Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

A possible project milestone

18th November 2014

This past summer has been one that has seen me revisit the Lake District after a gap of more than four years. In fact, there was more than one weekend visit too and the first of these could not have enjoyed better weather. The source of my attention was Buttermere, a valley that I have overlooked for far too long since my first visit there over a decade ago. Though I played with the idea of going over Seat, High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike in a single push, I saw sense and stuck with Haystacks instead. The next object of my explorations was Patterdale from where I trotted over St. Sunday Crag and continued to Grasmere via Grisedale Tarn. For at least two weekends on the trot, this part of Cumbria defied predicted weather doom with the second offering up a sultry opening that got me engaging in more rocky fell walking. The last outing was tamer following a delayed departure and took in Orrest Head and Loughrigg Fell before the evening grew greyer and damper.

Fleetwith Pike, Buttermere, Cumbria, England

All of this allowed me to capture a number of photos and that partially was the cause of me getting out and about in the first place with the YHA helping by having spaces in their hostels in the right places at the right times that I could uncover on their website. It was the quest for a better photo of Fleetwith Pike with Buttermere in front of it that drew me there in the first place and there was no disappointment, especially with a late summer evening spent in fading light with the only perturbation of a quiet valley being the tumbling waters of a gill. It was memorable bliss.

My St. Sunday Crag outing granted its share of photographic opportunities too with Ullswater and the fells about Helvellyn attracting my notice. However, my third excursions saw an envisaged photo of Grasmere denied by advancing cloud so that is one that could need repeating, and any excuse will do a hill wanderer when it comes to revisiting a pleasing location.

There are other possibilities, of course, with recent films made by Terry Abraham with Mark Richards and Chris Townsend drawing new things to my notice. An actual ascent of Helvellyn from Wythburn could become a reality yet as could a similar escapade to the top of Great Gable. The latter stunned me when I glimpsed it from Haystacks and it looks manageable from Seathwaite too. In many ways, I am beginning to wonder if it is that little bit easier to get to the Lakeland fells than it is to their counterparts in north-west Wales. A recent promise of good weather around Anglesey and Snowdonia brought home to me how low my stock of trip ideas for those places is. Replenishment is ongoing.

One thing that might help with that is a perusal of my online Snowdonia photo album because it has been doing the same for its Lakeland counterpart that partly inspired me to return to Cumbria again year. In fact, a good number of photos from the past summer have found their way into the Lake District album during an overhaul that it received. That did take a share of time to do between selecting and processing photos as well as writing some descriptive text to go with them. Not unexpectedly, the time spent doing that took away from writing stuff on here so here is a list of the photos that I now have in this album (entry links to an actual photo too):

Looking towards Langdale Pikes from Orrest Head, Windermere

Red Screes & Wansfell Pike as seen from Orrest Head, Windermere

Caudale Moor & Thornthwaite Crag as seen from Orrest Head, Windermere

Yoke, Troutbeck

Hagg Gill, Troutbeck

Kirkstone Pass, Ambleside

Pasture Bottom, Hartsop

Hartsop Dodd, Hartsop

Place Fell, Patterdale

Looking towards Helvellyn from Place Fell, Patterdale

Looking towards Blencathra from Place Fell, Patterdale

Martindale, Patterdale

Ullswater from Thornhow End, Patterdale

Catstycam, Glenridding

Helvellyn & Striding Edge, Glenridding

Dollywaggon Pike, Glenridding

St. Sunday Crag, Patterdale

Fairfield, Rydal

Dollywaggon Pike & Grisedale Tarn, Grasmere

Grisedale Hause, Rydal

Looking along Tongue Gill towards Grisedale Hause, Grasmere

Grasmere, Grasmere

Loughrigg Fell, Ambleside

High Pike, Low Pike & Red Screes as seen from Loughrigg Fell, Ambleside

High Pike, Ambleside

Low Pike and High Pike, Ambleside

St. Mary’s Church, Ambleside

Langstrath, Stonethwaite

Great Gable as seen from Haystacks, Buttermere

Haystacks, Buttermere

Looking north from Scarth Gap, Buttermere

Fleetwith Pike & Warnscale, Buttermere

Fleetwith Pike, Buttermere

High Snockrigg, Buttermere

Whiteless Pike & Grasmoor, Buttermere

High Stile & High Crag, Buttermere

High Stile & Red Pike, Buttermere

Red Pike, Buttermere

Scales, Mellbreak & Crummock Water, Buttermere

Ashness Bridge, Grange

Blencathra, Threlkeld

Skiddaw, Keswick

Hawell Monument, Keswick

Clough Head from Jenkin Hill, Keswick

Skiddaw as seen from Little Man, Keswick

Great Calva, Keswick

Some of the above dates from I used to use film cameras and I fancy bettering the efforts on another visit, but digital photos dominate the album now that I finally caught up with various efforts from as long ago as 2007. Then, film photography was my mainstay and I only pulled out the Canon EOS 10D DSLR I had for making some photos for trip reports. The arrival of a Pentax K10D changed all of that and I hardly use any film at all now. It wasn’t the 2014 photos that took the time but the backlog from previous years too, along with enlargements of older photos originally captured on film. Hopefully, I will keep the album more alive from now on to avoid a backlog like this in the future because another hope of mine would be to keep visiting this wonderful corner of England. If anything, those excursions might be opportunities to correct any misimpressions that I may have as much as seeing new sights and improving on older photographic efforts.

Hawell Monument, Keswick, Cumbria, England

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