A great day was had in the Lake District yesterday. I was helping out with the Lakeland festival of light 2017 in the evening but decided to make a day of it whilst I was there. I had not figured a route out beforehand, I just knew that it would be around the Keswick area. As I was driving through I was thinking of the few fells I had yet to climb there….There is not many in that area. On arrival I bought a brew from Keswick and poured over my map (not the brew, my eyes). Hindscarth and Dale Head jumped out at me! How had I not ascended these beauties before now? So with my destination decided, I headed off to Little Town to start my walk. For any Beatrix Potter fans out there (of which there are many), Little Town is the home of many of her characters, although unfortunately I did not cross paths with any of them yesterday!
A quick check of my kit, and to make sure I had my map and compass to hand and I was off. I passed Newlands church on the way to Low Farm, I do love these little churches that are tucked away in the valleys. I imagine all the weddings, christenings, and even funerals that will have occurred here. These are often the hub of the community. It is a pretty little building. I often have a look in to these little buildings but as I was pushed for time on this one I decided against it.
On this route it is a gentle walk along towards Low House Farm before you begin any ascent. If I can I will always plot a route that has a good mile of flat before any climbs. This gets the blood pumping and opens the lungs rather than shocking the body with a steep climb as soon as you exit your car. Your legs thank you for it, I can vouch for that!
The path up Scope end is a zig zaggy affair with a bit of scrambling thrown in for good measure. As you gain some height, take a moment to look back at the views..
And the views are ahead are just as good…
As I reached the top of Scope End I had a very tough decision to make….Critical in fact!!
As people who walk with me well know, I am quite superstitious around my walks. I follow the same routine, eat the same foods (some will say tell the same jokes), and wear the same clothes (washed obviously) on each walk.
Today was different…… Today I was not wearing my favourite trousers! Nothing lasts forever, and that goes for trousers too. After trying to get one too many walks out of my last ones, and showing my pert posterior to all of Lakeland through a tear in the backside of them, my favourite trousers went to the kit store in the sky… RIP (pardon the pun)
Anyway the trousers I chose to wear today are technically winter walking trousers that have a lining sown in for additional warmth….Today I did not need that warmth!
I decided that I needed to cut the lining out as it was making my walking uncomfortable. So off came the trousers and out came the knife..
Sods law that two guys appeared from nowhere as I was sat in my boxers frantically hacking away at my trousers!! !! They nervously smiled at me, checked their map, and found an alternative route around me…
Once I was fully dressed again and feeling a lot cooler and comfortable I was on my way again..
I was making good time now, and was soon on the summit of Hindscarth. I dropped in to the shelter for a brew and a jam and banana sandwich. Two guys sat nervously eating their sandwiches too… I wondered if they weren’t enjoying the filling as they looked perplexed? Then I realised it was the two guys who had passed me earlier. I felt I owed them an explanation, and we were soon sat sharing flapjack and laughing over my dilemma.
I love that about the outdoor community. You can just sit down next to anyone and strike up a conversation with them about your day. It is really a wonderful human trait, that you unfortunately don’t see in the hustle and bustle of modern life.
We said our goodbyes and off I went towards Dale Head. As I got to the plateau on Hindscarth, the view down towards Buttermere was stunning…
The ascent up to Dale head was very inviting indeed..
I had done what I always do on these solo walks and spent far too long going off piste to take photographs. I was getting cautious of the time now as I had to be back in Keswick for a 4.45pm brief. It was now 3pm!! Time to get a shifty on. Fortunately I had opted for my Merrell Moab FST`s for todays hike as I am currently reviewing them. They get my vote 🙂
Although I was pushed for time I still hung around on the summit of Dale Head, and here is why….
Ok Ok that’s enough pics Scotty boy….Time to head down
Camera and tripod securely fastened away, and I was off on a fell run of sorts down to Dale Head Tarn, where the path drops down to the valley floor.
I was making up some time now as I ran along the valley path…..I came across a lovely little waterfall…..Have I time? You bet I have 🙂
A few snaps and a dip of the feet and I was away again…
The dip must have given me a boost as I was now running like Mo Farrah (on a rest day) back towards Low Farm.
I was back in Keswick for the team brief for 4.45pm as planned. I was hot, I was sweating, hell I was even panting a bit (ok a lot) but I was there!!
On to the festival of light now…
Credit to Matt from Lakeland Mountain Guides for planning and organising this with his team. It must have been a huge undertaking!! Thankfully it all went to plan and lots of monies raised for the people of Nepal who are still suffering from the devastating effect of the earthquakes there.
If you want to read more of this appeal here is some info on it Festival of light
If you like the outdoors, which I guess you do if you are reading this, then I highly recommend you get involved in future events like this. I will update via social media when they are announced.
Here is Matt`s facebook page where you can see some excellent photos from last night, and also see what services they offer to enhance your outdoor adventures Facebook
So to summarise what a great day yesterday was. I was truly honoured to take part in last nights event, and I thoroughly enjoyed my walk yesterday and all the people I met..
I had a moment of reflection as I was stood half way up Barrow last night as to my own personal journey and how far I have come these last few years. a warm feeling came over me as I stood there and took in the atmosphere….Not in my legs though!! (oh why did I cut that lining out?)
I want to say a special thank you to The Ordnance Survey gang and my fellow champions for believing in me (I`m just an average Joe), and giving me the opportunities they have.
Until the next adventure…..
Scotty out 🙂