A walk through the world between places

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An Easy Time Evening.

Moonlight.

Moonlight.

Remembering how it is, when you visit friends or they visit us. Sitting out in the garden on a summer evening, and there is just some moments that stay forever. This is for all the good times shared with all of you. I’m catching up on some notes, but have finished my notebook on this trip so I need to find another. Just a small Moleskine to use for now.


An Easy Time Evening.

when the sun has gone but the warmth remains,
when the coffee comes and the stars turn,
and silence and words tell the same story.

The night-time animals take over
the wildlife noises, and the moon hints
at being around for a while,

clear sky lifts the spirits and we all
look up and away from real life
to dwell somewhere in our thoughts.

The words come, and we break away
back to our world, smiling and laughing
quietly as we climb into cars,

waving away the evening
the silence of the sky and the stars,
the moon and the moment.


It’s very hot here at the moment, so I’ve been out early to clear some land. Now we are hiding from the oven like heat and drinking iced water to help cope. Still travelling but having fun, although we head back soon to the real world.

Blencathra. Lake District in June.

Bannerdale Crags, a quiet way in.

Bannerdale Crags, a quiet way in.

Blencathra, Saddleback, whichever name you choose it is one great mountain, and the fact that Sharp Edge is one way up adds to its pull. It is a lump of a hill, sitting next to Skiddaw and there are many delicious ways to explore the ridges valleys and tops that make up the massif. For me, Sharp Edge has been calling for a while, it was a target for the week, and it produced a great climb, walk and with the weather sitting pretty we had great views Southwards over the entire Lake District, North to Scotland and over the lumps and bumps of Skiddaw.

Glenderamackin River, near Mungrisdale, a great back road to a quiet part of the fells.

Glenderamackin River, near Mungrisdale, a great back road to a quiet part of the fells.

Bannerdale and its crags.

Bannerdale and its crags.

We were heading over Bannerdale, to slide quietly alongside Foule Crag, to the base Sharp Edge and climb this challenging narrow ridge. a short scramble that leads to Atkinson Pike and then to Hallsfell Top, the summit of Blencathra.

Atkinson Pike in the distance. First look.

Atkinson Pike in the distance. First look.

Bannerdale Crags from above.

Bannerdale Crags from above.

Coffee time, happy days.

Coffee time, happy days.

Sheep and first sight of Sharp Edge.

Sheep and first sight of Sharp Edge.

To save losing to much height we skirted under Foule Crag and came up over Brunt Knott, Scales Tarn below and the Edge above, time to strap everything down and get on up. It’s a great climb, I thoroughly enjoyed clambering along, leading the way for our small group. Seeing the world drop away around you as you get higher up the ridge. Until the last section, which is a clamber up a gully to the final path to Atkinson Pike and then on towards Blencathra itself. Fantastic views, Scales Tarn below, the mountain, the people and the weather. One of the best days for me I think. I love these short, sharp (sorry) little climbs, standing on an edge and the fall of the mountain all around, sliding down to the tarn on one side and crags on the other.

The edge.

The edge.

Heading under Foule Crag.

Heading under Foule Crag.

At the base of Sharp Edge.

At the base of Sharp Edge.

Scales Tarn.

Scales Tarn.

The real start point, go a bit left from here for the real ridge.

The real start point, go a bit left from here for the real ridge.

Pete, Kath and Mike, were trusting me to find a good line, so we stayed as close to the top of the ridge as I could get, well done to them for following and trusting to it. It would have been too easy though guys to take a lower line, I know you agree with me. :-) Everyone was happy to have completed the climb and to come out at the top as the paths level and join the other slightly more level ways to Hallsfell Top.

On the way now, no backing out.

On the way now, no backing out.

Mike getting his feet sorted out.

Mike getting his feet sorted out.

Scales Tarn.

Scales Tarn.

Really getting into it now.

Really getting into it now.

A couple of people ahead, clambering up to the ridge from a lower path.

A couple of people ahead, clambering up to the ridge from a lower path.

All good fun.

All good fun.

And up some more.

And up some more.

These climbs are some of the best in the UK, no ropes needed, just a head for heights and a bit of enthusiasm. The scenery is second to none, Wainwright stayed here most of his life, with good reason, there is so much here, for all levels, from novice to mountaineer.

Loving every moment.

Loving every moment.

Happy smiling faces, always a good sign.

Happy smiling faces, always a good sign.

Coming out onto the top of the gully, a bit more space and less need to hang on.

Coming out onto the top of the gully, a bit more space and less need to hang on.

Short but very, very good.

Short but very, very good.

Sharp Edge.

Sharp Edge.

To be out on this kind of day is such luxury, taking in the scenery, the nod of hello to passing strangers on the hill. The week was a mix of weather and friends, regrouping in the evenings to catch up on a day of walking or visiting. Life going slow and savouring all the little bits, so good to be part of it.

Possibly one of the most disappointing summit cairns in the lakes.  Hallsfell Top.

Possibly one of the most disappointing summit cairns in the lakes. Hallsfell Top.

Sharp Edge from the summit.

Sharp Edge from the summit.

