Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Boggy walk.... and some history

Sue is currently visiting from France and so we wanted to take her somewhere special and reacquaint her with the beauty of the Lakes after she has travelled so far. 

We headed to the Duddon Valley for a walk with Sue, and the summit monkeys. The forecast was for rain, and the drive over was uninspiring to say the least. Driving over the Wrynose Pass in driving rain, whilst trying to dodge the poor wet 'buggers' (cyclists) on the 'Wrynose or Bust' 112 mile cycle sportive was quite stressful to say the least.

Into the clag, wet feet.....

Very mid Snowdonia like countryside up here 
Then, even more strange was seeing Rachael heading in the opposite direction (back up the Wrynose Pass), as we were getting close to the walks start point at Birk's Bridge. She had briefly 'miscalulated' her exact location (mountain leaders don't get lost), and detoured over the pass a few times. But luckily, as we were pontificating over the merits of walking in the driving rain versus going to see the herons at Muncaster castle (don't ask), Rachael made it to the car park, frazzled but ready to walk.

Dropping down into Eskdale

We headed off on a tour of Harter Fell as I've wanted to do this walk for ages. It was damp and misty, but also very atmospheric as we headed up through the forest. As we dropped down into Eskdale the 'clag' lifted and we had great views of the valley, and it was a fine path that dropped us down to the road. The next stage saw us climbing steeply to the Hardknott Roman Fort, another local interest point I've never seen. It was pretty impressive, and hard to believe the Romans lived in this remote and often cold, wet spot.

Look no rain....

Standing at this impressive ruin we realised that we didn't really remember when the Romans where here, and why they left (poor show considering 2 teachers in the group)! So here's the brief history for us all to remember (Rachael looked on her iphone).

The impressive hill fort with commanding views over Eskdale
Basically the Romans invaded in 43 AD and by 79AD most of Northern England was under Roman control. They pushed into Scotland but the lack of troops meant that the Romans could not continue to hold Scotland. When the Emperor Hadrian visited the province of Britain in 122 AD, he ordered the building of a wall right across the border between Roman England and 'barbarian' Scotland. By 401 AD, troops were withdrawn from Britain to deal with growing invasions from the East back home in Rome. Its hard to imagine the march back to Rome - what a walk.

Our march continued as the weather gradually improved and we quickly found ourselves traversing back around the Fell to the forestry road and then the cars after circumnavigating Harter Fell. A great walk, with great monkeys.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Last minute training.......

Today Rachel and I headed into the Lakes for some last minute training before next weekend's Dyfi Enduro. It was a fantastic day, and we did a really good 32km loop around Grizedale, heading into the quieter parts of the park. Quite tired after it, so not sure how the 60km Dyfi will go..........

Recently logged area of the forest (views to Coniston)

hmm nice jacket....

Rachael going hard on the downs

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Busy weekend in the Peak District

Just back from a fun weekend in the Peak District, going to the dentist, catching up with friends and seeing family (mum's Birthday). Between all of the socialising (tiring!), and being a good uncle I managed to fit in some training by going on a 25km ride in the 'White Peak' around the Calver area.

Some fun forest trails. Does my bum look big in this?!
Dramatic sky - another snowed in Lane!

Nothing to it - being a 'good' Uncle!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Bikes, Sun, and Red Kites - perfect day

I realised that its less than 1 month until I'll be heading to Wales to complete the Dyfi Enduro  so I need to get out on the bike pronto.

Old pink ears reminds me of me as a child!!
Today was fantastic, we picked a ride near to Staveley-in-Cartmel (Southern Lakes) because I know it's beautiful, quiet and low lying (ish), so shouldn't have a problem with any snow/ice hanging around. The ride was great, sunny, warm, dry trails, fantastic scenery some of it very 'Welsh' like forests.

Great forest trails

Red Kite!? Honestly, it is
Part way round we nearly bumped into a Red Kite eating some carrion at the side of the trail. It was impressive, and I veered into a barbed wire fence whilst watching it fly away! There were 3 of them, I've never seen any Red Kites in England (loads in Wales) and now I've seen 3! It turns out they have reintroduced approx 90 birds in Grizedale Forest over the last couple of years .

Amazing weather and views today (over Coniston way)
Also loads of lambs about at the moment, it felt very spring like today (even with great views of the snowy tops). Fantastic day, just need to ramp up the training now.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Tick Tock - first evening climb of the year

We managed to get out climbing this evening now that the clocks have changed - yay!!!

Had to stop to take a picture of the old snow drifts

Headed to Langdale as quickly as possible after work. It was beautiful, still lots of snow on the tops. A tad chilly as we chased the sun and daylight. We soloed Middlefell Buttress to start (70m Diff), which sharpened our minds - easy but polished! We then climbed Evening Wall (S 4a) as it was getting very cold and dark.

Ben on Middlefell

Evening Wall starting to go into shade - boo!
Views up the valley to Crinkle Crags
A brilliant evenings fun.....

Monday, 1 April 2013

Pike o' Blisco

Another great day of weather in the Lakes. After a leisurely start we decided to head into the Lakes at 11am! As we were driving in, plenty of people were heading out of the Lakes.

Views on the drive in - Looks good in the Langdales

Nice red post box for the French brigade (to remind them of Blighty!)
We parked in Langdale, and got 'hussled' by a friendly National Trust bod trying to sign us up for membership (well it is Easter). I guess at £5.50 for 4 hours parking you soon make membership pay in the Lakes.
Climber on Raven crag - bet it was cold

I always enjoy the walk up Pike o' Blisco and today the road from Little Langdale to Great Langdale was still blocked by snow. Some hardy souls were camping at the NT campsite, and the Yurts looked busy (and more appealing!).

Easter treats at the top

Stand tall - Crinkle Crags and Bowfell behind
On top the views are brilliant; Crinkle Crags with Bowfell due West, Black Comb and the sea to the South West and the Coniston fells (Old Man, Wetherlam etc) to the South.

Views of the Coniston Hills

And.... Black Combe (right sky line in the distance) and the sea (to its left)

Red Tarn - frozen over

I discovered the limit of the microspikes today - lets just say they get a little clogged up in deep powder!