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Sunday, 20 March 2016

Spring Is Springing at Hartsop

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Dawn sufferred significant brain-ache in trying to book something, anything in the Lake District at a reasonable price. I am under no illusions that this must have been a difficult job since they generally want far too much money for not much which does take the gloss off the post-flood sympathy bids a bit. I know they have to make a living, but £150 squids for a couple of nights in a stone hut with no power, water, bedding, heating, or, indeed, anything really is taking the mickey. So I was more than grateful to Dawn for the hard work in finding the accomodation for this little trip. And so is LTD.

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And so, it was with some relief that she managed to get us into a closet  room in the bunkhouse at Brotherswater. It was warm and cosy, had a loo and beds and was next to the pub.

Hoping to meet Tarzan we bagged a small Tump at Greystoke Forest on the way, but baulked at a field full of pregnant sheep and a sign denying access to our canine friends on Greystoke’s permissive footpaths.

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After a quiet night in, the morning dawned sharp, blue and frosty. Ideal conditions, in fact for a trundle over some higher fells. So we went to Hartsop and heaved our aged forms up the Very Steep end of Hartsop Dodd. This ascent goes on for ever and ever and is ideal for hikers who enjoy painful thighs after a winter of soft, low and muddy hills. The sun continued to shine and shone all day, blazing off the patches of hard snow and revealing better and better views.

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A little way up Stony Cove Pike, me and LTD branched off to bag the small but bijoux top of Raven Crag. I expect that not all that many people visit this little lump which looms over Pasture Bottom in a looming kind of way. (How do you know how deep the beck is….? When it’s Pasture Bottom…arf…)

We rejoined Dawn at the summit cairn on Stony Cove Pike.

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The journey over to Thornthwaite Beacon was painful and slow, there being a steep downhill bit, followed by a similarly steep and slightly longer uphill bit. On a rainy or foggy day or in poor weather, ramblers following this particular part of the route may start to question their sanity. But on a nice day like this, the throbbing of the thigh muscles can be interupted by many short stops to gaze at the wonderful views. We stayed at the beacon for a while, then plodded off through intermittent snowfields to the top of High Street who’s trig pillar sported a small and melting snowman.

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The descent to Hayeswater is horribly steep. Me and LTD bagged The Knott on the way – for knott much extra effort and we were soon back at the knipemobile which was exactly where we’d left it.

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I reckon this was 8 miles and 3400 feet of up. Dawn’s fitbit thingy says it was a bit further.

On the next day we rested by wandering the 8 miles to Patterdale and back for some milk. The sun came out after a bit and got quite warm.

And, apart from a little light cattle herding and the bagging of Murrah Hill on the way home, that was that.

Is this finally spring? Or will the lambing showers of April catch us out with another bite of winter?

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Quinn said...

Stunning images, Mike! I especially like that swooping one of Raven Crag.

Dawn Linney said...

It was a grand trip Mike. The sunshine was a pleasant bonus.

Anonymous said...

I very much enjoyed the puns as well as the views.