Barrow Door Letterboxing

Saturday’s weather was forecast to be the least disappointing, so Laetitia and I opted to reserve Sunday for a trip to Kendal Wall and use the lack of rain as motivation to go for a walk. Unfortunately I find walking only a little less dull than running. And that’s only because of the lack of knee-pain caused by running. More “Barrow Door Letterboxing”

Holme Fell Scramble and Letterboxing

The scramble up the west ridge of Raven Crag, leading up on to Holme Fell, is a lovely easy way to gain height. Perfect to blow the cobwebs out of our heads following last night’s partyMore “Holme Fell Scramble and Letterboxing”

Lingmoor Tarn

Today should have been my second day of mountain rescue training. However, the fully fledged team members (i.e. not me!) had been on a call-out the previous night until past 5AM, so the training session was cancelled. When I got home Laetitia was finishing a few hours of work. This meant that a brief spell of dry weather had vanished, only to be replaced by heavy rain by the time we were ready to get out…

Our options for a half day in the rain were limited, we chose another foray in to the fells looking for a lakeland letterbox. Today’s objective was supposedly hidden on one of Lingmoor Tarn’s small islands.

There’s a letterbox out there somewhere…

As we approached Lingmoor Tarn we realised that there would be no way to get to the islands without getting wet – they were well beyond ‘leaping’ distance… I said to Laetitia, “It looks like you’re gonna have to swim for it.” Knowing full well there was no way I was going to get in the water she replied, “Hmm, it does doesn’t it!”

Laetitia surveying the islands of Lingmoor Tarn searching for the letterbox.
Swimming between the small islands.
But the search was fruitless. Maybe the letterbox has floated away due to raised water levels during this impossibly wet summer?

Charmer’s Grave

Despite the BBC’s promise that Saturday’s weather would be “dry for most” we woke to this summer’s usual situation, torrential rain! However, a day indoors wasn’t appealing so we decided to embark on a mountain-day with loads of different activities and objectives More “Charmer’s Grave”

Letterboxes, Birthdays, Climbing Wall & eBay star

Awful Weather

The weather this past week (month!) has been utterly awful! June was twice as wet as any June in (at least) the past seven years – this table shows just how wet…

Rain Database (mm)
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
2006 200.6 74.0 124.8 61.2 106.8 101.0 101.8 160.0 165.6 276.8 1372.6
2007 244.2 106.2 121.6 75.0 82.6 137.8 139.2 99.4 79.2 76.6 99.2 176.4 1437.4
2008 256.2 135.0 138.8 94.0 45.0 116.2 116.4 199.8 150.4 311.2 123.2 128.0 1814.3
2009 194.2 21.4 106.8 60.0 136.0 75.6 185.8 212.6 72.8 139.4 334.8 131.8 1671.3
2010 72.6 53.4 110.6 49.2 19.6 47.6 253.2 94.2 182.2 106.8 128.2 37.2 1154.7
2011 146.6 203.6 81.6 92.2 147.8 58.4 104.8 164.2 205.2 192.0 1396.5
2012 124.2 89.2 42.8 47.8 90.4 210.4 9.4 614.2
Database Summary
Min 72.6 21.4 42.8 47.8 19.6 47.6 9.4 94.2 72.8 76.6 99.2 37.2 1154.7
Max 256.2 203.6 200.6 94.0 147.8 210.4 253.2 212.6 205.2 311.2 334.8 276.8 1814.3
Avg 173.0 101.5 114.7 70.3 92.3 101.0 130.8 145.2 131.9 158.8 170.2 157.0 1519.4

This incredible weather has led to many things, some being: flooding all over Cumbria, a series of almost adventure-less weekends, my having to rescue Laetitia from Carnforth when the West Coast Mainline train system was brought to a halt by a rain-induced landslide near Tebay, and Rachel getting national exposure on BBC television for her knowledge and research in to sustainable drainage!


Anyhow, Saturday was only moderately wet, too wet to climb, but not too wet to get out for walk and a little letterbox hunting, or as Paul amusingly phrased it, “it’s a bit like cunning running in’it”.

Newby Bridge
Laetitia tunnelling through a dry-stone wall!
The weather turned out nicer than we’d expected as the day went on… In fact the evening was clear with a wonderful moon. Why is it that the fine wether never seems to coincide with the daytime?
Finsthwaite Tower stamp Finsthwaite High Dam stamp

Sorry the stamp impression for Finsthwaite Tower is so poor – it isn’t actually a stamp, it’s a B&W picture from the cover of the letterbox log-book. The stamp had been taken away and the book itself was water logged.

