Monday, 28 May 2012

Sunny Saturday on Latrigg

 

Early getaway with Ian and Paul who were running leg five of the BG route anti-clockwise.  I dropped the two of them off at Threlkeld and then drove to keswick.  My plan was to trot up onto Skiddaw and take it from there.  Super strong sunshine with very strong winds.  Having got the very short distance onto Latrigg, the wind was knocking me off my feet.  I spoke to a couple of folk who had turned back and thought going up alone was not what I wanted today.  So found a reasonably sheltered spot below the top and spent a very pleasant half hour enjoying the vistas before heading down for an ice cream and a bit of shopping in Keswick.  A few snaps below. 

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River Greta

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From the footbridge with the Youth Hostel in the distance

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Looking towards Skiddaw

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Causey pike with Derwentwater and keswick below – from latrigg

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Grisedale Pike

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Causey Pike and Sail

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Fitz Park

Friday, 25 May 2012

Top Lock

Stopping off at the canal on the way home tonight, well it is Friday (YAY!) I was looking out for something to fit the blip challenge for this week ‘Rough’.  Well actually there were some good examples at the pub, but I didn’t fancy getting thrown into the canal, so I headed off in the other direction.

Beautiful blue skies, shadows and I found a few things that fitted the bill, but which one to go with?

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I like the rough texture on the end of the lock gate

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The wall with its variety of plants has a certain charm

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Tree bark is always interesting

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The rough pasture with its daisies and buttercups is quite charming

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Cobbles and paving fit the bill

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This one with the added attraction of the gate was the main contender

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But eventually this one got blipped for its depth of field and sharp focus on the rough texture on the surface on the top of the lever of the lock gate

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Great Hill and White Coppice–Saturday 19th May

No hint from the running blog that anyone else was planning to be out for a run this morning, so delayed my start a little.  Arriving at the Lower Barn a strong wind was blowing and the sky looked full of rain.  Decided to head out to Hordern Stoop and decide what to do from there.

Passing Lower House car park  I saw a single red deer.  I stopped to get the camera out and crouched down to get a better shot, amazingly it hadn’t noticed me and came within about 20 yards. 

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It then skipped over the fence as if it wasn’t there before noticing me and bounding off into the distance.    I love to see these animals, but whilst running in a group is good fun, you seldom see much of the more timid wildlife. 

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A feature of this morning’s run was noticing the large amount of trees with this distinctive bright orange coloured lichen. A bit of research reveals it to be Trentepohlia abietina. The orange-red pigment protects the alga against intense sunlight and is the most common algal genus in lichens.
It is easy to find in the more humid westerly parts of the British Isles – ‘nuff said!

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Moses Cocker’s Farm in the distance from below Belmont Road

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Menyanthes Trifoliata - Bog Bean

Came across this delightful little Bog Bean plant at a spot where we often see dragonfly later in the year.   Apparently, it is known for providing egg laying sites for adult dragonfly, as well as perching and roosting sites.  The larvae also use the stems to climb out of the water.

On reaching Horderns, I decided to head over Spitler’s Edge on to Great Hill and make my way back via White Coppice, the Quarries and Rivington.

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Lapwing on Spitler’s Edge

Running into a strong wind over Spitler’s was made easy by the sound all around of skylarks and curlews, although the latter proved elusive to see.  The lapwings were about in profusion, but mostly flew off as I approached, this one was a bit braver, although too far away for the Canon to give a clear image.

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Looking up at Winter Hill mast (right) from just before Hordern’s Stoops

You can see here the exact height of the cloud base, as the main mast structure on Winter Hill is 309.48 metres (1,015.4 ft) tall - one of the tallest structures in the United Kingdom.  The tallest is the mast at Belmont in Lincolnshire which is 351.5 metres (1,153 ft).  However, at 778.1 metres (2,553 ft) above sea level, Winter Hill has the highest television transmitting antenna in the UK.   I'd say that only about 100ft is visible making the cloud base about 2,450ft this morning.

The original mast at Winter Hill was a 450 ft high tower which came into service on 3 May 1956, and carried the programmes of Granada ITV (weekdays) and ABC TV (weekends).   In 1966 services were transferred to this new higher mast, which has a diameter of 2.75 metres (9.0 ft). During the period of parallel digital and analogue transmissions, the DTT antenna attached to the top of the mast brought the overall height to 315.4 metres (1,035 ft), however as part of the Digital Switchover, this antenna has now been removed to give its present height.

What an amazing coincidence that the highest mast in the UK is the Belmont transmitting station which is situated next to the B1225, one mile west of the village of Donington, near Market Rasen and Louth in Lincolnshire.  Given that the Winter Hill mast sits above the village of Belmont in Lancashire.

For completeness, the current world's tallest guyed tubular steel mast is TV Tower Vinnytsia in Ukraine, built in 1961. 

