: The Great Big Handfast
18th August 2013
is one of our favourite parts of the Lake District but,
with it being at its north end, we seldom visit the
area. It was therefore a double delight when Rosie
and Al invited us to join their Rix Family Celebrations
at the Glaramara
& friends reunion festivities started on the fearfully
wet Saturday night. This included tentative arrangements
for various activities, weather permitting, on Sunday
Fortunately, come the day, the weather was much improved.
The young and keen set off for Great Gable, Others
opted for low level ambles to Grange (ice cream mandatory)
and on to Keswick by boat.
objective was Castle Crag. We had been there before
(whilst undertaking the Cumbria
Way) but Margaret
had been put off actually climbing the crag due to Julia
Bradbury seemingly finding it a challenge. Today
she was resolved to rise to the occasion.
opted to join us as far as the Crag, following which
he intended to gallop off into the far yonder. Also
with us were his Aunt and Uncle, Rose & Rob
was a bit cloudy and damp in the air when we set off
downstream, clambering along a mini "via ferrata"
at one point.
Before long, we left the swollen
River Derwent and climbed through the wood to meet the
Crag path. The path zig-zags up the slate slopes-
more exciting than dangerous but you could still do
yourself a nasty injury if you miss your footing.
the mine workings, someone has had a lot of fun setting
up mini rock artistic structures.
views from the top make it all worthwhile. You
have probably the best view there is across Derwentwater
with Catbells to the left, Skiddaw and Blencathra in
the far distance and the less dramatic Bleaberry Fell
to the right. And to the south are the valleys
of Greenup Gill, Langstrath Beck and, of course, the
River Derwent, each surrounded by high fells.
taking in the view, our colleagues left for points north
whilst Margaret and I had our picnic then gingerly made
our way down the path to the west of the crag.
the trees that had obscured the view five years ago
seemed to have beeen cutbackt and the graffiti on the
war memorial had been cleaned off.
intention was to continue south, picking up the Coast
to Coast path, before dropping down to Seatoller.
a drinks stop caused us to change our minds and return
via Johnny's Wood. That was a happy revision.
After we crossed the beck and were beginning the climb,
who should we see following our trail but Al, moving
rather faster than we had!
used us as an excuse to revert to walking and guided
us back to the Glaramara House, showing us a startled
deer plus some of the
hidden treasure that he planted as part of a treasure
hunt for the younger guests.
in the afternoon was the handfast ceremony, involving
not just Rosie & Al but also George & Leo and then
by all of us as we circled around them with the lengths
of cord or the like that we had been asked to bring.
Each cord was knotted to its neighbour then Al,
assisted (?) by George, wound the resultant rope onto
was a ceremony unlike any other I have attended and
a very moving way of celebrating their recent marriage.
continued with an excellent early dinner following which
the ceilidh started. Unfortunately we had to leave early
due to grannifications but it had proved a most memorable
trip for both the Great Little Walk and, more importantly,
the Great Big Handfast!
18th August 2013
5.7 miles; Height climbed:
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