Archive for the ‘Lakeland Walking’ Category

Coast to Coast – September 2016 – Day 5

16/09/2016

Day 5 from Patterdale to Shap is a 16 mile trek over the highest point of the C2C at Kidsty Pike with a sharp descent over Kidsty Howes to the shores of Haweswater.

First we need to climb some after breakfast to Boredale Hause and Angle Tarn.

Angle Tarn from from Stoney Rigg - the sun just breaking through the cloud

Angle Tarn from from Stoney Rigg – the sun just breaking through the cloud

We left Christine and Bob in Patterdale today – Bob not wanting to risk  his knee on the steep descent from Kidsty Howes and Christine recovering to get fit for the walk on Saturday to Kirkby Stephen. Bob took a taxi to Shap and walked back to meet us at the bottom of Kidsty and probably walked further than we did overall! Good effort Bob – although the crate of beer he promised us seemed to have been taken before we got there!

The team at Kidsty Pike minus Bob and Christine

The team at Kidsty Pike minus Bob and Christine

 

Looking down to Haweswater from Kidsty Howes

Looking down to Haweswater from Kidsty Howes

The group are walking well overall, with Steve, Alan, Paul and Sam all leading the way at the front. Andrea is our flat ground expert with the rest of us tagging along between. The average speed today was 1.8 mph so it’s all looking positive for tomorrow with some flatter land and less rocky terrain as we leave the Lake District behind.

Everyone seems to be enjoying each other’s company and Alan and Anne apparently shared a bath this evening! I thought it best not to try and seek clarification on the statement! Meanwhile, Paul and Sue our married couple continue to have an early meal and bedtime to recharge their batteries.

Everyone seems to be managing their feet and aches well and so far we have no major issues to worry about.

What a view!

What a view!

So a good meal tonight and a 21 mile day tomorrow awaits us.

See you tomorrow from Kirkby Stephen!

 

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Coast to Coast September 2016 – day 3

14/09/2016
Stonethwaite, Borrowdale

Stonethwaite, Borrowdale

So a nice short day today from Stonethwaite over Greenup Edge to drop into Easedale and Grasmere.  Unfortunately, Christine felt that her muscles were a little tight after the first two days and so opted for a scenic bus tour to Grasmere via Keswick.

The day started a little misty but soon turned out to be a beautiful warm September day. It warmed up pretty quickly and promised to be a very good walk.

Beautiful Borrowdale

Beautiful Borrowdale

It wasn’t long before we reached the foot of Lining Crag and Bob was very happy to be able to fill his hat with cold water from the beck to yield an impromptu head shower

Bob takes an early morning head shower at Lining Crag - he said it was 'orgasmic'

Bob takes an early morning head shower at Lining Crag – he said it was ‘orgasmic’

It wasn’t too long until we made the summit for the team photo where Andrea tried her best to photo bomb Sue! Bob’s hat still looks full of water too!

The team minus Christine at the top of Lining Crag, Borrowdale

The team minus Christine at the top of Lining Crag, Borrowdale

The team managed the ascent pretty well and without incident. As usual, the descent into Washburn valley was a little messy with some of the group finding the peat and boggy conditions a little damp!

Even Helen, our Fall Prevention Manager could prevent herself from the occasional flirtation with the ground.

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We had lunch at the saddle before an easy descent into Grasmere and the opportunity to sample the many tea shops, pubs, and gift shops all available in the town.

Ellen ponders her next step as the gallery wait for a splash - which incidentally didn't happen!

Ellen ponders her next step as the gallery wait for a splash – which incidentally didn’t happen!

So day 3 ends, and baths, showers and good food awaits us again to recharge us for tomorrow’s walk to Glenridding and Patterdale.

I wonder what other jokes Alan can dredge up from his memory bank to keep us ‘entertained’.

Alan – sorry I’m late Malcolm but I had to stop and watch a hedgehog and a rat fighting in the road. Never seen anything like it in my life!

Malcolm – amazing – who won?

Alan – the hedgehog – on points!!!!! Boom boom!

Yes they are all like that – long days indeed 😀

 

for or more information see http://www.sherpaexpeditions.com

Coast to Coast – September 2016

14/09/2016

We are off again with 13 Coasters all fit and raring to get at the challenge. A good mix of nationalities represented with Australians, an American and a sprinkling of Brits for good measure!

Coasters - September 2016

Coasters – September 2016

The group vary in age from 22 to 72 with an average age of 58 – so I am expecting great things!

