discovered a new branch of science yesterday.
was all Bryan's fault. I thought we were going
to alight from the 555 bus at the top of Dunmail Raise
then proceed up by Raise Beck as far as Grisedale Tarn
following which we would decide where to progress
view across Windermere through dirty window of bus!
& Lamb, Man playing the Organ, Howitzer; take your
reasons that are still not clear to me, we alighted
a stop earlier, below Seat Sandal, whereupon he said
"We are going the direct route, aren't we?"
and I took that as a command so did not demur. Stan
is accustomed to such ventures and didn't bat an eyelid.
Silence was taken as agreement so off we set.
Bryan later confessed that he had only meant it in jest
and had been amazed at our apparent agreement thereby
leaving him with no alternative. He did also later
admit that it turned out to be rather steeper than he
on The Direct Route
Avid readers may recall the various ascents up
Steel Fell, including BB1222
this year. This, I can only describe as steeper,
much longer and with no accompanying fence by which
to haul one's self up.
have to confess there were times when I was virtually
on all fours. I like to think that it is a useful
consequence of my slightly unusual build, having long
arms and short legs, as proved by the fact that, not
only can I touch my toes without bending my knees, on
a good day I can lay my hands flat on the floor, Accordingly,
on steep ground, it is the logical quadrupedal means
of making progress.
such ungainly pose, I started contemplating the science
of this form of movement and began to develop the quadrupedal
equation (not to be confused with the Pythagoran quadratic
equation that we all learned in school). The key
variables determining progress seemed to be the angle
of the slope, the ratio of the length of front limbs
to rear ones, the degree of adherence provided by the
terrain and possibly the quantity of ale consumed and
the subsequent time elapsed.
and Bryan near the summit
was a brutal mile and a quarter in which the best part
of 1,700 feet were climbed Fortunately the stunning
views gave plenty of excuses to stop and develop the
lunch was taken at the top. It was surprisingly
warm there in the sun and with crystal clear light.
to Grisedale Pike
round to Fairfield
Looking south produced the usual debate: could we
or could we not see Blackpool Tower? Here I am
sometimes at an advantage- whereas other folk see one, I see six,
thanks to my cataracts. However, my count today
was zero. Tony, on the other hand, was adamant that he could
see it at the end of the strip of land behind Heysham
Head. I laughed. Later, at home, I looked
large scale map and there was the tower, exactly where
he said it was. Then when I uploaded the photos-
the proof was to be seen. Old eagle eyes was
Tower where Tony said it was
high clouds were encroaching to lesson the pleasure
so, after the team picture, we began the descent
carefully, we all reached Grisedale Tarn,
observing its stillness and remarkable reflection.
choice now was to climb up Fairfield and
drop down the ridge to Grasmere or, alternatively
to wimp out down the Tongue Gill valley.
setting out, I had thought that the ridge
would be the sunny way home but the valley
was in full sunshine and the climb up Fairfield
or not, this is when things started getting
this side, the path down was much more distinct.
it was the north face and ice had formed
on the rocks.
did think about putting on my mini crampons
but as no one else had brought any, that
would have seemed a bit wimpish (plus the
fact that Bryan said they would do me no
Tarn with Dollywagon reflected
and Bryan would no doubt have shot up, if alone,
but common sense prevailed.
Tongue Gill descent
back up Tongue Gill
items of interest on the way back were the pre-historic
stone spiral and the now disused shepherd's swimming
prehistoric stone spiral
reaching the Travellers Rest, several records
earliest arrival at an outing's destination
shortest full BOOTboys
event in terms of linear distance,
longest, unremitting steep climb, and
the formation of Don's Quadrupedal Equation.
Shepherd's Swimming Baths
long wait for the bus (the barman gave us the non-schoolday
time, thereby depriving his boss of even greater profits)
enabled me to contemplate how I might develop the theory,
having witnessed the effects on colleagues of the consumption
of a couple of pints of ale whilst at an angle of ascent
this not been the internet age, I could probably have
secured a PhD in the subject from the University of
Lima or some such establishment. However, on reaching
home, a quick Google search revealed that I had been
beaten to the task. For those who want to know
more about the theory, see Locomotion
Skills for Simulated
people will, no doubt, prefer to get back to their egg
and chips whilst watching Strictly Come Dancing.
about---- don't two interlocked couples making synchronised
bipedal actions on level terrain represent a special
case of quadrupedal movement? Hmmm. A new
branch of the science beckons.
29th November 2012
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