These pictures must have been taken with early digital cameras, in our 'textures' phase if the snap above is anything to go by. Two cameras were used, and I've tried to get the pictures and the text from my diary in roughly the correct order.
A Weekend based in Ambleside
Saturday 19 February 2005 - The
Andrew, Sue, Richard, Jenny and I enjoyed the Fairfield Horseshoe, starting in Ambleside, ascending via Rydal Fell, and descending via High Pike and Low Pike on a sunny winter's day.
Andrew was staying at a nautically themed B&B - The Anchorage, and Richard and Jenny had booked the rest of us into a luxurious B&B, Brathay Lodge - £80 per night per room. We ate in a good nearby restaurant on both nights - The Priesthole.
The Fairfield Horseshoe was a chilly place to be, with a sprinkling of snow on top, and a brisk northerly breeze.
With the wind chill it was about as cold
as I'd recently been in
There were superb views on the frosty morning up to the horseshoe, and on the way back down over the Pikes.
It was a really clear day and most of the
high summits were in view, Helvellyn appearing last as it was hidden. Only
Skiddaw was not visible. There were good views back along Windermere and across
We reached the summit at about 1pm, in line with Naismith's timings, with which Andrew usually has trouble keeping up going uphill. But he was fine today and it was me if anyone who was lagging behind.
Finding a sheltered spot for lunch was hard, but we managed to find a space at the col before the ascent to Hart Crag.
There were lots of people about - probably 100 to 200 on this hill alone. Our ten minute stop reflected the conditions, and we had a much longer break later in a more amenable spot.
We ambled down, alternating the side of the wall and covering (Sue and me, anyway) all the little bumps on the way.
There was a bit of unexpected scrambling towards the bottom, but that didn't really hold us up on our way to a tea shop in Ambleside where apple pies were served - to Andrew anyway.
Then window shopping, jacuzzi at the B&B, and another nice meal.
Today's route - 18km with 1000 metres ascent (9:40am to 4:10pm)
Sunday 20 February 2005 - Loughrigg Fell and Silver How
Again, we walked directly from Brathay Lodge (a 'gold mine') [our one and only visit] who kindly let us leave our cars there, whereas Andrew was forced at great cost to move to the main car park (this allows a maximum stay of 9 hours, thereby prohibiting a long summer walk from Ambleside!).
It was another lovely clear, but bitterly cold, day, so we chose the lower climes of Loughrigg and Silver How. It took us an hour to reach the trig point on Loughrigg at 335 metres.
The chill wind thereabouts soon had us heading off to the south, where we found an excellent spot for lunch high above Chapel Stile before descending steeply to the west of Raven Crag, in occasional snow flurries, to the tranquility of the Cumbria Way, past Wainwrights Inn and along broad, well populated, paths to the Honey Pot of Chesters tea shop - so full that we were forced to stay outside with our hot chocolate and cakes. This was no great hardship, and after more window shopping (some nice things to buy here, fortunately rather bulky!) we embarked on the last lap back over Loughrigg to get back to Brathay Lodge by 4:30.
Despite our worst fears, the line of traffic was steady, with no hold ups, and we were home by 6:30.
So that was an excellent, not too energetic, weekend in superb weather and with good company. We don't even need to wash our boots.
[I wonder whether this was the occasion when Andrew got stuck with cramp whilst negotiating a stile, rather hilariously causing a 'traffic jam' on the descent from Low Pike. Or was that on a later visit?]