Archive for the 'Wildcamping' Category

North Wales 2013 – Thursday/wildcamp/Friday mashup

51 today! Shiver me timbers! A lie-in, vittles in bed, pressies an' cards - the perfect start t' another roastin'-hot day.

Outside the cottage the RAF did another low-level fly-by, I assumed that it weren't all in me honour but it were bein' impressive all the same:

 

Chinook #1

 

Chinook #2

 

Chinook #3

 

The resident Squadron Leader looks on, unimpressed by the thunderin' mechanical behemoth

 

We spent the day in Betws-y-Coed, sight-seein' an' gettin' some retail therapy, by Davy Jones' locker. As a birthday treat we dined at The Gwydyr Hotel, the vittles were bein' very good although fer some inexplicable reason, in a land that supports so many sheep, the kitchen 'ad run out o' lamb. Nay matter, the beef were bein' fine alternative. Ice-creams were 'ad from Cadwaladers Ice Cream Café, Chris got some walkin'-sandals from F*** & T***, an' we spent much time in many shops tryin' an' failin' t' get Anna some sunglasses that she'd be happy wi'.

After an evenin' meal back at the cottage me an' Ella packed our kit - we were off up me mountain t' introduce 'er gently t' the delights o' wildcampin'. We took the same route as we 'ad on Tuesday, eventually findin' a great spot in the gap at the base o' the Daear Ddu (a place that we christened "The Gap o' Rohan"). We'd picked a fine night - clear, warm an' calm, wi' a gentle up-slope breeze that kept the midges at bay. Ella went down t' Llyn y Foel t' get water while I pitched the tent:

 

The Banshee 300 pitched in the Gap o' Rohan

 

After a vittles o' discounted Wayfarer meals (found a few days afore in the bargain-bucket at Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports in Capel Curig) we settled fer the night an' slept well.

Friday mornin' were bein' warm an' clear, we were up at sunrise t' see a warm glow on the mountain an' misty haze in the Lledr Valley below. Ye'll be sleepin' wi' the fishes! Aarrr! We wandered up onto the nearby ridge an' 'ad vittles (courtesy o' Decathlon's Aptonia range) al fresco on a suitable rock:

 

Moel Siabod cwm pano (the tent's on the left)

 

On the ridge just after sunrise

 

Lledr Valley - mist an' haze

 

 Dolwyddelan Castle #1

 

 Ella doesn't do mornin's...

 

but she does do vittles

 

Dolwyddelan Castle #2

 

Cotton-grass

 

Ella

 

Heather

 

Knobbly #1

 

Knobbly #2

 

Strikin' camp di'nae take long - we'd nae brought much. With the weather set fair an' wi' us bein' on familiar ground we'd figured that stuff like waterproofs, spare layers, rucksack liners, chart/compass/GPS weren't really necessary, an' a bottle o' rum, pass the grog! Hell, I even eschewed the Scarpa SLs an' wore me tatty auld Trezetas instead, pass the grog! Nay shorts though - I di'nae want t' scare the wildlife 8-O

 

Holy Trezetas

 

We shouldered our packs an' completed the circuit o' Llyn y Foel, takin' a few etchins on the way:

 

Columnar jointin', Daear Ddu

 

Moel Siabod reflected in Llyn y Foel

 

Llyn y Foel an' "The Gap o' Rohan"

 

On the way back down we 'ad time fer a bit o' explorin' around the quarry. Prepare t' be boarded! The sharks'll eat well tonight! Ella kept findin' rocks shaped like footprints, I aced 'er wi' this one that bore an uncanny resemblance t' Brian Griffin:

 

Dug

 

Some o' the small quarry buildin's overlookin' the reservoir looked like they'd be fine places fer settin' up a bivvy:

 

Quarry buildin' 1 #1

 

Quarry buildin' 1 #2

 

Quarry buildin' 2 #1

 

That Lonesome Pine again

 

Ditto

 

Reedy margins

 

Nearly back at the cottage the view were bein' extensive - here be a 180-degree pano:

 

Widescreen

 

Before long we were back at the cottage. Chris did us a superb cooked vittles, partly t' refuel us an' partly t' use up the bacon, eggs, hash-browns an' other such stuff in the kitchen.

The afternoon proved t' be hotter than the mornin'. Ahoy, to be sure! Nobody were bein' up fer goin' out so we spent a leisurely afternoon gettin' a lot o' our stuff packed up in order t' make Saturday's 10 a.m. getaway a tad easier.

