Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Footpath Clearance by the River Liza

Today we were back at Ennerdale helping to clear a footpath along the Liza which had got a bit overgrown. As last week Karen walked the dogs to the area we were walking & clearing. We had our first rain for ages yesterday & at last there is a little more water flowing down the Liza The rain had stopped this morning & it was forecast to improve as the day went on We walk past where we put the bridge in last week (still no water in the beck though!)
Someone has gone to some effort building this shelter, it wasn't there last week
Andy & Malcolm had gone to one end of the path & Bernie & Dave to the other end & we were to meet in the middle.
We had to keep a good eye on the dogs as Malcolm was using this sickle to cut the ferns back
Karen using the loppers, it wasn't cold, but there were so many midges she had to cover up.
Malcolm attacking a tree that was hanging over the path
These mushrooms look good enough to eat (but we didn't)
We think this is a Dark Green Fritillary (it has a green hue on its underside)
We meet up with the others & head for Pillar bridge for lunch
Bess after Karen's crisps
Once the food is eaten - playtime
The day turned out to be a lovely sunny one. Looking down the Liza with Great Borne & Starling Dodd in the distance
We then walked along the forest track back to our car at Bowness Knott

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Whitehaven Festival 2010

Today in glorious sunshine we spent the day in Whitehaven at the festival. We had come down mainly for the local bands on the CFM stage. We travelled down with Dawn & Allan & met up with Bernie & Lesley. The boats in the harbour enter the "best dressed boat" competition. The tall ships are in the harbour They have promoted it as the food & music festival, lime tongue is full of local food stands under the made in Cumbria banner What's that on Andy's face?
Since Wednesday he has been growing a beard for James Cordens "BACK THE BEARD" campaign for England. Much as Karen wants to see them playing in the final on the 11th July she really isn't sure if she wants that to stay until then
Back to the day, Gav McKew who played at our wedding was brilliant as always.
Ollie, Allan's grandson will be happy with what he won at the fair
We would have loved to go down for the air displays tomorrow, but football calls so we will not be able to make it. Come On England....................

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Fix The Fells Path Re-Alignment on Cat Bells

Today we were volunteering again this time for The National Park. Our duty today was to erect 5 posts & notices on & around Cat Bells. The notices advise where the Fix The Fells work parties have put new paths in, not quite on the original legal line, but on the line that has been walked over the years. The Park then has to apply for the legal line to be changed to this new path & a bit like planning permission the public have the right over the next 28 days to lodge any objections. After that date the notice needs replacing for a further 42 days to state that no objections have been received & that the legal line is to be changed. As this is a legal requirement & the notices are going in the papers at the end of the week we had to do this task one day this week. We had been posted the paper notices but needed firstly to go to the Blencathra Centre to collect the posts, boards & equipment we needed. We were surprised by how big the posts were, we had thought they were more like stakes than fence posts. We had a hammer with us but that was not going to knock these posts into the ground so borrowed this maul. We had bought bigger rucksacks, there are three posts in one & the maul & other kit in the other. The first two were close to where we had parked so we set about these first We then began our climb up Cat Bells, Skiddaw in the distant haze. Hindscarth & Robinson
St Herberts Island on Derwent Water
It's quite a slog up the first section even without all the kit we were carrying
And a bit depressing when you see the summit in the distance for the first time (to the left of Skellgill Bank)
But we soon get to the top of Skellgill Bank & the summit doesn't look so difficult
As we approach the summit looking back at where we have walked
At last one of the posts can be put to use & lighten our load
Andy & the maul (we weighed it when we got home & it was a stone)
Who would be daft enough to volunteer to carry that up this high?
Karen was the lucky one who had it in her rucksack, another post has been put in place, just one more to go.
A launch on Derwent Water
The final one just off the summit where the new path starts
Downhill from here (Walla Crag in the background)
Looking back up the path, our sign is to the left of the path
Blencathra in the distance
We then walk around Cat Bells back to the car, looking up at the summit
The bench in the bottom right of the last picture is dedicated to the writer Sir Hugh Walpole who lived in a house below us
Crag has disappeared in the ferns here as he has found the first running water of the walk & he is trying to drink the stream dry.
Keswick & Derwent Water from a little further down
An enjoyable hard days work, at least when we come back in a month we will only have to change the notices, a staple gun should be the only tool we need to carry.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Welsh 4x 1000m Peak Race

A couple of weeks ago we had a weekend with friends in Wales for 4 of us to compete in the annual Welsh 4x1000m peaks race.
We camp at probably the worse campsite in the world at Nant Peris, but it is convenient for the race. On Friday afternoon Mountain Rescue were training on the mountains above the campsite
video
About the only thing the campsite is good for is the views, looking up from the tent to Elidir Fawr
And in the other direction part of the Snowdon range with Crib Goch in the distance
And the Glyders too
And some man-made mountains of the slag heaps at the quarry. This also gives an idea of how often they cut the grass here
It was a lovely evening, Crib Goch again as the sun is setting
Looking towards the setting sun
Unfortunately with the setting sun comes the midges, Barry trying to protect himself
The next morning dawned early for us (6am!!!!) as we had a twenty minute drive to the start of the race & we were starting at 7:30
We take the early start with all the military entrants
The army are called over for a kit check
We register & this year are given these electronic tags that you must insert into a machine at each checkpoint to prove you have followed the route
The four of us Peter, Terry, Barry & Karen waiting for the start
Still waiting as we get a briefing before we go
And we are off
This is like no other long distance walk we have done as you start at sea level & have to climb the four mountains above 1000m in Snowdonia. This is tough & kit must be kept to a minimum. A real shame as the views were stunning from the tops. This taken on the mobile is looking across to Snowdon with a little cloud just below the summit.
The first seven miles of the route is to climb the first mountain Llewellyn & after over 2hours the summit eventually comes into view even if it is still a long way away. Some snow still lying up here too. Peter Douglas took this picture of Karen just before the descent to Ogwen Andy is waiting at Ogwen at the checkpoint, Karen is just registering her time, but where are the lads?
Karen was 1hour 15mins ahead of the cut-off at Ogwen but it was so hot out there that Karen decided to call it a day here after 13miles & 2 of the peaks completed. There was little water at the checkpoint & the next section would take about 2hours before the next water stop. Also because it was a competition there were dress rules & you had to wear trousers not shorts.
This is the elevation profile from Karen's GPS.
And the speed profile, the speed at the end was Karen running the last mile or so to catch up with and overtake the lads, a small victory to reach the checkpoint before them even if she was retiring.
Click to enlarge: The results given Karen's time at Ogwen as 1 minute ahead of the lads The route
The red flags are the checkpoints
The lads continued on, Barry & Terry did finish, Peter made it most the way up Snowdon before having to retire with cramp.
Back at the tent Crag decides to have a mad moment video And then its time for playing, however he is soon tired and starts taking the ball back to the tent video
Time for a sleep
Guarding the ball