Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Sunday, 30 September 2012

The Dales Way - land speed record.....

The Dales Way is an 84 mile footpath from Ilkley in West Yorkshire to Bowness on Windermere in Cumbria.

We finally got to the finish yesterday after taking a tough (!)18 months to get to this point! Obviously we haven't been walking non stop for 18 months(!!), in fact our version was completed over one weekend and various individual days and was probably more like 100 miles due to minor diversions and combining one small section of it into a day's circular walk.

just about to get the first view of Windermere
We were all pleased to finish our challenge but it puts it into perspective when I heard some friends have just completed the Pacific Crest Trail (2700 miles - well done Neil and Tanya!), in approx 6 months. When we were having our celebratory pint at a pub in Bowness I was thinking maybe we need to speed up a bit on the next one....?!

Rob, Janet and Abi - happy hikers near the finish!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Scafell - not the Pike!

Roughly twenty years ago Abi used to go walking regularly in the Lake District with her father (Chris) and the only mountain they didn't climb in this period was Scafell. So for a long time its been an itch that needed scratching!

Scafell is always over shadowed by its busier neighbour the 'Pike', and it also presents certain difficulties because the shortest ascent (and steepest) means committing to a scramble, either up Broad Stand from Mickledore, or Lords Rake.

Chris's only stipulations for the walk were that it was a circular route, with no scrambling, it could have a steepish ascent but the descent had to be more gradual! A tall order indeed! I knew it had to be a route from Eskdale, but from this side its a much longer prospect. Parge was the saviour and found 'the' route on the Internet.

So both pairs met in Eskdale on a bright Autumn day (rescheduled after 2 days of rain!), having both driven in from different directions, and both stressed after epic journeys!

We set off from Boot and soon got our first views of Scafell. 


We followed the old corpse road up to, and past Burnmoor Tarn. The route used until 1901 to carry coffins from Wasdale to St Catherine’s Church in Boot, for burial. The road was still suitable for horse and cart well into the 20th Century.

Approaching Burnmoor Tarn (Scafell topped by cloud)

After the interesting (wet!), river crossing the climbing began, but we soon gained height, in fact we struggled keeping up with Chris, who was declaring a lack of fitness!!

Chris meets a hungarian shepherdess on the shoulder of Scafell - Burnmoor Tarn well below

After battling some heavy showers we finally made it up the scree to the breezy summit! Its a great 'top' and every time the cloud cleared you could see folk on the Pike. This fine perch seemed somehow even more special because of the wild weather and the fact that we had this lofty perch to ourselves.

Parge, Chris and Abi on the top, lets hope the lightning doesn't get them (with Scafell Pike behind)!

The descent over Slight Side, was brilliant, on the map it looked like it fitted the bill, and luckily this also proved the same on the ground! It gradually drops height, so you get fine views, out to sea, and into the Great Moss/Esk Buttress and over to Crinkle Crags - perfect.

Looking back to our descent from Slight Side (Scafell is behind and left -hidden by cloud)

Wearily (but happy), we finally made it back to the car and proceeded to celebrate in the pub at Boot. This was a special day in the hills that none of us will forget.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Has anyone lost this?? Kev??

Out of sequence I know, but we helped out at the 'Dolphinholme Market' on Saturday and I noticed that something was caught on the bottom of my shoe, a stone perhaps?

But no, ah of course a tooth, someones mollar! So now I just need to find out who's lost it so I can return it - anyone?

I may put a 'found' advert in the Grapevine (local newsletter). Only in dolphinholme.............

More rain to come!

There's meant to be a storm hitting the UK on Sunday night which may engulf the country for 2 days.

So the plan was to get out before the bad weather.

Had a great walk in the Yorkshire Dales, a 10 mile (ish) circuit from Clapham. Great to be out in the Dales again seeing the vast (relatively!) bulk of Pen-y-Ghent and the sheets of limestone pavement - great views.

We met an amazing couple in their 70's who'd used a train and bus combination that baffled us to make a day trip from Leeds and do a big walk - impressive. Also happened upon a family (with 2 children) out foraging for magic mushrooms!

It only bit that got busy was when we strayed onto the 3 peaks route - the path resembled a wide motorway and discarded plastic bottles littered the route. A few teams strode (?galloped) past us to ensure they got back to Horton in under 12 hours to get their '3 peaks card' stamped.

Just as we returned to the car the rain started... perfect timing

Man van dreams

Well if you are a man you'll understand the dream of owning a van that you can sleep in, haul bikes around etc. It must be a genetic 'pull', linked to man's desire for a shed, reverting back to the cave days long gone!

I've had the dream for years but its hard to justify if you have a full time job that involves 20k miles a year commuting. Plus how often do you need to sleep in a van?

Well after spending a few weeks in the Alps this summer where 'everyone' has a van it was time to look to the dream........

After lots of looking and trying to get the 'one vehicle does all' I bought a skoda roomster!

Technically not quite a van, but hopefully something that suits my life of work, with occasional siesta's.

note: basically I loved the pointless glass roof, quirky asymmetric styling and number plate!!