Sunday, 28 October 2007

new blog now open

My new improved blog (with google mapping, etc.) is now open! Check it out at

This blog will keep running alongside for the moment.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Copeland Horseshoe (18km)

An early start was made today (with wet shoes, that drying room was not so good!) at 9am from the first landing stage besides Wastwater for my quick version of the Copeland Horseshoe. The whole hike took my 7hrs which was a little slow but what can I say? BOGS!

(Haycock, Scoat Fell from Middle Fell)

A nice little traverse path on the side of Middle Fell led me to Greendale Tarn and then up and down to the summit of Middle Fell. First of the bogs encountered here. Then it was a bit of what would have been a depressing bog slog. Luckily I had the RAF boys to watch - still can't recognise the aircraft though!

(Greendale Tarn. Seatallan to Left. Middle Fell to Right.)

Once I got onto Scoat Fell the walk started to get good (i.e. no more bloody bogs!). A quick walk up Red Pike from the NW and the day was all over bar a muddy traverse on the side of Yewbarrow past Great Door and down to the road at Overbeck Bridge.

(Red Pike from Scoat Fell)

Two new Wainwrights completed;
  1. Middle Fell
  2. Red Pike

Aborted Cockly Pike Ridge, Ill Crag (18km)

I was aiming for a scramble (grade 1) up Cockly Pike ridge onto Ill Crag but ended up backing out, ostensibly due to lack of time, but I might have been a little scared!

I did the first two rocky pyramids but then backed off since I only had three hours to do it and then descend. Probably a good move considering the long (2hr) walk in/out via Esk Valley. Had a bit of fun bouldering instead (which was probably more dangerous but felt less so..!)

The walk-in is about 8km from Brotherikeld Farm via Great Moss. I had a good look at the Esk Gorge which really does look tempting as a big adventurous gill scramble!

No Wainwrights completed!

Friday, 19 October 2007

Langdale to Ennerdale 2-day Backpack (37km)

A two day backpacking trip which took us from the Stickle Gill pub in Langdale valley to the Black Sail Hut in Ennerdale valley and back again. A short scramble up the top of Stickle Gill (keeping out of the water) was followed up with Jack's Rake, a grade one scramble on Pavey Ark.

(Langdale Pikes. Harrison Stickle centre, Pavey Ark to right.)

(Ascending slabs at the top of Jack's Rake. Stickle Tarn below.)

After crossing the bogs on Martcrag Moor it was up Rossett Pike in a very cold wind. Gloves out for the first time this year! A traverse of the side of Great Gable followed and a quick ascent and very steep descent of Kirk Fell concluded the first day.

(Traversing Great Gable)

Scafell Pike was the objective for day two. This was ascended via the corridor route after leaving the Ennerdale valley by Black Sail Pass. I had very sore and wet feet by this stage due to forgetting to bring clean socks but I managed to limp back via Broad Crag, Esk Hause and ultimately the Cumbria Way alongside Mickleden Beck to Langdale and the Stickle Gill pub.

(Black Sail Hut, Ennerdale Valley)
(The Corridor Route)

Five Wainwrights done (2 new);
  1. Rossett Pike
  2. Pavey Ark
  3. Scafell Pike
  4. Kirk Fell
  5. Broad Crag

Blencathra via Sharp Edge (8km)

A quick scramble up Sharp Edge on tuesday afternoon. Not many folks about with just a couple of hikers on top and sharp edge deserted. A good test for the new FiveTen boots which gripped the rock very nicely.

Just one Wainwright;
  1. Blencathra (868m)

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Yewbarrow (6km/628m)

(Wastwater seen from Yewbarrow)

A short single summit walk. Although it was only 6km it took me about 4hrs! Most of that time was spent slipping down Stirrup Crags (see below). Those Asics trail running shoes where a big mistake but I've got my FiveTen CampFour approach shoes now! See review here.

(Stirrup crag on Yewbarrow)

Just one Wainwright ticked;
  1. Yewbarrow (628m)

Fairfield Horseshoe (15km/1100m)

(Not much to see on Hart Crag)

(Lake Windermere and Ambleside from the climb to Nab Scar)

Only between 30-70m visibility in low cloud from about 600m. Not so good for views but I got a little bit of navigation practice in there. Walking on bearings and using timings based on Naismith's Rule worked very well. My first time solo in bad visibility was quite good fun. Not sure I'm up for navigating in a whiteout though :)

And yep, I know the Fairfield Horseshoe is not exactly pathless! But it's a start.

Eight Wainwrights ticked (6 new):
  1. Nab Scar (440m)
  2. Heron Pike (612m)
  3. Great Rigg (766m)
  4. Fairfield (873m)
  5. Hart Crag (822m)
  6. Dove Crag (792m)
  7. High Pike (656m)
  8. Low Pike (508m)

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Snowdonia - (not the) Snowdon Horseshoe 31/8/07

Yep, no Wainwrights but then I was in Wales. I'd been aiming for the Snowdon Horseshoe but weather was not really suitable (cloud base around 300m). I ended up climbing Cadair Idris instead.
S'pose I should take this out but I like the photo.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Glaramara & Grains Gill (19km)

Nice weather for a change on thursday accompanied this visit to the Southern Fells. I started off from the NT car park in Seatoller after a night spent at the Honister Hause YHA which really does only deserve the 2 star rating. Walked over Stands Bridge before climbing up to Bessyboot (Rosthwaite Fell) and heading for Glaramara.

