Monday, 24 December 2012

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

News Christmas - New Year Walks

Wed 26th December  Blencathra Pete Armstrong A

Fri 28th December Helm Crag Cathy Colam B

Sat 29th  December Great Cockup, Great Scafell and Knott Pete Armstrong B

Sun 30th December Catbells Alison & Halle B

Mon 31st  December Eagle Crag and Sergeants Crag Pete Armstrong A

Wed 2nd January Barrow and Outerside Alison & Halle B

If you are interested just book in the normal way.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Armboth Fell...The Direct Route

MCWW building at Thirlmere Dam
Beside Thirlmere Dam at the north end of the lake stands this rather fine Victorian structure associated with the dam, probably a pump house. The arms above the door are those of the proud owners; the City of Manchester....they just don't build them like this now.

Thirlmere from the Dam at the north end.

Wainwright suggests that Armboth Fell, up above Thirlmere, is one of the few fells not really worth climbing. I leave you to judge for yourself from our photos or go and try it yourself. The fell is notorious for being surrounded by some of the worst bogs in the district so the best time to climb it is when these are frozen over and last Friday dawned bright, clear and freezing cold offering the opportunity.

Thirlmere from the back road.

It was about 4km, a good hour's walk from the bus stop, over the dam and along the back road to the bottom of Launchy Gill where we took the path which climbs steadily up through the pine woods on the right bank of the Gill.

Thirlmere from the fellside above Launchy Gill

We followed the path up Launchy Gill, across the bridges and up the fellside but soon found ourselves too far to the left of the Gill heading away from Armboth Fell. This was no good, so Pete decided that we'd better take the "direct route"...straight up the fellside.

Thirlmere forms a backdrop to the "Direct Route" to Armboth Fell.
It was steep difficult ground culminating in a desperate trouser filling scramble ( though I don't think anyone did) on wet overgrown rock before we topped out in the woods above Launchy Gill with Armboth Fell beyond to the North.

Launchy Gill from the woods above Thackmell Crag.

Crossing Launchy Gill
Launchy Gill was not frozen though the boggy ground all around was iced over enough to ensure that we didn't get our feet wet.

Looking E. towards Helvellyn from the slopes of Armboth Fell.

The icy ground was solid under our feet and we made good progress, though there were a few pools of water to avoid as we made our way N. towards the summit.

The rocky outcrop at the summit of Armboth Fell

The rocky top of Armboth Fell rises to 1570 ft or 479m in the midst of a barren sea of bog and sodden tussocky grass. Beyond is the top of High Tove, on the ridge between Thirlmere and Watendlath. The best way to High Tove is to go north and join the path that comes up from Fisher Gill. We took a more direct line but it led into an area of wet tussocky grass which was a struggle before we met the path along the crest of the broad ridge.

Looking back to Armboth Fell from the icy path to High Tove

Looking N from the cairn on High Tove
The summit of High Tove ( 515m or 1665 ft ) is a dry oasis to be enjoyed before the wet descent towards Watendlath, it was 3 o' clock and the light was declining when we reached the village. We continued on up beside Bowdergate Gill and over Puddingstope Bank down into Rosthwaite which we reached in good time for the 4 o'clock bus back to Keswick. 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Keswick Mountain Festival 15 - 19th May 2013

We now have our list of walks for the above.  I will be simply posting this list today and then I will highlight the details of each walk over the next few days starting with the Wednesday.

Wednesday 15th  Pete Armstrong, HikeRed Pike, High Stile and High Crag
Wednesday 15th Alison Stott & Halle, HikeSkiddaw Six Wainwrights
Thursday 16th Pete Armstrong, HikeHellvelyn traverse; Dollywagon Pike to Raise
Thursday 16th Cathy Colam, HikeHaystacks
Friday 17th Alison Stott & Halle, Hike2 Lakes, 3 Tarns & 2 Caf├ęs
Friday 17th Lyn Armstrong, HikeCarrock Fell and High Pike
Friday 17th Cathy Colam, HikeGreat Gable
Saturday 18th Alison Stott & Halle, HikeClassic Catbells & Lakeshore
Saturday 18th Cathy Colam, HikeRannerdale Knotts and a carpet of Bluebells
Saturday 18th Pete Armstrong HikePavey Ark and The Langdale Pikes
Sunday 19th Lyn Armstrong HikeMaiden Moor and High Spy by Launch and Open-Top Bus

5 Days of Adventure Days of Adventure

15 - 19th May If you want any more details email or phone.

Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag  - Pete Armstrong   


One of the finest high-level ridge walks that Lakeland has to offer, three airy summits and exhilarating expansive views all day.
Event details
From the lakeshore of Buttermere we ascend steeply to Bleaberry Tarn, then climb the even more steeply inclined path to the lofty summit of Red Pike 755m. The undulating rocky ridge leading over High Stile 806m, the highest point on the ridge, to High Crag beyond, provides a dramatic high-level outing with airy situations and exhilirating views, one of the finest ridge walks in the Lakes in fact. Beyond High Crag we drop sharply down to join the Pass of Scarth Gap which leads easily to the lakeshore and back to our starting point.
Additional Information
We meet in the centre of the tiny village of Buttermere at 10am. Cars can be parked in the Pay and Display car park in the village, or without charge on the roadside heading towards Newlands Hause, outside the village. Contact Pete if you want a lift or would like to arrange a car share.

