Sunday, 20 September 2009

Maol Chean-dearg (bald red head) 933m 14/09/09

Sometimes when we climb a Munro in Scotland we do so in very bad conditions so that we keep no photographic record other than a misty gloomy looking pair on top by a cairn. Often when we view the snapshot back home we wonder why we bothered, not so this trip!

We were lucky this time no doubt about it. I am only going to show you the best day today but I will see if I can post some more shots of the other 4 Munros we did later. We managed to climb 5 in five days with a day off on the 3rd day for Bella to rest her feet as she was licking them quite a bit and we like to look after her. So this was day 5 and our 5th Munro. The first piccie is us standing proudly on the top in superb visibility and that sky was really blue, so was Upper Loch Torridon far below us with Torridon village just visible. On the left is a Corbett called Beinn Damph. We climbed the hill on our own but on the way down we past first 2 people then a group of about 7 and then another 3 with one chap keen to take photos in the good clear air and who could blame him?

This is a shot of me walking along the track from Coulags at the start of the day it meandered through some very pretty birch woods by a lovely river called Fionn-abhainn

Here we have a view of the river and its bridge with just a wisp of cloud still clinging to the valley.

This next shot is of the Clach nan con-fionn a famous stone which legend says Fionn tethered his hunting dogs to. It reminds me of a smaller version of Napes Needle on Great Gable.

This is me climbing steadily towards the summit, we had to go over quite a lot of quartz and some fairly large boulders to reach the top, but not as bad as on the way up Scafell Pike thinks she.

Here is a shot of Pete and Bella on the summit plateau with Beinn Liath Mhor and Sgorr Ruadh in the background.

This last shot is of the bothy on the way up which at the time we thought was private and had to be booked but on the way down we met a 'Surveyor' who informed us that he had just been to measure the bothy for a new door and that it was open to anyone. He said pop in on the way down and take a look which we did. I can honestly say that it was one of the best I have seen. Wooden floors and walls and an upstairs with two larger rooms and one wee room which might have been reserved for the ladies......Two good sized downstairs rooms with a fireplace in each and a little bit of coal and kindling plus some night lights. So it could have been made cosy I expect, but I have never wanted to spend the night in one as I prefer a bed in a B & B but they serve a useful purpose and if caught out I would not hesitate to doss down in one.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

August 24th Wall to wall sunshine

We left Buttermere village and set off around the lake with the sun glinting on the surface of the water like diamonds. I have seldom seen it look more beautiful or peaceful and I took this shot of Fleetwith Pike as we made our way along the footpath.
This next piccie shows us hiking up by a Rowan tree covered in red berries.
This is a shot of the view ahead of us as we ascended the path. You can see the slopes of Haystacks on the right and on the left is Fleetwith Pike again, in the middle distance the Warnscale Beck makes its way to the valley bottom.

This is the view behind us
The path keeps ascending until it eventually goes through an old stone wall and then the way becomes strewn with more and more boulders.
Until at last the top of the pass is approached, this is Scarth Gap and it is a cross roads for the path can be followed down into Ennerdale or the same junction can give access to the ridge back over High Crag towards Red Pike or the other way over Haystacks via an airy scramble! Our route obliged us to cross straight over and start the descent into Ennerdale.
Here we are making our way down the path with Scarth Gap behind. Our path goes on down over some manmade stone steps until we reach the bottom and then we turn left towards our destination; Black Sail Hut.
No matter when you seem to be there, it is always a focal point for walkers. Most of them have come on the coast to coast path and are booked into the Youth Hostel for the night, because it is indeed a working hostel. But it never ceases to amaze me that so many people are always there milling around; it seems to draw them like a magnet. (Pete tells a sorry tale though of being turned away at the inn.) Seriously, it was once pouring down and he turned up at the 'hut' and sought shelter for himself and his group against the elements but little Jock our Parson Jack Russell terrier was refused admission...Shame on them, he was going to be left outside until Pete decided that was unacceptable and all of them left bedraggled and disconsolate, but at least Jock was not made to feel like an outcast. However, I have digressed again. Must be habitual by now.
The weather on this occasion was the opposite of my tale and after having taken a couple of photos I urged on my group to leave thoughts of luncheon outside the confines of the hut until such time as we had gained a decent height again..... So I cracked the whip and on we went along the path towards the cleft in the hill which holds Loft Beck.

Once we had gained a lofty height and the wind was pleasantly ruffling our hair and cooling us down, we settled amongst the rocks and had lunch. All that remained was for us to ascend upwards until we topped out near the fence posts below Brandreth. Anyone wandering around in this area will be pleased to find excellent fences which are all marked on the OS maps. The views are stunning too. This is what it was like to look back down on Buttermere with Crummock Water and Mellbreak in the distance.

This shot shows the group all admiring the views whilst standing near the Brandreth fence posts.
The views infront of us now were dominated by Dale Head.
But I must include a couple more shots because they are so good. This first one is Alan who has an outdoor shop and has been on a few walks and will be returning for our navigation day. He is becoming quite a regular and has absolutely promised to bring me a pair of 'Smartwool' socks next time he comes over, haven't you Alan, size 5 feet.......
Before you think that I am scrounging, please note that I cannot get these in Keswick, I don't know why but Fisher's are not stocking them anymore, so Alan (who does stock them) will be supplying me and I will be paying.
Lastly I want to thank Pete who came along as photographer because we are trying to build up an archive of walks photos for your benefit so that when you want to know about a walk you come to the blog and see the actual photos and description as it happened, rather than the old system on the website which just gave a text based analysis. So here he is:- the star photographer.....

And of course, Bella is just there too, we must not forget her, she is very keen on Keswick Rambles.