A much more leisurely ramble this week in contrast
to last week's sprint around the Fairfield Horseshoe. Don couldn't make it but
Tony could, which probably accounts for the turnaround in speed!
The BBC weather forecast at 8
a.m. had said that the
rain would clear through by 9 or 10. Why I bother listening to these reports I
really don't know. I'm sure the forecast for the Blue Peter garden is spot on,
but any further north than London seems a bit more difficult to get right. In
the event it rained until well into the afternoon, with strong winds on the tops
We opted for a 'recce' of the 1st part of the QH2QH
route from the Queens Head at Troutbeck to Thornthwaite Beacon, with a decision
on the route back to be left until later if the weather improved. It's a
pleasant stroll down the farm road and alongside Troutbeck Tongue before a
beautifully engineered and gradual climb out of the valley and up towards the
Beacon. Plenty of time to get an update on Tony's boots.
For anyone who isn't aware of the story so far,
Tony has bought a bargain pair of boots from K Shoes Factory shop - 50% off plus
other special Tony discounts with the only problem being that they didn't have
his size. Not one to let a bargain of this scale pass him buy he bought a pair
half a size too big and put an extra pair of socks on. Not a perfect solution as
he discovered. So, what did he do? Answer - went into Shutty's (Kentdale Rambler
in Kendal) and said to Mike "I've bought these boots but they're too big - any
ideas?". He of course omitted to say "Sorry I didn't come here in the first
place!". Anyway Mike sold him an extra pair of insoles (£5.50) and these are now
'on test'. He was also going to buy some proper socks but at £9 they were far
too expensive. No wonder Shutty's is up for sale!
Back to the walk. We reached Thornthwaite Beacon.
In fact, as Stan pointed out, it's Thornthwaite Crag according to the map, with
the beacon being a feature upon it. Anyway it's got a very large cairn, behind
which we could hide from the wind and have lunch (50 minutes past Tony's
scheduled time - again!). It was still raining but seemed to be clearing a bit
so we decided to return to Troutbeck via the Froswick / Ill Bell / Yoke ridge.
I do enjoy this ridge, which I've traversed
numerous times over the years, and it's one of the places where I've observed
most closely the environmental impact of walkers and runners. Stan and I
remember it when there was only a faint track across it and, more recently, when
it had become a virtually impassable bog in places as walkers walked further and
further to one side to get around it. But now the footpath repair people have
been on it and constructed a three foot wide path from just beyond Ill Bell,
over Yoke and on down towards the Garburn pass. Personally we think it's
overkill. All that was needed was a few strategically placed big boulders
dropped into the bogs to act as stepping stones, but we're not the
Ill Bell summit
view from Yoket
Anyway a coffee stop was taken on top of Ill Bell,
along with the requisite team photo, then it was over Yoke in rapidly improving
weather before testing again our "Right to Roam" priviliges granted
us by the CROW Act as we headed off straight down into Troutbeck. A couple of
fences barred the way but were carefully crossed before joining the trail back
to the Queens Head.
The highlight of the day was saved until the very
last. As we made our way down the farm track we spotted a badger heading
straight for us (see photo). It was only when Tony's camera flash went off that
it realised we were there and darted into the hedge. As we approached the spot
we thought it had gone but then spotted it hidden in the undergrowth barely
three feet from us. It quickly realised we were there and was off before we
could get another photo. First time any of us had seen one in daytime, so a good
end to a pleasant day.
22nd June 2006
Thornthwaite Crag, Froswick, Ill Bell,
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- BB0631 Coppermines
- BB0630 Relocation,
- BB0629 Stone Arthur and a Mystery Plume
- BB0628 Knocking off Wainwrights. Oh! Plus Skiddaw!
- BB0627 Blencathra
and the Mungrisdale Round
- BB0626 The
- BB0625 Les
Garçons de la Botte
- BB0624 The
Crookdale Horseshoe and then some
Selside Pike revisited
Round the Dunny!
The Malham Experience
Old Man Succumbs!
QH2QH High Street (the length thereof)
High Street Racecourse
Well, Well, Well, Wansfell and Troutbeck Tongue
Yewbarrow and a history lesson
Clough Head and Great Dodd
The Corpse Road and beyond
A Bit on the Side.....
Angle Tarn with Surprises!
Cragg via Dovedale
in the Sky with Brocken Spectres
Street via Gardiner's Grind)
Holme Fell, Black Fell and Electric