2016 July to December

Sun, 3 Jul 2016

The A group was bound for Thornthwaite Crag from Hartsop. The gentle ascent up Pasture Beck was followed by a final pull up to Threshthwaite Mouth and the steep climb to Thornthwaite Crag. From there the group continued to High Street and on to the Straits of Riggindale, spotting red deer and encountering numerous coast-to-coast walkers. The short ascent to The Knott followed before the climb up Rest Dodd and then descent to the Coast to Coast path, following it to Angle Tarn and Boredale Hause. The final stretch was along the pleasant contour path above Patterdale. It had been a day of extensive and stunning views.

The B group parked just north of Watermillock church and proceeded in a westerly direction on the Ullswater Way towards Aira Force. The south westerly views over Ullswater are greatly improved now that a large swathe of trees has been felled allowing the group to watch the long distance dinghy regatta and appreciate the surrounding mountain panorama. After viewing Aira Force the group continued up the steep ascent of Gowbarrow, on to and over Great Meldrum and returned to the cars after skirting around Priest Crag.

Wed, 6 Jul 2016

A small A group set off from the A591 layby above Grasmere to walk to Helm Crag via Mill Bridge and Lancrigg Guest House, observing signs of the previous days of wind on the upward path. One walker climbed the Howitzer rock on the summit but the rest were content to watch. The group proceeded along the ridge to Gibson Knott and Calf Crag, with views of Tarn Crag to the west and Steel Fell to the east, before the onset of drizzly rain. The crossing to Steel Fell was devoid of mist although slightly boggy in places. Reaching the main cairn the group found the path down the south east ridge to arrive at the lane leading to Town Head Farm and cross the A591 to the cars.

The C group’s walk was to Sale Fell from Brumston Bridge, following the farm road and climbing the fell from Kelswick Farm. Views were limited because of deteriorating weather but the group was rewarded with seeing a red start’s nest and enjoying lunch in a sheltered spot amongst gorse bushes on the lower fell side.

Thur, 7 Jul 2016

On an evening walk, a mixed A and B group left Keswick bound for Walla Crag via Springs Road and Rakefoot. Views from the Crag were superb in the early evening light. A gradual descent was made on the terrace path above Falcon Crag towards Ashness before doubling back on a lower path and connecting with the lake shore. A leisurely stroll to Keswick along Derwent Water had the group back in time for food and drink.

Wed, 13 Jul 2016

A small A group set off from Stonethwaite following alongside Langstrath Beck up onto Stakes Pass. They then picked their way over Martcrag Moor and up a little used path onto Thunacar Knott where the Langdale Pikes were spread out before them. The group contoured across to Sergeant Man and then headed back across to their high point of the day, High Raise. They negotiated the wet descent of Lining Crag by which time the intermittent earlier showers had given way to sunshine for the walk down Greenup Gill with its waterfalls swelled by the recent rain.

The B group left Elterwater village heading west through Sawrey’s Wood eventually emerging above the Quarry. Following a steady ascent, they reached a slate seat facing distant Windermere where they paused as mist rolled over the fells behind them. The group continued their ascent to Brown How, the highest point of their walk. From there they took a detour away from the main path to visit Lingmoor Tarn for lunch. Cotton grass, heather and water lilies made for a pretty scene. On then for the fun of threading through the Squeeze before the reward of dramatic Langdale views from the top of Side Pike.

The C group took the bus to Stonethwaite road end then walked through Stonethwaite village into Langstrath. Crossing the Langstrath Beck, their path continued through delightful patches of bog asphodel, wild orchids and cotton grass. They returned by the side of Stonethwaite Beck to Rosthwaite to catch the bus back to Keswick.

Sun, 17 Jul 2016

The A group tackled the Coledale Round, starting with the climb towards Grisedale Pike. Despite glum weather forecasts, the group was blessed with bright sunny weather, making the ascent of the Pike heavy going. After a brief stop at the Pike, Hopegill Head, Sand Hill and Coledale Hause were reached quickly. Grasmoor was climbed via the ridge route overlooking Gasgale Gill and Dove Crags. The summit was too windy for a rest, which was taken at the start of the climb towards Crag Hill. The round was completed via Sail, Sail Pass and the path between Outerside and Barrow. Refreshments were taken in the Coledale Inn.

The extensive woodland at Broughton Moor was the starting point for the B group, who followed its winding bridleways and forest roads before emerging at a small settlement at Stephenson Ground. Gazing over the Duddon Sands and the Furness Peninsula, the walkers partook of the slightly delayed elevenses before striking for Dunnerdale’s Caw via the shapely Pikes. Although clouds shrouded the highest peaks, the summit of Caw, gracefully rising above a sea of rocky outcrops and adorned by a substantial ordnance column, offered a 360-degree vista irresistible to the camera. The return route took in the picturesque Natty Bridge, suspended over a deep ravine, and a further assortment of forest paths and bridleways, the weather having co-operated throughout.

Wed, 27 Jul 2016

The A group set off from Seathwaite Farm to cross the beck and ascend Sourmilk Gill, which was in spate following heavy overnight rain. They proceeded straight up Base Brown passing under the Hanging Stone. After visiting Wainwrights bivouac stone, the group topped Base Brown and carried on to Green Gable which was in cloud. Moving on to the summit of Great Gable via Windy Gap, they descended in clear conditions to the Westmoreland Cairn with its awesome panoramic views of Wasdale, the Scafells, Kirk Fell, Pillar, Hay Stacks etc. After return to the summit cairn, descent was via the north west buttress to Beck Head, then picking up the initially faint track leading to the climber’s traverse, passing underneath the climbers on the slabs and pitches around Napes Needle, and on to Styhead. From there, the group followed the valley back to Seathwaite.

After heavy overnight rain, the B group set off on a fine morning from Coniston village. They walked steadily up through Guards Wood, on to the open fields, through Tarn Hows Wood and stopped briefly at Tarn Hows. Continuing on the path to the north end of The Tarns, they crossed through tall bracken to Iron Keld and summited Black Crag where lunch was had while enjoying the superb panorama of lakes and mountains. The nine mile circuit was completed by taking the east path beside The Tarns, descending Glen Mary, where the waterfall was in full spate, to pick up the path skirting Yewdale Crag back to Coniston.

A small group of C walkers met at the RSPB Campfield Marsh. They looked at a new construction of a Clay Dabbin house and then made their way towards the boardwalk. The marsh was reached, where flowers and plants were in abundance. Next was a small lily pond where yellow and white lilies were in flower. After a short stop in the hide, the main track was followed back to the Centre.

Sun, 31 Jul 2016

The A group tackled the Kentmere Horseshoe starting in Kentmere village. They ascended the stony Garburn Pass and on to Yoke where one member treated them to a Robert Frost poem. It was a clear day with lots of sunny spells and great visibility and after a brief stop they continued up to Ill Bell, then Thornthwaite Crag for lunch before Mardale Ill Bell. After descending to the Nan Bield Pass and ascending Harter Fell, the group turned southwards with wonderful views of Windermere and the coastline. Kentmere Pike was next and after a brief detour to Goat Scar, they went along to Shipman Knotts and back down to the village.

The B Group left Lancrigg in Grasmere and took the pleasant path towards Far Easedale. At Stythwaite Steps they climbed the track to Easdale Tarn, overlooking Sourmilk Gill as they climbed. At this point they were able to view the somewhat intimidating front of Blea Crag leading to Blea Rigg. The path that they took contoured up the fellside below the Crag and with a final short steep climb the summit of Blea Rigg was reached. With renewed energy they then took the undulating track along the summit ridge over Great Castle How, Little Castle How and finally Lang How. The route back to the valley eventually took them over the stepping stones across Easedale Beck to Goody Bridge.

Thur, 4 Aug 2016

A small group of A walkers met at Threlkeld for an evening walk via arguably the best route to the summit of Blencathra – Hall’s Fell. Unfortunately it was slightly damp under foot and prudence dictated that the side paths were used wherever possible rather than the ridge top, although care was needed on the unavoidable “scrambly bits”. On the summit, one member decided that was enough excitement for the night and descended via Blease Fell, the remainder came down to Threlkeld for sustenance via Doddick Fell.

