Sunday 15 February
Quite ridiculously, I completely failed to notice the weather this morning. Never mind the time spent with the blinds open, I had been standing outside for a good five minutes when the chap to whom I was chatting (next to the water tap; the full watering can he held throughout our conversation must have been much heavy) mentioned what a nice day it was. I looked up and he was absolutely right – there was not a cloud to be seen.
Even though we had spent another night in Patterdale, we were heading south down the M6 today, picking up a couple of hills that sit adjacent to the motorway on our way.
Grayrigg Forest (just south of Tebay) was the first on the agenda, and having opted for the longer route of skirting around to its west side, we parked up accordingly. We then met the local farmer, who suggested (quite politely, I must stress) that if we took the alternative route I had noted (setting out from the layby at the nearby viewpoint on the A6) then we wouldn’t need to climb over any of his fences or walls. Not being a fan of climbing walls we took his advice, tootled a little way up the road and opted for the shorter outing.
In positively spring-like weather we made our ascent up tussocky grass, before hitting the steep terrain, which was … well, very steep! Steep as it may have been, it was proved to be a good route choice when, at the top of the steepness, we saw ahead of us the very gate in the ridge wall that someone had mentioned in their log on hill-bagging.co.uk. Once through the wall it was then just a simple matter of making our way westwards until we found a trig point:
The views over to the Howgills were superb, but the sun was in the wrong place to capture the best of them on memory-card. Even the view over the M6 and the adjacent train line wasn’t bad:
Descending a different, but probably equally steep, route we were back at Colin within an hour and a half, having covered 2.5 miles with 1000’ of up. It was then just a short drive down one junction of the M6 for our next objective: Lambrigg Fell, which looked thoroughly uninteresting from the motorway.
Fortunately, it was rather more interesting when we were actually on it (although that was perhaps mainly because of the stunning blue skies), but it was certainly far from spectacular:
There are many lumps and bumps on this large upland area which looked equally as high as one another, so I was glad to have inserted a precise waypoint into the mapping on my phone, so I could be sure which particular lump (and which particular tuft atop that lump) is currently thought to be the top:
Having taken a slightly circuitous route to the top (intentionally so!), we took a more direct line of descent, giving us a total mileage of 2.3, with (wait for it … drum roll) 250’ of ascent.
As tempting as it was to squeeze another hill into the day, the cupboards were sufficiently bare that if we didn’t go to a shop then it would be an unorthodox mix of foodstuffs for tea tonight. So, with our sensible heads on, we shunned more sunshine and views from up high, declared Lambrigg Fell to be the final hill of this trip, and headed off to find a shop.