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Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:25 pm
by johnkaysleftleg
A few days in the Lakes in February seemed like a great idea when we booked but as the time come closer the foul winter weather looked increasingly like putting a dampener on things. We drove over on the Monday and as the forecast was for wet and windy weather we decided to climb up Dodd hoping the forestry would provide us with some cover on the way up. As it was although it was bloody freezing on the summit it wasn't too bad with not a great deal of rain. We did get a few misty views, enough to confirm that on a good day this would be a very nice easy outing. A cup of coffee sat outside the Old Sawmill tea room completed a better than expected first day.

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Skill Beck by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Flooded Bassenthwaite by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Cold and wet on Dodd by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr


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The same could not be said of day two. The forecast was for mist and light rain but with a green smiley face promising no summit gales. I decided in my infinite wisdom to get a couple of out of the way western fells bagged. This was my first mistake :( as I totally underestimated just how long it takes to get from Kendal to Ennerdale. On the drive over the light pockets of rain were certainly looking a bit of a misnomer, torrential downpours more like :shock:
Eventually we arrived at Bowness Knott parking area far later than planned to be greeted with heavy rain and some shuddering gusts of wind blasting off the lake. Undaunted we set off (but no camera as it was just too wet). Things were going OK until we reached the 350 meter contour and started up the steep slopes to Herdus. The wind was starting to increase with just about every step and with the rain turning to sleet a decision was eventually made at about 450 m to turn back when standing up became difficult. We've all been victims of poor forecasts but as I'd estimated the wind at 50mph this was a real shocker. :shock:


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Wednesday, fortunately was due to be our best day (but still no great shakes). We stayed close to Kendal :roll: this time and drove up to Sadgill to bag the eastern duo of the Kentmere horseshoe. It was a relief that we could get parked following the five mile one way drive. The clag was low but the old coach road to Kentmere provided easy going up to the start of the path up Shipman Knotts. We met a couple at this point who had turned back following encountering a very slippy crag, we thanked them for the warning and continued onward.
The crag turned out to be nothing of note :roll: , strange how some people get wound up about somethings :?

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Looking up to the Gatescarth Pass from Sadgill by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Sadgill by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

Apart from a brief attempt by the sun to break though as we approached Shipman Knotts summit the clag stayed with us all the way until be dropped back down to Longsleddale. Most of the snow had melted but there were some larger patches close to the summit of Kentmere Pike that provided a bit of entertainment. Once we got to the top and had a bite to eat we decided to drop down to the Gatescarth Pass via the wall/fence shown on the map rather than retrace out steps or continue onto Harter Fell.

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Grace by the wall on Shipman Knotts by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Bleak by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Grace and Hughie on Kentmere Pike by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

We quickly found that this was where the snow was hiding and we had great fun bum sliding down a particularly deep drift. This decent route was perfectly fine until be reached a swollen Wren Gill that had no obvious crossing point :?
As it wasn't too deep we decided to just plodge across and cope with the wet feet (just couldn't bring myself to go barefoot! :shock: ) Hughie with some encoragement had his first swimming lesson :lol: hopefully this will cure his hydrophobia. :wink:

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Drifts on the Eastern slopes of Kentmere Pike by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Hughie reflects on his swim by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

From here it was a simple case of linking up with the Gatescarth pass to take us back to Sadgill. We were out of clag now and with as nice to see Longsleddale's crags and cascades on the way back to the car.

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A splash of sunshine! by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Gastecarth Pass by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Cascades by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Waterfall in the youthful River Sprint by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Looking down Longsleddale by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Goat Scar by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr

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Longsleddale by johnkaysleftleg, on Flickr


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It was nice to have a good day out in the hills but it was to be the last of the visit as we wrote off Thursday due to a foul morning forecast and did touristy things in Grasmere (Gingerbread! :D ) before heading home.

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:59 pm
by colgregg
Longsleddale to Gatesgarth makes for a grand walk. Although I came down it the track from Wrengill to the top of the pass is steeper than it looks on the map.

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 10:24 pm
by ChrisW
Great write up JK, shame about the weather but it was good to see Grace looking a little happier on the second day and no doubt happier still on day 3 with gingerbread :lol: Your photography brings me all the way home with each report, it does my heart good to see it, in any weather condition :clap:

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Sun Feb 23, 2014 7:34 pm
by SusieThePensioner
I enjoyed your report and, despite the weather, you got some wonderful photos :thumbup:

When I was at school, we always camped at Easter, July and October half term in the Lakes and the weather was very often a challenge so I can empathise with you!! :lol:

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:21 am
by johnkaysleftleg
colgregg wrote:Longsleddale to Gatesgarth makes for a grand walk. Although I came down it the track from Wrengill to the top of the pass is steeper than it looks on the map.


