Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Friday 10 July - Buttermere

"..made by heaven for summer floor and purple heights with the sound of the water under the sunset" (W G Collingwood)

I first came to the Buttermere area in 1969 with my brother and his wife who had generously invited me to join them on a rock climbing holiday, thereby introducing me to the Lake District, a place I've loved deeply ever since. A day of wet weather found us having a look at Grey Crag and Eagle Crag in Burtness Comb on our way to High Stile (I think). Earlier we'd passed Low Crag, scene of a tragic accident where at least one member of the local MRT had been killed a few weeks earlier and several others injured during a training exercise.

Some years later Lynne and I crossed Scarth Gap on a backpacking trip to climb Pillar, Steeple etc. Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe were playing in the final at Wimbledon, although exactly which one I can't remember. It was a great trip.

Our second visit, a year or so later found us on the High Stile group in searing heat with nothing to drink because one of us (I'm being charitable here...) had dropped and smashed our only flask of tea. We repeated these fine hills in the late 1990s and again a few years later.

Arriving at the car park near The Fish I couldn't help wondering why we had stayed away for so long. We weren't here to walk on the fells; we were being tourists for once and had cappuccinos and toasted teacakes in the Croft House Farm Cafe. Very nice indeed.

By the time I'd had a second cappuccino the sun was out, the sky blue, so we decided to walk round the lake. What a beautiful walk, particulary through the oak trees from Buttermere to Gatesgarth Farm, the meadows full of colour and vibrancy, Haystacks and Fleetwith Edge impressive backdrops. Nearly back at Buttermere we noticed a group of women swimming in the lake and later one asked if I would take a group photograph of them with an iPhone. They told us they were on a 'swimming weekend'. Not often I'm asked to photograph women in swim suits!

Now it was hot and I simply could not resist an English Lakes double Jersey ice cream cone before, reluctantly, leaving "... one of the most perfect pictures in the whole of the Lake District".

Sent from my BlackBerry®


  1. Hi Gibson, cracking post. These modern, droppable stainless steel flasks are a godsend, aren't they? Ours have accumulated more dents than an old car over the years, but the water still stays hot.

    Borg and Mcenroe would have been either "80 or '81: Borg won his fifth straight in 1980 (the one with the 20 minute tie-break) and they met again the following year, with Mcenroe winning. Nowt wrong with capuccino, teacakes or ice cream, by the way; nutrition and rehydration are vital.

    1. Thanks Dave. Still can't recall recall whether it was '80 or '81 though old 35mm slides would tell me probably.

      All that was missing at the end of the day was a pint.