Tel: 017687 71302

Grade A


Wednesday 15th May10:00amAdult - £20
Venue: Buttermere Village Centre
Fish Hotel
CA13 9XA
Grid Reference: 175170
Post code for Sat Nav: CA13 9XA
Lat/Long: 54.54087, -3.27733

So that's it for now, watch this space for more info as I don't think these details are up on the KMF site yet..............

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Scafell Pike and News for 2013.

Reflections of Scafell Pike in late October.
 Pete took this photo on Monday 29 October from above Sty Head Tarn looking along the Corridor Route towards the 740m col between Lingmell and the Pike itself, high above on the left. The weather was kind to us in the morning, though later as we returned over Broad Crag towards Esk Hause, the mist descended and the day gradually deteriorated.

KR Guided Walks will be operating as usual next year with the same guides. As soon as possible we will publish a programme of walks for the 2013 season but it would help our planning greatly if you, our clients, would e-mail us with the dates you're coming to the Lakes and some suggestions for walks you'd like to do while you're here. As usual we'll be operating a booking system, so you'll need to e-mail or phone to book a walk.

The Keswick Mountain Festival will take place between Wednesday 15 and Sunday 19 May. We'll be leading a varied programme of walks during the festival which will be published here as soon as it's finalised.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

More Scafell Pike dates

We have interest in the 2nd and 3rd of November dates as well now for Scafell Pike, so there are now 3 dates which are possibles, so if you are interested email or ring us soon.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Scafell Pike

Give us a bit please, I've just walked to the summit of Scafell Pike and I'm starving.
We have a client who wants to do Scafell Pike on 30th October, is anyone else interested?

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

October Programme

100th Wainwright! Well done Joan.
Some of you have asked if we are doing an October programme this year and the short answer is no.  The reason is we decided to make ourselves available for private guiding only this October.

But this is better news for you if you want to do something special like certain Wainwrights for instance. You might want to go and do a particular hill with friends or family and this we can arrange too.  Our fees are very reasonable, £80 for a day and you can then choose how many of you go and split the fees.

If you want to go walking with a group this October, then let us know the dates you are here and we will see if we can arrange an outing to suit several of you on the same day, that way you will be able to share the fees.

So far we have had interest shown in these dates: 11th - 16th October and 18th  - 19th October

Monday, 17 September 2012

Lyn and Pete's Last Munro

Caledonian MacBrayne ferry "Isle of Mull" leaving Oban
 We decided to do our last Munro, Ben More on Mull, on a fine sunny day which meant watching the weather forecast and nipping up to Mull at short notice as soon as there was a favourable opportunity. It only takes about an hour by ferry from Oban to Craignure on Mull from where we drove up to Salen where we'd booked the Salen Hotel, a friendly though rather delapidated establishment.

View towards Loch na Keal with the island of Eorsa in the centre.   
Wednesday 12 September dawned fair and improved steadily as we climbed from the shore of Loch na Keal up the Gleann na Beinne Fada towards the ridge above which led over A' Chioch, a subsidiary top of the Munro, to the summit of Ben More 966m.

A' Chioch (left) is seperated from Ben More (right) by the scrambly NE Ridge     

 The forecast was right...we had bright sunshine, but we had wind as well, strong wind, though it died away fortunately as we ascended the ridge that led over A' Chioch and up to the summit.  

View South from the ridge leading to the top of of A' Chioch.

Dramatic views opened up to the South as we climbed the rocky ridge that led up to the top of A' Chioch.

View North from the slopes of A' Chioch.
 The ridge that led from the col at the head of the Glen was a delightful "rocky staircase without any difficulty" which steepened appreciably towards the top. The wind strengthened and a brief rain shower passed through before the wind dropped as we reached the top of A' Chioch.

View N. towards Beinn Fadda from the top of A' Chioch

Descending the SW ridge of A' Chioch.

Cloud is lifting from the summit of Ben More beyond as we descend from A' Chioch towards the  impressive connecting ridge. The ascent from the col below is, according to the SMC Guide, "reminiscent of the Aonach Eagach or Liathach, but there are no comparable difficulties". With a bit of effort, as we found out, you can make the ridge quite a dramatic undertaking, it all depends on the route you take up it!

The summit of Ben More, Bella seems unimpressed.

It has been a long journey from our first Munro, Carn Dearg in the Monadh Liath, which we climbed in 1993, to our final one and it was a very satisfying moment when we reached the summit of Ben More.

View from the summit down the NE ridge of Ben More towards A.Chioch

Pete opens the celebratory Champers.

The weather was kind to us as we swigged our Champers and took in the fabulous all-round view from the summit before the cloud closed in and urged our departure, we took the more direct "tourist route" for a quick and easy descent.

