I seem to have fallen in to the same trap as my FB friends. That is, not that I’ve actually starting using FB and giving away more and more personal details and preferences so that they can bombard me with marketing More “A digest of recent weeks…”
Saturday – Garburn Pass Mountain Biking
The weather on Saturday was cold and showery. So after a late start and some essential household chores had be achieved (including second breakfast and a café latte 😛 ) we decided the best way to get some fresh air and exercise was a ride on the mountain bikes. We’ve been out on the bikes a few times in the past weeks so our legs are a bit more used to the pain, and our bums are a bit more used to the saddle, so we decided to go over the Garburn Pass and descend towards Ings. Wow, the slog up from Kentmere to the col at the top of the Garburn Pass is a killer. I was knackered. We were even overtaken by a fell runner. But we did manage some overtaking of our own, passing another pair of cyclists.
The Garburn Pass used to be a really rocky and technical descent. However, its been significantly improved and levelled. Not so much fun from a technical point of view but a good deal safer and a whole lot faster! 😮 Not that it was possible to go at full-speed as the slate used to improve the trail was very wet. We even had a snow storm going over the col!
Here’s a GPX track of our journey…
Sunday – Trowbarrow Quarry
Sunday’s weather was much nicer. Sunny! 😀 However, it was still very cold so a sheltered and sunny location was required for the day’s outdoor entertainment. Trowbarrow Quarry is a little over familiar. But there’s a reason for that – it is sunny, sheltered, and has a selection of really great routes across a good range of grades. Perfect really.
The weather was a threat though. We could see intense storms rolling off the Lakeland fells, and every now and again we could just make out a few drops of rain in the air. We kept our fingers crossed and hoped the squalls tracked south and missed our location. Of course we couldn’t be lucky every time. One squall came right over us and for 30 minutes or so we were pelted with hail stones! Luckily I was at the top and missed having to climb in the onslaught. Looking down the route at Laetitia the crag had adopted a wintry look – all the edges and ground had become white, covered in a thick layer of hail stones. 😯 These promptly melted when the squall passed and the sun came out again. Then of course the rock became soaked. I sat on top, damp and cold, Laetitia stood at the bottom (wrapped in her duvet and waterproof jackets), wondering what to do next … the rock dried off … and we started climbing again! 😀
It was cold though. So much so that I think I put a fair bit more effort in to the climbing than I really needed to. This is something I’ve noticed I do often when I can’t feel my fingers, I pull extra hard to be certain I’ve really got hold of the holds. I can see that I’m holding on, but I can’t feel that I am. Anyway, today my arms and fingers are sore. 😉 A great day and adventure even in a very familiar location.
After a day at my parents we visited Paul for a trip into the Peak District.
We thought a walk along Stanage might be nice. We eventually got to Hathersage and dug out a space for Paul’s car, deciding to take the 4×4 up the hill. More “Arctic Stanage”
The miserable wet summer weather continues, but with optimism and hope winning the battle over wisdom Richard and I headed out to Gouther Crag in Swindale at the weekend. More “Soaked!”
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)|
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”.
|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… 😳
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.
We knew our flights (via New York and Washington to San Francisco) were going to be hard to bear, but when our flight from New York was delayed by an hour making the onward connection impossible we knew it was gonna get worse, much worse… After some hasty negotiation with the United representatives at New York we were fixed up with connections via Denver and Los Angeles, and finally to San Francisco! There were three impacts to this:
- I kicked up a fuss, earned us each a $10 meal voucher.
- Our already marathon journey was extended by two hours.
- Boris, who had a different flight and was expecting to meet us in San Francisco at 9.45pm, was quite perplexed to instead get a text message from us saying “We are in Los Angeles.”, we arrived at 11.30pm.
We reached South Lake Tahoe the next day, after a night in a cheap motel.
Unfortunately the previous evening’s sun had been replaced by light grey clouds and a cool breeze, however, we headed out to the Lover’s Leap’s East Wall to ease ourselves in to Lake Tahoe granite climbing… Our first tick was the ultra-classic (5 star!) 5.7, Bear’s Reach.
After Bear’s Reach the weather hadn’t improved – it was cold! So another moderate route was called for, Laetitia and I chose Surrealistic Pillar while Paul and Boris chose the campsite and a cup of tea with a biscuit! I think this was probably a better choice – Surrealistic Pillar is pretty hard for the grade (especially in the cold), a little scary, and a lot run-out.
Sunday night was bitterly cold. Paul even had frost on the inside of his tent on Monday morning! :freeze:
After warming up in town with coffee and hoping the sun might have warmed the rock a little, we headed back to the Leap. It wasn’t sunny and it wasn’t warmer. In fact it was freezing. But we are tough! Two single pitch routes on the Hogwild buttress were despatched before light drizzly rain arrived…
Tomorrow it is forecast to snow, a lot!