Thursday, 20 October 2011
Loughrigg Fell.Coppermines.Lake District.
A good night was spent around the open fire in the hut owned by a fellow but local climbing and walking club.£7 a night was good value for the property tucked up a steep hill track under the Old Man Of Coniston.
As we,d never been here before even finding it in the dark was an adventure for those without a SAT NAV or GPS to take the fun out of finding its location.(Myself and Alex, pauper old school and proud of it)
After a visit to the nearby Youth Hostel and then the Yorkshire Club,s Cottages further up the slope,the only lights for miles around,we fumbled our way tyre wise to the correct unlit building, me walking ahead in the rain at one point while Alex inched across a burn.At least we had the pleasure of meeting our friendly and helpful neighbours and already felt a small if temporary part of this valley community.
We just had to do a cave while we were here.I love caves.These are some photos from Sunday morning however.A semi dry shelter from the deluge happening outside.It was so wet outside it had its own little river system ending in a sump even though a man made hole.
Heavy rain, mist and wind anywhere above 1500 feet.It was a no brainer for myself and Alex.Find a hill below 1500 feet and hope for the best.
I used to think if you showed people how to find the sun every weekend they would take that option but they seemed in good spirits with a day of driving rain and mist ahead of them.It was not just the guys,several waterproofed girls made the ascent as well happily pulling on rainwear without a grumble.(test those jackets girls)Ah youth.I used to be exactly the same once.Not a girl......just keen in all weathers.That lasted for the first fifteen years then I,d had enough of that nonsense.Ok,OK... maybe I am a girl......I don't care.There,s nothing in my contract that says I have to charge up big mountains in all weathers Just cos I,m in a mountaineering Club (Oh yes there is..Alex)
I don't mind a good day out with the amblers and ramblers as long as its sunny.
I,m a lone island surrounded by a sea of active baggers.Normally no one wants to go on a girlie type walk with me,not even the girls :( But it was so bad outside he was tempted.
"What are you guys doing? "He asked.
We looked at the map of the Lake District..Three hard men together! Nay...more than that...Mountain Men.. but in good weather.
Loughrigg Fell stood out.Situated near Ambleside, home of country ramblers,(oh, the shame) not far from Grasmere and William and Dorothy Wordsworth,s Dove cottage,(Wish they would show the amazing and controversial Ken Russell,s TV film again of that!"Clouds of Glory".We get the bloody X factor every night instead.)It must be kicking around the vaults somewhere.Anyway... it looked lush ,green and beautiful,even on a map.It was surrounded by a necklace of six big ponds and lakes,crisscrossed by a perfect latticework of paths and tracks and looked good enough to eat.A landscape apple strudel.
It was also a persistent little bugger.It gave the other two horses no peace at all.
Anyway we soon reached the summit and it was magnificent.
"Glad I came here with you guys" said John,pleased.
We then took the balcony trail halfway down,looping around the hill as it passed above Grasmere and Rydal water,mirror reflections in both still waters,banks dotted with little Lowry people playing with unused open umbrella,s far below.(it never rained all day here)
For a short time it felt like being God,s suspended high above our world.
Then an underworld beckoned nearby and we just had to explore that as well.
.....................................................To be continued.