Wed, 10 Aug 2016

The cloud was high as the A party set off from Patterdale to ascend gradually up Grisedale to Ruthwaite Lodge. Hard working, happy sheepdogs saw them on their way, steeply up pathless ground towards the majestic rock scenery of Ruthwaite Cove and eventually over to the delightful, hidden Hard Tarn. Across now to ascend the final section of the east ridge of Nethermost Pike with its grandstand panorama of busy Striding Edge. Helvellyn was soon reached and the enjoyable descent of Swirral Edge accomplished. The group continued past Red Tarn and on to Birkhouse Moor’s north top to view Ullswater’s splendid scenery. Having descended to Lanty’s Tarn, a short ascent to Keldas completed the walk.

The B group took the bus to Bassenthwaite, for a walk back to Keswick via Skiddaw House. After leaving Bassenthwaite, the route was across fields to Peter House Farm and then up the track to Whitewater Dash waterfall. A bit more climbing followed before Skiddaw House where a lunch stop was taken behind a wall, away from the breeze but not from the midges. The walk continued along the familiar west side of Glenderaterra skirting around Lonscale Fell, down eventually to Spoony Green Lane, arriving there at a very commendable 3pm and just before the rain really got going.

The C group’s short walk beginning in Glenridding took in Lanty’s Tarn and the lower slopes of Glenamara Park. After initially following Glenridding Beck, the walkers ascended to Lanty’s Tarn and Keldas via the stone steps. Descending to the south, they walked past Thornhow to a small wood under Thornhow End. Contouring the hillside, they crossed the stepping stones of Hag Beck before returning to Glenridding via woodland paths.

Sun, 14 Aug 2016

Having started their exploration of Grizedale Forest at the top of Hawkshead Moor, the B group soon hit Silurian Way – the most ambitious trail in the forest. After many twists and turns, they reached Grizedale Tarn, the only natural tarn out of the 20 scattered throughout the area. En route, several interesting sculptures were encountered and many wild mushrooms gathered. Proceeding southwards, the group were rewarded with a panorama of Morecombe Bay. The trail then swung onto the west side of the valley, taking in further ups and downs and offering glimpses of the delightful Satterthwaite. At Grizedale Visitor Centre, the group partook of well-deserved refreshments before heading home.

Sun, 21 Aug 2016

The A group started at Roe Head near Pooley Bridge and walked south, ascending Barton Fell, Arthur’s Pike and Bonscale Fell. After crossing High Street, they ascended Loadpot Hill before turning east and dropping gradually into Heltondale. From there they followed the track close to the Cop Stone that led over Moor Divock and back to Roe Head. During the day the weather improved and there were views not only over Ullswater but also across the Eden Valley to the Pennines. Everywhere, the heather was magnificent.

Wed, 24 Aug 2016

Setting out from Coniston, an A group followed the track through Coppermines Valley to Levers Water. They picked their way through occasional mud up to Swirl Hawse and on via the rocky ridge of Prison Band to the summit of Swirl How. Heading south over Levers Hawse the group crossed Brim Fell on route to Coniston Old Man where walkers of all ages were enjoying their day out in the sun. Next stop was Dow Crag followed by the long march down Walna Scar Road to the car park at which point the group left the road and detoured back to Coniston along the bridleway.

The B group set off in the sunshine from the carpark in Glenridding, crossed the road bridge and went up by the side of the river where work continues after Storm Desmond and the previous weekend’s heavy rain. At Lanty’s Tarn, the group turned right walking through bracken and a small wood, Brownend Plantation, before joining the main path to the Hole in the Wall and on to Red Tarn. After a glorious stop for lunch they headed down alongside Red Tarn and Glenridding Becks, without crossing the latter, before rejoining the original path back into Glenridding.

The C group travelled by open top bus to Rosthwaite, enjoying the fine views on a sunny morning. From Rosthwaite they followed the Cumbria Way over New Bridge and the River Derwent. Detouring from the path in High Hows Wood, they climbed to view Millican Dalton’s cave. Returning to the path, they soon joined the Allerdale Ramble and walked to Grange where they enjoyed refreshments before returning to Keswick by bus from Grange Bridge.

Sun, 4 Sept 2016

The A group was grateful for an accurate weather forecast given the very low cloud as they travelled to Troutbeck Church. The cloud quickly cleared except from the highest tops and even those were clear by the time Sour Howes and Sallows had been climbed. On then, in superb conditions, to Yoke, Ill Bell and Froswick before descending via the Scot Rake bridleway to Troutbeck Tongue. They returned to Troutbeck along Ing Lane, passing Town Head, and ending with a delightful short descent into the church grounds – and also the church, to view the magnificent stained glass window.

