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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


Saturday, 3 November 2018

Waterfalls I have not visited

Friday - 2nd November 2018 - Rusland area

A follow up call from BC after arranging this walk had me confused. BC wanted to ask about bringing another friend. I misunderstood and thought he was referring to a lady. That reminded me of ringing my friend M for an evening out back in 1969; she had said that she could not come because she was going out with her friend Ann,  so I said "ok, bring her along as well." Ann became my wife some months later. I recounted all this to BC, expressing my thoughts that I may be heading for a repeat performance.

(My wife Ann sadly succumbed to Motor Neurone disease in 1997.)

It turned out BC was bringing J and I had mistaken genders. 

BC had majored on our walk in the Rusland area last week plotting a new route "to take in those waterfalls marked on the map and that little tarn." That sounded fine to me - I'm not one for missing a good waterfall - I nearly went over a thirty footer in Scotland some years ago after falling into a stream and being carried into the deep dub on the brink of the falls.

We all three ascended through steep woodland from Rusland church on a rocky path topping out on a Land Rover track at the point of the first of the two waterfalls.  We could hear the cascading water a few hundred yards down the other side of the track, and either BC or J suggested they had a glimpse of water through the trees, but I think that was sheer optimism - a vote was taken whether to descend to view or continue on our way to Number Two - there was no enthusiasm for the descent (pauper spirits.)

A bit further on another mini waterfall was spotted far below down an impenetrable wooded hillside which may or may not have been Number Two.

The tarn was not a disappointment and it may just have qualified for me re-naming this post The Tarn Walk. By this time, which was not so long after my breakfast, J was hungry but again democracy prevailed asnd he was outvoted in favour of sandwiching later.

The rest of the walk took us through more woodland and old lanes and tracks all with that special fringe of the Lake District ambiance.

A good day out with good friends. The conversation was wide ranging. J has a background in chemistry and we exchanged many anecdotes about making explosives back in our school days. Does that bring back some memories Gimmer? I hope the ranging search engines and or the anti-terrorism squad don't pick up on key words here.

I've just noticed that the two waterfalls are not even shown on the 1:50 OS map

Please click on first photo to enlarge all


  1. You beat me to the deadline, another scoop for conradwalks.
    Nice write up thanks.

  2. Yes Conrad, you seem to be very active at present.
    Are you making your typing fingers work hard to take your mind off your aching feet!
    Keep taking the tablets! And seeking out unknown waterfalls...

  3. BC - Yes, I think three posts in twenty four hours is a record but with that backlog I felt I was slipping down a big hole.


    Phreerunner - I reckon it is liberation after several weeks working on the shed in the garden.

  4. We went through a spate of not visiting waterfalls in Germany this summer, although mainly because they wanted to charge us for the pleasure and we feel like we've seen enough impressive waterfalls (particularly in Norway last summer) to justify not visiting any that have a charge attached to them. (Moreover, any waterfall that has a big payment barrier and cafe/shop facilities is likely to be so rammed with people as to ruin a good walk.) When we did finally visit one, following some signposts from our overnight parking spot, what we found was some completely underwhelming drippy moss.

  5. Gayle - The act of charging makes it into something commercial and takes away the sense of wildness and nature. I love your little phrase "drippy moss."

  6. It occurred to me I had no idea what the OS symbol for a waterfall looked like; couldn't ever remember seeing it. Googled it and found there were two sorts (or there may have been six or seven - all very confusing) but wasn't convinced. For me they looked much more like a tsunami but this seemed unlikely (as with your ascension up a beam of light to join the angels and archangels).

    This led me to an idea which may well form the basis of a future post, by me not you: there must be limits to the detail the largest scale OS map can represent, what might they be? One thing immediately occurs: detail that changes. Thus a field may sometimes be occupied by cows or sheep (Symbol: an udder covered by a woolly coat), a car park that is often full (Symbol: One car on top of another), the extent by which the depth of a ford may increase according to season (Symbol: A car partially submerged).

    Maps intended for use on mobile phones would have the edge, since they could incorporate detail that moves. Another year into the future and phone maps for walkers might incorporate active realtime movie images of what lies ahead.

    Just a passing thought. You can play the role of the guy at meetings (there's always one) whose only contribution is to say why new proposals won't work. More often: shouldn't work. ("Call me sentimental but I prefer maps which say Hic draconis and leave that part bare.").

  7. RR - The technology is already here if you want to carry the weight, although you wouldn't be carrying it all the time: a drone.

    The explorer Ed Stafford did a tv series where he identified unexplained features on the terrain in remote regions using Google Earth and maps, and then he went off to find them, bashing through jungles, and thirsting through deserts, you know the kind of stuff. But then he produced a monstrous drone, certainly too big to have come from his rucksack, to explore the terrain ahead, and the surroundings of his features. Incidentally most of the features turned out to be a bit boring.

    Ed Stafford has impeccable exploration credentials and I am not knocking him for this entertainment production for tv, and whatever support he had, some of these ventures were undoubtedly demanding and included other material of interest.

    For me a lot of the enjoyment in walking lies in the anticipation of what lies ahead, and serendipitous discoveries, and I would not welcome being able to look ahead to that extent.

    As for ascending beams of light - that was your idea not mine. But many is the time, in embarrassing situations, I have wished for Captain Kirk's facility for issuing the command "Beam me up Scotty."

  8. Yes, your ascending a beam of light was mine, but it was you who said it was unlikely, not impossible. Hence my interest.

    All very well about serendipitous discoveries and loving the anticipation; I'm thinking about those occasions when you're begging Jahweh to reveal a confirmable fact. The drone is a blind alley; a phone with the features I indicate wouldn't weigh much and you - the walking purist - would only have to betray your purism if and when there was a genuine need. Or, if you fancied, ignore it and walk on into dusky oblivion and a pair of sore feet.

  9. Drones: yet another modern abomination to inflict on those who seek some peace and quiet in the hills. They have their uses in mountain search and rescue for example but, for me, they are a blight and thankfully their presence is rare in the Scottish hills so far. On a lighter note, Kirk never uttered the words "Beam me up Scotty". I wouldn't want your blog to fall short of its usual accuracy Conrad...

  10. RR - The differences in attributes between the drone with a video camera and the mobile phone showing the route ahead in real time would be in weight and ease of operation, both in favour of the phone, so let's hope they get on with it rather than us having the skies cluttered with drones operated by dumbos. The technology for the phone may already exist, and I wouldn't bel surprised to see it appear before too long. "Dusky oblivion" (excessive use of adjective?)

    Having said all that, as you suggest, I would only want to use that facility in extremis.


    Afoot - If things come to pass as I intimate in the above comment reply at least the use of technology would not be as apparent. I unashamedly use my iPhone Plus for my mapping and the GPS these days.

  11. How can there be an excess of adjectives when there's only one? Nor are dusky and oblivion synonymous.

    Do only dumbos operate drones?

  12. RR - I was just having a mild go at you with reference to your sporadic snipes at my use of adjectives ( a bit tongue in cheek.)

    The dumbos suggestion was over the top - I don't think one could describe drone operators into a single category - my apologies to any I may have offended. Perhaps it was subconscious sour grapes on my part going a long way back when I found I was a total failure at controlling radio controlled model aircraft.

  13. I spent quite a bit of time in Satterthwaite when I was training to be a teacher - Manchester University owned (and may still own of course) a cottage there, where I stayed, for several weekends and at least a couple of weeks with other prospective teachers who were interested in Outdoor Ed. I feel sure that I must have visited that tarn - and yet.....
    Another place which needs a revisit!

  14. Mark - My daughter did a teaching degree at John Moore's in English and PE, but she was lead astray by the macho Outdoor Ed guys and taken off climbing. They had her leading a VS in Wales long before she was up to that standard and she fell and broke her arm badly - metal plates etc. She never climbed again.

    It must have been like heaven for you being sent out to that cottage.