Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Martin on the TGO Challenge 2017

Friday, 24 June 2016

A Lakeland Jaunt - Day 5 - Honister Hause to Buttermere

Date: Friday 24 June

Distance: 16.4 km (Cum: 91.7)

Ascent: 1203 metres (Cum: 5501)

Time taken: 8.3 hrs including breaks

Weather: showery morning, sunny afternoon

A mood of gloom and despondency descended on the twenty or so guests at Honister Hause YHA as news of the referendum result filtered through from someone's radio. Nobody had voted to exit (at the time of writing we still haven't found anyone embarrassed enough to confess having voted to leave Europe).

The warden, Tim, had been on holiday to Lindisfarne for a couple of days. Amy had put things away in strange places and there were eight unexpected guests, so breakfast was slightly chaotic. He reminded me of Ken, who he knows, and he also passed on his best wishes to Sue W at head office.

As we left at 9.20, the light rain stopped immediately and we made our way gently up to the summit of Haystacks. All the summits were visited, then we ambled down to Scarth Gap.

As we ascended Seat, we could see D of E children with bright red pack covers, wriggling up Haystacks.

19 men and women with spades were descending from High Stile. Volunteers from Fix the Fells, clearing drainage channels on Gamlin End.

Approaching High Stile from Red Pike, an Indian (or similar) group on a 24 in 48 challenge. That's 24 summits in 48 hours. High Stile was their second summit, gained after lunch on day 1. They may struggle!

Lots of Bell Heather on the way down to Scale Beck.

Bog asphodel, cotton grass, orchids and pied wagtails on the stroll into Buttermere on a lovely afternoon. We paused at Syke Farm for half an hour, enjoying tea, cake and ice cream in the sun with other walkers.

The hostel was full of 'Swim the Lakes' participants and their Range Rovers. Jeanette washed her bleeding feet and the rest of us also enjoyed hot showers before heading back down to the Fish Inn for our evening meal. Excellent. 

But gutted by Brexit.

Next Day

Index and Slideshow Links

A Lakeland Jaunt - Day 4 - Elterwater to Honister Hause

Date: Thursday 23 June

Distance: 22.7 km (Cum: 75.3)

Ascent: 1625 metres (Cum: 4298)

Time taken: 9 hrs including breaks

Weather: sunny, warm, calm

Another day of perfect walking weather. Shame that neither New nor Old Dungeon Ghyll establishments open until 11 am, thereby starving us of mid morning coffee. We did find a friendly tractor driver though, proud of his old motor that will turn its wheels to anything.

Not to worry, we found a lovely spot to tarry for a while at the head of the Langdale valley before heading up the Rossett Gill path and ascending, packless, to the summit of Rossett Pike.

Wheatears and skylarks.

Quite a few people around as we descended past Sprinkling to above Styhead Tarn. Here, P and J took the direct route to Green Gable, missing out Great Gable and its rocky descent. Susan and I went up the latter, enjoying fine views across Wastwater before heading down to join the others in a nearly idyllic spot on Green Gable, where both Jeanette and I received expensive international phone calls from Manchester. Both EE and Vodafone claimed that we were, despite being in view of both Windermere and the environs of Keswick, outside the UK on the Isle of Man!

The late afternoon light lent lovely tones to our steep descent to Honister Hause youth hostel - just in time to give Amy our food order in time for her to cook it.

The hostel is quite busy. We have a cosy room for four. Full board for the four of us is £114. There's scope in the budget for a few welcome beers.

Next Day

Index and Slideshow Links

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A Lakeland Jaunt - Day 3 - Coniston to Elterwater

Date: Wednesday 22 June

Distance: 17.2 km (Cum: 52.6)

Ascent: 1139 metres (Cum: 2673)

Time taken: 6.5 hrs including breaks

Weather: sunny periods, warm, calm

9.30 am start after an even better sleep.
Jeanette and Paul headed into Coniston for insoles. Paul's feet are sore. So they took a shorter 10 km route today.

Susan and I headed up Coniston Old Man in lovely weather. Hopefully the images speak for themselves. Two hours to the summit. Then a delightful amble to Swirl How and down to Little Langdale via Great Carrs. Meadow pipits, pied wagtails, crows and a ring ouzel. Lots of orchids and fields full of buttercups around Little Langdale.

Reunited with P and J at Elterwater Independent Hostel (other accommodation on this trip is all YHA), and enticed them to return to the Britannia for more rehydration.

We are eating at the hostel tonight. Last night's meal at the Black Bull was very good, with gigantic desserts.

Next Day

Index and Slideshow Links

    

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

A Lakeland Jaunt - Day 2 - Ambleside to Coniston

Date: Tuesday 21 June

Distance:  20 km (Cum: 35.4)

Ascent: 884 metres (Cum: 1534)

Time taken:  8 hrs including breaks

Weather: sunny periods, warm, calm

9 am start after a good sleep in our excellent room overlooking Windermere (the lake). A lovely day for walking, with clear views - no low cloud, no haze.

We soon picked up fantastic butties and a pie from the apple pie bakery.

Fine views from Loughrigg Fell. Bog asphodel and tormentil. Thirst quenching coffee at Chesters in Skelwith Bridge,

Above-mentioned fodder was savoured in a quiet spot with attentive mallards at Tarn Hows.

Lovely country walk to Coniston, encountering enthusiastic orienteering children.

Welcome pots of tea at Hollands in Coniston, before adjourning to Holly How hostel and a spacious room for four.

Next Day

Index and Slideshow Links
   

Monday, 20 June 2016

A Lakeland Jaunt - Day 1 - Windermere to Ambleside

Date: Monday 20 June

Distance:  15.4 km (Cum: 15.4)

Ascent: 650 metres (Cum: 650)

Time taken:  4.6 hrs including breaks

Weather: a rainy start to the train journey, clearing by lunchtime. Sunny afternoon for our walk

It's the EU referendum vote this week. By coincidence we sat on the Manchester to Preston train with a lady who was travelling to her graduation ceremony - for her PhD in EU Politics.

"Which way should one vote?" asked Susan.

"It depends" answered our companion, before the conversation moved quickly on to the relative merits of a selection of European walking routes.

12.45 - met Paul and Jeanette at Windermere station.

Lunch in Booths then a fine walk over Wansfell's summits and ridge to Ambleside Youth Hostel, where we have an en-suite room for four. Met some jolly students on Wansfell.

Nice meal at the Priest Hole then back to the hostel to watch the last few minutes of England's 0-0 draw with Slovenia.

Everything is very green, and visibility is superb after recent rain. Buttercups and cotton grass are interspersed with tormentil and bedstraw. The photos shouldn't need any more words than these to convey the images of an excellent afternoon stroll.

Next Day

Index and Slideshow Links

Edwina's Tea Party

Susan, over here from Connecticut, and I enjoyed a lovely afternoon yesterday in Over Haddon, where Edwina was sharing her experience at The Palace with her friends, relatives, and some of the many people who support her in the various charity work that led to her much merited award.

Congratulations again, Eddie, on your MBE, and thank you for the splendid afternoon tea. 

(Sorry about the paucity of meaningful photos.)