Going over Spitler’s I could see a runner approaching whose gait seemed very familiar.  Gordon had set off from the Lower Barn slightly earlier than me to do the same route in the opposite direction.  However, he was happy to turn around and we both headed to the summit of Great Hill and continued the rest of the outing in pleasant company.

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The newly refurbished summit shelter on Great Hill –

the path out to Spitlers that we had just run up

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A couple of walkers heading down the path to White Coppice

We followed the walkers – it’s a great descent down to White Coppice after which we followed the bridleway and then back along the quarries and the resers to the cars at Rivington.

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Anglezarke Reservoir

Great morning on the moors a bit windy but no rain and good visibility – just under eleven miles with about 1,500ft climbed.

As nothing compared to the Old County Tops which Ian and quite a few others are running today in the Lakes.  They will cover 37 miles and climb 10,000ft over the summits of Helvellyn, Scalfell Pike and Coniston Old Man.  It’s all relative isn’t it!  You can read Ian’s account here !

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Quarries Run over Winter Hill

Having missed out on last night’s outing with J and H, determined to get a bit of a run out on the moors tonight.   And what a night it was beautiful fluffy clouds and bright blue skies all the way with just enough of a breeze to make it comfortable.

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No-one fishing tonight

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Climbing up through the quarries

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Tortured trees

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Masts on Winter Hill

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Belmont Reservoir with the wind farm beyond

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Winter Hill Trigpoint

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Summit

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Looking across the quarry to Manchester catching the rays

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Winter Hill and Lead Mines Clough

Great morning to be out in the sunshine for a change.  My run with John was shortened by me stopping to take some snaps, but we managed nine miles.  Cold on the tops with a very short shower which didn’t even merit putting on a waterproof jacket.

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These chaps were totally disinterested, but happy to pose for a snap

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Great to feel the sunshine with just enough of a breeze to make it comfortable, and to show off the bluebells at their best in the dappled light.

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Sunshine and shadows Horwich and Lower Rivington reservoir

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The Good Year Blimp makes an appearance

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Winter Hill Trigpoint in sunshine

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Rucksack Club Meet–Wainwright’s Seven Summits Part 2

Having enjoyed fish and chips in Keswick it was only a short drive to the fork in the road to St John’s in the Vale which is Legburthwaite and time for a couple of hours kip.  Assured by the team that they would not be ahead of schedule on this leg over Skiddaw, they duly arrived nearly an hour early!   A quick dishing out of tea and coffee with whatever food was at hand was sufficient at this stop as a quick ‘jaunt’ over Helvellyn would bring them to Patterdale for breakfast.

We decided to get the drive out of the way and have a sort out and get our breakfast early.  With nothing on the roads it was easy to stop on the Struggle up to Kirkstone to watch the sunrise.  Another glorious day dawned against all odds and the weather forecast.

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Sunrise from the Struggle

No-one around at this time of day in the usually busy car park opposite the highest pub in Cumbria and the fourth highest in England.  A sign outside the Kirkstone Inn claims it was originally built in 1496 although it was a ruin for some years before being rebuilt in 1847. 

Arriving in St Patrick’s Dale, now Patterdale, the sandstone of the church was aglow.

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St Patrick’s Church, Patterdale

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The present church completed in 1853 to the design of Anthony Salvin is considered to be one of the finest Victorian churches in the Diocese of Carlisle, replacing the previous church built around 1600.  However the ancient St Patrick’s well which can be seen on the OS map points to a much earlier place of worship confirmed in a charter of 1348 which refers to ‘the Chapel of Patricksdale’.  If you’re traversing Boredale Hause you will also come across the ruins of an old chapel indicating the importance of the area to pilgrims.

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Early mist clearing from Birkhouse Moor, looking towards Helvellyn from Patterdale

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Baby conifer

The last three remaining Rucksackers arrived for breakfast in Patterdale again up on schedule and were duly served with rice pudding etc.  Off they went for the Seventh summit of High Street to finish in Hartsop.  Time for the marshalls to have a leg stretch from the hamlet up the nose to the summit of Hartsop Dodd and a quick trot down back to the cars.

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Summit of Hartsop Dodd

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Looking towards Ullswater

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The path from Hartsop up to Hayeswater from the summit of Hartsop Dodd

Fantastic achievement congratulations to Ian, Tom and Will for completing the Seven Summits and to Mark, Rae and Helen who I am sure would have completed had family commitments not taken precedence.

Back to High Moss for a celebratory meal and a glass of wine!

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… and still the sun shone at High Moss on Monday morning

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Waiting for us to leave to nip over the wall to get at the grass in the garden!

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River Duddon Bank Holiday Monday

A great way to spend the Bank Holiday and exceedingly fortunate with the conditions for the event.