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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Bruno Bags Borrowdale Birkett

bruno says he's not seen my cheese butty anywhere

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)

a sunny bit of borrowdale

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.

lining crag

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.

top of lining crag

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.

on the way up

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.

summit area high raise

high raise

down to stake pass

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)



Dawn said...

Looks awesome Mike, nice one.

Reifyn said...

That looks a great way to spend the day—though 10 miles is a lot of hiking in the ice and snow. I was disappointed not to see a photo of Bruno with his legs in the air sleeping next to the radiator; but at least I got a new word again: 'upnessity' which sounds like it describes the Loch Ness monster when she gets angry. Nice one.

annie said...

really enjoyed your photos, the first one looks like home here. my Winky would love a run with your Bruno. she is a feist, and acts it. our walk was a short hike along the old train rail, and back by the river belt today, a long one for us, probably less than your walk out your door to your car.

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - It was, indeed, a cracker... Bits of the drive over Killhope Cross were a bit slippery, tho..
Reifyn There was only a little bit of snow to be fair. I may have exaggerated the amount of snow. Keep writing down the new words. There's a test at the end of term
Annie - I expect its the autumn trees that remind you of your home hills. Bruno does indeed like a run, but I have to hold him back a bit otherwise he might have some kind of cardiac incident (he's 13 years old!) I worry about him running till he drops!

Howellsey said...

I was in Borrowdale this weekend too! Enjoyed the frost rimed grass (sounds positively poetic). Slippy up near Great and Green Gables too, but fun!

Jen said...

I love the first picture of Bruno looking soulful in the snow. Is that the poor-starving-dog-with-no-cheese-sandwich face?

Mike Knipe said...

I think that's about the measure of it, Jen. Obviously, in truth, he's full of crumbly Lancashire..