - rain has already stopped
Super view from Whitestones on the way down Carlside
On Saturday I went up Bessyboot, Rosthwaite Fell and Glaramara - one of my favourite walks, especialyy on a clear day.  Luckily we were sheltered from the wind for most of the way up and had it on our backs
as we came down Thornythwaite Fell.  A great day was had by all and we just beat the rain as we reached our cars!