Posts tagged 'Angletarn Pikes'

Soloing from Patterdale

Posted by on December 15th 2011 in Great Escapes, Testing for review, YHA

After Friday's nightmare seven-hour drag up the M6 I was glad to be back on the familiar A591. The further I drove the deeper the surrounding snow was, and I was unsure as to whether the Kirkstone Pass would be navigable. In the end, after discussing the conditions with a few local folk, I decided to go for it and found that although the road-snow at the top hadn't iced over it was beginning to do so on the leeward side and that made the descent into Patterdale quite interesting.

After getting installed at the hostel the evening was spent planning routes, chatting with a Mary and Paul (a nice couple staying at the hostel) and going out into the frosty night to take some pics of the amazingly clear sky.

Saturday was cold and windy but dry with the odd bit of sunshine - perfect weather for taking in a few easy fells. I decided to nab Red Screes and Middle Dodd via Caiston Glen and the Scandale Pass. Not too far a journey, but walking into the wind and spindrift on the way up towards the Pass and then with a strong ice-laden side-wind on the pull up to Red Screes made it seem twice as far. I'll let the pics do the talking for a while...

 

The Red Screes and Middle Dodd route - about 4 miles and 2000ft of up and down.

Middle Dodd and High Hartsop Dodd from the Kirkstone Road.

A better view of Middle Dodd.

Looking back towards Hartsop.

Caiston Glen.

Little Hart Crag and High Hartsop Dodd from Broad Crag.

The wall above Broad Crag.

A wider view of Broad Crag and beyond.

Light over Morecambe Bay.

The Red Screes trig-point.

The Red Screes summit-cairn and shelter.

Looking down Smallthwaite Band towards Middle Dodd and Brotherswater.

 

Looking northwards from the upper cairn on Middle Dodd.

Red Screes from the upper cairn on Middle Dodd.

Westwards towards the Little Hart Crag and the Fairfield fells.

Eastwards - a glimpse of the Ill Bell ridge.

A better view of the lower cairn on Middle Dodd.

 

Steep ground on the descent.

 

As the descent got steeper, the views got better.

Moraines and fields.

A bit of blue sky above Little Hart Crag.

Sunlight on Angletarn Pikes.

The evening was spent much as before but without the photo-opportunities - rain had set in and cloud-cover was almost total. After a fine hostel meal and hours of chin-wagging with Mary and Paul I turned in for the night.

Sunday morning was different again - full of incessant driving rain and low clouds. Looking out from the hostel during breakfast I had half a mind to bail to the shops of Ambleside and Windermere, but managed to summon enough gumption for a quick slog up to Shipman Knotts. Another minor walk, but the clag, the wind and the abundant run-off made it quite an ordeal. There was still plenty of deep snow up there but sorry, there are hardly any pics from this walk - for most of the time the conditions were just too wet to risk soaking the camera. Here's what you get:

The Shipman Knotts route - about 4.5 miles and 1250ft of up and down.

 

Plenty of water in Stile End Beck.

A clagged-in Shipman Knotts from near Stile End Farm.

In spate - the Kent in Staveley.

And that's about it. I negotiated the A591/M6/A5 and was home in time for tea and a long session of sorting/washing/drying the gear. Job done.

Summary:

Wainwright tops reached: Red Screes (2541 ft), Middle Dodd (2106 ft), Shipman Knotts (1926 ft). All first-ascents for me.
Number of Wainwrights still to do: 9

On Saturday I was expecting that the overnight freeze would mean that the tops would be more icy than snowy, so I carried crampons. My expectations were wrong, though, and I didn't need them. I really should have taken the snooshows and the clackysticks instead - they would have saved a lot of post-holing in the seriously-deep drifts. The axe saved me several times on the steepest bits of the descent of Middle Dodd. On Sunday I took no such metalwork, I'd have been better-off taking a diving-suit and flippers!

Regarding gear taken for test-and-review... I took one item supplied by Adam Smith representing Go Outdoors. Yes, I actually got around to properly using that Montane Lite-Speed H2O jacket that I've had for months! Conditions on Sunday's walk were so wet and windy that I decided to use it as a shell over my Rab VR Climb jacket as an extra layer of defence. It kept out most of the driven rain and the hood worked well underneath my L.A. Mountain Cap. My only gripe with it is that because there are no pockets in the Lite-Speed I had to resort to gloves, and the cuffs of the jacket aren't glove-friendly. On the plus side, it kept me warm and dry and I didn't have to walk around with pockets full of water!

