Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Lake District. Ullswater. Patterdale. Glenridding. A Gallery.

                                                ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN
On the last day of our trip I decided on a low level walk around the Ullswater, Patterdale and Glenridding area. Alex and others were intent on climbing the nearby Place Fell, 657 metres, from the hut but as my knees had been grinding painfully on the steeper descents over the first two days I decided a flatter day was in order, focusing more on pure photography. These days I'm just as happy high or low if I can capture great images and I was in the right place and had the right weather conditions to do the Lake District justice. This is a rower on Ullswater and a nice path weaves in and out the trees near the A 592 road connecting Patterdale and Glenridding together by the most scenic way for pedestrians given that it's a tight squeeze between the surrounding hills, both villages and the lake itself. More mind boggling is the fact that this is a safety boat for a swimmer in the water behind, either cold water distance training or just for the experience- given that wild swimming seems to be the new 'in thing' for the media to get excited about. Even the great outdoors are not immune from fashion trends and styling although wild swimming has always been a minority sport practiced by a hardy few individuals... it's just now reinvented and centre stage in the mainstream along with bothies... just like Munro bagging took off similarly a few decades ago which also used to be a low key affair practiced by a select few individuals. Not now though when any non hill-walking person in the street has a fair idea of what Munro bagging and bothy life is all about. In a way they have been prized and wrestled out the paws of smelly drunks and tramps, (like myself ) and re-branded as 'Shabby Chic.' for a very different clientèle.  Whether both ends of the spectrum have anything in common if they ever meet is open for debate.
Ullswater looked fabulous when I arrived with perfect reflections everywhere. This is the St Patrick's area. One thing I noticed years ago when rock climbing down here was that many of the best crags sit a mere five or ten minutes from roadside lay-bys which made walking in to do climbs a real unexpected treat. The Lake District has an abundance of these rugged little crags in every area, often tree covered and sporting vertical walls of clean dry rock. Compared to much larger Scotland which has relatively few low level quality rock climbing routes in the mountains this area wins hands down. Given a choice between a two hour brutal uphill slog to do three mountain pitches on the side of a remote highland crag, usually plagued by midges, clegs and sheep ticks... or an enjoyable high quality sky dance ten minutes from the road- like Little Chamonix, V. Diff ... Ardus VS.. or Troutdale Pinnacle, Severe... you can see why I enjoy coming down to the lakes and always have done.
When I got up earlier that morning it was to find a mist draped landscape around the hut. Approaching the winter months it's easy to be up at dawn as that's around 8:00am with darkness settling back in around 6:30- 7:00pm in October. The White Lion pub and hotel seen here. In full mid winter in Scotland it's dark by 3:30pm on dull days and only gets light again over 17 hours later around 9:00am. Some people can handle it fine mentally but I would not like to live any further north than Scotland. Closer to the Arctic Circle it's dark by 12:00 noon in mid winter with only a few hours pale daylight each day for months. Above that marker it's just perpetual darkness in winter. I'm a creature of honey, bright colours and sunlight myself and part of me always sinks under the ground each year to join Persephone and Hades. I've noticed my thoughts get much darker as well and the only time I've experienced real depressive episodes in the past it's usually connected to that grey bleak time after the leaves fall and the woodlands become silent and frozen. On the plus side my heart, spirit, and energy levels really soar skywards again each spring. I hate winter with a passion.
Patterdale from the hut with the village lights still on.
Grazing sheep and mist draped hillsides. Often this kind of weather can linger in valleys most of the day but I already knew it was forecast to burn off into a clear sunny outlook.
As indeed it did by the time I had breakfast then set off. A sunlit pagoda in Glenridding with the autumn colours just starting to show. Early November has been my highlight this year for a striking autumn compilation of tree hues. A post on that to follow shortly. I suppose it depends how strong the winds are over several weeks as to how long the leaves stay on the trees and this year we have been lucky with light settled conditions. Some places I've visited still have a full intact canopy in the trees as of yesterday. Early November now and still lush looking green foliage all around. Ya Beauty! Long may that continue. It makes the winter seem shorter.
A happy and cute wee sheep on the hillside. 'Aw.' I'm not usually an 'aw' person but this example of young life stirred my hard- hearted single male soul many times more than entire rooms filled with chuckling babies, cute kittens and toilet roll puppies will ever do. Maybe it was the uncanny teddy bear resemblance and that fixed but winning stuffed toy smile. If only Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump could get equal warmth and natural charm into their own features they would be unstoppable:o) Therefore I propose and nominate this Lakeland sheep for the next President of the USA :o)
Glenridding Pier on Ullswater where the vintage steamers depart from, then cruise down this very scenic inland lake surrounded by impressive mountains. I really enjoyed this pedestrian walk through the trees between Patterdale and Glenridding as it was new for me to explore this area in fine detail despite dozens of drive by trips in the past heading for other places.  A really scenic shoreline walk past this pier had me in raptures as lighting conditions were perfect for great images.
A Swan Lake Ballet draws the eye out to the island in this one.
Swans glide out into the remaining mist.
Looking back across the shoreline meadows to the pier- this time from the other direction. I was pleased to see Place Fell, just across the bay, where my friends were, stayed cold and dark under long shadows until after lunchtime. Always good to see others suffer :o)
My luck was further in when a red sailed yacht appeared in this tranquil corner of Ullswater. Very Swallows and Amazons. I hope the new film of that is as good as Moonrise Kingdom. I read recently they had swapped one of the lead characters names (an unfortunate 'Titty'. Ah, those more innocent times. Anyway I hope it's good. They changed it to Tatty which sounds worse- like the cover up it is. What was wrong with simply expanding it into Letitia or Leticia which makes more sense and a name folk are already familiar with?
St Patrick's Church in Patterdale.
Lingy Crag, another of the rugged little hills under a thousand feet high sprinkled around the area but full of character.
A colourful street in Keswick.
More Ullswater Reflections. Very few signs left of the flooding that swept through here a few months back. As a visiting tourist you would never know it happened unless someone told you. Prosperous areas always bounce back faster than poor ones as they usually have greater resources, insurance cover, incentive, and commitment to put things right quickly and start earning money again. I can happily report anyone visiting here will find it as peaceful and lovely as ever ... as you can see by the photos.
Glenridding autumn colours.
More red sails on Ullswater. Perfect for photography- not so good for moving anywhere fast on water if relying on wind power alone.
Rural villages and twisting roads. The perfect Lake District combination.
One last view of Patterdale.  An excellent trip, great hut and great company.

