The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 6 February 2010

On Wednesday Last: Around Ogden Water

Late on Tuesday evening I took it into my head that we should pop up to the Lakes for a couple of days. Half an hour later, having perused various sources of weather information I concluded that Wednesday wasn’t looking like the best time to be on a Lakeland hill-top. Thursday was looking much better with MWIS’s assessment showing a 90% chance of cloud free summits in the morning. The trip was modified such that we would pop up to Ma-in-Law’s on Wednesday and take a short stroll up there, and then head up to the Lakes on Thursday.

With such a lack of prior planning, and with the need to round-up a suitable selection of camping and walking gear, we didn’t manage the earliest getaway on Wednesday morning and so we didn’t arrive at Ma-in-Law’s until noon. Aside from it appearing rude to say ‘Hello, lovely to see you, we’re off out for a walk’ as soon as we walked through the door, there was a hunger issue to deal with, but as soon as we had had lunch (and drunk three mugs of tea apiece; Ma-in-Law doesn’t skimp on providing welcome cups of tea!) out we headed.

Once again, it was rather a late start, so we opted for our usual choice of Ogden Reservoir for a short stroll.

The water was more-frozen-than-not (which is not overly evident from the photo below) as we walked down to, and across the dam, in order to take the cobbled track which would take us up on to t’moors.


More frozen water was to be found on that track, however. From side to side and entire its entire length it was solid.

Admittedly, it was easily bypassed by taking to the grass at either side, but what was the fun of that when we had unused Kahtoola Microspikes in our packs?

 Grinning like a loon with car-chains-for-feetIMG_0504

They did their job well (at least they did when I had both of them on the right way, with the spikes facing downwards <blush!>), and within moments Mick was getting jealous of my ability to walk on (frozen) water and was diving into his pack to put his own pair to good use.

 Red jelly-feet all aroundIMG_0505

They’re working for Mick too 


We did feel a little bit daft when, grinning from ear to ear, we stomped our way up the middle of the ice, straight past two chaps walking far more appropriately on the grass to the side, but we were having massive fun, and that’s what counts.

The ice subsided as we got up onto t’moor and so off came the spikes (confirming to me that they really are easy to both don and remove even with hands in mittens), but there was still a mixture of new snow, old snow and ice:

IMG_0513Mick took many snaps of the patterns in the ice up here, but the photos don’t do them justice. More successful was the photos of the ice (formed on individual blades of long grass) on the sluice gate under a bridge as we crossed as we left t’moors for the path back down to Ogden water.

IMG_0515 The path down the stream was even prettier than it usually is, with the beneficial addition of snow:

IMG_0518IMG_0519Then it started snowing (exactly as forecast). By the time we got back down to the reservoir the iced surface was getting whiter, but that didn’t put us off taking the longer route back to the car park by circling the lake first. The following snowy shot is more or less from the same position as the first photo above, taken an hour and a half later:IMG_0522

IMG_0521Again it was a short outing (with just over 4 miles covered with a nose-bleed-inducing 800 feet of ascent), but it scored abnormally highly on the ‘fun per mile’ ratio.



  1. Hi Gayle
    I ordered myself some microspikes when you mentioned them previously and they arrived just as the thaw started up here! However, I managed to find ice to try them out on a couple of occasions, (it was inches thick around here for about 5 weeks in all) and my microspikes are my new best friends! So very grateful you mentioned them and aren't they massive fun!
    Can't wait till next winter now...

  2. Hi Gayle
    Arn't those Microspikes good? I picked some up before the cold spell hit before christmas and had them on my feet everytime I went out for about 4 weeks! Even came in handy walking around on pavements shopping in Kendal!! They also perform very well in snow as well providing its not too soft and slushy and very steep where crampons would be needed. Walked the Fairfield Horseshoe in them no worries and also up on to Allen Crags and Glaramara from Seathwaite and back in snow and ice. A great lighweight option.