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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Lakeland wilderness

My friend J (bowlandclimber) who comments frequently here is launched on visiting the hills in Wainwright's "The Outlying Fells". I have owned the book for years and regard it as Wainwright's best.  In my younger years it provided the basis for six mile runs on the hills, and the book is filled with many of W's quirky comments, for example, the Woodland Fell chapter:

"The road to the north forks in 350yds beyond a postbox (where the author posted his 1972/3 tax return)..."

W describes the book:

"being a Pictorial Guide to the lesser fells around the perimeter of Lakeland written primarily for old age pensioners and others who can no longer climb high fells but can still, within reason, potter about on the short easy slopes and summits of the foothills"


"...physical and other disabilities may develop in later years. Bodily ailments may occur in spite of healthy exercise: legs tend to become rickety and bones brittle; or half a century of pipe smoking may play havoc with the wind; or a street accident may curtail freedom to walk  and climb in comfort; or over-indulgence in sexual activities may have robbed the limbs of energy (perish the thought, but it had to be mentioned), Or domestic difficulties, an unsympathetic family or a shortage of cash in old age  may rule out the longer expeditions. Senile decay may set in but is unlikely in a seasoned fell walker. Rigor mortis is the one great disability to fear, and avoid as long as possible".

All use of punctuation and caps as per W.

Our target today was the Potter Fell chapter, and I was recruited because I suspect J had read W's advice: "North is a wilderness... a no-man's-wasteland. Therefore it behoves a walker subject to sudden maladies to endure a companion on this expedition, however solitary he may be by nature".

Well, for me J is the ideal companion. Any potential adversity is regarded as a worthwhile challenge, and he is always the first to see a glimmer of blue sky, and when the going gets really tough his amusement and laughter just increase.

J has written an excellent account of the walk and I do not wish to repeat the anecdotal content again which was surprisingly fruitful in view of the remoteness; there is a potential problem of creating two almost identical posts when walking with a fellow blogger, hence my reason for focusing here more on the background:

Suffice to say that although short in distance this walk incorporated some wild, and often pathless, and rarely visited  terrain with a really remote feeling - as good a walk as I have done for some time, and just what was needed after the festive season incarceration. Thanks J.

Catching a burst of sunlight on the distant fell

The flooded Winster valley and Arnside Knott across the bay - my house nestles there somewhere

The ridge between Longsleddale and Kentmere illustrating the wilderness nature of our walk. The next photo shows the southern end of that ridge and reveals the view up Longsleddale

Looking up Longsleddale from Ulgrave's cairn

This steep view with a full on 3D effect down into the lower end of Longsleddale appears suddenly and impressively as one arrives within just a few feet of Ulgrave's cairn and combined with the view up Longsleddale provides a touch of drama to this excellent round.
Gurnal Dubs - I have done many paintings with Photoshop on the computer and this was one I tried but never finished- I just couldn't seem to capture it the way I wanted - below is the abandoned attempt.

I could not get rid of the space at the end of this post.


Anonymous said...

Great day out Conrad, maybe we are easily pleased these days.
I am jealous of your zoom.

Sir Hugh said...

bowlandclimber - d'accord! The photo had a tiny bit of tweaking with Photoshop. I was pleased that you can see a chunk of history there with the flooded Winster valley, and also that you can just see Heysham power station in the top righthand corner.