The first few days are always those ‘getting to know you’ moments and invariably some are entertaining. Sam was having difficulty getting her hydration bladder to function until she realised that she had it upside down – well she is from ‘Down Under’ and technically therefore the right way up! However, I soon realised that there was a little more to this story when she regaled us of her story of train ticket booking to Whitehaven to start the C2C – she booked it and then realised that she hadn’t booked the return ticket (from Whitehaven!!). Then she booked it until she realised of course that she was walking C2C and finishing on the other side of the country 🙊. Oh dear!

We must be in the Lake District

We must be in the Lake District

The first day is a shakedown 14 miles and the delight of Dent Hill and Raven Crag – I need not have had concerns though as the group all made my cautious warnings seem completely unnecessary, even with the very wet underfoot conditions. It is what Wainwright called the steepest descent on the entire route and therefore quite tricky but this group ‘laughed in the face of Wainwright’s challenge’

We soon arrived into Ennerdale Bridge in a credible 7 1/4 hours so a good first day all round.

Day 2 is 15 miles through Ennerdale to Borrowdale and it always shows the Lake District off at its wild best no matter what the weather.

A moody Ennerdale from Anglers Crag - one of the best days on the C2C every time!

A moody Ennerdale from Anglers Crag – one of the best days on the C2C every time!

Arriving at Black Sail Hut in sunshine, we were greeted by a semi naked Alan who was contemplating a quick dip in the river to cool off. Fortunately the ladies persuaded him to put his clothes back on and we could all eat our lunches without fear.

Alan - now partially clothed at least!

Alan – now partially clothed at least!

Some running repairs needed to various parts of anatomy and they were ready for Loft Beck. Up until lunch we had made good time, but the pace was going to slow dramatically as we climbed the  long route to the top.

Running repairs for Anne and some of the others

Running repairs for Anne and some of the others

Once at the top and after nodding to Haystacks (Wainwright’s final resting place) we walked toward Honister and Borrowdale as the mist started to roll in quickly obliterating all but the immediate footstep in front of us.

So we made Borrowdale in  just over 9 hours – a slow day but arriving at Stonethwaite at 1730 still gave us time to freshen up before dinner and enjoy the delights of Langstrath Hotel – and the lamb shoulder for many!

Tomorrow is an easy day over the top to Grasmere so I should be able to report a good walk – especially as the forecast is 24c and sun – but don’t hold your breath – after all this is The Lake District and she does know how to surprise you!

For more information check out http://www.sherpaexpeditions.com

 

 

Coast to Coast September 2016

11/09/2016

Well here we go again with another group of ‘Coasters’ courtesy of Sherpa Expeditions. 13 plucky adventurers from Australia, USA and the U.K. ready to take on the 192 miles over two weeks.
I’ll keep you updated via the blog and you never know – maybe you will be inspired to take the challenge on the best long distance walk in the UK.

Coast to Coast May 2016 – The End

15/05/2016

It’s always a bitter sweet day when the final walk into Robin Hoods Bay arrives. The weather was dry with a hint of early morning drizzle for our last 17 1/2 miles from Egton Bridge to RHB.

Stepping across the River Esk

Stepping across the River Esk

After a couple of miles we reached Grosmont (lit. Big Hill) and with a calf popping 230m climb out of the town, it had us all puffing a little harder (except Trevor who loves hills more than Full English Breakfasts)!

At least we got to see a steam train departing at Grosmont

At least we got to see a steam train departing at Grosmont

So we climbed up on to Sleights Moor and gained our first view of Whitby Abbey on our way to Littlebeck. I had promised everyone a coffee stop at Falling Foss in the woods – a delightful tea garden but the signs warned us of an impending wedding at the garden and closure at 1130! After a hasty dash through the woods, we made it for a brunch. With only 7 miles walked in 4 hours as we left the garden, I was anticipating a late arrival into the Bay.

Falling Foss Tea Garden

Falling Foss Tea Garden

Trevor scraping the barrel

Trevor scraping the barrel

Negotiating the mossy stones across Little Beck near Falling Foss - Mark shows the way

Negotiating the mossy stones across Little Beck near Falling Foss – Mark shows the way to Kelly

With Jo’s, Liz’s and Karen’s blistered feet, Kelly’s mushed toes, Mark’s ‘dead legs’ there was only Cheryl, Trevor and me walking on air! I needn’t have worried though. The walk over the moor was as if the group were on drugs – oh wait – they were – Ibuprofen at least as far as Jo was concerned – enough to dull the pain caused by her blisters Bob and Betty who were not giving her an easy time at all!

