Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorich

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Last two days of July holiday in the Lakes

Note: As with the previous post, some notes which were never uploaded to the blog. Re-reading, perhaps my initial decision was the right one!

I didn't really think my dodgy knee would allow me on the fells every day, but here I was near the end of the holiday having only missed one, and that from choice. A lazy day in the sun reading old Harry Griffin books and rock climbing guides, re-living some of my best early days on the crags. However much I enjoy walking, backpacking etc they don't compare with the intense experience of climbing.

No such experiences for us on this holiday. A leisurely day on Scar Crags, Causey Pike and a saunter up to view Dale Head Pillar finished off the holiday nicely - well except for Keswick market and a coffee in Grasmere on our very last day.

Edit: Tomorrow we are off to the Cairngorms and if the knee doesn't turn into what Conrad, on his excellent blog, calls 'GK', then October will see us back in the Lakes. After that I'll set the ball rolling for knee surgery, which can hopefully be arranged for the end of the year at the latest. That will probably mean missing much of the pleasure of the winter hills but I should be ready for spring. Whether our planned 'long walk from home' will be 'on' remains to be seen.

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Sunday, 25 August 2013

9 July - Hindscarth and Robinson

[Note: a brief account written up while on holiday 'for the record' but never posted.]

Given that Scope End is our preferred start for an ascent of Hindscarth it's odd that it must be getting on for six years since the little path through the heather saw the soles of our boots, despite standing on the summit at least once during each one of those years.

As with every day on this holiday it was hot, but cloud did gather and disperse again before the day was out. 'For this relief...etc'. Apart from a chap from Glasgow who had retired to live amongst the northern fells, we didn't meet anyone until the top - a lone walker who was soon on his way to Dale Head.

We had wondered if the stultifying heat was keeping people off the fells, but no - they were all on Dale Head it seemed!

Eschewing the short cut via Little Dale, we took our usual route to Robinson and settled down at the cairn for lunch. Harry Griffin was apparently taken to task for claiming that in the view from Robinson "the top of Scafell Pike is exactly hidden by Great Gable". Somebody wrote to him saying that with 'field glasses' a thin segment of the top could be seen, and a mathemetician also apparently showed the Pike was just visible. Suitably rebuked, in future writings Griffin was careful to write 'almost exactly hidden"! A warning for us bloggers perhaps. However, Wainwright had no doubts: "the Pike is exactly covered by the top of Great Gable". Whatever the truth, it was immaterial today: the Scafell group was in cloud, the only part of the district so badly afflicted.

Our descent was a lingering one and the little rock steps, treacherous when wet, added a few moments of interest: it was lovely to be handling rock again no matter how simple.

We popped into Newlands School and Church. Walkers are welcome to shelter from the rain, said a notice.Various items were for sale: bookmarks, mugs, cards etc. We took a bookmark and left our £1 in box, built into the wall behind the main door, and exited out into the relentless heat. My ancient thermometer read 30C, although I can't vouch for its accuracy.

We have a friend who lives on the outskirts of Keswick who describes the Lakes as 'a paradise with rain' but, famed though the Lake District is for rain, in my forty three years of climbing and walking there in all seasons, my memories are mostly of fine weather. Same goes for Glen Coe and the Cuillin, likewise often cursed for their appalling weather.

As usual the (last) cold drinks from the motorvan's fridge were rapidy consumed, necessitating a visit to the excellent Booths in Keswick.

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