Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Two Work Parties

Just a few pictures from last weeks work party & todays. Last week for a change we were putting up a fence rather than removing one. The reason was they want to keep the two herds of Galloway's separate. Where we parked we were greeted by one herd who thought we were the farmer coming to feed them.
It was a cold & frosty morning
But it promised to be a lovely day once the sun reached us
We were "recycling" fencing we had taken down in another part of the valley
So how many volunteers does it take to put up a fence? We are getting more than a dozen each week which is great
Today was a grey day, but with no wind so the lake looked great
Until someone decided to cause some ripples
We are planting Juniper in the same area that Countryfile filmed us a couple of weeks ago, the valley doesn't look so stunning today as a lot of the snow has melted & the cloud is down
It's not a great surface to work on (it's a big area you can see two volunteers on the skyline)
Andy planting
Crag however prefers to play/flirt with Barbara's female dog Lou
A different angle of the valley
From here you can just make out some of the western end of the lake
We had finished with time to spare so set about freeing some of the debris that had collected under Irish bridge
Unfortunately as this wasn't a planned job the forestry commission lads hadn't put a chainsaw in, so after clearing some of it we gave in & they will return tomorrow to finish off with chainsaws
Two really enjoyable days with great company

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Countryfile Come To Ennerdale

Yesterday BBC's Countryfile Team came to Ennerdale again to film various stories from the valley. They are doing a special Wild Britain episode which will air on Sunday 19th February & one of the stories involved us volunteers planting Juniper on Bowness Knott.
We were driven up to the planting site which boasts a stunning view of the valley. After deciding where we were to plant there was a lot of waiting around for the camera team & Ellie Harrison to arrive.
We were parked up by the site of an old quarry
There were 7 volunteers & 3 paid forestry or N.T. people planting
A panorama of the valley, Ellie commented "WOW what a view" when she got out of the car
Looking down on Ennerdale Water
We are all waiting to start planting
Whilst Crag had sticks thrown for him, believe it or not he did keep finding the right stick
The camera team & Ellie reach us
And we are still waiting as she has some lines to do first
And yes Karen got interviewed again, whether they will use it we don't know
Look to the left of Ellie Crag has decided she can throw a stick for him
It's there Ellie, come on throw it
Whilst the camera is still rolling she talks to him that she will throw it but he'll never find it, however she throws it to where a cameraman has left a tripod so it can't be used.
Crag then proceeds to butt in on the next interview, if they show John's interview you may hear him whining at Ellie to throw the stick, unlike Bess he is far from camera shy.
After the filming was finished a group photo of us all
It was a good fun afternoon & again the BBC were all very friendly & we are so glad the weather made the valley look extra special yesterday

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Work Party & Footpath Surveys

Yesterday we were back at Ennerdale, in the morning Karen did two footpath surveys & Andy was on the work party. It was supposed to be a nice day but the cloud was really low, because of the snow on the tops you almost can't see the fells at the end of the valley. Pillar with a dusting of snow. It did snow lightly on us most of the morning. We climb up over 100m, looking across the valley to High Crag Everything is frozen up here
Haystacks & Brandreth
Zooming in on Pillar
The water has frozen all around the edge of this waterfall
High Crag again as we start are descent on the second path
We all met up at lunchtime & Karen joined the workparty.
Two days of good walks does take its toll after all (he didn't even open his eyes after the flash went off!)

A Snowy Walk

On Monday the weather was forecast to be good & with snow on the higher peaks we just had to go and have a play in it. We decided to go up the last Wainwright for us in the Central book Ullscarf. We parked at Wythburn at the southern end of Thirlmere. This is looking up the valley we were to walk
Plenty of snow on top of the Helvellyn range
We walked up this frozen field
Crossing Wyth Burn beck which we would follow for much of the day
Nearly at the snow line
A waterfall on the beck
Looking back down where we have walked
And ahead where we were going
Crag poses on a patch on snow
We then have about a mile of relatively flat walk. The map calls it The Bog & even at these sub zero temperatures it lived up to its name!.
Ullscarf comes into view it is the very white fell to the right
Looking back again at where we had walked
Now we are really getting into the white stuff
Nethermost Pike in the distance
Ullscarfs summit is behind this
For once we can talk about where Crag's nose has been
The footpath carries on up the valley & then meets up with another path which takes you to the summit. Karen had the good idea that we should just head straight for the summit up a very steep bank
In 260m of distance you gain 130m of elevation. That's a 1 in 2 in old money.
Andy wasn't too impressed, Crag however had great fun using his nose to make snow roll down the bank & then chase after it... nutter with too much energy
Eventually the steep slope starts to level out
We were about 20mins from the summit, but as you can see the cloud was starting to gather & cover some of the fells to the west & it looked like it could snow. We made the decision we were going to add 40mins to the walk & the weather could be quite different then. We had also decided to take the longer route back
Crag up to his knees in snow
Ullscarf summit, we will get to it another day
We then walked along the ridge to Greenup Edge
A very frozen tarn
Just stunning views up here
Looking down on the valley floor that we will be walking on again soon
This descent is steep but nothing as bad as our route up
Everywhere beautiful & white
A last look at Ullscarf
We were the only car in the car park when we arrived, also when we left. We saw one person on another summit, but didn't pass a sole all day.
We had said we would dedicate the summit to Bess but as we didn't get there it's the walk instead. It had the three main ingredients that made a great walk for her: