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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

At Last! Eel Crag by the Ledge Route

There were ominous omens for this walk. It appeared, at first as though the curse of the ledge route was about to strike again. The MET office, at first, said “Little chance of rain” This soon changed to “light rain and strong winds” and then, a bit later to “heavy rain and gales” MWIS said “rain spitting in the wind and went on to describe, in blowy and scary detail about “ferocious gusts” of wind and an intimation that to venture anywhere near a ridge would be foolish in the extreme.

I called in the “Knipes Gambit” move. This is where the walker turns up in a different, less weather-affected place in reasonable travelling distance to the target hill and, if the weather proves fine (because it thinks you’ve gone somewhere else) - you can make a quick dash to the correct place.
Readers should note that this was not the first attempt to do this route and would, in fact, be the third within the year… (see, for instance, 3/9/2009 – Eel Crag You Jokin Innit?”)
In the end, by actually looking at the weather chart and ignoring the weather girl’s inane dribblings about it being a “wet old day” tomorrow, I discerned that the wet stuff shouldn’t arrive at Eel crag till well after lunch by which time target number one will be waiting in the bottom of the bag for target number two.. I might be wrong. It could be a gamble. But I called the walk “On”. I could have called it Dave or Norman, but no, it was “On”. No bimbling up Great Mell Fell for us. It had to be Eel Crag by The Ledge Route. Oooer.

Martin Banfield would be there, and two of R Kidd’s pals – Ian and Brian – so there were others to consider.

As it happened, it was a bit windy, furtlingly cold in the wind-chill department, but it only drizzled a bit just after three o’clock and it didn’t really start raining properly till I got to Penrith. There’s a lesson to be learned here. I must try to decide what it is.

But what of The Ledge Route? Well, its OK. It’s a good way to get up a hill – quiet, steep, a bit of a slog in places, good views, a bit of a drop at one point if you were to trip over your shoelaces…

We lunched out of the wind, monitored by a pair of ravens who were seen to investigate our lunch spot for scraps just after we’d left. As it happens, I’d contributed a few bits of Wensleydale in anticipation. (Cheese, not Hawes and Redmire….) and after paddling around the summit of the subsidiary top called Sail, we trotted off down a little corrie and bagged Outerside and Barrow – two little wainwrighty things which lurk in the undergrowth of the Coledale Round.

And so, after a short visit to the Coledale Inn, that was that. Superdawg didn’t attend as he really really hates wet and windy weather. Now he hates the weather girl and will bite her skinny old shins if he ever meets up with her.

8 miles and 3200 feet of uphill.

Why do BBC weather peeps use the word “old” all the time anyway? It will be a wet old morning, a foggy old night a windy old afternoon and a dirty old man looking through the window.

Thanks to Martin, Ian, Brian and John for the all the fun. I expect that Martin will likely blog something about this on his Postcard from Timperley blog at


Tykelad said...

Everything comes to those who wait Mike, glad you finally made it.

Hope the "wind chill department" has warmed up now, hell of a place to get furtlingly cold, They're a bastard to sew back on as well !

mike knipe said...

Looks like I'm stil in "Carry on Up The Ledge Route" mode using words like "furtlingly"

"Its only a little prick, Mr Widdle", as they say in the NHS.

Ledge Route done, my life is now but an empty vessel.....

Phreerunner said...

The 'true' story is here: