Wednesday, 2 April 2014

A Walk Without a Lake (Almost) . . .

It's rare to go on a walk in the Lake District and not come across, well a lake, or at least a tarn. I had to settle for a river last Sunday as we began our hike from Threlkeld, about fifteen minutes away from Keswick in the northern bit of the National Park.   Quite frankly, I'd have settled for anything so long as it was outdoors - the weather was absolutely gorgeous, a bit hazy, but 14-16 degrees and most importantly dry! 
This is the intimidating range known as Blencathra or Saddleback, but fortunately our route wasn't straight up. Instead we followed a river path off to the right which skirted the steepest part of the mountain and we spent the majority of the day in and around the middle heights behind it.  

Which is not to say we weren't still climbing; we did over 2000 feet in total on this walk. Below, you can see the river we walked beside on the bottom left as we were about half way up Scales Fell.

But diagonal paths are always a bit easier on the legs.

Around the corner and a bit higher up, we came to this flat bit with a great view of  Foule Crag and Sharp Edge, that ridge that dips down from the summit.  You can go up it but it's quite narrow and there's a rocky scramble at the end of it.  Today's weather was probably ideal for the attempt, but we walked through the beautiful valley below it instead.

Getting closer, you can just make out a few dots, i.e. people, doing Sharp Edge.
Lunchtime and this is our view of the valley we've just travelled through. There is nothing better than eating a sandwich with a thermos of tea beside you, awash in the sunshine and fresh air.  Very Famous Five. 

Now we turn and head towards the back of Skiddaw feeling very much like little hobbits in this vast and lonely landscape.

And we turn again for the walk back through a different valley. . .

. . . always remembering to occasionally look backwards to see how far we've come.

And finally at the last stretch, a tiny view of Derwentwater with its surrounding fells looking very much like a smudgy watercolour.  So we got a teeny bit of lake after all.

And a lot more mountain - as far as the eye could see. A super day and a super walk.

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