Certainly is, a great quiet corner of the Lakes.

ChrisW wrote:Great write up JK, shame about the weather but it was good to see Grace looking a little happier on the second day and no doubt happier still on day 3 with gingerbread :lol: Your photography brings me all the way home with each report, it does my heart good to see it, in any weather condition :clap:


Gingerbread was certainly better than being blown off Great Borne by 50mph+ winds!

SusieThePensioner wrote:I enjoyed your report and, despite the weather, you got some wonderful photos :thumbup:

When I was at school, we always camped at Easter, July and October half term in the Lakes and the weather was very often a challenge so I can empathise with you!! :lol:


Thanks Susie, the weather is certainly frustrating, best laid plans of mice and men and all that... :wink:

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:09 pm
by clivegrif
Cracking pics as usual Anthony, despite the pretty grim weather.

I was in Scotland at the same time, and we got blown off two mountains, and only had a decent day on the third. Loads of snow but it was just deep, soft and slow going.

Oh well better luck next time for both of us I suppose.

Poor Hughie: my last dog also hated water but my new Terrier is just a nutcase who is always in puddles and streams.

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:10 pm
by CharlesT
Excellent report and pics as usual JKLL I particularly like the monochrome shots - you get so much more detail and they remind me of the W A Poucher pictures of old which I have long admired.

Glad to see you managed to get out even with the miserable weather and love the pic of Hughie on the trig point - Lord of all he surveys :) .

I had a Norfolk Terrier at one time and they are supposed to love water but I couldn't get her near it :lol: . Hope Hughie is not unduly traumatised from his dip :shock:

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:45 pm
by stevesey
We did Dodd on a bad weather day 18 months ago. Was as high we wanted to risk going given the forecast - even then one of our party got blown off her feet at the summit. Day 2 was a similar story to yours - got from Newlands Hause to High Snockrigg and gave up. Then had a couple of OK days before nearly getting blown off of Hindscarth. Sometimes the weather just won't play ball.

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:40 pm
by MarkyMark10
Nice report JK and enjoyed the pics. Nicola has been telling me all about the sledging and crossing the river :clap:
Really enjoying you books of pictures too.

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:17 pm
by johnkaysleftleg
clivegrif wrote:Cracking pics as usual Anthony, despite the pretty grim weather.

I was in Scotland at the same time, and we got blown off two mountains, and only had a decent day on the third. Loads of snow but it was just deep, soft and slow going.

Oh well better luck next time for both of us I suppose.

Poor Hughie: my last dog also hated water but my new Terrier is just a nutcase who is always in puddles and streams.


Cheers Clive, the weather is all part of the British mountains and hills, I suppose it just wouldn't be the same without it. Hughie recovered well from his swim and is currently barking at the TV for no reason :lol: :?

CharlesT wrote:Excellent report and pics as usual JKLL I particularly like the monochrome shots - you get so much more detail and they remind me of the W A Poucher pictures of old which I have long admired.

Glad to see you managed to get out even with the miserable weather and love the pic of Hughie on the trig point - Lord of all he surveys :) .

I had a Norfolk Terrier at one time and they are supposed to love water but I couldn't get her near it :lol: . Hope Hughie is not unduly traumatised from his dip :shock:


Thanks Charles, the W A Poucher comment is most kind. As I said to Clive Hughie is fine and back to his grumpy self :)

stevesey wrote:We did Dodd on a bad weather day 18 months ago. Was as high we wanted to risk going given the forecast - even then one of our party got blown off her feet at the summit. Day 2 was a similar story to yours - got from Newlands Hause to High Snockrigg and gave up. Then had a couple of OK days before nearly getting blown off of Hindscarth. Sometimes the weather just won't play ball.


We are normally remarkably lucky with the weather but our luck certainly ran out for this trip.

MarkyMark10 wrote:Nice report JK and enjoyed the pics. Nicola has been telling me all about the sledging and crossing the river :clap:
Really enjoying you books of pictures too.


Thanks Mark, glad you like the book.

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:14 pm
by Sarah86
It is a pity about the weather but at least you persisted and got a couple of good walks on your visit. Even in these conditions you still got super photos.

Can't go to Grasmere without getting gingerbread :lol:

Re: Battling the Lakeland weather

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:07 pm
by johnkaysleftleg
Sarah86 wrote:It is a pity about the weather but at least you persisted and got a couple of good walks on your visit. Even in these conditions you still got super photos.


Thanks Sarah, most kind of you to say

sarah86 wrote:Can't go to Grasmere without getting gingerbread :lol:


My sentiments exactly :D :lol: