web analytics

Bannerdale Crags east ridge & the Halls Fell ridge

04.21.14

Posted by paul  |  4 Comments »

Today’s walk was a last minute thought as Tim my walking buddy had to pull out of a planned day on Skiddaw & its satellite fells due to Tim’s unforeseen cover in work…I guess if I said that Tim was unhappy at having to do this it would make it the understatement of the year.

I still had to go with the forecast & seeing as I was already heading in that way & that time was a little precious I decided to stop off at Scales where I more or less had a whole morning on the fells without seeing a single soul.

 

ASCENT: 2,700 Feet – 823 Meters

WAINWRIGHTS: 2, Bannerdale Crags – Blencathra

WEATHER: Hazy, Warm & Sunny, Strong Winds On Tops, Highs Of 19°C Lows Of 10°C Feels Like 6°C

PARKING: Roadside parking, Scales, Threlkeld

AREA: Northern

MILES: 7.2

WALKING WITH: On My Own

ORDNANCE SURVEY: OL5

TIME TAKEN: 5 Hours

ROUTE: Scales – Mousthwaite Combe – River Glederamackin – White Horse Bent – Bannerdale Crags East Ridge – Bannerdale Crags – Atkinson Pike – Blencathra (Halls Fell Top) – Hall’s Fell Ridge – Path Above Doddick Back To Scales – Scales

Wainwright Book Five

Book 5

The Northern Fells

-Bannerdale Crags East Ridge

The most direct route and the one recommended, is that via the easy ridge – the obvious key to the ascent of the mile long escarpment. Towards the end this becomes a grand scramble in an impressive situation – a bit of real mountaineering.

a.w

Map 1Map 2

3D Map

DSC_5796

Scales 08:10am 10°C

I couldn’t believe my luck as I thundered to a stop after arriving at what is considered to be the busiest layby in the whole of Lakeland. It’s Bank Holiday Monday with a good days forecast ahead so where is everybody?

As I kitted up the predicted cool wind worked its magic howling up my back as I laced the boots up, the laces will have to wait as I toed towards the backseat where I threw on my jacket from within the protection of the car, it’s cold alright & a million miles away from the warmth of our Buttermere kit up where the jacket stayed tucked away in my pack from beginning to end.

Every now & again a car or a lorry would pass shaking my car in the process, I can only akin kitting up here in Scales this morning as to changing a tyre on the motorway when all you want to do is get it over quickly.

After the fastest kit up in history I cross the A66 & head along the tarmac lane in the direction of Mousthwaite Combe, a place where I have traversed the top of but never ascended, or descended for that matter.

The skies offer a tinge of pink blocked out by a vicious cool wind & haze that would make Hong Kong look like one of those dreamy scape’s you see on a desktop computer background.

If I said  that I could only just make out the Mell Fells which were less than a mile away then I guess you know that today isn’t a day for the camera, but it is a great day for fell walking once the sun burnt through.

But that’s all in a little while.

DSC_5813

Ascending Mousthwaite Comb.

It didn’t take long for me to heat up which I guess shows just how steep the little climb through the Comb is, or the KFC I had the previous night might now just starting to take its toll…

The cloud lifted a little with my ascent which timed well as the sun began to break more & more through the wall of haze.

Things were most definitely looking up.

DSC_5817

Mousthwaite Comb.

Despite my slow-ish progress I managed to make the top of Mousthwaite Comb in decent enough time as gaps in the haze produced trails of bright blue sky from behind, it’s always kinda surreal to witness the cloud lift from within your own presence.

DSC_5823

Here looking back as the cloud lifts to reveal Souther Fell.

Once I crested the col at the top of Mousthwaite Comb I had a matter of moments to witness the cloud as it lifted to reveal the Glenderamackin Valley as it rounded White Horse Bent.

Even Sharp Edge can be seen further up the valley which lifted spirits in that maybe now, I wont be summiting Blencathra in the cloud.

DSC_5834

A distant Sharp Edge emerges through a haze of cloud.