Wed, 7 Sept 2016

High temperatures and humidity provided the A group with clear vistas as they proceeded from High Side on the Orthwaite road, bound for Skiddaw via Little Knott, Great Knott, Buzzard Knott and Randal Crag. They began the final ascent – a scree slope falling directly from Skiddaw’s top; this was vast, long and occasionally exasperating because of its convexity but pleasant due to its lack of footpaths and cairns. Their linear walk continued via Carlside Tarn, Carl Side, White Stones, Mill Beck and through fields and villages ending in Keswick.

Starting from Peter House Farm near Orthwaite, the B group climbed up the rounded grassy slopes of both Little and Great Cockup – thankfully, with no cockups en route and with the weather co-operating magnificently. Having navigated a steep descent to Trusmadoor, they then ascended Meal Fell, whose name – and inviting shelter – made it an appropriate spot for lunch. A further ascent led to the col between Great Sca Fell and Little Sca Fell, the latter being reached after an easy stroll along the Longlands – Knott bridleway. Before dropping down to Longlands and walking to the cars along Cumbria Way, the group climbed Lowthwaite Fell and Longlands Fell, with the Skiddaw massif having provided a magnificent backdrop throughout.

A small C party had a perfect day for a trip to the Solway Coast. The walk started from Skinburness and followed the creek to Grune Point. There were many butterflies to admire along the way, and a perched wheatear was spotted. The walkers then continued along the beach back to Skinburness.

Sun, 11 Sept 2016

A small A group started from the car park at Ashness Bridge and climbed towards High Seat; the bracken was beginning to die but was still a nuisance up to the head of Ashness Gill and the Dodd. The remainder of the climb was in pleasant sunshine but wet under foot. From High Seat the group descended east towards Litt’s Memorial, crossed the deer fence onto the forest road then visited Castle Crag Fort, Raven Crag and the Benn. They then descended in a northerly direction towards the forest track to the bridge over Shoulthwaite Gill and climbed under and over Goat Crag heading towards the stile over the fence leading west towards Bleaberry Fell. The descent back to Ashness followed a convenient short cut.

The B group started from Askham, walking uphill towards Heughscar Hill. Following coffee overlooking Ullswater, they visited the hill summit, then crossed Moor Divock towards the Cop Stone. Traversing fields and stiles to reach Helton, the group then descended on a bridleway to the River Lowther and lunch. After crossing the bridge and passing through Whale, estate tracks were followed to Lowther Castle. Having admired the intriguing ancient doorway to the gardens on the corner, they crossed the front of the castle and walked down to Low Garden Bridge to access a path through the woods back to Askham and refreshments.

Wed, 21 Sept 2016

The cheer of the company of strangers! Unsure of their route, Rob and Kat from Exeter accepted the invitation to accompany the three members of the A group who were to ascend Dungeon Gill. Buoyed up by the adrenalin rush of scrambling through the cliffs and cascades of the gill, Rob and Kat asked to continue onto the stiffer challenge of Jack’s Rake. Undaunted by the lowering walls of Pavey Ark and the wraith like mists swirling around, they were happy to remain to tackle Harrison Stickle and a further scramble onto Pike ‘O’ Stickle before ascending Loft Crag for a descent alongside the dizzying defile of the now familiar Dungeon Gill. Below Pike How there were handshakes and farewells – in warm appreciation of the company of strangers!

The B group set off from Chapel Bridge along the wide track towards Dale Head in Upper Newlands. The beck was easily crossed below Red Crag and ascent was made through the old copper mine and contouring above Dalehead Crags before emerging into blustery winds near the summit. The group enjoyed the windy ridge walk along Hindsgarth Edge before turning north into Little Dale, wending their way down through this little walked dale and then passing the imposing Littledale Crags and waterfalls to the reservoir. A straightforward path continued along Scope Beck, passing the church to enjoying tea and cakes at Littletown Farm.

