Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ennerdale Easter Egg Trail

Yesterday we were back at Ennerdale helping out on the annual Easter Egg trail. We were on front of house duties again along with Chris a National Trust volunteer. We get the tents up and are ready for business. The trail is designed by the National Trust & the event is sponsored by Cadburys
The children follow a route answering questions about the valley & completing activities along the way & then they get an Easter Egg when they finish
The egg obviously was a hit but the duck racing on Smithy Beck & the badge making proved great hits too. We had a record attendance with 121 children & 108 adults completing the course which is up about 10% from last year. We had a beautiful sunny day which helped too.

Raise, Stybarrow Dodd & Hart Side

On Wednesday we set off over to Thirlmere to climb three new fells to us. We set off from home at 7:20 which is ridiculously early for us, but we did it for two reasons. Firstly it was forecast to be another very hot day & we were climbing a western slope so we hoped we could get some of the climb out of the way before the sun found us & secondly there was a risk of isolated thunderstorms later so we wanted to ensure we were off if these materialised. Andy is in the shade so the first part of the plan has worked We have had a lot of hazy days recently & today was no exception, Helvellyn in the distance
We parked at Swirls car park & we had a short walk along the valley floor before we started our climb
Looking down on Thirlmere
Great How in the sunshine
Looking down on Thirlsport farm & camp site, we are still in the shade
The map says this is a path, obviously not very well used & yes Crag is waiting for a stick to be thrown
Great How with High Rigg in the distance
Raise as we finally catch up with the sun. We have got a few hundred metres of ascent under our belts.
Helvellyn, Karen is sure she can see a patch of snow still up there
Raise again from a little higher up
Whiteside, this is where the "path" we started on leads to but we have cut off to go cross country to Raise
Stybarrow Dodd which is to be our second fell of the day
At last we see the rocky outcrop Wainwright talks about as the summit
Helvellyn from the summit & yes there are two patches of snow up there
Quite an impressive summit cairn
Zooming in on Helvellyn's snow
Raise (883m), the highest fell of the day
Stybarrow Dodd our next summit
Raise is the only fell in the Lake District to have a ski tow & ski club
From no path to a relative motorway & yes that guy has a bike, that seems like unnecessary hard work
The crossroads at the bottom is Sticks Pass which we will return to later for our descent
Watson's Dodd in the distance
The summit of Stybarrow Dodd, we though this would be our lunch spot but its only 12:15 so we decide to continue to Hart Side
Stybarrow Dodd (843m)
Off then to Hart Side, there is very little ascent between these two just a gentle descent
Mucky puppy, due to the lack of rain the marsh up here has become very boggy
Looking back at Stybarrow Dodd & it has two patches of snow too. If we had realised we would have made a short detour to them (well Karen would have)
Hart Side (795m)
After lunch we then follow another path back to Sticks Pass
From there we start the steep descent to Stanah
Looking back at Stybarrow Dodd
Time for a short break at this old sheepfold
We know from the map this is soon going to get very steep
And it does
Nice for the feet to be on grass & yes Crag still wants a stick, guess its appropriate on Sticks Pass
This is the first time we have seen the aqueduct which carries approx 55,000,000 imperial gallons of water to Manchester. It was built between 1890 & 1925 & is 96miles long, it is the longest gravity fed aqueduct in the country & with the water travelling at 4mph it takes about a day for the water to reach Manchester. If Thirlmere was full & no further water was added to it Manchester could still be supplied for 150days.
And then it disappears underground
Waterfalls on Helvellyn Gill
Nearly back at the car
A lovely 8mile walk, shame it was so hazy as anything much more than a mile away was really only shadows you couldn't really pick up much detail, however its great to have the weather to be back out in shorts again.

More Fence Removal in Ennerdale

On Tuesday we were back on another work party continuing to remove the fences to allow the Galloway to roam more freely. I think they know what we were upto as some of them came over to inspect our work. This copse which has a small beck flowing through it is what we are trying to open up
This section has been finished, the forestry commission need to bring the quad bike over now to pull out the retaining posts. As you can see from someones discarded t-shirt it was a hot day.
This section just needs to be rolled up
Lunch time & Andy fires up the jet boil for a cup of tea
After lunch we set about finishing the last section, the cherry blossom is out
Finishing off the last bits
Crag takes a break
It's a bit early to call it a day so we cross the field to remove this short section
Dave hard at work, he's not stopping until he has this piece removed
Bernie & Andy roll up the fence
Low Gillerthwaite field centre with Starling Dodd behind