Sunday, 24 April 2016

Pete's Expedition to Wales Update

Start of the Watkin Path to Snowdon from Bethania

Pete's expedition to Wales this year takes place during the week 25 June and 1 July. Snowdon itself will be one of our objectives during the week and to this end Pete and Lyn decided to do a little research to find the best route to the summit. The Pyg and Miner's Tracks which ascend from Pen Y Pass are very popular and often overpopulated though much of their seductive appeal I'm sure lies in their offering 1,000ft less ascent than other routes.  Pete decided to take a look at the quieter Watkin Path that climbs from Bethania in Nantgwynant on the SE. side of the mountain....

Out of the woods and onto an easy track leading up to Cwm Llan.

Entrance to Cwm Llan with waterfalls and evidence of former mining activity

Cwm Llan was the scene of much mining activity in former times hence the existence of a good track for so much of the route of the Watkin Path. Mr Gladsone himself, who was over 80 at the time, opened the path in 1895 giving a speech to the assembled multitude from a rock in Cwm Llan just beyond the waterfall in the above photo. The rock bears his name to this day.

Y Lliwedd forms the backdrop to the Watkin Path down in the valley bottom.

Ridge leading to the summit of Yr Aran, an outlying top of Snowdon

Pete, Lyn and Bella on Yr Aran 747m.

Lyn surveys the route of the Watkin Path from Yr Aran

The Watkin Path can be seen in its entirety from Yr Aran which was our objective for the day and what a great day it was! The route of the path is delightful, easy to follow and throughout most of its length the surface is well maintained, only as the final ridge steepens does this break down leaving the walker a short easy scramble on loose rock to gain the summit.

We thought the Watkin Path an ideal route for our June expedition. I would allow four hours for a leisurely ascent and at least an hour less for the descent by the same route. A good weather forecast for Snowdon is imperative so the calendar for the week remains fluid as yet though I will post the walks that I have in mind on this blog soon.

All enquiries to Pete or Lyn on 017687 71302

Monday, 25 January 2016

Pete's Mountain Festival Walks

Cat Bells and Maiden Moor seen across Derwent Water

Below are the walks that Pete's guiding during the Mountain Festival in Keswick which runs from Thursday 19 May until Sunday 22 May.  This year Pete has no connection with the KMF, these walks are independent of the festival and can be booked directly from Pete either through his website or ring 017687 71302. Cost this year remains at £20 per person for the day and you'll need some change to pay for transport by bus, launch or Minibus.

Friday 20 May.

Catbells and Borrowdale.

We meet at the Theatre by the Lake at 10am for a trip across Derwent Water to Hawes end on the Walkers Special Launch. From the landing stage below Cat Bells we take the Quiet Way to the top of the fell, past Skelgill and along the old mine road and up into Yewthwaite Comb to the col of Hawes Gate where a spectacular view of Dewent Water rewards the climb. From here it's an easy progress to the summit of Catbells at 451m. We descend into Borrowdale at Manesty and cross the valley by the boardwalk for tea and cakes in the garden of the Mary Mount Hotel. It's an easy ramble back along the lakeside from here, and even easier if you can take the open top bus back to Keswick. 

Saturday 21 May

Esk Pike and Langstrath.

We meet at the Bus Station at 0900am and take the bus to Stonethwaite in Borrowdale. From the village the route takes us along Stonethwaite Beck towards Eagle Crag where we turn south along the long valley of Langstrath and ascend the valley to its head below Angle Tarn. We climb to the tarn then on to Ore Gap and on to the summit of Esk Pike at 885m and a well earned lunch stop. The return route takes us down to Esk Hause and then by way of Styhead Tarn to Seathwaite from where transport will take us back to Keswick.  

Sunday 22 May

Buttermere to Keswick over the Tops. (6 Wainwright peaks)

Meet at the Bus Station at 0900am for transport to Buttermere. From the village we ascend sharply to our first top of the day, Whiteless Pike 660m. The route then takes us on to Wandope and  Eel Crag which at 840m is the highest top of the day. We follow the ridge over Sail and Scar Crags to Causey Pike our final summit which makes a total of six Wainwright tops in the day. Descent is into Newlands where a drink is waiting at the Swinside Inn and where transport will be arranged back to town.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Keswick Mountain Festival, May 2016

Ashness Bridge recently without rain, cars or people.

This year the number of walks offered during the Keswick Mountain Festival in May will be dramatically reduced to eight, yes 8, over the period of the whole festival. Presumably this is a response to the dwindling take up which has been evident over the last few years, clearly the direction of the festival is changing. Neither Keswick Rambles nor any other Keswick based walks provider will be involved in the festival this year, our services are not required.

Nevertheless, despair not...Pete will offer a series of interesting walks over the festival period himself as an independent provider outside the festival and this programme will appear on this website watch this space.