Sun, 25 Sept 2016

A small A group started from Stonethwaite and climbed Stanger Gill towards Bessyboot. There had been lots of rain falling during the night and the ground was very wet under foot. Stanger Gill was in full spate and the group had difficulty in crossing it but managed to do so without getting any wet feet. The weather was starting to degenerate and by the time the top of Bessyboot was reached the drizzle had settled in. A coffee break was taken under the peak and out of the wind. However, the drizzle changed to heavy rain and the group decided a discretionary descent was preferable to taking on Glaramara in heavy rain and high winds. They descended from Tarn at Leaves via a vague path that was difficult to follow down Rottenstone Gill. Refreshments were taken at the Langstrath Inn.

In defiance of the forecast heavy showers and high winds, group B hopped on the Seatoller bus, alighting at Stonethwaite Road end. A steep and somewhat slippery climb led to Dock Tarn, nesting among a mass of heather-adorned crags. Navigating a maze of intermittent tracks, and trying to skirt around the sodden ground, they reached the top of Great Crag, where they were greeted by a spectacular rainbow. Lunch was deferred until the enchanting hamlet of Watendlath, beckoning from afar and boasting an excellent café. Thankfully, the route from Watendlath to Keswick via Surprise View and then along the terrace path was less wet, although the heavens opened just as the group was about to end its walk.

Wed, 5 Oct 2016

Starting at Caudale Bridge, the A group ascended steeply up Middle Dodd to Red Screes .They then descended to Scandale Pass, walked around the tarn and ascended Little Hart Crag where shelter from the wind was found for a lunch break. A traverse of Black Brow followed, to reach the beautiful Stand Crags and the Stangs, then a descent of the furthest ridge to the Dovedale waterfalls, Hartsop Hall, Brotherswater Inn and back to the cars. A beautiful and exhilarating walk.

The B group set out from the National Trust car park at Rosthwaite and followed the path by the River Derwent over New Bridge towards Hollows Farm. They took the steep slate path to Millican Dalton’s cave and explored this unusual abode. Retracing their steps to the Allerdale Ramble footpath, the group then followed the path by Broadslack Gill and on to High Doat. From High Doat, with its fabulous panorama of the Borrowdale Valley showing the profile of the ‘Jaws of Borrowdale’ with Castle Crag as its centre piece, they proceeded down to Mountain View and across to Stonethwaite Bridge, then followed Stonethwaite Beck back to Rosthwaite.

A small C group met at Portinscale and took the familiar route through Lingholm woods to Hawes End. They then chose to follow the high lakeside path through the trees above Derwent Water to Manesty, before descending to have lunch on rocks at the lake shore. The return was by the lakeside path and woods to Portinscale, pausing to view the new jetty at Lingholm.

Sun, 9 Oct 2016

The A group set off from Uzzicar on the track following Stonycroft Gill, skirting Outerside before taking a high contour route round Long Comb. It was a day to savour, tranquillity itself, little wind, sunshine – perfect walking weather – making the scramble up Tower Ridge a joy. The trig point on top of Eel Crag was still lying on its side and from there the way eastwards, along the superb ridge to Causey Pike, was laid out. Sail, Sail Pass, Scar Crags and Causey Pike – a leisurely walk over all to the final descent back to the cars and a cup of tea on the newly restored patio, post storm Desmond, at Toll Bar Cottage.

The B group set out from Coniston village by way of the well-known Walna Scar Road. The first stretch was extremely steep, but soon eased to a more comfortable gradient. At Fell Gate, the group entered open country and followed the now rough track around the shoulder of Brown Pike, to the top of Walna Scar pass, where a wide view over Dunnerdale opened up. Leaving the track, they turned southwest up a grassy slope to the summit of Walna Scar itself – unremarkable, but offering a fine panorama with the Scafell group to the north and Morecambe Bay to the south. The group continued along the ridge to the rocky top of White Maiden, then descended towards the ravine of Red Gill. They passed several abandoned quarries, most notably Banishead Quarry, which boasted a large pool encircled by steep rockfaces, fed by a high waterfall. They continued northeast across the moor and eventually rejoined the Walna Scar Road not far from Fell Gate.

Wed, 19 Oct 2016

The A group set out from high up Newlands valley heading for Robinson. They crossed the beck to the base of the unfrequented Dudmancombe ridge which they skillfully ascended; traversing the top of Robinson Crags and visiting the summit en route to Hindscarth via the top of Hackney Holes. Descending to the south of Hindscarth Crags, the group went down the ridge of Far Tongue Gill, then across to Near Tongue Gill passing many lovely waterfalls, to arrive at the valley floor. They then went cross country under Squat Knotts, over Step Gill to Low Snab, round to Keskadale Farm and back to the cars. A triumph of ingenuity!

