The first week in November saw me and XYL Judy taking a walking holiday with our local Ryedale Ramblers Group. It seemed only right as we had been on the waiting list for this holiday for three years and I was after all, the Ryedale Group 2013 Chairman!
Every year the whole Ryedale Ramblers Group take over the HF Holidays Hotel at Derwentbank near Keswick in early November for five days. The holiday is always over subscribed and finally, we had reached the top of the waiting list! The holiday is ably organised by Ann Laing and the walks are led by volunteer members of which I am one. I offered the organising team the choice of two led walks - a linear walk up the Halls Fell Ridge on to Blencathra and back to Keswick, or a walk from Ashness Bridge taking in the four Wainwrights of Walla Crag, Bleaberry Fell, High Seat and High Tove. They chose the boggy walk of the two from Ashness Bridge which was not too popular - only four of us chose to undertake the walk!
The walking week starts on Monday when members gather near Keswick in late morning for a half day walk. This wasn't for us as we had other business that day and so we reached the hotel in time to check in at around dusk.
Tuesday: 8.75 miles with 2250 ft ascent
On Tuesday we both chose to join a walk led by Ann Laing in the little visited Uldale Fells east of Bassenthwaite lake. Here is our route:
|We bagged five Wainwrights in the day - all new ones for Judy|
We set out from near the lake called Over Water. The first Wainwright was Great Cockup followed by Meal Fell, Great Sca Fell, Brae Fell (lunch spot) and finally Longlands Fell.
|The ladies on the walk on their way to climb Great Cockup|
As usual on the Wainwrights I took my VHF radio and completed 14 contacts on the five fells including one with John 2E0JBG who was also portable on nearby Binsey.
Wednesday: 7.8 miles with 2030 ft ascent
|Phil (Blogger) - Andrew - Ken and Linda at Ashness Bridge|
On Wednesday it was my turn to lead. After informing the members that the walk was expected to be boggy in parts my numbers were down. After some cajoling I persuaded Andrew and Ken (71) along with the willing Linda, to join me on a walk I previously did in March 2010 with Judy. That previous walk did include the dreaded and wet Armboth Fell, but I was not to include that Wainwright in my walk today or I would have been even more unpopular!
We shared my car and parked up at the NT Ashness Bridge Car Park. At 9.40am we set off on the excellent path up over the top of Falcon Crag which led us on to Lady's Rake and Walla Crag. Retreating we made for Bleaberry Fell which was reached at 11.40am. The ground was pretty well waterlogged from then on but it became worse beyond our next Wainwright of High Seat. Whilst negotiating the bogs Ken fell twice. The first time it wasn't so bad, but the second time he fell full bodily into the murk. This made it necessary (understandably) for Ken to use "industrial language"! Andrew (Ken's nephew) and I managed to pull Ken out of the bog. When we reached High Tove the well equipped Linda had a spare pair of hiking socks for Ken to wear. This was after Ken had removed his trousers and substituted his over-trousers in place of them!
|The state poor Ken was in after falling in the bog near High Tove|
All in all we had a laugh about the incident. Ken took it in good heart as we headed downhill to Watendlath and then back to Ashness Bridge, which was reached just before 4.00pm. 12 contacts were completed using just a handheld transceiver and quarter wavelength whip, with contacts as far south as Lancaster (Sue G1OHH) on the three activated summits for Wainwrights On The Air .