Blog 23 – Nearly time to leave …
Published 11 September 2016
Our time in Cumbria is nearly at an end. We took some of our possessions home last week and returned on Saturday for a final ten days that I hoped would include reprises of some of my favourite walks. Sadly the weather has affected my plans.
The big achievement of the week was yours because of the generosity you’ve shown. This has taken me beyond my target of £250.00 for the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association. As most of the donations were eligible for Gift Aid the total received will exceed £300.00. On behalf of the association and its volunteers, I thank you all.
Take a moment to check out some of the comments from the donors if you have time. The appeal is still open and if you wish to add to it, the link is:
05 September 2016; Flat Fell and Grike
The forecast was bad and the cloud was low so I opted for a local walk. I drove to Wath bridge near Cleator Moor and walked along Nannycatch Road and over Flat Fell. I then went up over Cold Fell Road and through the plantations to the summit of Grike which was shrouded in mist. The rain came while I was at the top and continued as I walked back via Nannycatch Gate, an area as attractive as its name.
06 September 2016; Calder river walk
I had hoped to do one of my high climbs on this day but the rain was torrential all morning and the fells were heavy with cloud. Although it remained misty all day the rain eased after lunch and I drove to Calder Bridge to follow the path from the church along the river.
After living within three miles of this spot and having driven through Calder Bridge most weeks I was embarrassed that I had not found this walk sooner. The path runs alongside the ruins of Calder Abbey and the empty mansion that was built in the grounds. Indeed as I walked I considered how history can repeat itself because if nothing is done to the mansion it will become a ruin next to an older ruin.
The river was in spate and the path is good, passing through a mixed canopy which includes rhododendrons, azaleas and laurel; presumably initially planted when this was land occupied by the mansion. Beyond there a permissive path threaded through more woodland while a footpath led up to the open fell beyond.
07 September 2016; Cleator Pie Walk
This was our final outing to the small shop in Cleator for hot pies which we took along the cycle path to Keekle and Cleator Moor. This was the finest day of the week so far with warm sunshine. After we returned home I managed to give the lawn a final cut.
08 September 2016; Whiteside
Back in June I climbed Whiteside, Hopegill Head and Grisedale Pike on a hot day when the summits were in thick mist. I resolved to repeat the climb this week and I had ambitions of completing the round by crossing Coledale Hause to Hill Crag and Grasmoor.
Last weekend the weather forecasts suggested that things would improve as the week progressed and after yesterday I was hopeful of a good excursion. I prepared my bag and my lunch as the rain started but after dropping Julie off at the church hall and getting some milk I decided to delay going out because the rain was torrential.
By noon it had eased and the skies looked brighter. I drove to Lanthwaite and sat in the car eating my lunch while more rain came down and it was one pm before I finally set off. My planned route was revised to Whiteside, Hopegill Head and a return along Gasgale Gill.
As I climbed Whin Ben the wind whipped up and there was another short sharp shower. It was misty on top and although the rain had gone it was extremely windy. As I walked along the ridge I just managing to keep my footing but when I reached the section where it drops down in each side I decided it was not worth the risk. After taking a good picture of the sun on Crummock Water I descended Whiteside in a north-west direction which gave me shelter from the wind.
Next time I am in this area this must be a priority walk. The ascent is a fun climb and what I have managed to see so far of Gasgale Crags suggests that they are very dramatic.
As if to emphasise our imminent departure, a “sold” sign has now appeared on our front lawn. Our landlord has decided to sell the house when we depart. I hope that letting his house to us did not put him off taking future tenants.
There will be material for at least one more blog detailing our final few days and our return to Sussex. Thanks for reading and see you then.