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Published: September 22nd 2021
Incredible stone walls
Into our stride now: walk to a mountain, up one end, across the top (or two), and down the other end. Once again the views were stunning, and again the bad weather didn’t materialize, although it was worse than yesterday – no sun, but a few very short showers.
The ascent today was very gradual on slow, grassy paths. Eventually, however, every up is telling. I had to take more and more breaks as we approached the ridge. Actually, this is good as it reminds me to look at the view. As yesterday, it was easy to see the glacial formation of the valleys. The glaciers never reached the tops, which is partly why they have ridges that can be walked.
The valley of our ascent was relatively narrow, with a pretty little stream all along (Greenburn). The stone fences were fairly high, and made lots of junctions at the stream, although we didn’t need to go through any.
As we climbed up from the stream, our botany lesson from yesterday came to life. Vince squeezed a handful of sphagnum moss and showed how the water ran from it. Watch the video.
Today, the entire hillside was covered in
Lion and Lamb rock shapes
Squint and you can see the resemblance.
saturated moss. I couldn’t believe there could be so much water held without running down in a stream. This was a fairly steep hill. Our reward at the ridge (but not the summit) was a spectacular view of Grasmere Lake and Village, with mist hovering above them.
The clouds were low and dark all around, but nothing much happened. The wind changed suddenly and often, so what was a relatively comfortable walk just on one side of the ridge line would suddenly become an awful, windy struggle to the next lee. Usually the wind carried rain, but nothing like the storms predicted, which had made me leave my video camera at the hotel. Thankfully, I decided – on the strength of no rain at breakfast time – to bring my still camera. Today’s walking had more less-sure footing, so it probably worked out OK in proportion of video to still opportunities. Today I remembered to ask someone to take my photo, so there is a record of me being here “in the flesh”. I expect I look awful, because we had been through several durations of rain/wind by then.
Lunch was eaten between the twin heights on Helm Crag
Overlooking Grasmere Lake
And then we walked back to the hotel.
– basically two rock features. When we stopped for lunch (which I really needed – not hungry but weak), the weather was OK if a seat out of the wind was found. After about twenty minutes, one of those reversals happened, so some people were blown a bit, and it started to rain.
I sat near today's guide, John, who is actually from Portsmouth
and who told me about the Isle of Wight
, my next tour. The wind didn’t affect me too much, but I was cold because, like the first day, everything was damp from the combination of rain and perspiration. John called a halt to lunch quite early, and we gradually warmed up. (The rain hood I made is very effective, keeping both rain and wind away without causing sweat.)
After viewing the second peak, known as the lion and the lamb for obvious reasons, there was an endless descent on rocks and on rocks made into sort-of stairs – I thought we were descending through Dante’s seven levels of Hell. We did get to the bottom and strolled by Grasmere to the Hotel. >View map of locations.
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