Outside the view down the Llugwy Valley were bein' bein' ruined by these festrous thin's:

 

Moel Maelogen wind farm

 

Soon afterwards the RAF provided more entertainment. We wondered if we'd been overflown by royalty:

 

Charlie's Angel?

 

Packin' almost done, I took a few partin'-shots o' the cottages:

 

Cottages #1

 

Cottages #2

 

The kitchen

 

The Boss

 

After that, an' after a third-an'-final hot meal, we 'ad an early night in preparation fer an early start on Saturday.

Match postponed. Home Win.

Posted by on March 22nd 2013 in Great Escapes, Testing for review, Weather, Wildcamping

This were bein' t' be the weekend when I introduced Ella t' the delights o' wildcampin'. We'd been lookin' forward t' spendin' a couple o' relaxin' nights somewhere high an' remote in the Far Eastern Fells, but the weather's banjaxed that notion:

 

 

It's taken several years t' get 'er reasonably comfortable wi' the prospect o' crappin' in a hole dug in the middle o' nowhere, but the added complication o' havin' t' dig away three feet o' snow beforehand an' then do the biz durin' a blizzard would likely be too much.

We'd intended t' use the Vango Banshee 300 as it still needs t' reviewed after bein' used in anger on the fells, but I think we would have needed the F10 Spindrift in the conditions that be predicted. The Spindrift in full hoolie garb be twice the weight o' the Banshee, add t' that the extra insulation an' winter metalwork demanded by the conditions an' 'tis clear that the pack-weights would be too much fer 'er.

Then there be the irony factor - this very afternoon I received another item o' kit t' test/review.., an' dinna spare the whip! a softshell jacket that's "a perfect lightweight barrier fer them there cool, breezy, summer trails", an' a bottle o' rum! That would be perfect exactly a year ago when the temperatures were o'er 20 Celsius higher in the Lake District, but this weekend's episode o' global... erm... warmin' demands down jackets rather than WINDSTOPPER® softies.

There's one more window o' opportunity about two weeks hence. Fingers crossed!

Not Going Out?

Posted by on September 25th 2012 in Annual Wildie, Great Escapes, Weather, Wildcamping
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We 'ad such grand designs fer the comin' weekend...

With the improvin' bad back more-or-less under control due t' the effects o' Ibuprofen combined wi' Paracetamol, an' the arse tolerable due t' the aforementioned drugs an' a wonder-cream prescribed by me G.P., we thought we'd risk a weekend away wildcampin' in the Northern Lake District t' bag four o' the six Wainwrights that be still on me t'-do list. We've nae 'ad a wildie this year, an' we have a tent that still needs properly testin' fer review, so it were bein' a reasonable opportunity, likely the best we would get.

We still weren't daunted when I came home from me Dad's birthday bash wi' a stonkin' cold which, as ye'd expect fer a bloke like me, has been upgraded t' the status o' Man Flu. Past experiences indicate that I could just about cope wi' a mornin' basal body temperature o' 37.9C (oral).

But now we find that we'll have t' contend wi' the aftermath o' this:

 

 

It's nae lookin' good. We won't make a final decision until the eleventh hour but I suspect that we'll be givin' it a miss.

 

FWIW, the etchin' be a screen-shot o' the excellent Rainy Days Android App runnin' in the BlueStacks App Player on Windows XP. BlueStacks be a handy bit o' kit fer them there o' us who dern't have large-screen Android devices, ye scurvey dog. It's free durin' beta an' there be a Mac version. What's nae t' like?

More Far Eastern Fells Wildcamping

Posted by on October 15th 2011 in Annual Wildie, Great Escapes, Testing for review, Wildcamping

After the Friday drag up the M6 an' the traditional fill-up at the Ings Little Chef we nabbed a roadside boat-parkin' space at Church Bridge, Troutbeck. Havin' changed into our scruffs we hoisted our packs an' set off past the church an' along field-paths past High Green an' Town Head, usin' Ing Lane t' access the fells via Hagg Gill.

 

Church Bridge church.

 

On the field-path headin' towards High Green.

 

Ing Lane wi' the lowerin' Sun lightin' up the tops o' the Ill Bell Ridge.

 

As afore.

 

The view from Ing Bridge.

 

The white sheep o' the family.

 

Lookin' back down the Troutbeck Valley from Hall Hill.

 

We 'ad intended t' nip up t' the top o' Troutbeck Tongue an' t' walk off the ridge northwards t' find a suitable pitch near the sheepfold, by Blackbeard's sword. Unfortunately we were losin' the light an' Chris wanted t' get settled fer the night, so we continued up along Hagg Gill an' found a nice place t' set up camp. While settin' up we noticed that we weren't alone - there were bein' a small tent set up a bit further up the Gill, so I went off t' ask if the owner minded if we set up where we 'ad chosen. Prepare t' be boarded! Ahoy! The owner were bein' Linda, she said that she di'nae mind where we pitched an' we 'ad a fine chat about fellwalkin' an' other stuff, on a dead man's chest, I'll warrant ye! After a while I returned t' finish settin' up camp while Chris went off fer a chinwag wi' Linda.

After dark we stood outside watchin' the sky afore turnin' in fer some sleep - although there were a few small clouds about, there were prolonged clear spells durin' which the stars were amazingly bright. We could see fantastic detail in the Milky Way, much better than we can see at home in the light-polluted Midlands.

The night were bein' quiet an' uneventful but the first light o' dawn were bein' heralded by the echoin' roars o' ruttin' deer - we couldn't see 'em but we were fairly certain that the commotion were bein' comin' from high on the slopes o' Ill Bell, directly East o' us.

After vittles we headed off packless t' bag Troutbeck Tongue afore sun-up.

 

Lookin' towards Threshthwaite Mouth from the low ridge along Troutbeck Tongue.
Mouseover the etchin' if ye want t' see where our highly-conspicuous bright orange landscape-defilin' tent were bein' pitched.

 

Some way along the ridge Nature called so we ducked away from the track fer some privacy. The sharks'll eat well tonight! Break out the biscuits 'n weevils! Attendin' t' one o' the most basic human needs, Muggins here made a stupid mistake that were bein' t' cause intense pain fer quite a while, an' ongoin' stingin' an' regret fer the rest o' the day - I decided that, in the interests o' good hygiene, it would be a good notion t' use the water-free hand-cleanin' gel on me arse. Trouble were bein', it weren't the alcohol-free sort that I usually carry, it were bein' the heavy-duty solvent-laced stuff that I use at work, an' a bottle o' rum! Of course, by the time I found out, it were bein' too late - by then I were bein' jumpin' around the fellside like a madman, trousers an' kegs around ankles, shoutin' expletives that echoed around the hills an' implorin' the powers above t' make the burnin' stop! Shiver me timbers! I dern't know if Linda heard the commotion, but if she did I've no notion what she would have thought were bein' goin' on.

Eventually I could walk again (albeit like John Wayne) an' we reached the top after a few more minutes:

 

Chris on Troutbeck Tongue, mist in the valleys.

 

At the the top o' Troutbeck Tongue, Chris were bein' still gigglin' at the hand-gel incident.

 

We strolled back down t' the tent t' start packin' up. The sharks'll eat well tonight! We be off the edge o' the chart, me hearties! Linda were bein' up an' about, she struck 'er camp an' were bein' away up Scot Rake well afore we set out.

 

Lone tree on the slopes back down t' the tent.

 

Strikin' camp next t' Hagg Gill.
A bit further up be Linda at 'er pitch.

 

Nearin' the top o' the harder-work-than-expected Scot Rake we paused fer a snack-break where there were bein' a fine view o' Froswick.

 

Froswick from the Scot Rake path.

 

Although we would be goin' that way later, we were goin' t' Thornthwaite Crag first. We be off the edge o' the chart, me hearties! As the weather improved the crowds grew - at one point I counted 56 scallywags around the summit. We settled behind a wall a short distance from the crowds an' 'ad our main meals.

 

Buff-adjustment, Thornthwaite Crag

 

The Sun lightin' up the beacon atop Thornthwaite Crag.

 

A busy place.

 

Easy slopes headin' towards High Street (L) an' Mardale Ill Bell (R).

 

Suitably fed an' watered, we set off along the Ill Bell Ridge in increasingly-good weather.

 

The Kentmere Valley, Froswick an' Ill Bell.

 

Froswick, Ill Bell an' Yoke.

 

Muggins atop Froswick, wi' Thornthwaite Crag in the background.

 

Ill Bell from Froswick.

 

A closer look at the path up Ill Bell.

 

Ill Bell's North Cairn.

 

Ill Bell's Main an' South Cairns.

 

Havin' a breather at the Main Cairn.