After a good yomp across the Moors, Trevor needed to treat himself to a reward – yep – a light snack by way of an ice cream

'Just a top up Malcolm' - it's Bootiful - just like these fleece lined trousers to keep me warm!

‘Just a top up Malcolm’ – it’s Bootiful – just like these fleece lined trousers to keep me warm!

So as they say in war movies, “over the top we went” and down to the cliffs of the North Sea Coast

The North Sea always looks like the Mediterranean on arrival  - look at that sun kissed sea!

The North Sea always looks like the Mediterranean on arrival – look at that sun kissed sea!

The final 3 miles melted away as we drew close to the end of this particular pilgrimage paying homage to Alfred Wainwright. He has been revered, respected, cursed and dreaded for what he has led the group to do – but for all that they have succeeded!

Bay Town at last - 192 miles and many aches and pains later

Bay Town at last – 192 miles and many aches and pains later

After checking into our accommodation, it was down to the end and the ritual of depositing our carried pebbles from the Irish Sea into the North Sea.

Liz escapes the pebble throwing ceremony just as the waves engulf the rest!

Liz escapes the pebble throwing ceremony just as the waves engulf the rest!

Liz's pebble caught on camera mid chuck!

Liz’s pebble caught on camera mid chuck!

So with a mix of emotions, it was off to celebrate the achievement and contemplate what next…………..

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It’s been a wonderful crossing with only a half day of rain, and plenty of sunshine to help us across. There has been torment, pain, agony and ecstasy en route and finally the joy of the finish.

The Coast to Coast is a challenging walk over 192 miles, three national parks, mountains, hills, bogs, vales and coastline – each bringing their own brand of challenge.

Well done, and congratulations to Cheryl, Jo, Karen, Kelly, Liz, Mark, and Trevor for an epic journey that you’ll never forget. It has been a pleasure to guide you for the past two weeks and good luck with your next challenge – don’t let it be your last – no matter what you do.

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If you would like to take the challenge, contact Sherpa Expeditions at http://www.sherpaexpeditions.com

Day 7 – Coast to Coast with Sherpa Expeditions – September 2015

20/09/2015

  
As a guide, you get to understand which of the days are your favourite ones – and this is definitely in my top 3 – not sure if it’s because it marks halfway C2C, or technically speaking crossing the watershed and it’s all downhill (🙊) to RHB, or because the scenery morphs into heather and grouse moor, or is it because it’s bog day? Or maybe it’s because we leave the Temerance Movement in Kirkby Stephen! 

I love bog day – the fact that few people have had a Pennine Experience, that many of our clients come from climates that are hot and dry, and the fact that the bog never really ever dries out means that it will probably be an experience that few forget for many different reasons. But first some running repairs are required for a few – compeed, duct tape, zinc oxide tape, sheep wool, foot oil, ibuprofen, all manner of drugs and tiger balm are all in evidence outside of the B&B this morning. It’s safe to say that Kathy won’t be running a marathon any day soon with blisters the size of small meat pies!

  
So off we set (minus Janet and her pudding sized knees) towards Nine Standards high above the town and the gateway to the bog! 

  
As we reached the watershed and the boundary between Cumbria and Yorkshire, the clouds gather threatening to add some mystique and drama to bog day. What a great prospect to look forward to.

Suitably booted, waterproofs on, gaiters in place, all apart from Colin and yours truly who elect for shorts and the “I won’t get dirty look”. It wasn’t long after the trig point that we aimed for the path divergence and an area of bog that looks similar to what it must have looked like an hour before battle in the Somme in 1916. No vegetation or areas of stone to take refuge, the group pose at the marker post.

  
One thing is for sure, they won’t stay that clean for too long!

The sikes on the blue route were remarkably dry for the crossing and although wet for most of the group, it is usually much much more wet than today. It was surprising that after the walk so far including today, I have only seen two grouse – highly unusual and a little sad that their season has been hit by the inclement weather early season.

  
The crossing of the peat hags can be messy and difficult for those more vertically challenged than some, but some good jumping, long stepping and helping hands made sure that all but a few emerged to Whitsundale Beck in a reasonably clean state. However, like all good rules, there is always an exception – isn’t there Colin? Those are mightily impressive tan lines my good fellow 😉. All was well until Glenda (our host at Pry House) and transfer from Keld Lodge to Pry House saw the huge mud stain left by Colin on her leather upholstery in her 3 day old Freelander 🙈 – it was one of those moments when you wish the earth would open up and swallow you 😁

  
We strung out our lunch break and took it at Ravenseat Farm where Amanda, the Yorkshire Shepherdess and her 8 free range children provide a great pot of tea, coffee and cream teas. Alarmingly ‘said shepherdess’ put us to shame by walking around in a dress with bare legs and a kind of flip flop. After trying to choke their poor little Jack Russell dog with a granola bar, Jacky then made the observation that wearing tights might not only have kept her legs warm but may have slowed down the production of 8 free range children!! – ooh I say 🙊, maybe it’s time to leave on our way?

Then it was an easy hop down into Keld following the River Swale to Keld Lodge with refreshments and a hot shower / bath and to watch the All Blacks play Argentina on the TV – a good day I think.

Tomorrow we walk down through beautiful Swaledale to the quaint village of Reeth but the weather forecast looks like it may break tonight with some heavy rain – fingers crossed – it may be wrong!

For more details of the Coast to Coast walk, please look at the Sherpa Expeditions website or look back at the blogs from previous crossings on the website at Lakeland Mountain Experience

Day 6 – Coast to Coast with Sherpa Expeditions September 2015

19/09/2015

I can’t believe that we are starting day 6 already to walk from Shap to Kirkby Stephen (21 miles) and with ANOTHER fantastic weather forecast of sun and warm temperatures. 

Leaving the Lake District behind is always a wrench for me as the scenery changes from rugged rock to pastures, limestone and rolling hills but it’s also a treat to be reminded of how lush, green and varied our landscape is for a small island.

With no injuries this morning, all 14 set off for the day across the moors. Sad that we didn’t encounter one grouse on the way – the poor early season weather has really reduced the numbers this year – either that or they all got shot on the ‘Glorious 12th August’ the start of the grouse shooting season!

  
I always LME seeing the array of marker posts as we head east across Crosby Ravensworth Fell – they are all different and pretty unique to the area – I’m not sure how many walkers spot them but I like them!

We arrived at Sunbiggin Tarn for lunch at 1315 and just a little behind schedule although, by now, Janet’s knee was starting to hold her back from keeping up with the main group. Colin’s early wobbles seem to be well behind him now and apart from Bronwyn’s knee soreness, there were the usual collection of blisters and aching muscles to cater for.

The sun was giving us some lovely autumn light today and a few of us were feeling the effects of not enough sunscreen (yes this is the North of England in late September). 

 

As we reached Smardale Bridge with four miles to go, the tiredness was starting to show on a few faces and Kathy had even developed a ‘Quasimodo like’ hump on her back.

  
The group battled on in the sun until the tower of the Kirkby Stephen church could be seen and a mild euphoria akin to when England last won the Rugby World Cup engulfed the team

  
So Day 6 down and out and Day 7 into The Yorkshire Dales tomorrow and the halfway stage. We had a tremendous private dinner at the Jolly Farmers in Kirkby Steohen tonight and it was absolutely stunning – thanks Carol!

 We have one casualty sitting out the Nine Standards Bogs tomorrow and looking forward to a new challenge.

Day 5 Coast to Coast with Sherpa Expeditions (continued)

18/09/2015

Well the weather cleared early this morning and we have had a tremendous day of walking from Patterdale  to Shap.

  
The day started badly when Chris took a right out of his B&B and went to Glenridding to meet the group – unfortunately we were in Patterdale to his left! And the joining instructions did suggest a compass might be advisable 😀
Anyway, 40 minutes later than planned we were on our way up to Boredale Hause. Amanda (I take an hour and a half to get into stride) didn’t even demolish her CurlyWurly until much later. The usual suspects had their game faces on and were already stretching their legs up the hill – Jill (Usain Bolt), Larry (Silent Assassin), and Flamenco Jackie as they pressed me with their good pace all the way to Boredale Hause for a brief drinks break.

   

Angle Tarn was our next tick off feature and this morning the colours were spectacular and shows the Lake District off to best effect.

  
Looking down into Martindale for red deer but we only found two herds of hinds on the way up to the Knott and then down over Kidsty Howes, but at least they were there. The group did really well on the 3 hour ascent to Kidsty Pike and I can’t repeat the expletives as Julie told me how superbly her day was going and she felt to be alive!!

The descent to Haweswater is always slow due to its gnarly rock and awkward steps but all the blistered feet and battered muscles coped really well. Everyone walked well and there were no slips or trips all day. There were understandably some tired legs on this hardest day of the C2C but we rewarded ourselves with a 20 minute lunch break 😀 (sadly Amanda asked how long our lunch breaks were normally and I was rumbled)

  
  
If you look really closely to the right of the light patch you can see the red deer on the edge of the ridge above Martindale in the photo above.

The walk along Haweswater was the usual long and seemingly never ending but we soldiered on to the last four miles across the grass meadows towards Shap Abbey. Tired legs were really starting to show now as the pace slowed but the group weren’t going to be beaten. Buoyed by the thought of fish and chips at the Shap Chippy we hit Shap at 1730 – a brilliant effort after a late start and a tough walking day.

  
Tomorrow is a rest day with only 14 miles and a much more gentle ascent profile so the whole group should be walking to Kirkby Stephen with Colin and Janet returning to the flock.

If you want to review the entire C2C blogs please look at the website at Lakeland mountain experience

Day 3 – Coast to Coast with Sherpa Expeditions

16/09/2015

Day 3 and another day with no rain forecast – just wall to wall sunshine, no wind and a fabulous walk from Borrowdale to Grasmere via Lining Crag and Easedale. We sadly left without Bronwyn who elected to rest a sore knee but otherwise we were a full complement.

The walk up past the lava flows in Langstrath Beck, the volcanic tuff boulders, the huge erratic boulders on the hillsides, the century’s old dry stonewalls, and the drumlins left by the glaciers in the last ice age all add to the spectacular landscape on offer today. Then we have the huge spectre of Eagle Crag looking down on us as we steadily made our way up to Greenup Edge and the pinnacle of Lining Crag.

 

On the way up with Janet bringing up the rear of the line
The sun quickly raised the temperature and it became a very warm walk up to the crag with lots of drink stops en route to aid hydration. The spirits of the group were high until we got closer to the crag and the thought of the climb ahead. However, there was no need to worry as everyone skipped up the crag like mountain sheep!  

Amanda demonstrates the Aussie way to photo bomb a shot !

 

  
  
Jim certainly looks a little warm in this photo before he tackled the crag, although Delores looks as fresh as a daisy!

  
Lining Crag warmed by the morning sun

  
What the Aussie walker wears for an English Summer C2C – not sure that Heather agrees Amanda’s 

fashion statement in the background though 🙊 while Jacqui smiles as she finds another chocolate bar 😊

  
What a glorious view down Easedale and up to Helm Crag and what a great weather day

  
As you can see the Lakeland Herdwick Flock have been substantially depleted as the ‘Coasters’ develop a taste for the meat.

So dinner tonight in Grasmere before the walk across the fells to Patterdale and Ullswater tomorrow – fingers crossed that the weather forecast lives up to its promise – more fabulous walking weather ahead 😀

Coast to Coast June 2015 – Day 9

23/06/2015

    Well it may not be the Grand Depart but it was a departure for a short day into Richmond. The walk is relatively flat today with some lovely hay meadows, cottage gardens, small hamlets and even a C17 transport plane entertaining us in Swaledale.

 
The hay meadows are a little late this year, but still very attractive as the wild flowers intermingle with the grasses. The cottage gardens are full of poppies and honeysuckle and just bursting into life.

 
The only problem today seems to be the fact that the midges have bitten me like mad! Bring back the cold weather please !!

  The group are doing very well, and no rest days so it looks very good to get them all across to RHB without stops 😀. They all made Richmond without any difficulty today and in plenty of time for a little retail therapy and a look around a magnificent Georgian town with its buildings. Tonight we have decided on an Italian meal together and most are looking forward to a change of menu despite some really good food along the way.

   

  

 Richmond Castle is always a good sight from afar and signals civilisation after days of Dales villages and rough walking.

   

  Even more welcoming is a pint of real Yorkshire Ale in the sunshine at a pub that values man’s best friend too!

    Mind you, it’s said often that Yorkshire folk speak frankly, and don’t mince their words – this sign perhaps sums it up far more succinctly than I can 🙊

 

Well, it’s the big one tomorrow – 25 miles across the Vale of Mowbray and it will be a test for everyone. I hope the weather is not as warm as it has been this afternoon otherwise it will be a difficult day. But if we can get tomorrow in the bag, I know the group will make Bay Town without a hitch. Fingers crossed xx.

For more details see Sherpa expeditions or Lakeland Mountain Experience and see when you can book for a Coast to Coast Challenge 


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