For newcomers

At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Day 4 - Tuesady 29th April - Thorlby to Askwith

Another good days walking. The old Roman road from Skipton over to Addingham is special. Had tea in the café attached to The Fleece in Addingham. That pub was one of our late night drinking spots back in the early 60s.

I am on Top Farm Camping and Caravan Club CL at Askwith . It is dump. People friendly enough but no toilet just a water tap. The place is like a scrap yard. They only charged me £3.

All this has now been overshadowed by news from home. Daughter Jill looks like being made redundant and she is going to need support. They are having to be interviewed for their jobs and hers would only be at reduced pay anyway, and redundancy money for her after 4.5 years service would only be 4 weeks pay, and possibly capped at that.

Looks like I may have to abort? Do not have motivation to write more here. Thanks for all your comments.

Also a big thank you for M for picking me and feeding me royally last nigh.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 28 April 2014

Day 3 - Monday 28th April - Settle to Thorlby (between Gargrave and Skipton)

The King William the Fourth guest house in the centre of Settle was excellent. Immaculate decor, spotless, and very comfortable bed. Good breakfast and friendly welcome from Jaqui ( I think, sorry if I got name wrong).

Off to a good start in the morning feeling much fitter and gung-ho. Now much warmer and no wind. Fabulous walking after ascending to the tops often along those enchanting dalesway lanes with surrounding limestone hills, larks singing, and that on top of the world feeling.

Descent to Airton. Nibbling lunch on the bridge looking at the river Aire sparkling in the sunlight, and then over the tops again to Gargrave. I had arranged for my friend M who lives in Ilkley to pick me up. It was only 3:00pm so I walked another 3km down the canal to Thorlby where I was collected and driven back to splendid eating and an entertaining evening including a visit from M's friend J.

M is going to drop me off in the morning at Thorlby to re-start where I left off. I could have just carried on from Ilkley, but whatever happens I would like to think I have attempted to follow all of my planned route. At some stage that will be revealed in detail, but for the moment the outcome is uncertain with my knee problems, and I don't want to make myself look stupidly ambitious.

I will try and do the photo thing with the new camera next time if circumstances are favourable.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Day 2. Sunday 27th April. Bentham to Settle. About 13 miles. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Packing up this morning I found THE HAT was missing. Must have left it at the pub last night.

Twenty minutes down the road a pleasant young lady was calling her cocker spaniel who had run after a hare. The hat story was told. Andrea knew the pub people and my campsite hosts and promised to retrieve the hat and post it home to me if possible. Eventually the spaniel returned from half a mile away at great speed - he'd had a great time - been across the river - great dog.

Farmers fields and elusive footpaths on top of still being weary from yesterday's big walk made for hard going. Some of the walking was on the old Dales limestone tracks. with the dramatic backdrop of Three Peaks country - that is great walking. I am still in familiar territory which is fine but I'm looking forward to moving into regions less familiar.

Weight is onerous for my old creaking frame and I am thinking of ditching food and reducing cooking equipment to one pot, one stove, one mug, tea, coffee, choc drink, and one small gas canister.

I am in a guest house in Settle. Have bought another hat - Jack Wolfskin - no chinstrap. I produced black elastic from the Miscellaneous dry sack, and with the aid of Swiss Army knife Wolfskin is now chin strapped.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Penny Green,Settle,United Kingdom

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Day 1 follow up.

In the pub somebody stood on a Greyhounds foot. It squealed so loud everybody got a fright. A youth with some kind of problem came to my table every five minutes taking away sachets of condiments. I had no choice but to have a table near the pool table. Every so often somebody stuck their bum in my face whilst bending down to take a shot.

Day 1 Saturday 26th April - Arnside to High Bentham

Arrived High Bentham (Mason Gill SD 683 691)  4:30 - 22 plus miles, 10.5 hours! Camping at Curlew Camping. Tea on arrival. Rucksack carried to pitch £5. Chauffeur one mile to village and back for meal at pub.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Not the Knott again!

A day looking after Katie. Jill's school have sadistically arranged an inset day to mess up the last weekend of the Easter holiday.

So Katie has climbed her first Marilyn, and I have ascended Arnside Knott for the several hundredth time.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Very expensive trail food

Gimmer's suggestion for apricots on my last post has been heeded, more by circumstances than intention. Why?

Last Sunday (Easter) daughter Jill and granddaughter Katie were coming for an
Easter egg hunt for Katie and a family meal - son William was away with his motor bike racing team.