I was also trying out some base-layer stuff, but more about that later.

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 was dry but a little more chilly than Friday, with a cool breeze coming from over the tarn. I woke briefly at first light and saw some Red Deer on the slopes above us, but unlike back in 2007 they didn't wait for me to get the camera out. I'd been warm enough with the flysheet open all night, but Mike had been cold again despite being fully-dressed in his bag. Again, sitting in the sunshine while demolishing a decent breakfast and lashings of tea was the cure.

 

Almost ready for action

 

One last shot of the island

 

By the time we'd struck camp the sun was well up and it was clear that it was going to be a hot day. The short pull up to the eastern shoulder of Angletarn Pikes afforded us a fine view of the tarn:

 

Angle Tarn

 

Once over the shoulder we got great views - on one side Heck Crag and Bannerdale, on the other Place Fell and Glenridding:

 

Bannerdale and Heck Crag

 

Glenridding and Place Fell

 

We plodded on past Heckbeck Head and up to the first cairn where the view of the ridge ahead opens out. Mike was clearly afflicted with some sort of madness, maybe the thought of going home had caused delirium:

 

The ridge to Beda Head

 

We parted company where a good path led off and down to the right - Mike had to be back at the car by noon and so would take the valley route, I wanted to walk the rest of the ridge. After our farewells the walk along the saddle and up the final rise to Beda Head was a doddle:

 

Looking back along the saddle to Heck Crag and Angletarn Pikes

 

Beda Head and the last bit of up

 

Beda Head cairn

 

Hallin Fell and Eastern Ullswater from Beda Head

 

That was enough high stuff for me. I descended the craggy northern ridge until I got to Nickles where a track led off to the right, down a steep bracken-clad slope. I was almost back at valley level when I noticed Mike dawdling along the Howe Grain road so I yelled to him and he waited a few minutes for me to reach the road.

We finished the walk together and after reaching the cars just before noon Mike reached into his car-boot and played his aces - he had a boxful of beers that had stayed ice-cold all weekend, thanks to the superb cool-box that he was testing/reviewing for Adam Smith / Go Outdoors. Needless to say, I had to help him to consume them, it's what friends are for.

Goodbyes were said again and we went our separate ways. It had been an excellent adventure - I'd had a great time in good company. 14.3 miles, seven Wainwrights visited (four that I can tick off the to-do list) and a couple of nights out might not be much for some folk, but it's good in my 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 was uneventful - some light breeze and some occasional drizzle but not enough to warrant closing the flysheet. I'd been snug as a bug, the Lifeventure Downlight 900 bag on test being on the warm side of comfy. Mike said that he'd been a bit cold and was regretting having left his down bag in Wales the previous weekend. Nothing that a good breakfast couldn't cure, though.

 

Drying the gear in the morning sunshine

 

Looking back at Brownthwaite Crag and Pikeawassa from the overnight pitch

 

By the time we'd packed up and checked that we'd left no lasting trace the morning was heating up nicely and it was only a matter of time before the sun would break through the clouds. We wanted to be on the High Street before it got too hot so we crossed the shoulder of Gowk Hill to intercept the track to the Keasgill Groove, scattering many moths and Small Heath butterflies from the grass as we went:

 

Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)

 

On the track to the Groove we stopped for a breather and were rewarded with great views behind and below us:

 

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

 

Looking down on The Bungalow that was built for Kaiser Wilhelm

 

After reaching the ridge we headed southwards and after drawing water at Redcrag Tarn we sat in the sunshine in the lee of the deer-wall. Snacks and tea were consumed while I strapped my heels. Refuelled, we struck out for High Raise to find some rocks for Mike to walk on:

 

Mike strides out towards Redcrag Tarn

 

High Raise summit

 

A mushroomy thing

 

Snapping him snapping me

 

We considered a detour to Kidsty Pike but opted for the direct track to Rampsgill Head instead. After that we headed for the Straits of Riggindale and after a good look down the valley we made our way to the easy summit of The Knott:

 

Mike contemplates the scenery

 