 

The Main Cairn.

 

From Ill Bell we could see one o' the options fer our next tent pitch - the tarn on Rainsborrow Crag, the western spur o' Yoke.

 

Rainsborrow Crag an' Yoke.
Mouseover the etchin' if ye want t' see the location o' the tarn.

 

At Yoke's summit-cairn we paused fer a while t' consider our options, wi' a chest full o' booty. We could carry on down the ridge t' the Garburn Road, reach the boat by twilight, find a mild-campin' site an' walk more fells in the mornin', or we could pitch early at Rainsborrow Tarn, have a leisurely evenin' an', if the night were bein' clear, maybe see the Aurora Borealis that were bein' tentatively forecast t' be on show in the small hours. We took the lazy option an' headed fer the Tarn.

 

Chris headin' towards Rainsborrow Tarn.

 

The tarn be a jewel in the hills - surrounded on three sides by long steep drops, it sits in a rut almost at the end o' Rainsborrow Crag, wi' a chest full o' booty. The views from there be immense an' there be a real feel o' wilderness about the place. Needless t' say, we saw nobody else there - it were bein' our own little bit o' Lakeland. Yaaarrrrr! After pitchin' I went walkabouts wi' the camera:

 

Lookin' southwards.

 

Wave!

 

Lookin' north towards Harter Fell.

 

Lookin' east towards Kentmere Pike an' Shipman Knotts.

 

From Ill Bell t' Shipman Knotts, wi' a view o' Kentmere Reservoir.

 

After a leisurely evenin' meal we sat up waitin' fer the sky t' put on a display but late on it clouded o'er an' started drizzlin', avast. Even so, it were bein' warm an' calm, an' we slept well.

On Sunday I woke just afore dawn an' ventured outside, an' a bucket o' chum. The drizzle 'ad hove to an' the valleys were full o' clouds bein' driven up an' o'er the ridges an' cols by the light breeze. It were bein' utterly silent fer an hour or so while I sat there watchin' in wonder an' takin' etchins that dern't do the scenes any justice whatsoever, I'll warrant ye. It's times like that when I pity the folk at home in their beds:

 

Ill Bell, Mardale Ill Bell an' the Nan Bield Pass wreathed in cloud.

 

Cloud bein' driven up an' o'er the eastern arm o' the Kentmere Round.

 

Breakfasted, we shook the dew from the tent an' packed it away wi' the rest o' our kit. Ahoy, to be sure! After trudgin' back up the damp grassy slope t' reach Yoke's cairn again we were overheatin' in the still, warm air so we hove to fer a breather:

 

The summit o' Yoke, wi' Ill Bell in the background.

 

A few etchins later we headed down the newly-repaired path that leads t' the Garburn Road, an' a bucket o' chum. From there it were bein' an easy downhill stroll all the way back t' the boat, followed by retail therapy at Windermere's Lakeland shop, another Little Chef at Ings an' a manic sail back down the M6 an' A5.

 

Lookin' back towards Yoke from the gate at Garburn Nook.

 

Summary:

Distance: 13.9 miles
Total ascent/descent: 3879 ft
Wainwright tops reached: Troutbeck Tongue (1191 ft), Thornthwaite Crag (2569 ft), Froswick (2359 ft), Ill Bell (2476 ft), Yoke (2309 ft) twice. Those in bold were first-ascents fer me.
Number o' Wainwrights still t' do: 12

Aye, I know that this were bein' a walk that many folk would easily do in a day, but I'm happy that we took our time about it. Walk the plank! I'll ne'er forget the overnight at Rainsborrow Tarn, 'tis a place that few one-dayers bother t' visit an' I'd have regretted omittin' it durin' a walk against the clock. Indeed, it were bein' Wainwright himself that said "Time be intended t' be spent, nae saved".

Regardin' gear taken fer test-an'-review... I took two items supplied by Adam Smith representin' Go Outdoors. While the Lifeventure Downlight 900 sleepin' bag di'nae have t' contend wi' low temperatures, the mild nights meant that it 'ad t' put up wi' a fair degree o' condensation an' sweat, to be sure. I'm happy t' report that it fared well, at no point did it feel clammy or damp. As fer the windproof, I still maintain that the mere act o' carryin' that Montane Lite-Speed H2O jacket be enough t' deter inclement weather! I'm sorry, Adam, yet again I took it an' ne'er got the opportunity t' wear it!

