Monday 9 April 2012

My first KR Guided walk of 2012 - the three Pikes of Ladyside, Hobcarton and Grisedale

Well not ideal weather but a group of seven braved the elements with me for my first KR Guided GroupWalk of the 2012 season.

Three Pikes is really a high level circuit of Hobcarton Gill, starting and finishing in Whinlatter Forest.  Yesterday we were soon in low cloud with a bit of rain. By the time we had climbed up to Ladyside Pike or Lady's Seat if you prefer the rain had stopped and we just got damp from the cloud - a good thing since Chloe's waterproof seemed to have seen better days!
Hobcarton Pike to ourselves
Care was needed on the scramble up to Hobcarton Pike (or Hopegill Head) since the rock was slippery in the wet but lunch was the reward. Up till then we had seen no one but as we walked along to Grisedale Pike we met a few other brave souls facing up to the cloud and increasing wind.

Then it was down over Hobcarton End into the forest and through the woods down to Braithwaite with 5 minutes to spare before the bus arrived for the return to Keswick.
a windy descent off Grisedale Pike

As Roy commented "Why don't more people come out with you? They would be guaranteed of an excellent walk whatever the conditions with no worries about route finding and knowing that they would be sure to learn something new about the Lake District. We've been coming as a family since the children were quite young; they are now in their 20s but we still find we all get our best days walking in the Lake District with KR"

He is quite right; our local knowledge means that we choose the best routes up and down; we can change the route if the weather turns; add an interesting extra bit if there is time before the bus comes; try to keep the wind on our backs and find a sheltered corner for lunch - and our dogs provide constant entertainment!

Friday 6 April 2012

More winter! Gloroious Glaramara with KR Guided Walks and Pace the Peaks

Tuesday was a horrible day when I was supposed to be leading this walk but a change to Wednesday gave us a superb walk in glorious sunshine. Wind was cold particularly on descent when it was in our faces but that was a small price to pay.

emerging from Great Stanger Gill
Starting from Stonethwaite we climbed up through the woods by Great Stanger Ghyll; the stone steps standing clear of the snowy ground presumably due to the heat stored in them from the hot days which seem but a distant memory!

From Bessyboot the distant view of Helvellyn was of a white ridge all the way north to Clough Head and it was white across to the Langdales too. Skiddaw was already losing its white covering which at breakfast had reached almost to the valley. Throughout the day we watched as the white disappeared and the brown and green of the fells reappeared.
Skiddaw in the distance already losing its snow
what a view across Tarn at leaves to Langdales

First lunch on Rosthwaite Cam was followed by circling round the Great Hollow with views across Langstrath to Eagle Crag and High Raise. Here we met the only people we saw all day - two fellas planning to camp the night in Upper Eskdale. No other footsteps either so no one else had been our way. Luckily for Ron they had found his spare camera filters on Bessyboot which he was totally unaware of having lost!

too much ice for this today
alternative scramble
From the view point of Combe Head we crossed through the tarns to Glaramara. The usual scramble facing north was still coated with snow and ice and not having come prepared for winter climbing we found an alternative scramble round the corner taking us directly to the summit. Second lunch sat with our backs against warm rock and we started down Thorneythwaite Fell into a strong NE head wind and gradually dropped below the snow line.

A super day and great for photography!