The B group set off from the National Trust car park at Red Nab on the western shore of Windermere on a bright and windless October morning. Their route was an anticlockwise circular one, taking in Latterbarrow Summit before following the spine of the fell to Far Sawrey, returning along the lakeside shore to Belle Grange. The eight mile route was varied. It took in the imposing summit obelisk of Latterbarrow, a meandering trundle through plantations and passed stunning tarns at Wise Een and Moss Eccles. The day was enlivened (for some) by low flying fast jets and, as always, there was much laughter, banter and some serious discussion among the group. It was ‘new ground’ for most of the party and all enjoyed that novelty.

Thirlmere was the destination for the C group. Making use of the cycle route above Thirlmere, they admired the work which had been done to make the area more attractive, allowing extensive views over the lake. It was also interesting to see the work still being carried out on the areas damaged by storm Desmond, including a series of attractive new bridges across the becks and the new underpass at Swirls.

Sun, 23 Oct 2016

On a beautiful autumnal morning, sun shining, but with a strong north easterly wind, the A group set off from Rydal for the Fairfield Horseshoe over Low and High Pikes, walking to the leeward side of the top wall. After Dove Crag and Hart Crag, a sheltered spot for lunch was found before going on to Fairfield summit where a constant 40 mph wind equivalent to wind chill minus 13 degrees was recorded. The group soon moved off toward Great Rigg and, with the wind now behind, warmed up and enjoyed the panoramic views over the Lake District and beyond. Along the ridge over Heron Pike and Nab Scar the precipitous views down to Grasmere and Rydal Water and the autumn colours were memorable.

In the same glorious weather, the B group set off from Spooney Green Lane. They followed the main track to the top of Latrigg, joining the wheelchair path near the top. Then descending towards the east, they circled back to join the top of Gale Road and the path contouring Lonscale Fell. A sunny spot was found for a short break, sheltered from the easterly wind at the crossing of Whit Beck before continuing towards Skiddaw House. Crossing the Glenderaterra Beck when level with Burnt Horse and returning along the valley to the Blencathra Centre, they descended via Derwent Folds to recross the Glenderaterra and join the Brundholme Road before eventually scrambling up the embankment onto the railway line path. The final part of the walk skirted Townsfield on the bank of the River Greta reaching Toll Bar Cottage for a cup of tea at the end of a very enjoyable walk.

Wed, 2 Nov 2016

What a fabulous early November morning when the A group met at Threlkeld Bridge for a Great Dodd “figure of eight” walk. The route was first along St John’s in the Vale, crossing to Fornside via Sosgill Bridge and then the steep climb to Calfhow Pike. They continued towards Great Dodd, but bi-passed the summit via Millgill Head for a brief visit to Watson’s Dodd before returning to Great Dodd for lunch. Retracing their steps, the group then walked the sweeping arc to Clough Head before descending across Red Screes and past Threlkeld Knotts to the Coach Road and on to Newsham. A quick mile along the old railway line brought them back to Threlkeld Bridge.

Setting off from Stainton, the B group walked to Dacre and a coffee break which included a short history of the Norman church. They continued towards Soulby then across fields to Dunmallard Hill and lunch on the wooded hilltop. Their walk down to Pooley Bridge included lovely views of Ullswater and the surrounding hills before the return route through woods along the River Eamont, across fields to Dalemain and over the wooded hill back to Stainton. All day, the winter sunshine had shown the colours of autumn at their best.

Heading for Cogra Moss, the C group parked at Felldyke and followed the path beside the Moss where a particularly beautiful scene was presented by the autumn colours reflected in the water. Height was gained up a narrow forest track giving good views as the base of Murton Fell was encircled to take the group back to Felldyke.

