Sunday, June 11, 2017

Crinkle Crags

Thank you, Marilyn in Minneapolis, for your kind comments.

Langdale Pikes from the Crinkles

After a dampish start, our week in Langdale was marked by uncharacteristic very hot weather.  The local shop, which had been displaying a sign offering waterproofs, changed it for one offering sunscreen.

We planned a Big Walk to Crinkle Crags - number 17 on Wainwight's list of 214 fells  - and possibly on to Bowfell - 6 on the list.

First, we had to drive up the valley and on to the Wrynose road to the Three Shires Stone.  This was less like something by Tolkein than it sounds.  We found ourselves following a convoy of Mountain Goats - minibuses for tourists - which pulled off at a viewpoint to disgorge trippers with cameras all over the road.

The Stone marks the former intersection of the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire - it's all Cumbria now.  It also marks the start of a very useful path leading to Red Tarn and on to the Crinkles.  Turn right before the tarn and you reach Pike o'Blisco, which we climbed last year.

The names of tops are often misleading.  The word "Crinkle", for example, suggests some small, barely- there fold, of a jolly nature.   Wainwright, in his guide, states that this is an easy one for the non-mountaineering motorist. We had been warned about the "Bad Step" of course, but we are not masochists and saw no reason to take that particular route.  The regular route over this seemingly endless series of rocky outcrops was quite bad enough as the sun beat down on us.

Usually, in a high place, the view from the lunch stop is dramatic and awe-inspiring.  But here, for some reason, we found ourselves plagued by black flies of a biting tendency.  We hurried lunch and moved on.

In the back of our minds all the time was the thought that clambering over these boulders was not just a one-way business - we had to take the same route on the return.


Eventually, we reached the final Crinkle from which we could see Bowfell and the steep, eroded access path to its summit.  That would have been a further three miles there and back.  We decided to leave that pleasure for another day.

On the way down we detoured to Cold Pike, which was anything but cold on this occasion.  Later, I discovered that slathering on the sunscreen and wearing the obligatory peaked cap still left the tips of my ears out to burn.  I'll know for next time.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Little Langdale

From where we were staying in Chapel Stile, a number of lovely valley walks are on offer from the door.  The Langdale Pikes form an instantly recognisable backdrop to pictures.

On a glorious Lakeland day we set out across the valley, up through the working quarries and the woodland and over into Little Langdale.

We crossed Slaters' Bridge which was infested with a whole crowd of photographers on holiday - not that you would know it from this picture.

Then we entered Cathedral Cave, one of the Little Langdale quarries bought by Beatrix Potter.  One giant spar of rock supports the roof which encloses a huge space.

And then it was on up the valley, past traditional Lakeland farms, many owned by the National Trust.

Around this outcrop, reputed to be an ancient tribal gathering place

 Past this waterfall

Over this bridge

And we arrived at Stickle Barn, a watering hole up the valley from which you can catch a bus back to Chapel Stile...if you are lucky, which we weren't on this occasion, so it was a couple of miles along the road back to base.

Monday, June 05, 2017

Progress Report

Some progress has been made with the waistcoat.  The notion here is drawn from a sweater in the Shetland Museum which uses a wide range of lozenge patterns in each horizontal band.  I have simplified this by choosing just two in each band, and even so the piece looks very busy.

By now, I have knitted the other side of the front, until I ran out of fawn yarn.

It would seem counter-intuitive to use different lozenge patterns for the matching side, so in total I have now used six patterns.  The museum sweater would have had six different patterns in each band.

However, I'm pleased with the warmth of the colour mix I am using.

We've been up to Cumbria, first to the Langdales and then to our own cottage in the little town of Maryport.  In a little junk shop up the coast we found these two chairs.

These may look like ordinary kitchen chairs, but they are a little more interesting than that.  They were made of beech, with elm seats, probably in the late 19th century.  While giving them a coat of polish, I came across these initials on the back of each chair. 

This is the maker's stamp; he has signed his work.  I just love them - the colour, the grain on the seats, the whole thing.  They are very comfortable to sit on, which has to be important too.

Some harbour scenes at Maryport. An old capstan.

A pretty ancient looking trawler

One which looks more like the business

And, this haunting reminder that stormy weather makes fishing still a dangerous business.