I decided to cook a ham and make an apricot chutney as seen on TV done by Mary Berry and prepared the latter the day before. First of all my weighing scales needed its obscure batteries replacing. A trip to the shop to buy batteries and ingredients proved fairly expensive. It was a tiresome job fine cutting onions, apricots, chilies, garlic, and peeling and grating root ginger, zesting and squeezing oranges, and measuring out quantities of sugar, maple syrup and cider vinegar. I followed the recipe precisely. The result was disgusting and it went straight down the lavatory. There were some apricots left over, so now you have the answer.

I am typing this on the iPad to get a little practice for blogging on the hoof after I set off on Saturday.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Worried about your weight?

I sometimes wonder about  claims of overall kilograms carried on backpacking trips. There should be a standard:  weigh yourself naked (in my case, including my spectacles to enable reading of the scale) then don all clothing, rucksack, waist pouch, hat and walking poles and weigh again. I think many would be surprised at how much more they are carrying than they thought.  The mental picture engendered prior to this procedure may well put many off.

Hopefully I'll be off on my trip on Saturday 26th.  The long term forecast is for some light rain,  but unless it is  foul I'll be away. Worryingly the temperature is only forecast at 9° (took a bit of finding that degrees symbol).

My kit is packed and weighs in at 9.6kg (21.2lbs) which includes food for one meal and a supply of tea, coffee, powdered mlik, cup-a-soups, and instant potato, and a 500ml. bottle of water. In addition I have a waist pouch which carries bits and pieces which need to be accessible.

For those interested in detail here is the list - others can skip.

If anybody thinks there is anything I have forgotten please say so.

Rucksack Golite Pinnacle - old model. Trekmates rain hood, and Pod liner
Rucksack front pocket Marmot waterproof shell, Toilet paper, 2 x Platypus water bottles, sit mat, headtorch

Montane l/weight overtrousers
Tent Terra Nova Competition
Dry bag (sleeping bag) Rab Neutrino

Thermorest Neo-Air
Dry Bag Berghaus Extrem hollow-fill jacket
Dry Bag (chargers) iPad, iPhone, Mili, camera, AAA batteries (headtorch and radio)
Dry bag (cooking) MSR titanium pot +lid, mug, kfs, tin opener, plastic bowl, MSR Superfly for clip-on and screw cartridges, washing up liquid, scourer, gas lighter. 2 x small gas cartridges (fit inside cooking pot) 
Dry bag Pocket radio. Spare specs
Dry bag (medical) Senokot, Immodium, blisteeze, Plasters, Ibuprofen,Paracetamol, scissors,nail clippers, bandage,  tick remover, surgical tape, wound dressings, ointments
Dry bag (toilet) Half travel towel, soap, toothbrush, 2x Bic razors, toothpaste
Dry bag (misc.) Sewing kit, Adhesive tape, zip ties, Velcro, rubber bands, string /tape,elastic, oddments 
Dry bag (food) Tea, coffee, powdered milk, chocolate drink sachets, 4x cup-a-soups, Instant potato, Tin of meat, tin of fruit. biscuits
Dry bag (spare clothes) 1 x socks, light running shorts (double as underpants), shirt, Odlo base layer, 2 x handkerchiefs 
Waist pouch compass, camera, pens pens, pencil, notebook, lip salve, clip on sunglasses, wallet with credit cards and money. Swiss Army knife

iPhone and iPad with Memory Map GB complete and routes loaded on both
Walikng poles Black Diamond Expedition (flick lock)
Water 2 x 500ml bottles (not always full)
Food for on the walk Biscuits and cheese

Friday, 18 April 2014

The amateur photographer

A quick count reminds me of owning nine cameras, but I’m sure there have been more, although not, I think more than the number of rucksacks I seem to have acquired. I’m off backpacking again at the end of this month and guess what? I’ve bought another camera.

As owner of a Skoda and some Regatta outdoor gear you can hardly accuse me of being a brand freak, but this camera has a Leica lens!

Ok, but that was not the main reason for its purchase. When I take photos on the walk I can only post those taken on the iPhone or the iPad on this blog, so I have the frustrating decision to take pics with my camera, or an iGadget, or both, bearing in mind I want the main record of my trip sourced from a decent camera.

The Lumix TZ40 (that has a Leica lens!) has wi-fi. That means I can plonk it next to the iPad and by magic, and with the help of a little blue light (after I have learnt a complicated sequence of button pressing) pics jump from camera to iPad. To a dumb non-scientist like me that is magic.

Our Thursday walk day was overcast and broody and I was only inspired to take four photos, and two at least were unsatisfactory. The learning curve continues.

Our walk took us through Near Sawrey, home of Beatrix Potter bringing coaches to this small village up narrow winding lanes (should have taken a photo dammit). By chance this morning I have been reading Mrs Tiggy Winkle and The Tale of Tom Kitten to granddaughter Katie who has been here on a sleepover.

The green saturation on this was originally garish. I've done quite a bit of fiddling in Photoshop to calm it down and also show the distant hills beyond Winderemere.

A big zoom then cropped again - not bad

Pete says this is symphytum (Comfrey), but I tried to take it from only a few inches without setting macro, and it has also been cropped since, so not the camera's fault

Big zoom to Langdale Pikes and Pavey Ark. Esthwaite Water in the foreground


Katie update

Saturday, 5 April 2014

An unexpected meeting with Arthur

A bit of tantalisation first of all.

Unless any new unexpected obstacles impede (I have had a few recently) I hope to set off on another long walk around 26/27th April. No more details yet except to say it will start from my front door, and I don't mean walking to the station. For me there is a massive  attraction to that concept, and I suspect it is one of those things some will empathise with, and those that don't would never have a hope of doing so.

My knees (both) are still questionable so the outcome is in the balance and I may be back within a week, which is one reason why I feel reluctant to publicise the complete itinerary. I may just blog daily and let readers try and guess where I am headed. My target is to walk about 16 miles per day, and to complete the whole trip would take around two months, so watch this space.

Thursday walks continue. This week Pete had a minor affliction and we scaled down to just over four miles, but the Rusland valley, to the west of Windermere and south of Grizedale is one of the most attractive and less known parts of our Lake District national park, and with a few geocaches thrown in, a nostalgic association with one of the greatest influences of my childhood, and time to dawdle and soak up the signs of emerging spring, this walk scored  high on the scale.



Wood anemones

St. Paul's Church, Rusland. Arthur Ransome's resting place - he was author of Swallows and Amazons and other celebrated children's stories set in The Lakes and The Broads and massively influential for many. I did not know of his grave here until details for a geocache in the churchyard  informed me, so this provided a memorable bit of serendipity which places this walk into a special file in the memory bank.

"Arthur Ransome - 18th Jan. 1884 to 6th June 1967
and his wife,
Evgenia - 10th April 1894 to 19th March 1973"

I am no expert on plants - not sure about this one. *

How about this for a view from your conservatory - not sure about the pooches?

Grizedale Beck splits above Force Mills and tumbles down the hillside in dramatic fashion- well worth a visit when in spate

I think this is Butterbur
*I would like to take more interest in identifying plants but find the system of classification difficult to follow and with 5000 or so species in the UK it is hard work trawling through the reference book compared with the much easier task with birds. I have the superb seminal work on the subject: Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland - Marjorie Blamey, Richard Fiitter and Alastair Fitter. It is interesting to read about the publication of this lifetime's work by Marjorie.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

One Marylyn, zero geocaches.

Tuesday, 1st April 2014

Off with Gimmer today for Marilyn number 339 for me.

After our recent conquering of Illgill Head I had promised Gimmer I would reserve Seatallan for another joint sortie, it being the pick of the bunch of the remaining seven Lake District Ms I had yet to do.

From the car, it was cool and a chilly mist prevailed.  I was wearing two layers and my Paramo jacket, hat and gloves. Fifty minutes later jacket and gloves were in the rucksack and I found myself trying to locate a geocache approaching Greendale Tarn. Bright sunshine inhibited viewing of the GPS, my glasses were misted up and running with sweat, and I was undoubtedly hot and bothered, and Gimmer had disappeared into the distance, so that was a dnf (did not find).

Seatallan is quite a remote peak for The Lakes and despite the fairly short six mile round it had all the feel of  Munroing. Our direct ascent from Greendale Tarn was pathless and strenuous, and surrounding peaks had a grandeur which made me wonder at the awesome effort of fellrunners doing the Bob Graham Round traversing most of those that we were looking at - they cover 66 miles, 42 peaks, and ascend 27,000ft. in under 24 hours. 

On the summit of Seatallan another geocache appeared to have been removed and I have a sent a photo to the guy who placed it.

Early on the ascent

Greendale Tarn

Ascending from Greendale Tarn - Gimmer in view

Zoom to Great Gable

Scafell Pike in cloud on left, Scafell central

Suspected site of missing geocache on summit of Seatallan