Sun, 1 Jul 2018
What a day to remember, that day of the Martindale Round. Listing only the fells on the route, Beda Head – Angletarn Pikes – Brock Crags – The Knott – High Raise – Steel Knotts, fails to tell of the perfection of the world in which the A group walked. With the sun dried grass crisp beneath their unhurried (some may disagree!) feet, the fells unfolded sun sharpened and enticing (apart from Rest Dodd which no-one found enticing at all!). Ullswater and Brothers Water glistened beneath peerless sky and cooling zephyrs softened summer’s fire. And through it all the convivial (mostly!) murmurs of the walkers. When days drift into winter they might think of this day, which will remain in memories forever summer.
Wed, 11 Jul 2018
The A group’s objective was Scafell via Lord’s Rake. Leaving Wasdale Head, they climbed the track alongside Lingmell Gill to Lingmell. After a minor retracing of the route, the group passed under Pikes Crag and Pulpit Rock to begin the initial ascent of Lord’s Rake on loose, dry, dusty scree. When a head wall was reached the full extent of the steepness of the Rake became apparent and they scrambled up an even more steeply inclined scree slope. As the entrance of the West Wall Traverse opened up, the route was airy in places but narrow with good hand and foot holds. All reached the top of the gully uneventfully and with the ascent over, relief was palpable. After visiting Scafell, the very happy mountaineers returned via the long route down and a celebration drink in the Inn at Wasdale Head.
On a warm sunny day, the B group set out from Torver towards Torver Beck. Little Arrow Moor and the Coniston Fells soon came into view. Pausing at the old Banishead quarry, now water filled and served by a waterfall, the ascent continued alongside the beck and then up to the bridge meeting the Walna Scar path. Descending to the pretty hamlet at Little Arrow, the route continued over Torver Common through woods before reaching the lakeside path along Coniston Water. A grassy path up Sunny Bank bordered by foxgloves continued over a further area of the Common. At the quiet reservoir the path turned north to Torver. Drinks were then enjoyed outside at the pub.
The C group made use of two cars to do a linear walk from Scarness to St Bega’s church. The paths along Bassenthwaite Lake still had some wild flowers, but many had been scorched by the hot sun. Lunch was taken on large rocks, where a pied wagtail was busy hunting for insects. There were common blue damselflies, greylag geese and a pair of oyster catchers, all making it a very interesting route.
Sun, 15 Jul 2018
In Swindale, a small A group walked along the road to Swindale Head, turned on to the Old Corpse Road and then a path to Selside. The fence line took them to Artlecrag Pike and Branstree before they descended to an unusually dry dip ahead of the walk up to Tarn Crag, Grey Crag and Harrop Pike. After the descent to Mosedale Cottage, the path to the head of Swindale was followed with some difficulty but as the group rounded Nabs Crag, they had a splendid view of the valley head – deep blue sky, wispy clouds, drumlins and a buzzard displaying its skills for their enjoyment. Finally, at Swindale Head Farm, before walking back to the car park, they watched the hay gathering as five tractors worked together in balletic motion.
Setting off from Askham village on an ideal morning, with blue sky and a pleasant breeze, the B group walked up the ridge to the summit of Heughscar Hill. After dropping down to Ketley Gate, they walked through parched fields to Helton. From there a pleasant footpath was followed to the footbridge over the River Lowther. On went the group to the little hamlet of Whale and the Lowther Estate path which climbed gently above the river. A detour was taken to the courtyard of Lowther Castle to partake of light refreshment and relax in good company. The final lap of the walk descended steeply to the river, crossed Askham Bridge and followed the road into the village.
Wed, 25 Jul 2018
Setting off from Bleach Green at Ennerdale Water, the A group followed the lakeside path before crossing the bridge over Woundell Beck – no longer AW’s greasy plank! The ridge was ascended to the Ennerdale wall where the walkers turned left to the summit of Haycock via a scramble up the rocks of Little Gowder Crag. The wall was followed from Haycock visiting the tops of Caw Fell, Ennerdale Fell and Crag Fell. There were far reaching views to the west coast and the Isle of Man. Lastly was the little top of Grike from where the group made the steep descent back to the car park.
From Braithwaite, on another day of ‘the long hot summer’ of 2018, the B group’s targets were Scar Crags, Causey Pike, Outerside, Stile End and Barrow. At Barrow Door hot bodies cooled in the welcome breeze before the climb to the summit of Scar Crags. The exhilarating ridge walk to Causey Pike was over all too soon but time on the high ground was extended by a break for lunch. A rapid descent to the bridleway was followed by easy climbs to the summits of Outerside, Stile End and Barrow. The Royal Oak in Braithwaite was the final stop, where a miscellany drinks was consumed before the group parted ways.