Scales Tarn and my target for a lunchtime picnic spot.

Scales Tarn and my target for a lunchtime picnic spot.

Happy Days.

Happy Days.

Pete, contemplating life and the boiling of water for coffee, always a good idea.

Reflecting on the day.

Reflecting on the day.

Water falling.

Water falling.

After lunch, we headed into the valleys and a parting of the ways, I fancied a stroll along the river and the others chose to head up for a look out from Souther Fell before we met up again at the pub for a post walk drink.

One last look back.

One last look back.

Waterfalls and pools and fresh cool air.

Waterfalls and pools and fresh cool air.

The start of something big perhaps?

The start of something big perhaps?

This is the best... Cold and fresh and lovely on the feet.  With time to spare and the sun shining down on a great finish to the day.

This is the best…
Cold and fresh and lovely on the feet. With time to spare and the sun shining down on a great finish to the day.

Cold and fresh and lovely on the feet, I love to have a little dip if the chance comes up. I think I got the best of the deal with the others staying high and in the heat of the afternoon, a great finish to the day.

Just a place to stop and relax, I'll be back here soon.

Just a place to stop and relax, I’ll be back here soon.

Water once again doing its thing.

Water once again doing its thing.

And of course, since we had climbed Sharp Edge, I was entitled to a pint of Sharp Edge Bitter in the pub before we headed away.

A Walk, A Pint and a sunny day.

A Walk, A Pint and a sunny day.

We had a drink at the Mill Inn, Mungrisdale. Very nice, definitely would recommend it. Another great day on the Fells of the Lake District, Sharp Edge was great fun, and as always it is made better by the company.

I’m still catching up on all these posts so stay with me, there’s more to come. In the mean time, enjoy the summer, and enjoy the journey, you spend more time getting there than being there.

Wansfell.

Cloud edge on Wansfell Pike.

Cloud edge on Wansfell Pike.

Sometimes, despite the weather, a walk is just what you need. To get your head above everything and see the landscape open out around you, to let the wind and rain do their thing and enjoy the experience. Wansfell Pike sits over Ambleside and Windermere, it holds the town, hovers over and can be seen from most parts. It’s not an ugly hill, it doesn’t brood over everything like some.

Red Screes

Red Screes

The cloud and rain came and went in fits and starts and provided some atmosphere to the views. Three of us climbed together, stopping frequently to look about and smell the rain soaked grass, good tracks and few other people on the hill except for the runners on a mission to the top.

Looking out towards Red Screes.

Looking out towards Red Screes.

Drifting.

Drifting.

Digitalis, Foxglove.

Digitalis, Foxglove.

Somewhere to stand and stare.

Somewhere to stand and stare.

Something, a fragment I’m working on at the moment, for the hills and mountains. There’s a lot of notes in my book that need to be crunched and cut up, scattered about a bit. This piece keeps coming back to haunt me

A place to stand and stare,
to see as far as you wish,
or the world allows.

Waiting for the strangers to pass.

Waiting for the strangers to pass.



Waiting for the strangers to pass,
do you look over your shoulder
to see who’s there, hear footsteps,
see the shadow chasing
on the street.

Ambleside, Lake District Weather.

Ambleside, Lake District Weather.

Just because...

Just because…

The wonderfully named 'Nanny Lane'

The wonderfully named ‘Nanny Lane’

When we arrived at the village of Troutbeck, where lunch was forecast, the rain decided we had it too easy too long. We had lunch under a tree, the pattering water running through the leaves and into our sandwiches. A flask of coffee and some Kendal mint cake made everything seem good, and as the rain eased we headed home.

Ambleside in the misty light of summer.

Ambleside in the misty light of summer.

More to come from the Lakes, but it’s all a bit erratic at the moment, bear with me as we head out into the world.

Adlestrop by Edward Thomas. The Centenary

The deserted station

The deserted station

Monday was the centenary of the Edward Thomas poem Adlestrop, and the Poetry Society has been celebrating with a wide range of activities on-line and with readings around the country. One of my poems, This is Carriage D, has been put up on the website with other members poems, train themed and Adlestrop related. The page is here. Very pleased to get my name mentioned, so just a little happy post today.

Enjoy every season, sun, rain or shine, it’s all good weather.

A Visit to the Lake District. Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell.

From Ambleside to Todd Crags

From Ambleside to Todd Crags

A week at Ambleside, at the head of Lake Windermere and among some of the best scenery in the world. Can’t go wrong really can you? We drove up on Saturday and headed for our first hills Sunday Morning, the Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell. For me I am getting ready for a trip later in the year to Austria, and getting out to see how I could climb some hills was part of the weeks target for me. I’ve had a knee problem, which seemed OK but you never know until it is stressed, in the end it was only a problem when descending on steps, which was good to know. The week was also a good indicator for me about how my fitness is coming on, don’t want to run out of steam in the Alps.

Old Dungeon Ghyll Pub.  Looking along Langdale towards the Crags.  Low cloud to start.

Old Dungeon Ghyll Pub. Looking along Langdale towards the Crags. Low cloud to start.

