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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

D’you think he Herdus?

sheep making off

Here’s just a bit of an interval of light relief before I complete The Rhinogs and Cadair Idris by way of a short but lumbering course over a couple of Cumbrian hills – these being the Birketts Brown Howe and Herdus both of which are stuck on the side of the Red Pike – Haystacks Ridge.

I thought I might do more today, but the old legs are still a bit heavy. This could well be caused either by the remnants of the nasty cold I had (sorry to keep banging on about this) – or the fact that I’ve been thriving whilst dosing myself with 40% proof and sitting about stuffing tissues up me nose. that is to say, I might have put on a pound or two…

pillar in layers of cloud

Anyway, I parked in Ennerdale, just below Bowness Knott, a hill which according to the knipetowers records and archives department, I did a long time ago, although I have no memory of it at all. maybe I should do it again….

We (me and Bruno) set off down the road and heaved our ageing carcases up the steep grass onto Brown Howe. This has a fine and rocky top, some quite nice camping pitches on little ledges and a cracking view of Ennerdale. This was a bit more interesting today due to the hillfog drifting over from the East Coast (where it was as driech as Siberian shoeshop in November) and where, due to the bumpiness of the ground, it was breaking up into layers, making the hills look bigger than they actually were.

great bourne appears from the mist

This brief visit was followed by a long contouring traverse over steep scree on a good, clear path and on which various sheep (Herdwicks, Swaledales and a Herdwick/Swaledale Cross) were snoozing on the comfy stones. There were complaints that we’d disturbed their morning naps, one of which was in writing although badly spelled, in green ink and repeating that irritating mistake where writers put “I should of” instead of “I should have”—you know the one I mean.

Once over this interesting bit, we had to climb stupidly steep grass, some of which wasn;t fixed down properly, for several hundred heaving, sweating, swearing, stumbling and slipping feet till we were dumped, a long time later on a soggy moor which had , at the far end, a little green island with a cairn which for the time was hidden in thick mist.

y'owd bugger

As we lunched… as I lunched and Bruno dribbled, the hillfog cleared to reveal another fine view of the Ennerdale fells and the round, stony pudding that is Great Bourne. We quickly bagged this as well and finished off the coffee… I thought I deserved a rest. Bruno had a nap too. I suspect we’re both getting past our peak and, as this seems to be the fifth time I’ve been up here, the sharp tang of anticipation duly satisfied was replaced by the overwhelming desire to have a little snooze in the warm sun. Maybe I’m just not taking this stuff seriously enough. Maybe if I got some wrap-around sunglasses and a headband instead of the beany hat and TGO Challenge T-shirt from 1998…

grasmoor and buttermere fells

We descended, steeply to the Floutern Moss bridleway and then back to the car. We’d done just six miles but with Quite A Lot of Up and it felt like more. And we’d done some seriously strenuous sitting about.  Two more Birketts bagged, though…

Meanwhile, back in Wales……….



Dawn said...

Fantastic Mike. Maybe Red Pike in November?

chrissiedixie said...

By Bruno looks a handsome figure of a dog in that photo...

And I do like a nice Swaledale; they have such lovely legs.

Mike Knipe said...

Red Pike with your new foot, Dawn.. it'll be a tough test!
Chrissie - And shoulders are nice too, specially on Sunday afternoons.,And shanks (whatever they are...)