Weather can influence. Only a week ago I set off for some easy, near-the-road trig points, but in view of glorious weather changed my mind halfway to Tebay on the M6 and drove twice as far to climb some proper hills.
Today I set off with cloudless blue sky and sunshine apparently set for the day. As the Howgills came into view broody clouds were hanging on the tops with leaden sky. I was tempted to change plan, but heading back south seemed to me, perhaps illogically, undesirable. I pressed on.
Broody weather persisted, with just a couple of half hour interludes of sunshine. There was a perishing wind and I had not brought gloves. I found a sock stuck to the Velcro on my shell jacket so used that on one hand with the other in my pocket and only using one walking pole for much of the walk.
Greenholme is not easy to get to, but I sneaked out of the back door of the Tebay Services on the M6 - a bit of local knowledge.
The road followed the attractive Birk Beck, a tributary of the river Lune, with limestone bedrock slabs and clear see-through water the colour of a good pint of bitter, tumbling and sparkling in the intermittent sunshine, and I sighted a dipper. From Scout Green I was onto sheep grazed pasture with occasional well built stone stiles contrasting with many rickety versions I have encountered recently.
From Salterwath there was only the hint of a path as I climbed steadily up rough moorland towards a prominent tall red and white pole. That turned out to be a marker for a gas pipeline. Shap pink granite quarry was now in view on the horizon and by the noise of crashing and banging still in production. The old A6 below the quarry was busy with modern traffic flying by contrasting with memories of the lorry drivers of old who toiled over that highway and had desperate times in winter. There is a plaque commemorating them on the summit.
After Old Wasdale Bridge I climbed again onto the tops of the moorland, now with views into the heart of the Shap quarry. That may be a promising climbing venue some day. Out on the moor a track made a small detour to the cairn on Crag Hill: a mini peak, but significant in its surroundings.
I was happy with my decision to continue rather than retreat southwards - this was a satisfying walk including variety and the discovery of new ground
I drove over the two M6 carriageways and immediately sneaked back onto the Tebay Services South ignoring the "For hotel guests only" sign.
|Birk Beck, and below...|
|Pleasant pasture, but broody skies|
|Well constructed stiles|
|A short burst of sunshine|
|Still with Birk Beck - at Salterwath|
|Shap pink granite quarry - the old A6 running below|
|Old Wasdale Bridge - the A6 above - I waited for a car to come into the photo|
|Zoom into Shap quarry - some likely looking "lines" here|
|And we now complain about windmills|
|At Ewelock Bank Farm - looks like he's a Del Boy fan|
|Ignore blue line. That is Route 145, one of many scattered around on my Memory Map - I have no idea why or when I drew this straight line route.|