The cloud within a mile of my radius had now began to lift enabling the sunlight to penetrate the fell side where I pick up the narrow path before descending down towards the small wooded foot bridge that crosses the River Glenderamackin, here I would make a right where I would then pick up the narrow path seen heading out of the photo as it navigates its way around White Horse Bent.

DSC_5838

A silhouetted Souther Fell seen while crossing the River Glenderamackin.

DSC_5841

After leaving White Horse Bent behind the east ridge of Bannerdale Crags appears along the course of the River Glenderamackin which is just to my right flanks.

DSC_5854 

Bannerdale Crags east ridge.

Sights are on a section of Bannerdale Crags east ridge seen here as I head to the base of the ridge as seen in the previous photo. You can pick up the bulk of the ridge that leads directly towards Bannerdale Crags summit from here by using this grassy path, but that isn’t for me today as  I want to take in the whole ridge.

DSC_5861

Bannerdale Crags east ridge.

From the end of the ridge the route ahead is appealing but not the most attractive of Lakeland ridges, but this morning isn’t about looks, it’s about enjoying a morning on the fells.

DSC_5870

Bannerdale Crags from the base of the east ridge.

It was time to layer down now that the sun had been making the hard work attaining the ridge much harder, down goes the pack, off comes the jacket & out come the walking poles.

From the base of the ridge you can choose to ascend from one of two paths, one which sticks with the backbone of the ridge & one that detours slightly away towards the left, if you mix your ascent up as I did today by using both paths you get the best of both worlds.

DSC_5902

Here looking down Bannerdale Crags east ridge from just beneath the summit.

The haze sadly is still affecting any long distance views.

DSC_5903

Bannerdale Crags east ridge after topping out on to the summit plateau.

The wind that I had been shielded against whilst ascending the east ridge now hit me with full flow which saw me reaching for the jacket again not twenty minutes after fastening it into the hood of my pack.

The wind roared over gully constant & never faded for a moment, I stood to listen thinking that this is one hell of an awesome sound, little did I know it would be accompanying me for the next few hours as I crabbed my way to Blencathra’s summit.

But that is a little while away yet.

DSC_5905

Blencathra from Bannerdale Crags east summit cairn.

Despite the wind I now had enough reason to progress towards my next summit after seeing views such as this, the light was purely fantastic now that within my mile circumference my views were opening up just nicely.

DSC_5908

Blencathra, Sharp Edge together with Atkinson Pike taken from Bannerdale Crags main summit cairn.

DSC_5912

Bowscale Pike seen shortly after leaving Bannerdale Crags.

One of the last memories from todays walk was this view towards Bowscale fell over Bannerdale Crags as the deep blue sky contrasted against the wild grasses.

DSC_5911

Sharp Edge & Atkinson Pike.

With my jacket firmly secured under beating sun I took in the lovely descent towards the steep ridge that forms Atkinson Pike. I hadn’t paid it any attention but I still hadn’t seen a soul as of yet which was unusual for a Bank Holiday.

Perhaps walking like a crab isn’t everybody’s idea of fun!

DSC_5923

Sharp Edge together with Foul Crag contrasted against a deep blue morning sky.

During my drive up today the thought had passed me to take in Sharp Edge should the forecasters had got their readings wrong, as you know it didn’t take me long to stand corrected but not the walkers who I watched traverse the first part of Sharp Edge before having the right idea to turn around.

DSC_5929

A Sharp Edge profile taken shortly before my ascent on Atkinson Pike.

Again, more time was spent in awe listening to the wind howl over the Valley of Glenderamackin.

DSC_5947

Mungrisdale Common with the Skiddaw Fells, Great Calva & Knott seen far right.

I was now getting myself ready for the steep pull up Atkinson Pike yet the roar from the wind as it crested over the top of Foul Crag was just too magnificent to leave behind, so here, I sat myself down & just listened until the sweat on my back got too cold to sit there any longer.

DSC_5958

Sun drenched ascent on Atkinson Pike.

DSC_5972

The Memorial Cross seen on ‘The Saddle’ of Blencathra.

