|Something baggable in Denbighshire|
Welcome To Denbighshire - An infographic by the team at www.digitaldenbighshire.co.uk
|Something baggable in Denbighshire|
This has nothing at all to do with a couple of transvestite musical comedians. Many pieblog readers will be familiar with yer Birketts – lots of Lake District tops, some of which are obscure and some of which are famous. Not many will be aware of Synge’s list of Lake District tops and the reason for this is probably because they’ve only just appeared in www.hillwalking.co.uk as a tickable list. I won’t be collecting these avidly, although, where they coincide with a Birkett – and the two lists have a big overlap, then I’ll be smug enough to claim two ticks instead of just the one.
And so, me and superdawg parked the knipemobile in the little car park in the outer suburbs of Threlkeld. We should have parked by the old sanatorium, up the road, but in a moment of doubt, and not wanting to drive up the lane to find the car park full, only to lose the spot I’d just spotted in Threlkeld (outer suburbs), I parked up. This added roughly two miles to the walk and also, incidentally, allowed Bruno to do a huge poo just outside somebody’s cottage as they were gazing out of the window. I bagged it up, obviously and toted it up the road like a trophy, to be hidden in some pallets for later collection, as I would be returning this way later.
We plodded up the track overlooking Glenderatarra beck – a track which seems to have had some refurbishment since I was last here – I guess it’d be for the vehicles of the builders of the little hydro scheme which is being formed at the head of the dale.
After a short banana and coffee feast on a handy boulder, me and the dawg heaved our way up the hill on to the first top – the newly-listed Synge “Burnt Horse”. I wasn’t too disappointed not to find and singed ponies, but carried on steeply up on to the first proper top, Lonscale Pike. This had a bit of ice for Bruno to eat. And it was, frankly, nithering up here on a freezing wind which sought out any costume chinks or gaps. We batterred on into the hillfog, joining the path to Skiddaw which by-passes Little Man and just goes up into the snow and even more persihing conditions on the top.
The top of Skiddaw was busy and Bruno soon made friends with some walkers who may have had open lunchboxes. I got the bothy bag out and pulled Bruno inside for him to serve his proper function of being a furry radiator whilst I scoffed the cheese butty and more coffee. We didn;lt stay long. One of the walkers took our picture and we left Nothwards to find the corner in the fence which would mark our launch point for the navigation down to Hare Crag. We found it, took the bearing and hurtled off down the slippery hill, emerging at about 650 metres through the bottom of the hillfog, apparently on a good course for our target.
I joined a path/atv track and splodged down to Hare Crag – our Birkett target for today. It’s a heathery lump – not unpleasant and quite a nice place for a comfy snooze on a warmer day, but today was not the day for hanging around.
We splodged yet further downhill, crossed the boggier bit at the bottom and joined the track to Skiddaw House. This provided easy going, which was just as well because the light was just starting to fade by now.
Skiddaw House is PRIVATE, apparently. The YHA don;t want any casual visitors, even though they could probably sell loads of tea and buns and chocolate and stuff to the walkers on the Cumbria Way and the dozens of cyclists who pass this way in a constant dribble. The path is diverted away from any such temptations and so, following this, we were soon back at banana boulder.
It took a while to go properly dark and I sat and watched the hillsides of Lonscale fell for some reason. I could see a little black blob, which I supposed was a walker, although it didn’t move. I imagined that it was a bit stuck on the steep hillside and signalled to it with my Petzl, but got no response. Rocks don’t usually carry Petzl’s, I suppose.
We met a couple with a black crossbred labrador-type dog who was carrying a tennis ball. This chap was delighted to meet Bruno, who growled a bit and was presented with the ball in response. His owner declared him to be “not the brightest dog” she’d had. They had a little play.
This walk was 13 miles and 3800 feet up ascent, and a bit more than I’d planned, so it took me a bit longer than I intended. And yes, I did collect the bag of poo and put it in the bin back in the outer suburbs of Threlkeld. Here’s a map. This shows the intended start point not the actual one. And it’s otherwise 90%+ correct. (We did a few extra squiggles)
Having not quite finished the huuge bottle of gin used for soaking the sloe berries wot I got from Wolsingham and The Lleyn, I got up a bit late. I blame the dog for this, since he didn’t have his usual early morning wee in the back yard, preferring to lay on his back with all his legs in the air next to the radiator. So we turned up a bit late in Borrowdale and parked for three of your Queen’s pounds in the car park of the Scafell (Country) Hotel (They like to add the word “country” to hotels and inns in Cumbria since this doubles the value of a bed night)
It was a sunny and frosty morning, except in Borrowdale where, at this time of year, the sun never touches large areas of the valley floor, thus ensuring a permanent white and glassy sheen to anything that doesn’t move for half an hour.