The summit of The Knott

 

We made our way down to the wall near Sulphury Gill where Mike had a doze while I nipped up to the top of Rest Dodd:

 

The three cairns on Rest Dodd

 

Rampsgill Head crags from Rest Dodd

 

A glimpse of Angle Tarn

 

I had intended to bag The Nab from there but I wasn't sure that I had enough water or energy for the return trudge. The day was hot and I didn't want to get Mike worried if I got myself into hassle, so I retraced my steps back down. The Hayeswater valley looked particularly good in the dappled sunlight:

 

Thornthwaite Crag, Gray Crag and Hayeswater

 

Another Small Heath

 

R & R

 

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

 

Mike crossing Cheesygrin Beck

 

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

 

Hayeswater and surrounding fells

 

We paused for a while on Satura Crag, and even contemplated overnighting there. It's a curious place with good views, small tarns, outcrops with interesting geology and quite a few secluded places to pitch small tents:

 

Bannerdale from Satura Crag

 

Gray Crag from Satura Crag

 

Outcrops

 

Small tarns on Satura Crag

 

From there it was a simple stroll down to Angle Tarn. We could see two other tents set up there but it's a big enough place for pitching without encroaching on anybody else's privacy. On the way down I took a small detour for a look down into Bannerdale:

 

Bannerdale

 

Down by the tarn we were soon set up for our second night. Before long we were fed and watered, the rest of the evening was devoted to sitting in the sunshine, shooting the breeze and a little exploring with the camera:

 

Pitched at Angle Tarn

 

Towards Angletarn Pikes

 

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

 

Camo bird

 

Down by the waterside

 

Rock

 

Moon over 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 to be caught up in a major snarl-up near J12. After being backed off the slip-road by the Feds I lost a lot of time detouring cross-country to J14 so it was still a race to get to J40 before mid-afternoon. After a stop for a quick bite at the Penrith Little Chef I set off again for Howtown and eventually parked up near the church at the top of the twisting road:

 

The Church of St. Peter, Martindale

 

With Mike not due to arrive for an hour or so I grabbed the camera, stowed the rest of the gear in the car and strolled up the easy slopes of Hallin Fell. I started off in warm sunshine but within minutes it was hemping it down and I was thoroughly soaked. No matter, I spent a while at the top rain-dodging and taking a few pics. I'd imagine that on a clear day the views from the top would be excellent but this wasn't such a day. I did have the place to myself, though, which was unexpected as the fell-top is usually a popular place:

 

Rain over Martindale

 

Looking along Ullswater towards Pooley Bridge

 

Looking across Ullswater towards a distant Little Mell Fell

 

Moody skies over Angletarn Pikes

 

The Obelisk atop Hallin Fell

 

On the way back down the rain eased a bit and the southwards view opened up. My camera-skills don't do the vista any justice whatsoever:

 

Martindale, Boredale and surrounding fells

 

A few minutes after I'd returned to the car Mike signalled his arrival with a two-fingered salute. After a more customary handshake I changed into proper (dry) walking attire and we shouldered our contra-lightweight loads to head for the hills.

Passing the church we skirted crags and waded through sodden bracken along a thin trod that led towards Gowk Hill. The rain had set in and Mike was soon regretting his decision to wear shorts. At the first wall we stopped for a breather before nipping up to the neat top of Pikeawassa, the summit of Steel Knotts:

 

Pikeawassa

 

Me "bagging" Pikeawassa

 

Despite him not being a "bagger", Mike was pleased to get to the top

 

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

 

"Look! Up there! Two Swedish blondes!"

 

From the wall the view up the valley was excellent with clouds grazing the fell-tops and ridges:

 

Looking over Martindale and into Bannerdale

 

We continued along the path towards Gowk Hill, skirting Brownthwaite Crag and heading for the derelict buildings at the watersmeet at the head of Fusedale. After squelching around for a while we found a fairly well-drained level area and set up camp for the night as the rain started to ease. We shot the breeze as evening fell and the midges rose... there was much talk of Sudocrem, Swedish blondes, sea-kayaks and work (or lack thereof) - basically, we put the world to rights. After watching the clouds obscure a fine sunset we retired for the night:

 

The first pitch

 

Mike's crapper 🙂

 

To be continued...

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