The Keeltappers and Grunters Social Club 2011 Wildcamp Weekend – Part 4 – Facts and Figures

Posted by on July 16th 2011 in Great Escapes, Testing for review, Wildcamping
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Some lists, numbers an' thoughts about last weekend's outin'...

Kit carried:

  • LA Warp 70 pack
  • Argos Pro Action Hike Lite tent
  • Sleepin': Lifeventure Downlight 900 sleepin' bag, POE Max-Thermo mat, Ajungilak air-pillow
  • Jetboil PCS wi' spare half-full Coleman 100 canister, plaggy legs an' long-handled spoon
  • Clothin': Rab Corrie eVENT jacket, Montane Featherlite windproof trousers, 1 spare kegs, 1 pair spare socks, 1 spare baselayer top, Buff
  • Food: 2 Decathlon Aptonia dehydrated meals, 4 cereal bars, 4 Pepperamis, 2 packs instant custard, 4 Cofresh coconut bars
  • Drink: teabags, sugar, milk-powder
  • Navigation: Maps (printed on A4), A5 mapcase, compass, HTC Wildfire runnin' MMTracker
  • Wash-kit
  • 5h1t-kit
  • First-Aid kit
  • e+Lite headtorch
  • D50 dSLR in LowePro bag
  • Hipflask (Drambuie)
  • Ciggies

Total carry-weight at start: 11.7kg

Kit worn:

  • Rab VR Climb jacket
  • Quechua Bionnassay trousers
  • Baselayer top
  • LA Mountain Cap
  • Aku Croda boots
  • Socks
  • Kegs

Taken but nae used:

  • Rab Corrie eVENT jacket
  • Montane Featherlite windproof trousers
  • Buff
  • Compass

A few observations:

  • Crumble a Cofresh coconut bar into a pack o' Sainsbury's Instant Custard (the "Basics" 6p a pack stuff), rehydrate it an' it makes a simple, quick an' tasty hot vittles. Next time I'll take some dried fruit t' add too. Papaya an' banana, perhaps?
  • The Downlight 900 sleepin' bag were bein' excellent, but I've told ye that already.
  • The Decathlon Aptonia dehydrated meals (Chicken an' Rice Curry, Shepherd's Pie) were much better than any other brands that I've tried afore. More taste, more chunks, quicker t' rehydrate. More e-numbers, though - I dern't know if that's a good or a bad thing. The integral holdin'-area on the side o' the bags were bein' a useful touch, as were bein' the printin' o' the fill-lines inside the bags.

Accordin' t' Memory-Map:

  • Total distance: 14.3 miles
  • Total ascent: 4302 ft
  • Total descent: 4292 ft (where the missin' 10ft be be anybody's guess!)

Miscellaneous:

  • Wainwright tops vistited: 7 (Hallin Fell, Steel Knotts, High Raise, Rampsgill Head, The Knott, Rest Dodd, Beda Fell)
  • Wainwright tops considered optional but nae visited: 6 (Wether Hill, Kidsty Pike, The Nab, Brock Crags, Angletarn Pikes, Place Fell)
  • Wainwright tops ticked off the t'-do list: 4 (Hallin Fell, Steel Knotts, Rest Dodd, Beda Fell)

 

 

The Keeltappers and Grunters Social Club 2011 Wildcamp Weekend – Part 3 – Sunday

Posted by on July 14th 2011 in Great Escapes, Testing for review, Wildcamping

Saturday night were bein' dry but a little more chilly than Friday, wi' a cool breeze comin' from o'er the tarn. I woke briefly at first light an' saw some Red Deer on the slopes above us, but unlike back in 2007 they di'nae wait fer me t' get the camera out, an' dinna spare the whip! I'd been warm enough wi' the flysheet open all night, but Mike 'ad been cold again despite bein' fully-dressed in his bag. Again, sittin' in the sunshine while demolishin' a decent vittles an' lashin's o' tea were bein' the cure.