Once I crested Atkinson Pike I had the whole view of The Saddle together with Blencathra’s main summit all to myself, here I de-shoulder to pack the walking poles away…little did I know I would be needing them again in under ten minutes time, which just goes to show that I hadn’t planned my route of Blencathra as of yet.

DSC_5976

Blencathra’s summit Tarn.

As I made my way across the Saddle I noticed that the wind had dropped so here without a fight I took a picture of a less breezy summit Tarn.

DSC_5983

Knowe Crags from Blencathra circular summit Trig Point.

Although I could see walkers heading up via the Scales Fell ridge my summit time was spent on how I was going to get down because right now I’m contemplating an un-planned descent via the Halls Fell Ridge.

The wind was still strong yet the pull from the Halls Fell Ridge was too strong I thought I’d head out to the top a do a ‘tester’ where I deemed the wind & indeed the ridge a safe route of descent, far below I spot a walker in a t-shirt which kind of made me think that things looked pretty comfortable down there.

I was right & down I went.

DSC_5997

The Halls Fell Ridge.

Beneath the summit the wind still howled but not as menacingly as it had when left in the wide open, here Blencathra’s buttresses shielded the vast majority of the winds strength which made for a more comfortable descent.

DSC_6002

Halls Fell Ridge in full hazy delight.

DSC_6010

I hadn’t noticed the guy as I passed below him & he certainly hadn’t noticed me due to wearing headphones.

I just don’t get why you would want to listen to music while out fell walking.

But, that’s just me I guess.

DSC_6014

The Doddick Fell Ridge from my descent of the Halls Fell Ridge.

DSC_6022

Here looking back up the Halls Fell Ridge.

By now I had started to pass more & more walkers all heading up the ridge, here I down pack once more to tie in the jacket for the last time all the while masking the pain from my right knee.

During my descent from the ridge I somehow managed to recur an old football injury in my right knee, I first felt the tendon ‘twang’ & then viciously twitch all within a matter of seconds, this had happened to me on more than one occasion when my knee actually popped out its socket whilst playing five a side football, another time my knee popped out whilst sat cross legged plumbing in a washing machine, the latter event being the more horrendously painful but yet thanks to a muscle spasm it popped itself back in again, that happened almost eight years ago & today I’d had the closest reminder of that day.

Like then I was able to walk instantaneously almost like when someone would pop their collar bone back in.

Anyway, I managed my way down with little to no thought just a sub cautious niggle in the back of my mind that I’d just avoided a close shave, it was only the morning after during my time in work did I realise that the previous mornings episode had a blooming effect on my knee cap.

So here I write whilst walking wounded, my knee is packed on/off with ice (such the correct method I believe) together with a pack of 400mg Ibuprofen tablets to ease the swelling…I guess its my cue to take a few weeks away from the fells if not only to help with the swelling.

It’s only minor & temporary & I’ll be back very soon, but still a close shave!

DSC_6060

High Crag via Sheepbone Rake

04.18.14

Posted by paul  |  4 Comments »

Today’s walk has been in the making for well over twelve months yet I still remember vividly the day Tim text me about this Rake that was situated deep within Burtness Comb directly below High Crag’s summit.

Tim emailed me a link which directed me to the famous outdoor writer Mark Richards website of which besides the FRCC (Fell And Rock Climbing Club) was the only other online writer who had catalogued his way up Sheepbone Rake who along with Alfred Wainwright muttered the words that Sheepbone Rake can indeed be seen from Buttermere.

They were right, but only if you know where to look I guess.

Wainwright wrote of Sheepbone Rake as akin to conquering The Matterhorn & I guess it would have been back in the day of heavily clad attire with nothing to protect you from the elements other than your smoking pipe.

A.W still to this day has a point though, Sheepbone Rake is in no uncertain circumstances to be underestimated, yes it’s course is bolder strewn & it’s ascent is difficult & steep but the views are magical & appealing to the nature that maybe like me not so many of even the determined out of us have ever even heard of it…that gave both Tim & myself more than enough reason to be here today.

 

ASCENT: 2,677 feet 816 Meters

WAINWRIGHTS: 3, High Crag – High Stile – Red Pike (Buttermere)

WEATHER: Highs Of 16°C Lows Of 6°C Feels Like 6°C

PARKING: Roadside Parking, St James Church, Buttermere

AREA: Western

MILES: 7.5

WALKING WITH: Tim Oxburgh

ORDNANCE SURVEY: OL4

TIME TAKEN: 6 Hours

ROUTE: Buttermere – Buttermere Lake Path – Burtness Wood – Above Burtness – Burtness Comb – Sheepbone Rake – Burtness Buttress – High Crag – High Stile – Red Pike (Buttermere) – Lingcomb Edge – Scale Beck – Scale Force – Scale Bridge – Buttermere

Wainwright Book Seven

Book 7

The Western Fells

High Crag -Sheepbone Rake

Ordinary pedestrians, having already been warned that direct access to High Crag is virtually impossible, are here provided with a route that, if safely accomplished, will establish their right to be classed better than ordinary.

This breach in the impregnability of the buttress is clearly in view from Buttermere village. The gangway is a safe route, but steep and sensational. Probably more than 50% of those who try it will live to tell a stirring tale of valour in high places. The casualties must accept the fact that they were only ordinary after all.

a.w

Map 1Map 2

DSC_5506

High Crag together with High Stile taken from Buttermere 08:29am 9°C

I don’t think that both Tim & myself had realised that we should have been out of ‘winter mode’ & back into ‘summer mode’ the way we seamlessly added an hour to our arrival time here in Buttermere this Morning..either that or we both could have done with the extra hour in bed…I’m going for the latter.

We thundered up the M6 both knowing but not really stating that we knew we were a little behind our usual arrival time, thankfully for a Good Friday the morning traffic was kind & we inched into the last free parking spaces situated along the Buttermere side of the Newlands Pass.

After a quick stretch we were kitting up in our summer attire…Today Tim has packed light while I meanwhile have ditched the winter kit for a much heavier summer kit which seems odd but we all know that water isn’t the lightest thing to carry…as always, I’ve over-estimated.

With our kits shouldered we both avert our attention to High Crag where through the misty morning light we somehow manage to spot Sheepbone Rake at first glance which was welcoming & cooled the heart rate knowing that from over a mile away – we knew where we should be heading, next we laid plans on how to get there which was a little easier than first expected.

See the picture below which outlines our accent up Sheepbone Rake.

Sheepbone Rake

DSC_5793

St James Church, Buttermere.

But before all that we decided to pay a little visit to the beautiful St James church of Buttermere where we took a little time out to take some picture’s from inside the church.

DSC_5512

The Wainwright Memorial Window.

Here over looking Alfred Wainwrights final resting place on his beloved fell of Hay Stacks.

DSC_5515

DSC_5518

The Shepherd’s Gate.

At the entrance to the church you have to pass through the Shepherd’s Gate, I can’t walk through this gate without thinking about the significance & the sheer beauty of the iron work, I like to think that everybody feels the same when they visits St James.

DSC_5523

The Bridge Hotel, Buttermere.

After leaving St James Church we head off through Buttermere & pass the Bridge Hotel. Today despite it being Good Friday it is bin day as the sleepy hollow is set alight by a bin lorry together with it’s orange flashing beacons, both Tim & I receive a nice friendly morning from one of the bin men as we pass on the Bridge Hotel.

DSC_5530

Fleetwith Pike from the lakeshore.

We soon arrived at the Buttermere Lake were we took time out to take a few photos. The direct light from the sun however made for some difficult picture taking hence me trying to block the sunlight with the tree branches.

DSC_5537

Burtness Buttress together with a silhouetted Hay Stacks seen from the lakeshore.

DSC_5541

Sunlight sparkling on the lake.

It’s always nice to see the sun reflecting on water but I think it’s made so much nicer when you are surrounded by the fells you love all around you.