Sun, 6 Nov 2016

It was winter which enveloped walkers of the A group as they vanished into the mists and ice rimed rocks of the northwest ridge of Catstye Cam. Was it their ascent which goaded the bullying winds into force ever stronger and into flinging into their faces spindrift, javelin thin and stinging? And the summit offered no respite. A swift descent then, into the confusion of wind and mist and moraines at Red Tarn and to the Hole-in-the-Wall to seek shelter. Chilled from the lunch break, the descent over Birkhouse Moor brought back warmth to cold stiffened fingers and a return to Glenridding’s world of autumn colour and the hope that winter’s wrath could be held at Catstye Cam, at least for a little while longer.

Wed, 16 Nov 2016

Most of the brisk wind was avoided by the C group in their circular walk from Keswick. Going up through Springs Wood, they continued along the Great Wood path to Calfclose Bay and followed the lakeshore path back to the town.

Sun, 20 Nov 2016

The A group’s destination was Sheffield Pike on a day of snow, sunshine and blue skies. Leaving Aira Force Cascades car park, they followed the path to the Force then joined the Ullswater Way to Mosedale Beck and the climb to the col between Glenridding Dodd and Heron Pike. Here the snow was four inches deep and the path up to Heron Pike was hidden and but for a set of mysterious footprints leading up Sheffield Pike the group might have turned back. On the summit they were treated to a rare spectacle, ‘sun dogs’ – two plashes of rainbow colours bookends to the sun, magical. The descent, through over a foot of snow, took the group to Nick Head and then the Bleabank Side path before leaving it to contour around the lower slopes of Glencoyne Brow. Slithering on snowy scree, they eventually reached the muddy path above Glencoyne Park, leaving a short uphill road walk back to the cars.

Starting out past Bridge House in St John’s in the Vale, the B group climbed up to the church before joining the bridleway along the east side of High Rigg to Low Bridge End Farm and then the footpath to the A591. They then crossed the road, heading towards Thirlmere dam but turned right across the fields to Shoulthwaite Farm. Re-crossing the A591, they joined the bridleway and track running under the west side of High Rigg before turning up to the church and following the road back to the cars.

Wed, 23 Nov 2016

From Lanthwaite Green, the A group set out for Hopegill Head following the path around the base of Whiteside and pausing to watch a group of jet fighters flying through the valley. They made their way up the side of Hope Beck, encountering the snow line at about 500metres and literally following in each other’s footsteps to the summit of Hopegill Head. It was a dry, sunny, cold day allowing a white topped panorama across the peaks to be seen. Running down the slope of Sand Hill to the top of Gasgale Gill was the quickest way down but not without some falling over! Finally the group made their way back to Lanthwaite Green along the side of Gasgale Gill.

Wed, 30 Nov 2016

The A group left Maggie’s Bridge heading for Loweswater and the steep path through Holme Wood, to emerge at the terrace path to the slopes of Burnbank Fell. The day was bright with high cloud, the walking was easy on grassy slopes and soon Blake Fell and Gavel Fell were reached. The group now descended over White Oak and avoided much of the watery moss by going on to Floutern Cop overlooking the tarn. The final ascent of the day took the group to Hen Comb summit and then down the long ridge to the largely uneventful crossing of Mosedale Beck and a pleasant visit to the Kirkstile Inn.

The B group’s destination was Silver How from Town End, Grasmere via White Moss Common and Loughrigg Terrace and its vistas over Grasmere. Slipping over Red Bank road, the party continued upwards through Hammerscar plantation then above Dow Bank to Spedding Crag. After a short scramble, Silver How summit was reached in sunshine but the keen wind meant that the group didn’t linger for too long before proceeding over Wray Gill and descending via Allan Bank into Grasmere for warming drinks at a local cafe.

After parking at Spout Force car park, the C group climbed steeply on forest paths in Darling How Plantation, made more difficult by recent felling. Emerging from the trees, they found a grassy spot on the path to Broom Fell where they had a break before turning and retracing their way back to the cars; disappointingly, the planned circular walk was compromised by forestry work.

Sun, 4 Dec 2016

On a crisp bright day the A group began their walk at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel then made their way up to Blea Tarn where they turned west through woods before ascending the fell beyond. A fairly steep climb took them via Blake Rigg, across Bleaberry Knott and over several small rocky scrambles to the summit of Pike of Blisco where they stopped for lunch facing Crinkle Crags and the coast. The group then descended towards Red Tarn and completed their walk via Oxendale.