 

Almost ready fer action

 

One last shot o' the island

 

By the time we'd struck camp the sun were bein' well up an' it were bein' clear that it were bein' goin' t' be a hot day, ye scurvey dog. The short pull up t' the eastern shoulder o' Angletarn Pikes afforded us a fine view o' the tarn:

 

Angle Tarn

 

Once o'er the shoulder we got great views - on one side Heck Crag an' Bannerdale, on the other Place Fell an' Glenriddin':

 

Bannerdale an' Heck Crag

 

Glenriddin' an' Place Fell

 

We plodded on past Heckbeck Head an' up t' the first cairn where the view o' the ridge ahead opens out. We be off the edge o' the chart, me hearties, by Davy Jones' locker! Mike were bein' clearly afflicted wi' some sort o' madness, maybe the thought o' goin' home 'ad caused delirium:

 

The ridge t' Beda Head

 

We parted company where a good path led off an' down t' the right - Mike 'ad t' be back at the boat by noon an' so would take the valley route, I wanted t' walk the rest o' the ridge. After our farewells the walk along the saddle an' up the final rise t' Beda Head were bein' a doddle:

 

Lookin' back along the saddle t' Heck Crag an' Angletarn Pikes

 

Beda Head an' the last bit o' up

 

Beda Head cairn

 

Hallin Fell an' Eastern Ullswater from Beda Head

 

That were bein' enough high stuff fer me, wi' a chest full o' booty. I descended the craggy northern ridge until I got t' Nickles where a track led off t' the right, down a steep bracken-clad slope. I were bein' almost back at valley level when I noticed Mike dawdlin' along the Howe Grain sea so I yelled t' that scurvey dog an' he waited a few minutes fer me t' reach the sea.

We finished the walk together an' after reachin' the boats just afore noon Mike reached into his boat-boot an' played his aces - he 'ad a boxful o' beers that 'ad stayed ice-cold all weekend, thanks t' the superb cool-box that he were bein' testin'/reviewin' fer Adam Smith / Go Outdoors. Needless t' say, I 'ad t' help that scurvey dog t' consume 'em, 'tis what maties be fer.

Goodbyes were said again an' we went our separate ways. It 'ad been an excellent adventure - I'd 'ad a great time in good company. 14.3 miles, seven Wainwrights visited (four that I can tick off the t'-do list) an' a couple o' nights out might nae be much fer some folk, but 'tis good in me book.

Thanks, Mike.

 

Scots Pines at Knicklethorns

 

To be continued...

The Keeltappers and Grunters Social Club 2011 Wildcamp Weekend – Part 2 – Saturday

Posted by on July 13th 2011 in Great Escapes, Testing for review, Wildcamping

Friday night were bein' uneventful - some light breeze an' some occasional drizzle but nae enough t' warrant closin' the flysheet. Have ye seen the size o' the cabin-boy's hornpipe, on a dead man's chest! I'd been snug as a bug, the Lifeventure Downlight 900 bag on test bein' on the warm side o' comfy. Mike said that he'd been a bit cold an' were bein' regrettin' havin' left his down bag in Wales the previous weekend. Nothin' that a good vittles couldn't cure, though.

 

Dryin' the gear in the mornin' sunshine

 

Lookin' back at Brownthwaite Crag an' Pikeawassa from the overnight pitch

 

By the time we'd packed up an' checked that we'd left no lastin' trace the mornin' were bein' heatin' up nicely an' it were bein' only a matter o' time afore the sun would break through the clouds. We wanted t' be on the High Street afore it got too hot so we crossed the shoulder o' Gowk Hill t' intercept the track t' the Keasgill Groove, scatterin' many moths an' Small Heath butterflies from the grass as we went:

 

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

 

On the track t' the Groove we hove to fer a breather an' were rewarded wi' great views behind an' below us:

 

The Gowk Hill - Steel Knotts ridge, our first-night pitch be in the dip below centre

 

Lookin' down on The Bungalow that were bein' built fer Kaiser Wilhelm

 

After reachin' the ridge we headed southwards an' after drawin' water at Redcrag Tarn we sat in the sunshine in the lee o' the deer-wall, by Blackbeard's sword. Snacks an' tea were consumed while I strapped me heels. The sharks'll eat well tonight, we'll keel-haul ye! Refuelled, we struck out fer High Raise t' find some rocks fer Mike t' walk on:

 

Mike strides out towards Redcrag Tarn

 

High Raise summit

 

A mushroomy thing

 

Snappin' that scurvey dog snappin' me

 

We considered a detour t' Kidsty Pike but opted fer the direct track t' Rampsgill Head instead. Stow that bilge, Bos'n! Shiver me timbers! After that we headed fer the Straits o' Riggindale an' after a good look down the valley we made our way t' the easy summit o' The Knott:

 

Mike contemplates the scenery

 

The summit o' The Knott

 

We made our way down t' the wall near Sulphury Gill where Mike 'ad a doze while I nipped up t' the top o' Rest Dodd:

