Scafell Pike from Seathwaite

18 12 2012

While in Keswick yesterday picking up my new mountain bike, the course of my 2 days off was changed. After working a 70+ hour week last week I didn’t have any plans and was probably going to sit in editing the website.  I bumped into Naomi’s Grandad and he had picked up a lad called Victor, from Germany, who is travelling around the UK. Victor had been told by some very sensible people that he HAD to visit the Lake District when he was in England, and with that came his desire to want to head up either Helvellyn or Scafell Pike.

The forecast for today looked good, surprisingly good considering yesterday was so wet, and the rest of the week from now on is meant to also be pretty shoddy. After a little bit of deliberating we chose to head up Scafell Pike, and by doing so it would put Victor on top of the highest mountain in England!

Driving down the Borrowdale Valley the blue sky was broken up by a few clouds, and Scafell Pike could also not be seen, but we still had hope that it would disperse. We took our usual route up to Styhead Tarn and when we got there the high fells were dusted in some snow. We joined the Corridor route and as we reached the top of Piers Gill we started to hit the snow. It had obviously re-frozen leaving a hard layer on the top, but we still didn’t need Crampons on. We made our way up to the final slopes to the quiet summit, via the great viewpoint over Wastwater, and we had managed to get there and get views!

We took our photos and had a short break before descending via Broad Crag. As we reached Calf Cove the Snow was more compact so we decided to sit down and slide down the slope. This idea was far better as an idea as the snow was actually quite bumpy, and we both picked up a fair bit of speed! haha

We enjoyed a quick descend down Grains Gill and back to the car just before it got dark.



Loughrigg from Ambleside

8 12 2012

Today we walked up lovely little Loughrigg from Ambleside and had a great day in doing so!

Claire and Christian contacted Lakeland Mountain Guides as they wanted to test out some of their new kit for a nearing trip to Peru, as well as for Claire to practice some of newfound map skills.

We met in the centre of Ambleside and made our way down towards the park. I started to give Claire a point to navigate to up on the fellside and Lexi was busy running around…well, actually being chased by Christian. It was clear that they were going to have fun together today! It was a beautiful morning, and one that was defying the weather forecast. We climbed the good tracks and as we did so our views northwards towards the Fairfield Horseshoe got better and better.

Claire continued to navigate exceptionally well and Christian continued to chase Lexi around. We reached the summit at midday and were rewarded with some amazing views back towards Windermere and over into the Langdale Valley with the Langdale Pikes standing tall over it. We descended off of the summit towards Rydal Water and before reaching the lakeshore path we visited the huge man made cave. As we neared the cave we could hear some singing, but couldn’t see anyone, it was as though the cave was singing to us! We stopped to enjoy what was a choir making use of the Cave’s acoustics before heading in to say hello.

We  made our way back to Ambleside via the Under Loughrigg road. We seemed to get the best part of the day as while I was driving home the forecast came to fruition and it started raining. Lexi is now curled up on her bed sleeping after having Christian chase her round for a few hours…I wonder if Christian is doing the same? :p


Tryfan via The North Ridge in Winter

3 12 2012

Day 2 of our Winter Walking Weekend in Wales came around and we were about to hit a personal favourite of both of us, Tryfan. Tryfan stands out of the ground like a huge Sharks Fin, and it can simply be described as a scramblers heaven!

We parked up at about 9.00am below Millstone Buttress and eagerly left the van up the good stepped path. Not before long the good path led to the start of some more involved scrambling. I cannot really describe our route up to the summit in too much detail, apart from the fact that we climbed up icy steps, between thin flakes and through some snow filled gullies. We mixed the route up with some tricky sections, made tricker by a thin layer of ice on most rocks.

We reached the summit and were greeted by a lovely spot of sunshine. The views were fantastic and the weather was actually quite warm (relatively speaking for winter). We enjoyed our lunch and the company of some other mountaineers on the summit before leaving the summit via the south ridge. There was far more snow on this side of the mountain and we both had a laugh jumping into it and sliding down it. We cut off the main path and contoured our way around the western side of Tryfan and before we knew it we were back at the van. We made it up and over the mountain in just under 4 hours, but what a wicked 4 hours it was! Tryfan is a must do, especially in Winter!

Snowdon via Crib Goch in Winter

3 12 2012

A free weekend popped up in my Diary and I was determined to use it to it’s full potential! I dropped kelvyn a message on Facebook and within a few minutes we had a basic plan botched together. As we got closer to the weekend and had a better idea of conditions we opted to head south to Wales to tackle one of the UK’s gnaliest Ridges, and possibly Wales’s Best Mountain, Tryfan.

I left my house at 5.45am on Saturday morning and made my way to Kelvyn’s by Tebay, and from there we made the journey to Snowdonia.

We hopped out of the van at about 10.30 and started to make our way up towards Pen-Y-Pass from our free parking spot (a rareity in any national Park these days, and one that we managed to fluke due to a broken ticket machine). We reached Pen-Y-Pass in good time and left the car park on the good track that eventually leads onto the start of the well worn Pyg Track. Where the stile marks the start of the Pyg Track we broke off rightwards to start our climb up towards Crib Goch. Crib Goch is a huge Knife Edged arete with stupidly steep sides, which over the years has claimed many lives. The scramble up to the ridge was superb, and as we got higher we reached more and more ice and snow, which will be sure to add the spice to Crib Goch!

We chose not to put on our crampons as despite the ice, there was still loads of Rock poking through for us to get a grip on. Soon enough we were on the ridge and for the first time I was staring at Crib Goch. Kelvyn has traveresed Crib Goch many times, but I had not yet had the chance, until this moment. We carefully made our way across the edge, and aiming to coninue my honest blogging, I would be lying if I was to say I wasn’t a tad bit gripped in places! We made our way across narrow edges (which Striding Edge has nothing on!), down Pinnacles and up little rock faces. The sense of exposure was huge, and the consequences of even the smallest slip were obvious.  It was a great experience and one that did end just that little bit too soon.

From the col we climbed again onto another fine ridge. Although Crib Goch was over the scrambling certainly wasn’t. We stopped along this ridge for a bite to eat, during which we were joined by a rather large, but friendly Seagull! We cracked on again up into the mist where we were also met by some stronger winds and some snow. We reached the snow blasted Trig Point of Garnedd Ugain, and after a brief stop we pressed on towards the summit of Snowdon. We passed the marker to denote the top of the Pyg Track and from this point onwards we saw far more people. We trudged through the thickening snow up the summit ridge and out of the whiteout appeared the summit platform. We got to the summit and admired the fine views….not, and then took shelter next to the stations walls.

After a cup of soup we started to make our way off of the summit and back towards the Pyg Track. As we descended down the track our views were incredible, a real reward for what we had achieved so far. We cut off of the Pyg Track to join the Miners Track which led us easily back to Pen-Y-Pass, and then back to the van, both ready to head to the pub for a pint!