( Glaramara seen from Rosthwaite Fell)

(Derwent water and Skiddaw from Glaramara)

(Esk Pike from Esk Hause)

Four Wainwrights ticked;
  1. Rosthwaite Fell (550m)
  2. Glaramara (783m)
  3. Allen Crags (785m)
  4. Esk Pike (885m)

Monday, 16 July 2007

Coniston Fells (17km)

Another visit to the Coniston fells yesterday although the Old Man was excluded on this occassion.
(Walna Scar road and Coniston Water from The Bell)

Blue skies to start with the rain and cloud returning by late afternoon. Lots of folks milling around Coniston mines and Walna Scar road but only a sprinkling on the fells ('though I'm sure the Old Man was a different story!). As usual couldn't resist a quick scramble up 'The Bell'!

(Grey Friar seen from Great Carrs)

Four Wainwrights ticked;
  1. Wetherlam (762m)
  2. Swirl How (802m)
  3. Great Carrs (780m)
  4. Grey Friar (770m)

Walk report at asap!

Clerk & Bishop revisited (13km)

A return visit to the Lorton fells which defeated my friend Rob. Not very nice weather for july - windy and very wet although cloud cleared by lunchtime.

(Broom Fell to left and Lord's Seat to right - seen from Graystones)

(hiking through the edge of Whinlatter forest)

The following Wainwrights ticked;
  1. Barf (468m)
  2. Lord's Seat (552m)
  3. Broom Fell (511m)
  4. Graystones (456m)

Friday, 15 June 2007

Videos from youtube

The videos on this site are just a selection based on a keyword search of youtube including those of Wasdale MRT. None of them are mine, although I hope to be adding some of my own asap! Don't forget to support your local mountain rescue team - they volunteer their time for free and you might need them! UK mountain rescue

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Bow Fell & Crinkle Crags (17km)

Really hot weather for yesterdays walk which went great except for getting lost and making a rough/loose descent of Pike o'Blisco via Skull Gill!

Four wainwrights completed;
  1. Bow Fell (902m)
  2. Crinkle Crags (859m)
  3. Cold Pike (701m)
  4. Pike o'Blisco (705m)

The infamous 'Bad Step' on Crinkle Crags is pictured below and you can access a full walk report on my new site here.

Monday, 4 June 2007

mountainstuff website

You can look at walk reports (including maps and gradient profiles) for some of my walks via my new website which is nearly completed at

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Scafell group (21km)

A longish walk at 13miles on friday taking in the highest mountain in England - Scafell Pike at 978m. (pic above)
Started out from the Brotherikeld farm at the bottom of the Hardknott pass following the River Esk to Esk Hause. From here it was up Great End then over Broad Crag and Ill Crag before reaching Scafell Pike. Descended from Mickledore besides How Beck which turned out to be quite scrambly.

Just the two Wainwrights summited;
  1. Great End (910m)
  2. Scafell Pike (978m)

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Coniston Old Man (11km)

A short walk (3.5hrs) in some great weather today. Scrambled up 'The Bell' (pictured) from Walna Scar road then headed up the tourist path to the Old Man, nipped over to Brim Fell then headed back via Dow Crag, Buck Pike & Brown Pike.

Three Wainwrights summited;
  1. Coniston Old Man (803m)
  2. Brim Fell (796m)
  3. Dow Crag (778m)

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Black Sail 15-17 April 07

Thirteen Wainwrights ticked over 3 days at the Black Sail Hut YHA in Ennerdale.

Walk in from Buttermere (8km 640m):
  1. Haystacks (597m)

Day 1 (19km 1320m):
  1. Haycock (797m)
  2. Scoat Fell (841m)
  3. Steeple (819m)
  4. Pillar (892m)

Day 2 (14km 1405m):
  1. Great Gable (899m)
  2. Green Gable (801m)
  3. Base Brown (646m)
  4. Brandreth (715m)

Day 3 (10km 845m):
  1. High Crag (744m)
  2. High Stile (807m)
  3. Red Pike (755m)
  4. Dodd (502m)

See the gallery here and the walk report here (soon).

Sunday, 8 April 2007

Deepdale Horseshoe (10mi/16km)

A 'good friday' walk around this less popular horseshoe including a bit of scrambling up Cofa Pike (see pic) and part of Arnison Gill.

The following Wainwrights completed in about 7.5hrs;
  1. Arnison Crag (433m)
  2. Birks (622m)
  3. St. Sunday Crag (841m)
  4. Fairfield (873m)
  5. Hart Crag (822m)
  6. Hartsop above How (580m)

Birketts; Cofa Pike & Gale Crag.

See the gallery here and the walk report here (soon).

