Maybe the dust – or should it be snowflakes – has settled by now.
Well, that day is almost upon us.
Here is an extract from the Facebook page of A Grand Day Out In Cumbria.
Exact location(s) and details to be confirmed. This is a county-wide fundraising day on January 16th 2016 (with a follow up later in 2016) with fell walks/sports/music/laughter/eating/drinking/fun stuff to raise funds for the Cumbria Community Foundation flood appeal: http://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/cumbriafoundation/cumbriafloodappeal2015 and the mountain rescue and other voluntary rescue services who were so valuable during the floods. There will be lots of activities in lots of communities. The whole idea is to have fun, get outdoors and support our beautiful county and its communities. We hope to get lots of businesses on board and have some amazing raffle prizes and lots of other fun surprises! Watch this space for more details but please sign up/share/post encourage your friends to register interest, the event will be very much focused around supporting local affected town and villages as well as enjoying the amazing Lake District Scenery we know and love. Details will be revealed soon…! Any offers of help/support/prizes etc gratefully recieved: http://goo.gl/forms/6YIKo3cCcX
Photo by Mat Hardcastle
We’ve all been having a very wet time of it over the last few days. For some it has become nothing short of a disaster. Please remember a few things:
1. There is more rain to come.
2. Cumbrian roads will be in a sorry state and will retain floodwater for a few days yet. Don’t travel unless it’s necessary, you’ll only be getting in the way of cleaning up and repairs.
3. Some road bridges have gone completely (Pooley Bridge for instance) and some roads (e.g. Dunmail Raise) so route planning will need attention. It is highly likely that footpath bridges may have suffered similar fates. So check that they are safe to cross and have in mind an alternative route home.
4. Landslides have been common so walking routes may be affected. The ground is still very wet and some areas may be highly unstable. Be vary careful. We are accustomed to avalanche awareness in winter but think about the terrain you are crossing.
5. Water levels in streams are dropping but still running very high. Think twice about needing to do river crossings. Not only can you be swept off your feet but loose debris is very unstable.
6. Be aware of floating bog where it may be possible to fall through surface turf.
7. Finally, bear a thought for everyone that makes the Lake District work. Be patient and spend your dosh at local independent businesses. Over the coming year there will be opportunity to contribute in many ways to the recovery of everyone affected in Cumbria.
An initial event is being organised to help those affected get back on their feet:
A Grand Day Out in Cumbria
I hope all of you that can attend or help out will give it their best efforts.
It seems to have taken it’s time coming and there’s no guaranteeing that it will hang around for long but a touch of winter weather has lifted the spirits.
John Anderson and I took to the hills for some skills practice. You just can’t beat learning navigation actually on a hill. No matter how many books you read and how many course you go on, putting it into practice is the best way by far. Despite the paths being icy in places and a lovely dusting of cold fresh snow, passage was easy, so beautiful surroundings added to the pleasure.
John became used to using timing and bearings to make sure he was on the right track. Just as important, he learned how to use terrain shape and features to move around on the hill especially away from the paths. In an area that he hadn’t visited previously John became confident and assured when checking his position and planning his next move. Well done!
The mountains can be a scary place and so too can exams so combining both sources of terror in one can seem somewhat masochistic!
Never fear, by the time you’re ready for Assessment you will have trained and practiced so that your skills have become honed and instinctive. You’ll actually be expecting and even looking forward to some rough weather as a challenge. You will camp out in the wilds escaping the buzz of civilisation and experience off path travel in fantastic surroundings.
Over two long weekends you will cover everything in the Mountain Leaders repertoire and more besides. Conversations vary from football and cars to work and life experiences and general knowledge. There’s always something new to learn from each other. Nuggets of fascination information come to light whether it’s about the lore surrounding the Rowan tree or how soil moves in the landscape. You never know what you’re going to get.
Book onto a training course and see what you’re made of. You may even find a new you
I am happy to report that going out and doing stuff has come between me and my posting and blogging duties during the summer. A heavy shower of rain this afternoon has obliged me to be indoors and I have taken the opportunity to update my Facebook pages and sort out to some degree the many pictures residing in folders, dropbox and on the camera card.
However, I’ll be brief! Too many photos and plenty of “in between” walks and rambles with the dog. My first summer off work for many, many years and it was great to go on holiday and come back to having the days off!
Early on the summer John, David and I had a good walk up Ben Ledi. The day after John and I went to the British Open Golf practice day. Our next big trip was to North Wales visiting old haunts and a treat for John and Jane to enjoy the delights of the Snowdon tourist path. Misty on the summit but that was good to hide the masses queuing and arguing to the top. Coed Y Brenin next and a blast around the Dragons Back mountain bike trail in wet conditions. Ducking and diving the inclement sqaualls meant a drive through Blaenau Festiniog. The Welsh have probably their own word for it but Dreich says it for me. In Pembroke the conditions improved and coastal walking was delightful. It might be next to the sea but that doesn’t rule out steep little hills!
A break back home then out to Italy including the cultural mecca of Pompeii and the much more enjoyable Herculaneum. Overshadowed everywhere by the local Big Yin, Vesuvius dominates all of the sea views from Sorrento to Naples. It’s a volcano of course and dusty and dry with little vegetaion high up. Nonetheless, the crater is spectacular from the rim. (Not allowed to go down there and frowned upon to wander to the actual summit!).
Visiting Bristol next we took off for more coastal exploration. A very scary drive past Pontins Burnham on Sea takes you to a National Trust car park and access to The Brean where a distinctive ridge sticks out to sea taking you to an old coastal fort and views of Weston Super Mare and opposite to the Welsh coast. Banksy knew what he was doing when he created Dismaland!
Finall, and most recently, came a journey to Knoydart for the compleation of George Devereux Round of Munros and Tops. A great effort over the years. Wet underfoot but just enough visibility to keep spirits up George, his son Mike and myself took the long route over Meall Bhuide along rough ridges and cols to meet with David Ward and Arthur and Sue Glencross on the top of Luinne Bheinn. A very long walk out but back to the bunkhouse in time for a shower and a visit to the most remote pub in mainland Britain.
Home again now and getting the autumn programe under way.
Taking advantage of a gap in the summery weather we popped over to Callander for a walk up Ben Ledi. I have driven (or been driven) past this lovely hill above Loch Lubnaig for nigh on 55 years and never walked up it.
An hour or so of steepish steady plodding in sultry conditions, alleviated by a gentle breeze on the upper ridge, saw great views over the highlands and even as far as Arran. The hills over to Glencoe and Cruachan still have spots of snow visible but we didn’t hang around too long for midges were making themselves felt even on the summit. Quite a few folk out and about even though it was midweek. Holiday time I presume. On the way down we came across the intake for the Callander Community Hydro Scheme.
Three consecutive days with Warlingham School introducing year sevens to the delights of Lake District mountains.
Well behaved kids (on the whole! It would be a miracle if there wasn’t a few boisterous boys!). Up and around Stickle Tarn from Great Langdale campsite. Climbing Pike Howe, crossing the stepping stones, crossing the Bog of Eternal Stench, stone skimming contest, a little ghyll scramble and back to base.
Tired but happy and good feedback from staff