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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


Friday, 22 January 2021

Middlebarrow bottom

Friday 22nd January 2021 - Middlebarrow Quarry bottom

As promised I was eager to get back to Middlebarrow Quarry and descend to its floor to explore after my visit on Monday looking down from on high and perilously skirting its rim. Breakfast saw me looking out at one of those days when you would have been cross with yourself if you had not taken advantage: blue sky and comfortable temperature. The only worry I had was the possibility of coming across the Masked Raider hinted at by BC in his comment on Monday's post.

On Monday I negotiated two sections of flooded footpath alongside the railway but after countrywide flooding over the last forty eight hours I decided to avoid that section. I was able to look down and across to that path and the railway from the road today and it was just a large lake. There is no way I could have got through without a dinghy.

I skirted the open front of the quarry with its off-putting security fencing and climbed up the path which follows the southern edge of the quarry. I met a walker coming down the other way - she looked even older and less steady than me and had some teetering moments as she passed below while I stood and watched until she was safely down.

I entered the quarry by a long ramp right down to the base. The floor is totally flat. Many silver birch and other thorny species have been planted and have grown up to a couple of feet. I reckon in a few years the quarry floor will be an impenetrable jungle so in that respect I think my visit was timely.

The rock appears to be friable and in climbing terms chossy and I don't think It would be suitable for climbing.  The walls are steep and dramatic when you are close by and higher than the photos convey. Many corvids were circling and chattering high above the rim. It felt like what one would expect for the First Day of Spring.

I came across two beer cans but no other litter. But I then saw what appeared to be an orangey yellow fungus. When I poked it with my stick each one seemed to have been resting on a piece of silver paper, the kind you would see wrapping up a Kit Kat. Has the fungus grown from some strange chemical reaction with the paper, 'twas all a bit odd?

Away in the distance from whence I had walked some kids were having fun on mountain bikes, but by the time I got back there they had gone.

Oh! By the way, I nearly forgot to mention that when I looked up from viewing the "fungus" I was startled by a figure descending the wall nearby - the Masked Raider. Terrified as I was I girded up my loins long enough to take a quick photo but then I was out of there like a rocket blasting off to the moon.

Three in one:Arnside Tower, Arnside Tower Farm, Arnside Knott

Looking through the trees to the path alongside the railway that I walked on Monday, now a lake

The ramp I walked down to get to the quarry bottom

Furthest in to the quarry. The rim left and centre is where I walked triumphantly on Monday

Strange "fungus" with silver paper underneath

Zoom from Silverdale Road to the footpath and the railway line I walked on Monday - the path is on this side of the fencing below the railway

Red - my route on Monday. Blue (there and back) - today. Photo of Mondays path from road was taken from where left red arrow is on the road straight across east to the railway and footpath


What's getting at me these days - here are a few even though I am laying myself open to criticism from others perceiving some of my stuff as their own aberrations. 

Winter wonderland - hopefully for not much longer

emotional rollercoaster - everybody seems to have been on one, especially celebrities 

robust plan - Every politician and all those ostensibly in charge of anything have one

different to - this is now 99.999% universal, in fact I think there is some subversive competition organised to see how many times it can be used in one report - EVEN LAURA KUENSSBURG IS GUILTY

woke - used by Lisa Nandy to prove how "woke" she is, but in disguise attributing it to Biden

staycation - This just puts an image in my mind of hoards of people who previously spent their holidays in Benidorm spreading litter at and invading all the special places I know of and keep quiet about. 

feeding frenzy - Not sure about this one but it seems to be used far too often; perhaps it's just personal but it irritates me


  1. Did you actually do that walk or was it all in your mind? When I abseiled into the quarry early afternoon there didn't appear to be a person in sight. Some large yellow blobs were moving triffid like across the floor with a couple of ski poles and a floppy hat slowly disappearing into their sticky innards. A true feeding frenzy. An elderly lady was in a state of shock.
    Is this lockdown getting to me? An emotional of a rollercoaster day different to any other. I don't have a robust plan for tomorrow's adventures.

  2. BC - It is now turned eleven pm and I am just recovering from all the trauma. I am sure you must be feeling the same (I bet you forgot your jumars.) I reckon it is time for you to have a staycation, perhaps Fleetwood?

  3. Sat binge watching Mythbusters on Prime TV tonight the thought occurred that the yellow peril I saw was perhaps some bits of foam insulation stuff backed with silver material - how dreary.

  4. Interesting fungi. I would love to know what it is.