Posts tagged 'Howtown'

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...

The Keeltappers and Grunters Social Club 2010 Patterdale Meet – Saturday

Posted by on February 10th 2010 in Great Escapes, YHA

The morning was bright and sunny with a low mist when we prepped for our days out. Mike was going out on the water, having brought his self-built sea-kayak "Tootega". Phil would be joining him on the water. Frank was happy to accompany me on a walk from Howtown back to the hostel via Hallin Fell and Beda Head (Wainwrights that I'd not been up), so we made off to the Glenridding boat-landings to catch the first steamer to Howtown. Somehow we managed to pass the pub without going in, despite the enticing aroma of another cooked breakfast...

White Lion, Patterdale

 

At the landings we hit a snag - the first sailing was cancelled due to fog on the water. If we had waited for the next sailing then we'd have been short on time for the walk, so Frank suggested going up either Sheffield Pike or Birkhouse Moor (or maybe even both) instead, as he'd not been up them before. Sorted. We started the long trudge up towards YHA Helvellyn and the old mine-works, with me listening intently to Frank telling more tales of climbing and of shagging.

Very occasionally Frank stopped (walking) to draw breath, so I took advantage of such opportunities to take some pics from the zig-zag path:

 

 

Views of Catstycam +/- Frank

After taking a deliberate detour up the spoil-heaps we found a nice spot for a breather and a brew, at some old mine-workings near the dam just above the Swart Beck ravine:

 

 

The view from the top of the ravine

 

After a dryshod crossing and a trudge through some virgin heather on Lucy's Tongue we gained the ridge-path where the views were superb:

 

Glencoyne Head

More views of Catstycam -/+ BG!

 

From there it was a gentle stroll to the summit, as demonstrated here by Frank:

 

Frank strolling on up towards Sheffield Pike summit

The views from the top were impressive, so the camera came out yet again. Here's a 300-degree panorama, you'll have to click it to see it in detail:

 

Ullswater - Hart Side Panorama

 

We counted many folk on Helvellyn and its satellites:

Folk on the tops and ridges

 

but despite getting a nice view of Ullswater, we couldn't see Mike:

Ullswater from Sheffield Pike

On the way down to Glenridding Dodd we passed a potentially-good wildcamping spot:

A quiet, sheltered place

 

before getting a good look at the Dodd itself:

The High Street range above Glenridding Dodd

 

After more talk of climbing and of shagging we reached the top of the Dodd which gave us views forwards to Patterdale and backwards to Sheffield Pike:

Patterdale and Sheffield Pike from Glenridding Dodd

 

The rocks of the summit-cairn are obviously volcanic in origin...

🙂

 

The final pic of the day was of the view over Glenridding:

Glenridding, Place Fell and the Head of Ullswater

We descended The Rake above Blaes Crag and steeled ourselves for the road-walk back to the hostel, but got side-tracked while trying to pass the Traveller's Rest pub. A cool drink, a real fire in the bar and the Six Nations on the telly were just too tempting. As we were leaving, Frank spotted Mike and Phil in the lounge, so we had to stay for another drink. Just to be sociable, of course. The delay of our departure had absolutely nothing to do with Frank detecting the presence of a fine young lady who surely must be the one-and-only Melanie Frontage.

Anyway, I digress. After the beers/leers Mike gave us a lift back to the hostel where we collaborated to produce a hearty meal for the four of us. Frank cooked a seafood pasta dish and provided some nice wine, I provided a toffee pud with custard, boil-in-the-can caramel stodge and Jaffa Cakes, and Mike brought snacks, dips and beer. Top stuff! Frank retired early in preparation for his planned Sunday activity (I bet you can't guess what that was), while the rest of us stayed up chatting until it was time to sleep.

To be continued...

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