Loch na Keal and Gleann na Beinne Fada, our ascent route.

Descent from Ben More NW towards Loch na Keal.

Loch na Keal, and the islands of Eorsa and Ulva beyond.

The shapely summit of Ben More from Dhiseig above Loch na Keal.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Penultimate Munros

Heading towards Carnmore at the head of Fionn Loch 
The weather forecast was favourable on Tuesday 14 August as Pete and Lyn set out early to take on the challenge of the two most remote Munros in Scotland...A'Mhaighdean and Ruadh Stac Mor, deep in Letterewe Forest, above the head of Dubh Loch, 16km SE of the village of Poolewe. We took our mountain bikes on the rough track as far as Kernsary, from where we walked the remaining 9km on good paths with full packs to Carnmore, at the head of Fionn Loch, where we planned to camp.  

The causeway between Fionn Loch and Dubh Loch.

Beyond the causeway is grassy platform above a stony beach on the north shore of Dubh Loch which offered a couple of flat pitches for our tents, just beyond the "No camping" notice.  However Pete knew about this interdiction from a previous visit and had permission from Barbara at the Letterewe Estate Office for an overnight camp by the loch side.
Here be Midges.
It was a warm evening without a breath of wind, ideal conditions for the inevitable midge attack. As the sun began to lower in the west they massed their forces then assailed us in clouds forcing a retreat to the tents where we sat out the attack. Not until after midnight dared we so much as pop our heads out of the tents. In the morning the coast was clear and a welcome breeze greeted us as we emerged from our hideouts. We packed a day-sack and made an early start at 6 30am. Our route follows a diagonal path along the hillside to the "v" shaped notch in the horizon just left of centre.
Pete's tent is a Hilleberg "Acto"; Lyn's is a Vango F10 Helium 100.

Heading SE beside Lochan Feith Mhic' Illean at 500m.

The summits of Ruadh Stac Mor 918m, on the left ,and A' Mhaighdean 967m came into view as we approached the outflow of Lochan Feith Mhic'Illean. These two Munros are the western pair of the so called "Fisherfield Six", the other four lie beyond Gleann na Muice to the east of our objectives of the day.

Fuar Loch Mor nestles between the steep flanks of Ruadh Stac Mor and A' Mhaighdean

The path above Fuar Loch Mor traverses the steep flank of Ruadh Stac Mor to the Poll Eadar dha Stac at 750m, a high bealach between the two Munros.

A chance encounter on the ascent of A' Mhaighdean
These two stags displayed no timidity and allowed me plenty of time to photograph them as we climbed the steep NE slopes of A'Mhaighdean.

Heading along the summit plateau towards the top of A' Mhaighdean.
It was breezy on the top of A' Mhaighdean, we reached the summit in good time just after 10am. It was Pete's second ascent of this Munro and today the weather was even better than the first time and the view, often rated as the best view from a Scottish mountain, even more spectacular.

View towards Poolewe from the summit of A' Mhaighdean.

This may indeed be the finest view from a Scottish mountain summit. Dubh Loch and Fionn Loch, set amid the wilderness of Letterewe, are seen far below, separated by the causeway where we left our tents. Beyond Fionn Loch, to the north is the sea and Gruinard Bay. Ben Airigh Charr, 791m, rises above the loch to the west, our return route to Poolewe lies below her eastern flank and the village itself some way beyond.

Rhuadh Stac Mor from the summit rocks of A' Mhaighdean.

The ruddy top of Ruadh Stac Mor can be seen to the NE, just over a kilometer, as the crow flies, from the top of A' Mhaighdean.

Trig Point on Ruadh Stac Mor 918m.

We made the summit of Ruadh Stac Mor in less than an hour but didn't tarry long as the wind was strengthening. The ascent through the crags and boulder field that defend Ruadh Stac Mor's SW flank was rough and Pete had spotted an easier descent route so we walked NW along the broad ridge then descended steeply on grass to the path alongside Fuar Loch Mor, which was our return route.

The Glen of the Alt Bruthach an Easain

This is the return path from the Lochan Feith Mhic'Illian, in the bottom of the glen is the outflow of the lochan, the Alt Bruthach an Easain. Beyond the lip of the glen, far below, lies the Dubh Loch and our tents, about an hour's walk away.

The last mile to the causeway camp.
As we rounded the corner out of the glen of the Alt Bruthach an Easain, the Dubh Loch and the causeway where our tents waited came into view, it was a welcome sight. We were back at camp inside an hour, packed our tents and gear and were away by 3pm heading back along the long path to Poolewe, which skirts the bottom of the hills in the distance. The walk back from camp took us four hours, it was a windy return trek, we had covered 32km on this, our second day of the expedition and we were rather battered, midge-bitten, tired and thirsty. It had been a great adventure and we were both now on our last Munro. This will be Ben More on Mull and we plan to go to Mull early in October and are looking at the logistics now. So if you fancy coming along, and you're welcome, let us know.