: Not How But Where?
5th February 2009
! ! ! ! Disaster ! ! ! ! !
When I uploaded the tracklog from my Garmin gps
receiver to examine our route today I discovered to
my horror that, according to the Memory Map plot, we
had missed both of our main objectives- Silver How and
could that have happened? True, we had not been
totally convinced we were at the very top of Silver
How but we were sure we were at the 395 metre cairn.
And on Lang How we thought we had physically climbed to the
very top of the hill but seemingly not. Or perhaps
not the right one. However the Garmin also told
me that we had been walking on water- Rydal Water to
be precise which is a part of the day I do not remember.
a way, it didn’t matter if we had or had not summitted
the Hows. We were not peak bagging. Our
intention was a birthday walk for Tony. As such,
it should be not too strenuous and involve a visit to
a pub en-route. We were also keen to find some
snow (although Pete had driven through a serious downfall
on his way north to join us).
and I had been out yesterday up Whinfell Common where
at times we had been knee deep in lovely fluffy powder.
We had been equipment testing. Bryan had
bought a pair of vicious looking full crampons for his
forthcoming Moroccan mountains trip and wanted to be
sure they worked. He also wanted to refresh his
ice axe arrest technique (or "ice hacks" as
the Westmorland Gazette called it with unintentional
humour) and was intent on throwing
himself down hills to see if he could stop his fall
with his axe.
successful ice axe arrest
welcoming mountain hut
My mission was less ambitious- simply
to see if my ski jacket was suitable for walking in
such conditions. All worked well- too well in
the case of the ski jacket- I was too hot in it and
nearly boiled. We also found a welcoming mountain
hut and regretted the fact we had gone out late and
not taken any food!
a snowy Whinfell to a snowy Whinash
We were hopeful that today there
would similarly be plenty of snow in which we could
whilst the rest of the country was grinding to a halt,
in the heart of the Lake District, where everybody thinks it must
be falling, snow was in short supply. Stan was
complaining that we should gone north to the Skiddaw
range and the distant views suggested he might have
been right. Instead, we had parked between Rydal
Water and Grasmere, both substantially frozen, and were making our way over Loughrigg
Terrace and along to a not at all Silver How.
as usual, the views here were seriously good
from Loughrigg Terrace
down to Elterwater from near High Close
up the Langdale Valley
a cairn, possibly on Dow Bank, I don’t exactly remember
the location, we were surprised to find some broken
china. At first we thought it was the remains
of a teapot that someone had abandoned but then it dawned
on us that the remains were not just china. They
were also human. Someone had left a pot of ashes
on the cairn and it now lay badly broken with white
dust around! It's not possible to say if it was
vandalised or broken by weather but it was a thoughtless
thing to do to leave an urn there in the first place.
Not the sort of memorial I suspect the departed
would have wished.
Raise from unnamed small tarn
weather was fine but too cold for hanging around, although
a lot of hot air was being generated on a number of
subjects, one involving a name I am not allowed to mention
Another concerned Carol Thatcher.
Let me state my position on Golliwogs.
of my best childhood friends was a golliwog.
more, call me politically incorrect if you like or even
a bit of a girlie, but the three best friends of my
childhood- Teddy, Golly and Jacko the monkey- can still
be seen cuddling together in our spare room with some
of their newer pals.
they are posing for their team picture.
thought we had climbed Silver How or at least the aforementioned
395 metre cairn and then moved on north. We found
a strange round object about two foot in diameter lying
on the ground. Was it an abandoned chariot wheel
or what? Any doubts we had were put to rest by
the next one we found, surrounded by some fine
looking sheep. Winter food supplement for the herdwicks.
winter food supplement for the herdwicks?
lamentation of swans flew overhead. I bet you
didn't know that was the collective noun for swans?
Other sources suggest bevy, ballet or wedge but
lamentation gets my vote.
had not been one of our original objectives but I remember
passing it on BB0818 (quite
a different sort of a day- compare the pictures of Lang
How) and thinking what a nice little
peak it was in front of its small tarn so I really wanted
to climb up it this time. It was a good short
scramble- a bit of snow and ice about by now but nothing
serious enough to warrant getting the crampons out-
and we posed for the team picture. But not at
the summit according to my Garmin though I couldn’t
see anything obviously higher nearby.
lamentation of swans
being Tony’s birthday, we intended to humour his need
for an early lunch but not whilst we were experiencing
a rather cold easterly wind. We took in (or so
we thought but my Garmin denies it) Swinescar Pike and
then headed down Swinescar Hause to find a sheltered
spot to eat.
lunch a face appeared on the ridge and asked us if
that was the way to Ullswater?
? !! ??? !!!!!
might have made the odd error today, but that
guy takes the prize for being the most lost person we
have come across on the fells. We tried to tell
him where he was and show him the way off the mountain
but then his companion turned up and he headed off to
Lord knows where!
We dropped down into the valley,
past Robinson Place- lucky Robinson- and crossed Great
Langdale Beck. The sun shone briefly on the snow
patches on the Langdales.
Pikes in sunshine
the other side of the beck lay the Cumbria Way which
we followed as far as Chapel
Stile where we had our second stop, this time at the
former Langdale Hotel, now known as Wainwright’s Inn.
Not sure the old guy would have approved of a
pub being named after him but it was a welcome place
to drink Tony’s health.
more, AW now has a beer named after him
with which to perform that toast.
return was mostly along back roads but first we
made a short detour to Holy
Trinity Church where Tony had
nearly dropped Uncle Billy, being the downhill side
pallbearer coupled with someone several inches taller
on the uphill side of the coffin.
Trinity Church, Chapel Stile
writing beneath the altar window perplexed me. It
seemed to say:
Rain, Rain, Rain.
Perhaps an accurate
comment on the prevailing weather (not today, however)
but not what you expect in church.
on the road over to High Close was in the best weather
of the day; a watery sun made a bit of an appearance.
We paused to admire the fence posts holders on
the descent to Loughrigg
Terrace. They are quite unusual, being cut out of slate cross
stones in the walls
cross stone post holders
the time we had reached the car we had plotted Tony’s
birthday walk next year: Bus to Old Dungeon Ghyll
for a noggin, another at the New Dungeon Ghyll, then
down the valley to Wainwright’s and then the Britannia.
Leisurely stroll to the Skelwith Bridge Hotel.
Emerge in time for a bus to Ambleside where the
wait for the 555 could be eased by visiting one or more
premises there. Finally, if the bladder could
not last out till Kendal, alight at Windermere for a
freshener and complete the journey home by train with
superior facilities. Staveley would be an optional
Today might have been Not How But
Where? Next year could be Not Where But How? !!!
news from John S who has not been out with us for a long,
long time. He intends to buy some new boots and
come and join us next time we are undertaking an easier
stroll. Meanwhile he is in serious training and
has kindly shared his training routine with us, saying
"I tried it, I liked it, you will too!"
are the instructions:
older we get the more important it is to incorporate exercise into our daily
This is necessary to maintain cardiovascular health and maintain
you're over 40, you might want to take it easy at first, then do more
repetitions as you become more proficient and build stamina.
Warning: It may be
too strenuous for some.
consult your doctor before starting any exercise program!
enough for the first day. Great job.
Have a glass of wine.
5th February 2009
I had anticipated that when Bryan sent me his
tracklog, it would show that my Garmin had malfunctioned.
Not so. His confirmed the navigational errors
(but not the walking on water). Lesson for future
walks- must take greater care on ascertaining exact
position and not just rely on assumption that a rocky
top is the highest point.
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0906.
For the latest totals
of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let
me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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