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]

Thursday 18 February 2010

A Great Sunny Ridge Walk

(Alternative versions of the following story of this walk can be seen on Mike’s blog and on Martin’s Blog. Because three accounts didn’t seem like enough, Mick’s written one too which can be found here)

Had I known in advance that yesterday’s walk was entitled "The Little Dale Horseshoe by Scope End to Hindscarth and the Littledale Edge to Robinson descending via High Snab Bank” I probably would have found the description somewhat intimidating. Fortunately, all that I knew in advance was that we were setting out from a set grid reference and having parked in a car park that I had assumed to be the correct one I belatedly thought it wise to check its grid reference against the one Martin had conveyed to us. Fortunately, we were in the right place, which meant that we didn’t immediately have to tackle that little lane again!

Considering that Martin had named the day for this walk some time in advance (and from a different continent), I was extraordinarily impressed that his usual ability to attract good weather was holding true and still prevailing over Mick’s and my usual luck of attracting awful weather. The day was as glorious as they come.

Only a little later than intended a group of five (plus Bruno the dog)  had assembled (those who were late mumbling excuses about closed roads) and with a brief enquiry on my part as to where we were going, off we set.

IMG_0005 The ascent via Scope Crag soon had some feeling back in my hands, and nearly in my feet, as the day warmed up from its freezing start – a visible process on this day as we saw the frost recede upon sight of the sun.

IMG_0013 Pausing only for cups of tea (accompanied by the famous CCS, provided by Martin), fourteen feet made their way through the snow-line and onto Hindscarth. Looking back the way we had come (you can clearly see the ridge in the photo below), snow wasn’t greatly in evidence.

IMG_0018Looking in the other direction, it was a land of whiteness:



Another pause had been had on the top of Hindscarth, this time for lunch and more tea, before our way was made down Littledale Edge:

IMG_0026and up the other side:

IMG_0033 to make our way onto Robinson, from where we had an excellent view down to Crummock Water and Loweswater:

IMG_0599It seemed that it would be rude not to pause for more tea on the top of Robinson (seeing as everyone else had), and with the flasks empty all we had to do was head in a downwards direction until we got back to our start point.

The grass was heavy with cold on the top:


And on our way down the craggy bits were similarly adorned with frostiness, which made for something of an interesting descent, sometimes utilising more than all our limbs to assist.

Mike was the master though, and as this photo shows Mick, Graham and Martin held onto his every word as he explained the correct way to descend such obstacles:

IMG_0605 Of course, the master-class was lost on the other chaps, as they had already slithered down in their own (sometimes not entirely elegant) ways.

Looking back at the ridge down which we had come, it did indeed look a bit tricky:

IMG_0606By the time we were down on the non-snowy surface of High Snab Bank, the sun was sinking and casting an incredible golden glow over the valley. Alas, both of my photos of it were mis-focussed and blurry.

With a final descent that had my knees chastising me gently for my abuse of them, we reached the valley again from where it was but a hop, skip and a jump back to our starting point.

With the walk over, we repaired to the Coledale Inn at Braithwaite for a short period of reflection and recuperation and, maybe the odd sniftah.

This was a superb walk – thanks to Martin for suggesting it and for allowing us to join in the fun on such an incredibly glorious day and in mainly superb underfoot conditions.

The stats for the day were a smidge over 7 miles walked with a smidge over 2500 feet of ascent. For the bipeds amongst us the route looked like this:


We went clockwise. Bruno went clockwise and anti-clockwise and described various inner circles too…

1 comment:

  1. Yet more elements of deja-vu.
    I'm pleased to see you haven't stooped to cheap jokes about pies....(!)