Thursday, 29 March 2007

Anglezarke Moor & Winter Hill (10mi/16km)

A rough partly pathless 4hr walk this afternoon on the West Pennine Moors
Started out from car park close to Rivington and headed up past Higher and Lower Hemphaw's (ruined dwellings) towards Lead Mines Clough.

Here the walk continued past Devil's Ditch (possible neolitihic/bronze age land boundary) towards Round Loaf burial mound.

Next it was up to Great Hill (381m) and on a paved path via Spitlers Edge towards Winter Hill (456m), home of the TV/radio/etc. transmitters and site of the area's worst air crash in 1958 which killed 35 people.

A pretty rough boggy walk over Rivington Moor to Rivington Pike (362m) and back down past pigeon tower wrapped things up.

(Start/End SD629149)

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Langdale Pikes (11mi/17km)

A top walk/scramble today around the Langdale Pikes. I started off from New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and headed up the Stickle Ghyll path. I was tempted to scramble up the ghyll but feared for my dSLR!

After a snack and packing the dSLR away it was time for what I had been looing forward too - Jack's Rake (grade 1 scramble) up the face of Pavey Ark. Only about four other scramblers today on this popular route - I kept to the more exposed line at the start since my pack kept getting stuck otherwise. Good fun but not sure I'd like to down-climb it!

After summiting Pavey Ark via Jack's Rake I spent a few hours messing around on the Langdale pikes and crags indulging in some less serious scrambling fun!

See a video of Jack's Rake on youtube (not mine) here

The following Wainwrights completed today in about 7.5hrs;
  1. Pavey Ark (700m)
  2. High Raise (762m)
  3. Sergeant Man (730m)
  4. Thuncar Knott (723m)
  5. Harrison Stickle (736m)
  6. Loft Crag (682m)
  7. Pike o' Stickle (709m)
Birketts; Thorn Crag.

See the gallery here or the walk report here

(Start/End NY295064)

Friday, 16 March 2007

A short walk near the Clerk and the Bishop.

The Clerk
A short walk today with my friend Rob (this was his first time in the hills).

Made a late start with an initial hike past the Clerk and the Bishop on the edge of Thornthwaite Forest. Next came a slow climb up Barf and over to Lord's Seat. The cloud was pretty low by this time and the wind was getting strong so we had to call it a day with just the two Wainwrights completed..
  1. Barf (462m)
  2. Lord's Seat(552m)

See the gallery here

(Start/End: NY220264)

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Kentmere Round (12.5mi/20km)

Had an ok walk today - started in Kentmere. I parked at the church and went towards Raven Crag where I expected a nice easy grade 1 rock scramble. My mistake not to check access - the crag was closed due to Peregrine Falcons nesting! This resulted in me having to scramble up a wet bit of grass instead :(

Lake Windermere seen from Ill Bell
Eight Wainwrights completed on saturday and some decent photos taken in quite strong winds and low temperatures;
  1. Yoke (706m)
  2. Ill Bell (757m)
  3. Froswick (720m)
  4. Thornthwaite Beacon (784m)
  5. Mardale Ill Bell (760m)
  6. Harter Fell (778m)
  7. Kentmere Pike (730m)
  8. Shipman Knotts (587m)
Birketts; Goat Scar.

Check out the walk report with the best photos here! The full gallery is here.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Coledale Round (10miles/16km)

Coledale Horseshoe

Five of the Wainwrights completed yesterday (wednesday) on the Coledale round over about five and a half hours. Weather turned out pleasant but with a bitter wind, the cloud on the higher summits cleared by lunchtime.

A late start meant no time for Grasmoor, Causey Pike or Scar Crags - actually I missed the path for Grasmoor.

  1. Grisedale Pike (791m)
  2. Hopegill Head (770m)
  3. Eel Crag [Crag Hill] (839m)
  4. Sail (773m)
  5. Outerside (568m)
Birketts; Kinn, Hobcarton Head, Sand Hill and Stile End.

See the walk report or view the gallery

Saturday, 3 February 2007

Dalehead Horseshoe (10miles/16km)

Catbells from Skelgill Bank
Five of the Wainwrights completed today in perfect weather over about six hours on the Dalehead horseshoe;
  1. Catbells (451m)
  2. Maiden Moor (576m)
  3. High Spy (653m)
  4. Dalehead (753m)
  5. Hindscarth (727m)
Also got 4 of the Birketts (Skelgill Bank, High Crags, Red Knott and Scope End) out of 541!!

See the walk report or view the gallery.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

started hill fitness for 2007

see my fitness training log here!

my outdoor aims for 2007

  1. Complete all of the Wainwrights i.e. 214 lake district fells.

  2. Complete the West Highland Way long distance footpath (152km/95mi) from Glasgow in Scotland.

  3. Lead a vdiff climb and 2nd 'confidently' up to VS

  4. Lead some grade 2 or even 3! scrambles

  5. Do at least one 1+ night wildcamping trip in the Lakes or Snowdonia.

  6. Complete the Cuillin Ridge Traverse (summer-guided) on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.