Last day in the lakes this year. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and it’s been great catching up with people.
Today I tried to get on a shorter walk as I was returning home. After some confusion, I ended up going to Patterdale from where we walked up Grisedale toward Grisedale tarn. The car park was partially flooded, as had been bits of the road on the way down, but I parked blocking Rach H’s car in. The car park was far cheaper than Glenridding which made up for the new lake.
We’d chosen that route because even though the rain had eased, the weather was still a bit windy, and being in a valley meant it was more sheltered. Part way along the route was Ruthwaite Lodge, a shelter, which was a sight for sore eyes, however it had been restored in memory of two outdoor persuits instructors, and was locked. Still we took five minutes to, as we call it, faff and have a small amount of food before the ascent.
We were met be a couple who had turned back because the wind was to severe, and as we got within half a mile of the tarn the wind did become a bit of a struggle, particularly for Claire L was considerably more slight than the rest of us, and had to be shielded by Andy K (not the one on the right there!).
The return journey was much quicker, however the one landmark we were looking out for, Ruthwaite Lodge, which turned out to have been hidden behind a crag. Obviously when you come to think of it, else the building would have its work cut out providing shelter.
I think my walking has benefited from me losing weight and getting fitter, I managed to keep up with the others easily.
I got back to the car at ten to three, and noted that Rob and Phil were in the pub, but with an appointment at Ikea, and in Beverley I decided I couldn’t dawdle, so drove straight back here for a shower and to get changed.
Funnily enough I have both enjoyed my brief walking trip, and am not sorry about leaving earlier than the rest.
Up early to help cook breakfast, my phone alarm not enamouring me to Curly who was in the top bunk. Last night was spent in a traditional new year pursuit, that of extended games of Risk (the board game). The game was only ended when we all decided to go to bed, ages after everyone else. There was no clear winner.
My culinary skills weren’t up to the usual standard, and I was my usual early morning untalkative self.
We stayed in the centre till about half ten as the weather through certain windows was terrible, as anyone venturing as far as the car park would attest. Eventually we headed to Keswick, and walked out via a cercuitous route to Portinscale, whereupon all but 5 of us turned back. The remaining 5 continued to a pub near the Hawes End centre, and many of us ordered starters from the bar menu to supplement our sandwiches. We were joined by R&R plus 4 who decided to drive.
The weather had cleared by the time we had to head back and we walked the return trip in half the time, leaving an hour or so for an attempt on the North face of Keswick High Street. RB bought himself some new walking shoes, to replace an old pair, as it is not permitted to leave New Year with less gear than you came with. I failed to find a camera case I liked, thinking those available either too flimsy or too expensive.
The evening meal is goin to be some sort of curry, there are tins of coconut milk in the pantry so I’m wondering if it’s anything on the lines of my usual repertoire.
Spent last night at home in Steeton with Sarah. Sarah has returned to Hull and I’ll be joining her on Saturday. I meanwhile have travelled up to the lakes to spend a couple of days with BUSAG PMA.
I arrived at Rookin House at 10am just a few minutes after the others had left. Unfortunately I was heading in the wrong direction when the message came through and I had to turn round and head back to Glen Rydding.
So I bought myself a new map case at the village store and headed up the path toward Helvelyn. It was quite a dry if cold day and I made good progress on the pathway that was very wide and clear. I reached the junction with Swirral edge and was about to head back when I spotted the others just ahead of me. Some of them remarked how well I’d recovered to be up there so soon after my accident. I think the exercise regime and losing all that weight had helped, I certainly wouldn’t have caught up otherwise!
A good days walk and a good start to this brief trip.
It’s been two year’s break since I last visited the lakes with the current trip. New Year 2002 (-2003) was spent in Thailand on the World Scout Jamboree, and last year I tried the SAGGA trip. This year I didn’t have Nicola with me, and it was just serendipity that the email for me to make up my mind came from Andy Kirby and David Rafferty first.
We hired the self catering accommodation at Rookin House Farm Activity Centre form 27th December until 2nd January. We managed to fill it with 20 adults and 7 children. I turned up on Tuesday and I didn’t do any on-site activities but I found myself doing three good walks, Skiddaw on Wednesday, Great Dodd and Watson’s Dodd on Thursday, and Blencathra on Friday. I found myself to be a little more out of condition than the others.
The Skiddaw walk was done in slight rain, with some members turning back before the last climb, and others racing ahead. We didn’t seem to stop long enough for lunch.
By the time I’d reached the top my thigh muscles were in pain. To top that I’d left my walking poles behind, and forgotton my water. Raff kindly lent me his for the descent.
The Dodds walk was done in heavier rain, so I made sure I’d put my waterproof trousers on early on. With low cloud and biting winds on the top this seemed a walk against the elements, indeed the pair doing the harder walk claim to have let on to us and been ignored on one of the ascents. On Great Dodd we left by walking off on a bearing rather than following a path, but deviated too far and needed to do some uncomfortable walking along a contour to reach the saddle. As we reached the saddle my friend from York rang, but I couldn’t hear a word she said in the conditions. Lunch was spent in Raff’s portable shelter, which is a little snug with 7 people inside.
The way back was also a little tougher than we’d anticipated, so the walk finished on roads after dark. We were soaking but the lads in my car still wanted to visit the pub. Of course it was me and Curly who had to virtually kidnap Andy and Frosty who protested greatly that they had to get back to their children and not Andy’s idea in the first place.
Andy Kirby put together a music quiz for Thursday and Friday night using the lap top provided by his company. Team Frosty (Frosty, Rach H, Andy R and myself, and yes that is the Rach and Andy known to people on the sidebar) stormed to a convincing victory with 113 points from 110 questions. Frosty and Rach claim it was all Andy and myself answering the questions, but all members of the team contributed. Frosty for one was the only one who remembered Vienna by Ultrovox was held off number one by Joe Dolche’s Shuduppa your face.
Blencathra was slightly more strenuous than I’d anticipated doing that day, but well worth it. The way up was a long steep climb with some scrambling (some of which I avoided by going round the side.) It was worth it as the mist cleared half way up leaving us with some good views and the best weather of the trip. Curly and I were dropped off at the pub at 3pm, but found it was closing. This was probably just as well as the two pints I had there later went straight to my head, and made me a little giddy when making my ex-Chairman’s speech after the meal. Before midnight we played the anniversary edition of Trivial Pursuits, during which there were a few amusing arguments (“Birmingham 4.” “No Birmingham 6 it was the Guildford 4.” “But you said it was a quartet” etc.)
New Year’s Day I decided to go out on my own as most were looking to do more serious walking than I was prepared for. I visited the North Face of Keswick High Street, before going on to do a bimble through the forests off Whinlatter Pass, however as I parked my car it bucked it down and I drove via Cockermouth to the coast instead.
In the evening we were down to 11 adults, and played Cranium. Good game, but no more about that here.
A great trip, and very enjoyable. Next year, who knows where I’ll be, BUSAG PMA have Rookin House farm booked again, but it may depend on who I’m with at the time.