We plodded up the dale, taking a gentle right-hand path alongside Greenup Gill which will be very familiar to Coast-to-Coast walkers. This path goes to Grasmere and hits bright sunshine once out of the shadow of the beetling Eagle Crag (where I once lost a pipe – if anybody finds it, you can have it as I’ve given up smoking)
Eventually, we turn up at the foot of Lining Crag – the target for today. This looks enormous from the bottom, but turns out to be a pussy-cat. Bruno likes pussy cats by the way, specially the ones that run away.
Aaaanyway – the path to Lining Crag is steep and icy and a bit slippery, but we’re soon on the top where there’s a bit of a view. We scoff my lunch, during which most of my Lancashire Cheese butty has disappeared. Bruno looks a bit guilty for a short moment, avoiding my accusing gaze. he’s obviously in cahoots with my cardiac nurse. I resort to my banana. Bruno resorts to trying to look cute.
We continue up to Greenup Edge where all is frozen ,except the bogs and head South up to High Raise. Most of High Raise has a thin cover of snow and a fair amount of ice and the grass is feathered with blades of rime. After skidding about a couple of times, I use the khatoola spikes, mainly for dignity. Bruno has his own spikes. One or two people descending don’t have any spikes and are proceeding gingerly.
The top of High Raise has another cracking view of snow-covered tops and a bit of hill-mist floating around. But it’s late and the sun is determined to hide behind Bow Fell, so we head down to Stake Pass, out of the snow and into the shadow and the biting cold of Langstrath.
It goes dark.
We defrost the car and go home.
We’re both glad we got up!
10 miles and 2800 feet of upnessity. And we bagged a Birkett – only 33 to go. (One of these is Pillar Rock – this may mean that I probably won’t complete the Birketts, being a scaredy cat when it comes to falling off Pillar Rock) (I probably need a patient friend with a strong rope and some tranquillisers)
Following Dawn’s recent adventures with the medical profession in That London, it was judged that we might have some tentative steps at resuming some camping and walking
operations (apologies, probably not the best choice of word) – activities.
And so, me and the dawg collected Dawn from the train station in Welshpool and hurtled off into the Welsh hills to turn up at the technically closed, but gently negotiatedly open campsite at Mallwyd. Here we pitched in the campervan area due to the general sogginess of the ground and the fact that taking the knipemobile onto the grass, would probably destroy quite a lot of grass. So the car was on hard standing, see…?
We camped prettily, causing only minor muddiness.
In the morning, we launched ourselves fairly enthusiastically up Cwm Cywarch, a specially beautiful dale within easy reach and the potential starting point for many hillwalking adventures into the Arans. The Cwm was extra specially beautiful today in it’s autumn colours and with a bit of sunshine trending almost into “warm”.
We did a little circular route of just over six miles and retired back to the tents for sausages and mash.
There may have been a bit of frost overnight, but me and Bruno had planned well and whereas I had a golight down bag with a fleecy liner inside a RAB bivi bag and a full-size hot water bottle plus a generous supply of cheap whisky, Bruno had only his thick dog bed with the pictures of bones on it (thick bed, not thick dog!) plus a fleecy blanket wot I bought in Skipton twenty five years ago, plus a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel to prevent the scalding of a doggy bum and fortified with winalot, kibble and a dentastick; we had a cosy night.
In the morning we all went to Dolgellau to walk around the Precipice Walk. This is a fab little walk with cracking views and a mountaineering feel due to a big drop on one side. But it pretty much sticks to one contour and circles a hill, thus providing a fine walking experience for not much effort. Its a grand walk. Everybody should do it.
After this we went to Barmouth for a paddle. Bruno found and lost a plastic ball. It had somehow slightly damaged his gum at the front. Maybe he chucked it away.
A wet and windy night followed during which it was found that my venerable two man/one-man-one-dog Wild Country tent which had been on two TGO challenges and many other adventures, was as waterproof as a bath sponge. So, not only was it raining outside the tent, but also….
We left for Welshpool a bit early (!) and had plenty of time for a huge Full English at a small cafe before pointing the knipemobile back towards England, leaving Dawn to get the train back to That London.
Quite a good trip. I need to reproof / seamseal that tent. Or, maybe some tent manufacturer needs a review? Eh? Any chance? Is that a “no”, then…?