Nice video showing the upper pitches of routes above Borrowdale. Although an easy beginner's climb at V Diff level this area has many low grade classics with great views over Derwent Water and considerable exposure once free of the forests below. Ah, takes me back to a time in the distant past when I was youthful and full of spunk as well, just like Debbie in her prime :o) and did numerous routes like this one. Worth watching full screen.


Anabel Marsh said...

So much beauty you have captured! And definitely cute sheep for POTUS.

Rosemary said...

Your photos are Fab-u-lous, they make me want to pop up to the Lake District right now,
and I always find those local Herdwick sheep very appealing too.

Linda W. said...

Amazing photos of the lake and fog! And the baby sheep is adorable!

Carol said...

I do wish people wouldn't swim in the Lakeland Lakes - not the ones with rowing boats anyway - they don't seem to realise that us rowers can't see them at all - especially when rowing alone (so with our back to them) and a sharp-hulled boat over the top of their head is going to sink them pretty well!

The yachts can go pretty fast some days but you looked to have a nice, calm day there - wish I'd been out in a rowing boat that day...

I have to say you missed a great fell though - Place Fell is lovely - have you done it before?

Carol said...

By the way, our winter daylight hours in the North of England are 0900-1600 so we're not a lot different. It always amazes me when I'm up in the Northern Highlands though and it stays light more or less all night in summer - I love that. Not so helpful when I'm sleeping in my car though as there's a lot going on and I end up watching the wildlife instead of sleeping!

Linda said...

Very beautiful, delightful and calming. Thank you so much for sharing.

Carol said...

Just watched the vid - I've been invited a few times to Shepherds Crag but have always been put off by the massive drop below the start of the climbs. How long are those routes? They do look easy enough and I do like volcanics...

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Anabel,
Interesting election result even without the sheep running as a candidate.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary,
Thank you.

blueskyscotland said...

Cheers Linda W.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol,
Not done Place Fell but wanted a photography day. Managed to sell one yesterday and had some others entered in a local gallery so a bit of interest in them finally.
The Diffs and V. Diffs on that crag are excellent but very polished. Little Chamonix V. Diff is a real classic. a 75 metre long 4 pitch adventure with a very exposed finish. Leo Houlding is a top class extreme climber so he makes everything look easy anyway. Also one on You Tube of Little Chamonix, one of my first lakeland rock climbs.