Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Garburn Pass and Kentmere

At last a sunny day without rain - is what the various weather sites predicted. This wasn't quite the case, but it is the Lake District so I don't know why I believed them.

damp under foot (wheels)

But great skies
I was a little annoyed with myself for not taking a waterproof (probably the only time I haven't packed one) as Steve and I left the parking at Wilf's (Staveley) and got quite wet in a persistent rain shower that soaked me to the skin. Luckily after 30 minutes it stopped, and things improved.

We headed over on the soggy bridleways to Whiteside End and Kentmere, the weather being pretty atmospheric with sun, cloud,  rain, sun, cloud, drizzle etc.

The 3 witches' trees
The Garburn Pass (449m) was the next objective. Its an odd route over the pass on a bike, consisting of lots of pushing and lifting the bike up the steep track up to the pass.

The start of the climb to the Garburn Pass
 When you are ascending this old trade route you wonder why you are bothering, but when you (eventually) get to the pass and are presented with the extensive views and a lot of (newly resurfaced) downhill the hard work is quickly forgotten.

The reward - lots of downhill

Monday, 28 December 2015

Clougha Pike and Grit Fell detox walk

After a very enjoyable 3 days of festive gluttony as it wasn't raining I headed out for a walk in the local Bowland Fells. It was an enjoyable walk, nice and quiet, only seeing the festive grouse and a lone fell runner on the moors.

Looking back to Clougha Pike and Morecambe Bay beyond

Grit Fell

Although a dull day, it was great not to have rain so I headed over Clougha Pike and over Gritfell (a minor lump) before heading back on the Northern shooting tracks. It was also nice to see the single tree on the lonely moor had been decorated with festive Christmas decorations. I think fell runners do this every Christmas, we first noticed it 5-6 years ago. This year they seem to have gone a little crazy, even putting tinsel on the tree.

Rowland Christmas tree

Pen Y Ghent in the distance 

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Lakes Weather Window

I've very much felt in limbo between darkness, work and rain at the moment, but this time of the year it can be like that anyway (I tell myself). The Lakes had some snow on the hills yesterday, so a plan was hatched with Rachael and Abi to go and play in it before it disappeared (which may be tomorrow given the forecast).

Playing with Alfie

It was a tight weather window, as the start of the day looked very promising, but the front carrying (more) rain was predicted to arrive around, or just after lunch time.

Here comes some sun

Picnic time

We headed out early, picking Rachael up at Staveley, and heading up Kentmere in one vehicle. It was touch and go making it to the end of Kentmere as the roads were heavily iced and I don't think I'd have got up the hills without winter tyres on the car.

Off they go again, heading for Kenmore Pike

Looking back a lone figure appears
We headed up towards Kentmere Pike, really enjoying the snowy winter walk having a very leisurely break at Shipman Knotts before a slightly 'off piste' return down into the valley to make it a circular route. The snow was good, with some small drifts, but definitely not enough to consider the ski's.

Lone wanderer as the next weather front moves ever closer
I also got to wear my new Jottnar Alfar top today (gear geek!). Wow pretty blown away by how versatile it is, looking forward to living in it this winter and taking it on some adventures for sure. We finished off with food and drinks at Wilfs. Really hope the snow survives, or comes back soon.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Storm Desmond

Its been a crazy few days in the NW of England after Storm Desmond passed through. We were out in Lancaster on the Saturday night at an Indian restaurant, sure it had rained all day and the roads were a little water logged, but I'd underestimated the severity of what was to come.

Kendal - the aftermath
There wasn't any obvious surface water near the restaurant when we arrived, but within one hour they were starting to evacuate it as the  basement filled with water. I had to wade through 6" of water to rescue the car, and only just got it out.

We drove home as various roads were starting to seriously flood and get closed by the police. The power went off on Saturday night at about 10-11pm and didn't really come back properly until 7am on Tuesday morning (there was a brief interlude when I was at work).  A substation had flooded in Lancaster meaning 40-60,000 homes were without power. Of course Lancaster didn't get as badly hit as Cumbria, which in many places was severely flooded with houses ruined and roads washed away.

Kendal - George who's house was flooded
The 3 days without power were sobering enough, nights cooking by candlelight, but we were the lucky ones, our power is now back and the house wasn't flooded. Lets hope the Paris Climate Summit actually achieves something to try and help future generations so that this isn't a regular occurrence. Interesting article that links in here.