DSC_5550

Quick find me a tree! With Fleetwith Pike never far from view.

We probably spent more time than we should trying to capture a few decent shots, I can whole heartedly put this time down due to the fact that the sun has been a distant memory for quite some time & we’re just glad to see it again under great circumstances.

On with the walk.

DSC_5556

Down by the waters edge.

After crossing the footbridge at Buttermere Dubs we hooked a left where we took on the lake path but only for a short while before heading off into Burtness Woods.

DSC_5561

Light breaks through the dense woodland.

Every now & again the sunlight would penetrate through the trees & dazzle the eye which if you’ve missed the sunshine as I have was a welcome treat.

We took on the path through Burtness over slight ascent for just over half a mile all the while on the lookout for the less popular path that would raise us above Burtness Woods & into Burtness Comb.

The views were simply magnificent.

DSC_5568

High Snockrigg reflecting into Buttermere to our left flanks.

DSC_5569

Above Burtness.

As we topped out of the seclusion & faded light of Burtness Wood we again were treated to the morning sunshine at full array, although it hampered our views ahead a little all around us was lit up in brilliant morning light.

The path here was such a delight to follow & the gradient also made this the beginning of our walk a real highlight of the day.

DSC_5576

Robinson & Hindscarth taken above Burtness Wood.

I guess no matter where you was walking today all over Lakeland you would get views as good as this.

DSC_5586

Here Grasmoor, Rannerdale Knotts, Whiteless Pike, Knott Rigg & Ard Crags all can be seen as we look back over Burtness Woods.

It was time to take a small rest even though we didn’t need one, the views were just impossible to ignore.

DSC_5590

Sheepbone Buttress soon comes into view.

After a short while our path traverses over rocky ground the closer we inched towards Burtness Comb, the gradient from here on in took on a more lean ascent which meant it was time for me to get my walking poles out.

DSC_5603

Sheepbone Buttress/Burtness Comb.

Burtness Comb was largely in shade & so was our ascent on Sheepbone Rake which due to the strong light was difficult to spot even though we were almost upon it.

If your keen to know our position look back at Picture Two where you can clearly see the stone wall at the base of Burtness Comb.

DSC_5606

Comb Beck.

DSC_5609

Burtness Comb.

After a steep grassy ascent we soon reached the bouldersome Comb where the path deteriorates almost into nothing, from here we decided on keeping right where we could take a better vantage point of Sheepbone Rake from the other side of the Comb.

We took on more ascent before coming to a stop on a long hilt of rock where we had our best vantage point, even though we were at the best position where we could plan our tricky route up, the sunlight still had a trick up its sleeve by not allowing us to see the route without first holding our hands before our eyes.

The only way we were going to get a full view of Sheepbone Rake was by being in its shadow.

DSC_5637

Sheepbone Buttress as the sun does a tremendous job of illuminating its exit point.

After failing to eye up the route from our sun drenched position Tim made a direct crossing across the Comb to the base of the Rake, I however tried (and failed) to find the best vantage point seeking further into the Comb before finally admitting defeat from where I met up with Tim who had climbed a small rocky Buttress of rock while he waited for me.

DSC_5644

In the shade of Sheepbone Rake.

After meeting up with Tim we set a route up the Rake, at no point we agreed would we overtake one another despite offering different ascents up as this was a joined effort so the scramble was high on commardary to say the least which was a nice touch considering this was a first time for the pair of us.

DSC_5646

The steep ascent is always worth it when you can look down on views as beautiful as this.

Breath-taking views in between rest stops were just an added bonus, here looking down on High Snockrigg, Buttermere & the north western fells.

DSC_5656

Here Tim adds scale to the Rake.

Just over half way up our ascent the Rake takes on a slight right curve as it flanks a solid wall of rock forming part of Sheepbone Buttress, here the rake is at its steepest as much care had now to be taken as the rock underfoot was extremely loose.

Here both Tim & I take on the ascent leaving a distance between ourselves should a rock fall occur. 

DSC_5667

Time out on Sheepbone Rake.