It’s always good when you know you’ll finish at a pub and the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel has a walkers bar ready to welcome you back to your car after a visit to the Langdale valley. Head out anywhere here and you will meet others, the Lake District is so popular, hence in a lot of places there are well made stone paths and steps, but head off the normal routes, a bit early, a bit longer route and perhaps you can avoid the worst of the crowds.

Heading into the valley.

Heading into the valley.

Crinkle Crags, just right of centre.

Crinkle Crags, just right of centre.

Nearing the first climb of the day. Up left towards the nearer black lump on the horizon.

Nearing the first climb of the day. Up left towards the nearer black lump on the horizon.

Towards Bow Fell, head in the clouds.

Towards Bow Fell, head in the clouds.

Walking into and climbing through here is wonderful, the scenery as the valley folds itself around you, then the changes as you gain height. All the while the light and shadow change the colours so scenes change before your eyes. Water is often heard before it is seen and the birds are a constant chattering background.

We climbed out of Oxendale, up to Brown Howe and then to pause by Red Tarn after finding the secret gully that is Browney Gill. A side visit to Cold Pike and then on towards the Crinkle Crags, the main ridge for today. Alfred Wainwright described the Crinkles as “the finest mile in the lakes” and walking them you can see why. Five Crinkles in a line dropping then to Three Tarns.

Take the time to look back, you get to see a lot you otherwise miss.

Take the time to look back, you get to see a lot you otherwise miss.

Brown Howe. Still going up.

Brown Howe. Still going up.

Underneath Pike of Blisco.

Underneath Pike of Blisco.

Looking into Browneys Gill.

Looking into Browneys Gill.

Coffee break at Red Tarn, looking back at the views.

Coffee break at Red Tarn, looking back at the views.

From Cold Pike before you strike out across a greensward to the Crinkles and Bow Fell, stand and admire what is to come.

From Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell.

From Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell.

And then of course there are the views from the crags, your timekeeping needs to allow gawping time, the moment needed to stand lost in thought, take a picture and try to drag everything inside your head.

Looking down the Valley from the first Crinkle.

Looking down the Valley from the first Crinkle.

This is where the real life of the mountain starts, grass gives way to rock and you know that after this the ‘Bad Step’ waits. The crags drop steeply into the valley, and various tracks meander among cairns, and the summits line up ahead of you, masking the dips between each of the Crags.

Rocks take over.

Rocks take over.

The start of the best mile in the lakes.

The start of the best mile in the lakes.

Long Top. high point of Crinkle Crags.  The Bad Step is just left of centre where the scree runs out from the gully.

Long Top. high point of Crinkle Crags. The Bad Step is just left of centre where the scree runs out from the gully.

There is a way around the bad step, but we’ve come for the adventure and it’s into the gut of the hill for us. Coming out from the gully you get to the edge of Long top, as you climb around to the summit, a confusing scrabble of rocks and cairns.

Looking into the bad step.

Looking into the bad step.

Climbing out.

Climbing out.

Look Back, see where you've been.

Look Back, see where you’ve been.

Long Top.

Long Top.

From here, views are open all around, But the three that hold your view are Scafell, Scafell Pike and Bow Fell ahead.

Search and Rescue near Mickledore between Scafell and Scafell Pike.

Search and Rescue near Mickledore between Scafell and Scafell Pike.

For scale, you can see people to the right on the ridge line.

Views.

Views.

Bow Fell.

Bow Fell.

Route finding, I’m glad the weather is clear.

A Cairn.

A Cairn.

Views.

Views.

Three Tarns, the pit between Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell. A fine place for coffee and lunch, a chance to watch the crowds passing through this meeting place of paths.

Three Tarns. I know, you can only see one here but trust me.

Three Tarns. I know, you can only see one here but trust me.

Scafell, and Scafell Pike.

Scafell, and Scafell Pike.

Bow Fell.  No we didn't go this way.  Look carefully at the left, someone is going up one of those gullies.

Bow Fell. No we didn’t go this way. Look carefully at the left, someone is going up one of those gullies.

Crinkle Crags.

Crinkle Crags.

On Bow Fell summit.

On Bow Fell summit.

The summit of Bow Fell has one of the most outstanding views in the lakes. Standing alone it has all round views of the lakes and beyond.

Views.

Views.

Views.

Views.

The return to the valley is an easy stretch down the Band to Stool End Farm.

Looking back to Pike of Blisco.

Looking back to Pike of Blisco.

Back in the warm sun of the valley.   View provided by nature.

Back in the warm sun of the valley. View provided by nature.

Back at the Pub.

Back at the Pub.

And of course, at a pub you will find a nice pint, the perfect end to the day.

A Good Pint.

A Good Pint.

A Good Pub.

A Good Pub.

A fine walk with excellent weather, good friends to walk with and the prospect of more to come. It’s a great way to start a week in the Lake District.

This has been, considering how little has been posted recently, quite a big hit in one go, sorry. Hope you enjoy the pictures though. The sun has come out here in England, to make up for the World Cup, every cloud has a silver lining. Get out and climb a hill, the view is better than 3D.

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