Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Friday, 29 March 2013

No money, no ticky!

"No money, no ticky (ticket)" is what I got told when I tried to park today at Patterdale YHA. I thought I'd be able to convince them to let me park - no such luck. Patterdale is a bind to park anyway, and because its Easter too it wasn't happening, so I detoured back to Troutbeck instead.

Where I'm heading (from the right) - Yoke, Ill Bell and Frostwick

Just love the patterns man!
From Troutbeck I headed up to Garburn Pass (classic mountain bike route - see earlier post!) and then up onto Yoke (706m), Ill Bell (757m), Frostwick (720m) and Thornthwaite Crag (784m) - basically the western half of the Kentmere horseshoe.

Various local media had issued an avalanche warning for the Lakes (no particular detail, just watch out!). They warned of dangerous conditions, lots of windslab and snow build up.

On top - Windermere to the right
The next objective! And beyond (slightly right) is Highstreet

Well.... Great weather, snowy, cold (-5 C on top), with a sharp Easterly wind. I encountered some snow drifts on Westerly aspects and sure some windslab, but very low risk of slides here at least (today).
Two girls were walking the same way as me, they were very friendly 'hikers', but didn't have any crampons/spikes. At a couple of points they were unsure whether to carry on, but did so, bypassing, and 'bum' sliding the steeper bits. Again I found my microspikes great today.

The long valley back to the car beckons...

On the descent a few small snow drifts. My two new pals following

I slowed down so that they could see the way off the hill, as they admitted to being a bit 'rattled', when the weather (wind) was at its worst. It made me think that the media are only trying to stop people like this from getting out of their depth and into trouble (or worse). I remember doing some foolish stuff when I first discovered the outdoors, such as going up Tryfran in a winter storm without proper clothing or equipment, just following some guys who said they knew the way - its a fine line we tread between experience and adventure........
Looking back to where I'd dropped down (right hand side)

Nice barn - very spring like in the valley

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Curly's 'Roben's Kestrel 2' tent review

The back story:
Basically we have been looking for a tent for this coming summer.

During the research phase I came across loads of online video reviews. Some were helpful, and the rest (American ones) were generally quite funny. My favourite was from 'Curly' (see below)

After seeing his review I wanted this tent, and persuaded Abi, Janet and Rob to head to Keswick to check it out. We loved the colour but all agreed its a rubbish tent (for what we want)! Inspired by his genius (and being awful weather today) we have made our own 'Curly' review of our new tent. We didn't quite have the budget or weather though (or ?talent). Curly rules............!

See below for our version:

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Dolphinholme Snow Report.....

Well I was meant to be meeting Huw in Scotland this weekend, but due to the weather forecast I doubt I would have even got there, never mind been able to do anything due to the forecast winds!

It's fun at home with all of the snow. The drive home from work on Friday was interesting. See rubbish 'speeded up' video. The best bit is at 55 seconds (nice tractor)!

The councils and local farmers did a great job of clearing the snow drifts. This is the most snow we have seen here since we moved North 7 years ago.

Ok I'll move... Clearing the village lanes today

Abi the little 'tinker'

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Decisive Monkeys.....

Well initially we were meant to be mountain biking at Austwick in the Yorkshire Dales today, but due to the weather we decided that Grizedale in the Lakes would be a better bet.....

But then it snowed overnight so we made the quick, dynamic decision to go for a mooch around the lovely low country starting from Staveley, heading up to Potters Tarn and back. It was really good, at times a tad damp, snowy and cold. It certainly blew away the cobwebs.

The big bike demo at Staveley (last year it was flip flop weather)

Heading towards the Tarn (Rachael, Abi and Kate)

Poor Jen suffered having only brought trainers with her expecting to mountain bike. Very wet and cold feet makes me think that we may have lost this new potential 'collective' member!?

The famous Potters Tarn.......

Our walk was sort of like this (ish!) (I think)

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Stanage quick hit and marmalade........

My original idea was to have a day in the Peak District, catch up with family, boulder and collect the marmalade order from my mum! Things don't always go to plan.....

It was weird (in a good way) being back on the grit stone for my first rock routes of the year. We were the first climbers at Stanage (9.30am), but rest assured plenty of others turned up soon afterwards.

Grumpy bear 'Ben' - was annoyed because it was 2C when we arrived (colder than Cumbria!)
I'd forgotten the 'joys' of the rounded breaks, and jamming - fantastic! We climbed 8 great classic routes at the popular end and were back in 'the North' by 5.30pm.

Ben following up April Crack

Another 'bod' on Hargreaves Original - one of the best (delicate) VS's at Stanage

For the geeks (me!) we climbed:

Oblique Crack S 4a
Narrow Buttress VS 4c
Christmas Crack HS 4a
Soft Shoe HS 4c
Robin Hoods right hand Buttress Direct HS 4a
April Crack Hs 4b
Central Trinity VS 4c
Right Hand Trinity S 4a

Narrow Buttress, with a cheeky overhanging (juggy) finish

So basically a brilliant days climbing at Stanage, didn't see my family, or collect the marmalade! Just hope my sisters don't tell that I was in Derbyshire and didn't visit home (eek)!

Robin Hoods right hand Buttress Direct - a classic easy route. Its still really good fun, because its so rounded and the crack's so wide! Hone those grit skills lad!
This post is part in memory of Steve H, who was a keen grit aficionado, who taught me much, sadly now retired from climbing living the good life on the Costa del Plymouth/South Coast!
Notice I didn't bother with gear at the start (!) to reduce rope drag. Inverted V to the left (another great VS). I was going to lead this until we noticed a 'poo' right at the top out of the route - so we gave it a miss. 

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Tramp in the Howgills

I'd initially thought I had to work today, but it got cancelled last minute so I got to hang out and go for a walk with Abi and Mandy in the Howgills.We did a great 10 mile (ish) walk, taking in the Calf (highest hill in the Howgills at 676m), Winder ( 473m) and Arant How ( 605m).

Looks a long way to Arant How - Abi and Mandy on the march....

Heading back west to Winder hill - wait for me guys (again)!