7th October 2011
I don`t know why but I couldn`t be bothered writing this one up which is very strange because it was one of the best days out so far this soggy year.Anyway,here`s a quick half hearted attempt 🙂
Down to the Lake District this week for a change of scenery .It`s under two hours from my house and I really don`t know why we don`t get down more often. The forecast for the weekend was the usual recent rubbish,consisting of low cloud and driving rain.Friday however was looking good albeit with the wind giving a “severe buffeting” according to MWIS.We were booked into Barrow Mountaineering Clubs cottage at Coniston for the Friday and Saturday night along with our climbing club and it didn`t take much to convince Bob and I to go down early on the Friday morning to make the most of the weather.It was a spectacular morning and it`s just as well there is a paucity of parking places along the side of Ullswater as we probably wouldn`t have reached the hill before lunchtime….beautiful scenery.
Our goal was Striding Edge on Helvellyn and we were a wee bit disappointed to see a bank of cloud hanging over the top…
It looked like it would lift and,anyway,after the summer we have endured it wasn`t half bad. A wee bit of research the previous evening had flagged up the exorbitant parking fees in the National Trust car park at Glenridding weighing in at a hefty £7 for the day
Luckily though it had also shown that there was some free space below Stybarrow Crag a mile beforehand.There was room for half a dozen cars and being midweek late in the season we had it to ourselves.Buoyed by the boost to our wallets we followed a path along the side of Ullswater before crossing the road and heading up a track towards Gillside.
An excellent path then led up the flank of Birkhouse Moor and onto that summit.
The forecast was proving to be very accurate indeed with regard to the buffeting as it was blowing a hoolie as they say.A stop at the Hole in the Wall for a Mars bar and the gloves and hats went on for Striding Edge itself which stretched ahead of us in the sunshine..
The gusts were proving to be a tad wearisome and took away a bit of the pleasure that would be had on a calmer day.Nevertheless we enjoyed it 🙂 Found a sheltered spot on the southern side of the ridge and had a lunch stop with a grandstand view over to Fairfield.Pic courtesy of Bob.
It was over all too soon and we were faced with the final steep section up to the summit plateau where I had the chance of a breather when we had a natter with a couple of Yorkshire guys of our own age.Turned out I`d spent a night in their local pub in the village of Mattersey many years ago 🙂 These were the only two folk we spoke to all day though there were a few other folk around in the distance.
Swirral Edge from Striding Edge..
Looking back along Stridimg Edge…
The wind had disappeared completely by now so we had a wander around before having a seat in the wonderfully constructed windbreak near the summit.
Our intention had been to descend via Swirral Edge but that would have us back down a bit on the early side.My foot was a little bit sore by now but the wonderful cloud and light dabbling the hillsides decided it for us.We`d stay up high and make good use of the remaining hours of daylight and I`d worry about the foot later 🙂 Off we headed on the broad path to the south and Nethernmost Pike.Over to the west the light was changing by the minute…
….. and we had to call a halt to the photo stops or we`d never get back down.A nice viewpoint on the continuation to Dollywagon Pike…
We seemed to be on the disecting line of an east west split.Cloudy and moody magnificence to the west…..
…… and beautiful late evening sun to the east.
Over to Fairfield..
I had to call a halt on the descent down to Grisedale Tarn for a break and some magic foot ointment.Still,you couldn`t ask for a nicer spot for a half hours rest 🙂
Our route back down Grisedale was by now deep in shadow with the fading sun just illuminating the tops.
This was my first visit to Grisedale and I was very surprised at the craggy mountain feel it possessed.
Spotted a couple of Belted Galloways in a field further down.You don`t see many of them nowadays and they always bring a smile to my face for some reason 🙂
A few more stops to let the foot recover and we were back down at Patterdale albeit with an unintended detour through the grounds of some private lodge before a stroll back to the car along the lochside in the fading light.