Friday, June 22, 2012

The Olympic Torch Arrives In Whitehaven

Yesterday along with several thousand others we headed into Whitehaven to watch the Olympic Torch Relay as it passed through the town.  It was forecast to rain, but thankfully during the relay it didn’t really come to much.

This picture from The Whitehaven News gives an idea of the number of people on Lowther Street


We decided to stand on the slightly less crowded harbour front


The town had been decorated with London 2012 banners


We saw the final leg where the torch was carried by Shameem Arnold


A short video of it passing us

Getting in the spirit of the games with our Olympic mugs


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fixed Point Photographs on Haycock

Yesterday was forecast to be the last good weather day for a while so Karen & Crag took the opportunity to finish off the Wild Ennerdale fixed point photographs.  There were two left to do, one on the summit of Haycock & one on the smaller mound Tewit How on the ascent.

The path follows Deep Gill before turning & starting the steep ascent up Tewit How (left), Haycock is the summit in the distance


Part way up the bank & a little bit of Ennerdale comes into view


The path is indistinct & you just pick your way through the ferns & heather


Higher up & more of Ennerdale is in view, Deep Gill looks a long way down now



We have done the steepest part of the climb & are now on the ridge line upto Tewit How


Somebody is a little worn out as he has been chasing sticks most of the way so far


The summit cairn on Tewit How


The 1st panoramic shot, Steeple around to Haycock, you can see the route up from here


And the second one, Caw Fell across the lake and around to High Stile


Zooming in on Steeple & Scoat Fell


And across the valley to Red Pike & High Stile


A small tarn on Tewit How


We then climb up to the next ridge line where we meet “The Wall” (it stretches for 6 miles along the southern side of Ennerdale & when you walk it it seems to go on forever)


The wall in the opposite direction to Scoat Fell


Looking back once we have started the climb up Haycock


Zooming in on Scafell Pike & Sca Fell


The shelter at the top of Haycock (797m)


The panoramas aren’t as interesting here are the summit plateau is pretty barren


The wall crosses through the summit


Most of Ennerdale Water is in view here


Then we begin out descent taking a slightly different route back, Crag playing in a small beck


Then looking for a stick, piece of heather, root, actually anything that can be thrown is fair game


It was nice to get out on the tops again although the paths or lack of them doesn’t make Haycock the most pleasant of ascents in places

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bridge Building Over High Beck

Last week saw us on two work parties starting the mammoth job of rebuilding the bridge on the Liza path over High Beck.  This job was made harder by the huge quantity of midges, even the National Park & Forestry staff said they had never known as many in one place.

The helicopter had delivered the materials a few weeks ago all we had to do was assemble them (and a bit more).

The abutment on one side had been washed away so the first job was to dig out new foundations & collect a lot of stone to build with.


Large stones were used as the facings for the abutment with smaller ones as infill


Andy was collecting stones whilst Karen helped build the abutment, it was very similar principles to dry stone walling, although we were using a little concrete to hold some of the stones in place


It takes  plenty of deliberation over which stones fit best where


Andy busy mixing the concrete.


At the end of Tuesday the abutment was almost complete, we needed to raise it about 3inches & fill the middle with concrete.


So Thursday we were back on it, thankfully there was a little breeze & only a few midges.


The abutment was finished, now the small matter of moving the beams onto it.  The beams were 11m x 36cm x 23cm so not light


Using cantilever principles & some good old brute force the beams were slowly lifted into place


Using the lats from the old bridge as a rest slowly the beams are lifted higher as more are inserted


And finally the first beam is rested on both abutments


It’s tiring work.


Then its time to start on the second beam, Andy, Angus & Julian act as a counter weight as the beam is moved into place



Once the beam is on both abutments the last job is to roll the beam over


Job done, it’s been a hard but rewarding two days work


Although the beam is not in its final position & it doesn’t actually matter if its not completely level we haven’t done badly that’s 3.3degrees off level.


There are a few more work parties needed to paint & assemble the final bridge.