DSC_5677

It’s not over just yet.

We named this section ‘The dog leg’ (not its real name but the best we could think off)

As we breached the top of Sheepbone Rake our route took on a sharp right over steep loose boulder’s across the head of Sheepbone Buttress.

DSC_5678

Buttermere & beyond.

Before our ascent we took a well earned rest over looking the deep blue of Buttermere & the north western fells, each one looking as if you could touch it such the visibility.

Shall we make a move Tim?

No,I don’t want too…five more minutes it is then.

DSC_5682

Ten minutes later.

From my perch Fleetwith Pike, Hindscarth & Dale Head is gazed upon as the Honister Pass snakes far below.

DSC_5689

From the steep scramble our efforts are rewarded with views into the head of Ennerdale commanding Green & Great Gable with Kirk Fell domineering the foreground, the Scafells & Slight Side can be seen towards the distance.

DSC_5692

Pillar as seen from High Crag summit cairn, incidentally that’s Scoat Fell & Steeple seen far right.

After the steep scramble we were gifted the last few hundred feet over boulder-less grassy ground which were welcome to the toes indeed.

The march towards the summit was done in almost silence, I guess a conversation at this point just didn’t seem right.

Tim sits himself down then proceeds to take a few photos only to take in the views over Ennerdale & the Gables, I however take a few photos before a couple head our way from the direction of High Stile, after a brief conversation we leave them to have the summit to themselves as we had just found it… a rare occasion in such nice weather.

DSC_5699

DSC_5704

High Stile over Burtness Comb.

We spotted quite a few walkers at the summit of High Stile some heading for High Crag & some not, after our lonesome ascent on Sheepbone Rake we were back in the normality that this indeed was a beautiful sun spoilt day on a Good Friday, these walkers weren’t the first & not the last we’d see on what can only be described as one of the best days of the year so far.

DSC_5709

Buttermere views.

Here looking back on Robinson, Hindscarth & Dale Head with Fleetwith Edge seen over to the right, down below Burtness Comb our ascent via Sheepbone Rake is still in shadow.

Sheepbone Rake

Our ascent on High Crag via Sheepbone Rake.

Here our route can be seen across Comb Crags, within the mist of fell walking & what we have both achieved it’s easily forgotten that this ridge is one of the finest amongst Lakeland.

DSC_5712

Sheepbone Rake.

I took another photo of the Rake hoping for some more light from just beneath High Stile summit, my hopes again are dashed, the feeling of we’ve just climbed that however…wasn’t.

DSC_5713

High Crag from High Stile taken after venturing off a little below the summit path.

The morning heat was met by a cool welcome breeze along the summits tops where Tim couldn’t decide if fleece on or fleece off was the best option, I figure I’ve seen that lads belly so many times this morning I’ve lost count.

DSC_5724

Commanding views over Red Pike (Buttermere) with Crummock Water & Mellbreak beyond.

As we reached High Stile Tim’s attention is averted to more views of Sheepbone Rake as he heads off for a closer look. I however find a nice flat boulder to sit on whilst I just watch the glorious views unfold before me.

DSC_5727

Ennerdale & Crag Fell as seen from High Stile summit.

Tim soon caught up with me & my boulder where we both took on the slight traverse across the summit plateau to reach the cairn, here people chatted quietly & ate their lunches under the gaze of the morning sun.

From High Stile I spot groups of walkers at Red Pikes summit either heading up, down or across to High Stile, in all my career as a fell walker I have never seen Red Pike as busy as I had today, during our rocky descent from High Stile we pass a couple heading up towards the summit who were very chatty & equally amazed that we had ascended by Sheepbone Rake, not wanting to be big headed we quickly changed the subject of great fells to find yourselves upon in such glorious weather, we all unanimously agreed that today we had found those fells.

DSC_5732

Red Pike (Buttermere)

I’ve always liked this section of ridge in-between High Stile & Red Pike no matter what direction you are travelling in, its flat expanse always seems like a kind reward for all your hard work, but that’s just me I guess.