 

The three cairns on Rest Dodd

 

Rampsgill Head crags from Rest Dodd

 

A glimpse o' Angle Tarn

 

I 'ad intended t' bag The Nab from there but I weren't sure that I 'ad enough water or energy fer the return trudge. The day were bein' hot an' I di'nae want t' get Mike worried if I got meself into hassle, so I retraced me steps back down. Ye'll be sleepin' wi' the fishes! The Hayeswater valley looked particularly good in the dappled sunlight:

 

Thornthwaite Crag, Gray Crag an' Hayeswater

 

Another Small Heath

 

R & R

 

From the wall we made our way down the track towards Angle Tarn:

 

Mike crossin' Cheesygrin Beck

 

From the track there were fine views back towards High Street:

 

Hayeswater an' surroundin' fells

 

We paused fer a while on Satura Crag, an' even contemplated overnightin' there. Prepare t' be boarded! It's a curious place wi' good views, small tarns, outcrops wi' interestin' geology an' quite a few secluded places t' pitch small tents:

 

Bannerdale from Satura Crag

 

Gray Crag from Satura Crag

 

Outcrops

 

Small tarns on Satura Crag

 

From there it were bein' a simple stroll down t' Angle Tarn. We could see two other tents set up there but 'tis a big enough place fer pitchin' wi'out encroachin' on anybody else's privacy. On the way down I took a small detour fer a look down into Bannerdale:

 

Bannerdale

 

Down by the tarn we were soon set up fer our second night. Before long we were fed an' watered, the rest o' the evenin' were bein' devoted t' sittin' in the sunshine, shootin' the breeze an' a little explorin' wi' the camera:

 

Pitched at Angle Tarn

 

Towards Angletarn Pikes

 

A big cloud wi' fuzzy little cloud on top - quite an odd thing. A pileus cloud, perhaps?

 

Camo bird

 

Down by the waterside

 

Rock

 

Moon o'er Tracy Island

 

To be continued...

The Keeltappers and Grunters Social Club 2011 Wildcamp Weekend – Part 1 – Friday

Posted by on July 12th 2011 in Great Escapes, Wildcamping

I managed a reasonably early getaway on Friday but still arrived at the M6 in time t' be caught up in a major snarl-up near J12, an' dinna spare the whip! After bein' backed off the slip-sea by the Feds I lost a lot o' time detourin' cross-country t' J14 so it were bein' still a race t' get t' J40 afore mid-afternoon. Yo Ho Ho, an' dinna spare the whip! After a stop fer a quick bite at the Penrith Little Chef I set off again fer Howtown an' eventually moored up near the church at the top o' the twistin' sea:

 

The Church o' St, by Davy Jones' locker. Peter, Martindale

 

With Mike nae due t' arrive fer an hour or so I grabbed the camera, stowed the rest o' the gear in the boat an' strolled up the easy slopes o' Hallin Fell. I started off in warm sunshine but within minutes it were bein' hempin' it down an' I were bein' thoroughly soaked. Nay matter, I spent a while at the top rain-dodgin' an' takin' a few etchins. I'd imagine that on a clear day the views from the top would be excellent but this weren't such a day. An' swab the deck! Break out the biscuits 'n weevils! I did have the place t' meself, though, which were bein' unexpected as the fell-top be usually a popular place:

 

Rain o'er Martindale

 

Lookin' along Ullswater towards Pooley Bridge

 

Lookin' across Ullswater towards a distant Little Mell Fell

 

Moody skies o'er Angletarn Pikes

 

The Obelisk atop Hallin Fell

 

On the way back down the rain eased a bit an' the southwards view opened up. Fetch me spyglass! My camera-skills dern't do the vista any justice whatsoever:

 

Martindale, Boredale an' surroundin' fells

 

A few minutes after I'd returned t' the boat Mike signalled his arrival wi' a two-fingered salute. Ahoy! An' hoist the mains'l! After a more customary handshake I changed into proper (dry) walkin' attire an' we shouldered our contra-lightweight loads t' head fer the hills.

