Bill Birkett’s book - ‘Great British Ridge Walks’ provided the inspiration for today’s easy walk with Father Christmas and some followers. With reindeer craftily disguised as small dogs, we set off from Mardale Head shortly after 10 am on a wintry day with low cloud, but at least it stopped raining as we set off.
Our route up Riggindale Ridge looked steep and sharp from the banks of Haweswater.
“Who’s the prettiest of them all?” asked Santa, whilst we enjoyed some elevenses.
As we gently rose up the hill, Santa’s magic made the clouds lift ahead of us, with the remainder of the ridge, topped by Racecourse Hill (the summit of High Street), suddenly drifting into view.
Clouds swirled below us as Bruno the Reindeer waited for his charges and I tried in vain to spot the resident eagles.
A pause in the eerily reconvened mist enabled Santa to catch his breath and relate a ghost story about a wake in a bothy. This man’s imagination knows no bounds!
Puddles near the summit had 2 cm of crusty ice that Bruno found very tasty.
Here are some views at the summit of Racecourse Hill.
After the windy ridge, the summit conditions were relatively calm, especially behind this custom built windbreak.
Descending towards Mardale Ill Bell, the low sun reflected brilliantly off Windermere, with Kentmere summits in the foreground.
The sun was shining brightly in Kentmere.
After a brief encounter with some bouncy ladradors, we trundled off to the summit of Harter Fell. It was quite cool – around 1C, plus wind chill. After succumbing to wet feet on some recent trips with Santa, I was glad to be in warm winter boots, with warm, dry tootsies.
There were fine views to the west.
From the north eastern cairn on Harter Fell, Haweswater, far below, looked very pretty.
At various points on this walk, Shirley got out her little digital recorder thingy and asked us various podcast-interest questions, such as “Have you always been unable to finish a sentence?” and “That RABid fleece doesn’t half pong, wot?” I seem to be completely unable to say anything vaguely interesting or sensible when faced with a recording thingy, but maybe Podcast Bob will be able to edit it to form something vaguely interesting to Podcast fans – possibly a Captain Beefheart track or something…… Santa seemed to do better…
Here’s the day’s route – 11 km, 830 metres ascent, taking 5.5 hours.
The Haweswater Hotel, despite drilling noises from builders, provided sustenance for the weary. It had started to rain again.
Another excellent day out. Thanks all for coming along.
The next ‘Great British Ridge Walk’ will be on Tuesday 12 January 2010 – a short jaunt from NY 232 194 in the Newlands Valley, up Hindscarth and across the Littledale Edge to Robinson, starting at 10.00 am. All welcome; come properly equipped!