DSC_5737

High Stile as viewed from just beneath Red Pike summit.

DSC_5739

Standing room only.

We soon reached Red Pike (Buttermere) & wasn’t really surprised that the summit was still busy, it’s now lunch time & the stomachs are howling to be fed, we both agree we should ‘drop off a little’ as the cool summit breeze was a little too cool.

Tim heads off while I pass what I consider to be grand lunch spots as Tim takes in the full descent off the Pike.

I really don’t know if my stomach can take this I’m starving.

DSC_5745

Inviting views over Starling Dodd & Great Bourne can be seen at the end of the ‘High Stile Ridge’

DSC_5744

Lingcomb Edge as Crummock Water expands out towards Lorton Vale.

It’s lunch time as we take in the tremendous views over Crummock Water & beyond. Both Tim & I are reminded about the time we took the direct route up Grasmoor via a vicious scree slope straight up the front of the mountain during our early fell walking careers, memories are good even more so when you can laugh about them.

DSC_5749

Blencathra beyond the plain of the north west fells.

After lunch we shouldered packs where at times the sun hid behind the clouds making Tim (again) don his fleece! and myself roll the sleeves down which felt, not enough as the cool breeze penetrated the base layer I was wearing.

Slowly but surely the sun returned moments later bringing welcome warmth, despite my first suntan of the year there was always a reminder that it is indeed, only April.

DSC_5755

The view back up to Red Pike was solely the reason why I wanted to include Lingcomb Edge into todays itinerary.

DSC_5760

Descending toward Scale Force after leaving Lingcove Edge behind with views of Mellbreak & Carling Knott.

The track underfoot was tough as it descended into Scale Force, the type of path that is best ascended rather than descended came to mind but was non the less forgotten when we bumped into a young American couple, is it far from the peak the handsome young chap asked? I at first though he said pike but then I know I definitely heard peak?

Without wanting to go into a slightly awkward situation we pointed the young couple in the direction of Red Pike (Buttermere)

I however had my own gripes with a stone in my boot, which wasn’t really in my boot as I later found out, it was in my sock & as I’m a man therefore stubborn I wouldn’t stop to take it out until I reached Scale Force.

DSC_5777

Scale Force.

On reaching Scale Force Tim immediately disappeared for a closer look after ascending the huge boulder seen left (in fact Tim was on his way down as I took this photo un-be known to the pair of us it seems)

Yes I was a little jealous that Tim had found his way up the boulder & into the mist of Scale Force but I was more at home showing off my new boots as I crossed the Scale Beck to take a few photos of the falls & as you can see next, the new boots.

DSC_5779

The Meindl Vakuum GTX

I’ve had to give my trusty Salomon Quest a sad farewell to make way for a more sturdier boot, this had to make the leap from fabric to leather, I simply could not face replacing my Salomon’s every six months, however in saying this, I won’t have a bad word said against the Salomon’s.

Today is ‘first day on’ for the Meindl’s as I was assured by Gooutdoors that I wouldn’t need to ‘run them in’ so to speak, after the steep ascent on Sheepbone Rake only hours earlier I can at this stage agree that the memory foam lined boot is one of the comfiest boots my feet have had the pleasure to slip into.

Of course I know its still early days & blisters can still appear yet for now, these boots are getting 10/10

DSC_5788

The Bridge Hotel, Buttermere.

After leaving Scale Force we took in the last few miles back to Buttermere under brilliant cloudless skies as the sun made our arms & foreheads pink whilst dreaming of the pint we were going to have when back in Buttermere.

We arrive at The Bridge Hotel when I spotted the last table, Tim makes a dash for the bar as I am ordered ‘get that last table Paul’.

I walk through the tourist’s, my back is wet in sweat as I de-shoulder my pack much to the bemusement of those eating when I pull myself up a chair facing High Crag beneath the canopy of a couple playing cards & drinking wine.

Tim arrives back with two golden ales, the sunlight beams through the pint glasses as Tim sits himself down then chinks his glass against mine at says…

Cheers Paul.