Fiona & Richard’s joint Birthday Party

As their birthdays are either side of summer in the damp and miserable winter months, Fiona and Richard decided to hold a joint birthday party in June to take advantage of damp and miserable summer weather instead! 😯 They’d chosen Consiton as there’s a great little hall there, the Coniston Institute. Plus it is really close to the MAM hut for those people travelling to join the revelry.

We all had to bring an offering of food to help create a very impressive spread that ranged from chicken curry to baked potatoes, from quiche to prawn salad, and from rhubarb pie to chocolate torte! :yum: In exchange – as well as the amazing company – we got treated to a brilliant band, and far too much Coniston Blue Bird bitter! Richard had bought a barrel from the Coniston micro-brewery and far too much of it found it’s way in to my glass… 😳

A party – beer, music, and climbers – a recipe for a hang over the next day!
(Sorry the photo quality is so poor 🙁 )

Climbing Wall & eBay Stars

On Sunday, with a very heavy head (due to too much consumption of Coniston Blue Bird), we dragged ourselves out of bed, managed to eat a couple of slices of toast, drink a few mugs of tea, pop a couple of paracetamol, and eventually – as the weather was yet again raining – get ourselves to Kendal climbing wall. Not much to say about that really – I find pulling on plastic quite dull to be honest, I’m not very good at it as I lack the stamina, and I don’t go often enough for it to make any difference to my rock climbing ability.

Ah well, there were two much more fun events when we got home: 1) Sarah was calling round for dinner and to chat about a forthcoming trip to Chamonix she and Zac are planning, and 2) those nice people at eBay gave me my 100th star.

Summer Evenings

Monday – Walking

At this time of year, when the weather is nice, the evenings after work are a great time to get out for some bonus play-time! On Monday Laetitia and I went for a stroll over the local hills and wound up at the Watermill in Ings for a tasty pub meal! :yum:

On really hot summer days this tarn above Ings is a popular swimming spot
A cheeky swing?

Tuesday – Climbing

In the morning I had to drop the car off at the garage where it was having its service. As the weather was so wonderful I chose to walk rather than catching the bus. I passed through a couple of golf courses next to the river Kent, and one had this sculpture near one of the tees.

Golfer sculpture

The evening remained lovely and sunny, so after a day sat in-front of a PC we got our climbing gear together and headed off to Quayfoot Buttress in Borrowdale to grab a route or two before sunset. Although it turned out to be just the one route, The Crypt Direct, as when the sun dropped below the ridge line of Cat Bells on the opposite side of the valley the crag was plunged in to shade and the midges came out in force driving us away with our tails between our legs.

Pete starting The Crypt Direct

Wednesday – Letterboxing

Today I grabbed the very last of the day’s great weather (and probably the last of the week as tomorrow it’s set to rain 😥 ) with a romp up the Old Man of Coniston in search of a couple of letterbox stamps.

At Goat Water the shallow water at the sides of the notoriously deep and cold tarn were teeming with baby fish!
A welcome note at the Old Man letterbox…


On the way down I spotted a mine entrance that seemed quite interesting, and seeing as it was getting dark anyway, going in to the dark mine to have a poke around wasn’t going to be any different to walking down in the dark anyway. I found a MASSIVE chamber and lots more to explore… We’ll have to go back with proper lighting to really see what’s there!

A very old ladder in one of Coniston’s copper mines


Thursday – the Olympic Torch…

The weather is set to turn wet tomorrow, but we’ll still be out in the evening as the Olympic Torch relay celebration is due in Windermere!

Walna Scar Road

Last weeks mountain biking trail, in a new area of the Lakes for us, was great fun! It’s easy to simply fall out of the front door of the house, on to the bike, whizz up and down one of the many fantastic trails in Kentmere, get home, shower, and enjoy tea & cake or a gin & tonic! Hence the trap that has made mountain biking seem a bit passé for us recently. More “Walna Scar Road”

Coniston Coppermines Letterboxes

Despite the rapid approach of spring, and although it was dry (not raining), it wasn’t a day for rock climbing. But it was definitely a day to get out and enjoy the Lakeland fells More “Coniston Coppermines Letterboxes”