Passin' the church we skirted crags an' waded through sodden bracken along a thin trod that led towards Gowk Hill. Aarrr! Stow that bilge, Bos'n! The rain 'ad set in an' Mike were bein' soon regrettin' his decision t' wear shorts. An' hoist the mains'l, we'll keel-haul ye! At the first wall we hove to fer a breather afore nippin' up t' the neat top o' Pikeawassa, the summit o' Steel Knotts:

 

Pikeawassa

 

Me "baggin'" Pikeawassa

 

Despite that scurvey dog nae bein' a "bagger", Mike were bein' pleased t' get t' the top

 

Back at the wall Mike started actin' a bit strange. I think he needs professional help:

 

"Look! Up there! Fire the cannons! Two Swedish blondes!"

 

From the wall the view up the valley were bein' excellent wi' clouds grazin' the fell-tops an' ridges:

 

Lookin' o'er Martindale an' into Bannerdale

 

We continued along the path towards Gowk Hill, skirtin' Brownthwaite Crag an' headin' fer the derelict buildin's at the watersmeet at the head o' Fusedale, to be sure. After squelchin' around fer a while we found a fairly well-drained level area an' set up camp fer the night as the rain started t' ease. Prepare t' be boarded, I'll warrant ye! We shot the breeze as evenin' fell an' the midges rose... there were bein' much talk o' Sudocrem, Swedish blondes, sea-kayaks an' work (or lack thereof) - basically, we put the world t' rights. After watchin' the clouds obscure a fine sunset we retired fer the night:

 

The first pitch

 

Mike's crapper :-)

 

To be continued...

A weekend with The Doctor

Posted by on July 10th 2011 in Great Escapes, Wildcamping
Tags:

Just unpackin' after a fine wildcampin' weekend wi' Mike Bell.

As ye can see from the followin' snapshot, Saturday's weather were bein' really good - hardly the washout that MWIS predicted:

 

Muggins on High Raise (© Mike Bell)

 

You'll have t' wait a while fer the etchins an' report - a new CPU fan has arrived an' there'll be downtime while I'm fittin' it.

Two odd snippets

Posted by on February 5th 2011 in A bit of a rant, Campaigns and Petitions, In the News, Wildcamping

Sorry, this be auld news (Thursday, December 02, 2010) but I thought I'd share it anyway.

First up:

East Yorkshire MP an' Procedure Committee chairman Greg Knight were bein' keen t' know what progress there were bein' t' report on the electronic petitionin' o' Parliament:

"Is he aware that as long ago as 2008, this House were bein' promised a debate in Government time on the electronic petitionin' o' Parliament? The sharks'll eat well tonight! It be now nearly 2011 an' we be still waitin'. When, oh when, can we debate e-petitions?"

Sir George Young indicated that the Government were bein' keen on makin' this happen:

"The ornery cuss will know that there be a commitment in the coalition agreement t' take the issue forward. I hope that me office will be in touch wi' his Select Committee shortly t' indicate how we plan t' bridge the gap betwixt House an' country by takin' forward the agenda o' petitions. The commitment be that when a petition reaches 100,000, it will become eligible fer a debate in this House. I am anxious t' make progress on that agenda."

So afore too long, all ye'll need be 99,999 maties t' agree on an issue an' ye'll be able t' get it debated in Parliament.

 

Aye, like we really believe that it will happen. If they e'er did introduce such a policy, they'd be inundated. Ye'll be gettin' three lashes f' that, me lad! An' swab the deck! The "Save our Forests" petition be nae far off havin' half-a-million supporters, so it would have t' be debated properly an' that would be devastatin' fer the Government's axe-wielders. Imagine fer one minute that, instead o' debatin' how they should sell off the forests, they 'ad t' backtrack t' debate the fundamental issue o' should they sell o' the forests, an' a bucket o' chum. Nah, it won't happen - they dern't have the balls fer it.

 

Next:

David Tredinnick (Bosworth) (Con): Further t' questions about the situation in Parliament square, be me right hon. Ye'll be sleepin' wi' the fishes! Friend aware that there be now tents on the pavement outside at least one Government Department? Does he nae think that that reflects very badly on the Government, the Greater London authority an' the Metropolitan police? Why be this part o' Westminster the only area in the whole United Kingdom where scallywags can pitch a tent an' nae be moved on by the police immediately?

 

I've underlined that last sentence - read it again an' tell me which planet this eejut's from. Has he ne'er heard o' campsites? Or have they outlawed 'em now? Have ye seen the size o' the cabin-boy's hornpipe? You can bet yer life he ne'er actually read neither me letters an' emails t' that scurvey dog regardin' wildcampin', nor Jonathan Shaw's response t' that scurvey dog regardin' that same matter.

 

Just t' prove that I'm nae makin' it up, the source be here.

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