Nearby, the B group started at the New Dungeon Gill car park. They too made their way to Blea Tarn via the long winding path across the shoulder of Side Pike. The walk progressed over Blea Moss, on to Fellfoot Farm and the pack-horse bridge to Little Langdale Tarn with views of Little Langdale, Wrynose Pass, Langdale Pikes and Lingmoor Fell. The group crossed the Slater Bridge, walked up a narrow lane continuing through Baysbrown Wood before passing a fine bank barn in Great Langdale. The walk finished along an upper path parallel to the valley road and back to the New Dungeon Gill.

Wed, 7 Dec 2016

The A group’s destination was Gowbarrow from Aira Force Cascades car park. After crossing Aira Beck, they took the direct way up the fell before descending eastwards from its summit to the Shooting Box then on to the Terrace Path to Aira Force. Taking meandering paths near and across the cascading waters, the group returned to the cars before meeting up with the B and C groups for the Club’s traditional pre-Christmas pub lunch.

Great Mell Fell was the objective for the B group. Starting from the south east, they followed a lane then negotiated a boggy path before turning at Routing Gill Beck to ascend the fell and begin to feel the force of the wind. At the summit, low cloud obscured the higher fells and the wind caused them to head rapidly for the descent via the main route off the fell and back to the cars.

The C group walked from Threlkeld village to join the railway footpath at Whiteclose Coppice and then proceeded eastwards along the track. They returned to Threlkeld via Mill Bridge and past the church – and coffee shop. A varied walk and on a better day there would have been good views across to Blencathra.

Wed, 14 Dec 2016

On a morning of uncertain visibility, the A group ascended Carrock Fell via Kelt Crag from Mosedale then continued over Miton Hill to High Pike. Retracing their steps, they followed the Cumbria Way to Lingy Hut and its welcome lunch time shelter. After negotiating Miller Moss, the group ascended Knott before heading east and descending via Coomb Height into Swinedale and back along the mine road to Mosedale.

A small B group set off from Gale Road car park on a grey day and climbed steadily past the shepherds’ monument and up Jenkin Hill into the thickening mist. They turned eastwards to Lonscale Fell summit and then the eastern top, from which they gazed at the rolling cloud obscuring the rounded mass of Blease Fell and Blencathra. Following the fence line steeply down to Burnt Horse Ridge they began to get views across the valley, eventually meeting the Cumbrian Way below Skiddaw House. The walk back above the Glenderaterra was more scenic through Lonscale Crags and over Whit Beck before returning to the car park.

The C group’s walk was in Whinlatter Forest. Parking at Noble Knott, they followed the “words in the wood” carved way markers through Masmill Oakwood to the slate picnic area with panoramic views. After crossing Masmill Beck, parts of their path bordering Heavy Sides was over ankle deep in leaves but it led them safely back to the cars.

Sun, 18 Dec 2016

A small A group set off from Millbeck on an unseasonably warm and sunny day. Avoiding all the path closures, the group headed through Dodd Wood and northwards up to Ling How. The long approach to Ullock Pike afforded fine views of Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake to the west and the quiet valley of Southerndale to the east. The ridge walk continued over Longside Edge and on to the highest point at Carl Side. After watching several paragliders expertly manoeuvre across the front of Little Man, the group made their way down via White Stones back to Millbeck.

On the other side of Bassenthwaite Lake, the B group headed north from Beck Wythop before veering up a steep track to see the view from the Walton Memorial. Along and out of the woods and up Lothwaite on beautifully manicured grass and in summer-like sunshine, a fell race passed by and mist drifted under Skiddaw – magic. The group traversed Sale Fell descending to Brumston Bridge then continued to Eskin and up Ling Fell. Their descent led them to and through swamp land, up Burthwaite Heights and down to Old Scales to pick up the road and walk back to Beck Wythop.

Wed, 28 Dec 2016

It was a cold, overcast and dreary morning as A and B group walkers assembled for their ascent of Raven Crag. Having made its way across Thirlmere Dam, the group trudged up the steep fell side before joining the newly completed highway to Raven Crag summit with its viewing platform. All shivered in the gloom with views along the lake obliterated by hill fog. Next, it was a quick descent to Shoulthwaite Farm. Then, in sudden and welcome warm sunshine and blue skies, the party circumnavigated High Rigg. Walk over, they retired to the warmth of the King’s Head for coffee and chat.