A day in the sun.

10th April 2016. Carlisle Mountaineering Club newcomers meet on Shepherd’s Crag, Borrowdale.


A very cold start down the valley with a hard frost and a good covering of snow quite low on the fells. In bright sunshine the views were spectacular. Everyone we met said what a a great day it was. Uplifting!

15 turned up for the meet. Well done to those setting a fine example. Many were existing members but made a good show to newcomers and made them welcome to the club. Lot’s of routes done despite the cold rock and lower pitches being damp. However the rock warmed up and dried out quickly to give a taste of this great crag at its best. Easily accessible and lots of grades to choose from the sheltered nature in the easterly breeze made it feel like summer.

Looking forward to many more days like this in the coming months. For more CMC meet information click on this link: http://www.carlislemc.co.uk/downloads/meets-list.html

Another Fine Day

Another fine day. Thursday 25th Feb. Seathwaite, Grains Ghyll, Great End, Cust’s Gully, Ill Crag, Broad Crag, Scafell Pike, Corridor Route, Sty Head, Taylorgill. Met  Alan Hinkes on the top of Great End. Seven climbers on the crag. Four walkers without any winter gear one of which on his backside at the top of Ruddy Gill – liability! Having said that I heard on FB of a faller at the foot of Cust’s area. Maybe it’s not the gear it’s the ability?
Excellent conditions on the ground with hard snow. Good visibility.Hoping it lasts until Easter!
Teamed up with Peter Jessop and had a good crack all the way round.


Ski Day in Heaven

Helvellyn 20 Jan 2016

The forecast held true.

An opportunity for some ski touring action. Another perfect weather day in the Lakes!
With Andy Brown and Eva. From Thirlspot lay-by via Swirls, Under Brown Cove Crags up to the top of Lower Man. 650ft descent on steepish terrain then up to Whiteside. A little crusty and lumpy on top but piste like surface for most of the 1000ft+ descending blast down Whiteside Bank at the end.
Everywhere looks skiable. A shame there’s a mild spell coming.

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A Grand Day Out in Pooley Bridge Cumbria

Maybe the dust – or should it be snowflakes – has settled by now.

A great effort in organisation by Tom Rumsey and Verity Auty (and I’m sure others behind the scenes). And thanks to Mountain Leaders John Allen, John Newbury, Silverio Moreda andFellranger author and Artist Mark Richards on the day. The day walk from Pooley Bridge worked a treat and was blessed by extraordinarily good weather. Despite all over snowcover in total 17 lovely people turned up to be led around Heughscar Hill above Askham via the Cockpit, Pulpit Holes, Riggingleys Top and Heughscar Hill where we had a lunch stop in the last of the sunshine before the increasing snow bearing cloud arrived.
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Season’s Greetings

Well, that day is almost upon us.

 Surely most people in the UK will be taking it easy once the parcels are opened and lunch is on the way.
I really hope all of my friends and fellow mountain lovers have a truly restful time and take the opportunity to recharge batteries and plan some rewarding days on the hills. Spare a thought for those that do have to work at Christmas and New Year especially those Mountain Rescue volunteers who have had a busy time round here lately.
I have had a good year. It is now 14 months since I sold my retail business and took on a less demanding but more meaningful role in life. I have not only been able to spend more time with my family but I have been able to enjoy the great outdoors more often with my friends, Freetime Outdoors clients, Mountain Leader and Duke of Edinburgh  candidates not to forget my fellow outdoor professionals who I have enjoyed working with immensely.
You will no doubt know that Cumbria is in the early process of recovering from the recent floods. Significant damage has occurred to many homes and business right across the county and a fund has been established to ease the burden of many of those affected. Furthermore a group of outdoor people are organising a day of support also to raise funds. A Grand Day Out In Cumbria event is scheduled for 16th January. There are information posts on Facebook for both of these. I hope to be arranging a walk on this day so if you are interested please get in touch. The cost will be £5.00 per head and will take place in the north Pennines not far from Brampton.
On the fells there have been some significant changes due to the severe weather so please do be careful out there when crossing new scree slopes and washout areas. Be aware too of path damage and bridge failures that could affect your route in the hills.
For Freetime Outdoors 2016 should continue with plenty of activity. As well as the evening classes at Trinity there will be opportunities for navigation and skills days coming along. Keep an eye out on my Facebook page or website for more info or simply get in touch for a chat!
That’s enough from me for one year. Back to the mince pies!
Take care.
All the best for 2016,
Phil Tinning
P.S. the attached photo was taken by me from Great End, Borrowdale on 4th February 2015. Plenty of time for the snow to come yet!

A Grand day Out In Cumbria

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

Flooding in Cumbria

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

See here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1545412722417603/

I hope all of you that can attend or help out will give it their best efforts.