Blencathra in winter

Blencathra in winter

Due to the coronavirus restrictions we’ve been unable to take clients out or to travel from home.  We have though, managed to walk from our front door, including a good family trip in the snow up Hallsfell Ridge on Blencathra returning via Blease Fell.   Some short roping was required to protect our young son from being blown away in the frequent and strong mini-blizzards (image) but an exciting adventure was had.

Steve is looking forward to being able to take clients out again once we’re allowed to do so.  If you have any mountain adventures of your own you’d like some support for please do get in touch and we can discuss how best to assist you.  We’ll be pleased to hear from you and happy to help.

By |February 18th, 2021|Mountain walking, Winter mountain walking|Comments Off on Blencathra in winter

A winter walk from Grasmere

Lake District Winter Walks

A fabulous end of year winter day allowed us to walk up to Easedale Tarn from Grasmere with a round of Blea Rigg, Codale Tarn (image) and Tarn Crag.  Steve managed to find a quiet area even though the Lake District was extremely busy with car parks overflowing and verges crammed with vehicles.

Whilst the mountains look very inviting in the sunshine and when covered in snow, the National Park and mountain rescue teams have been expressing their concern over ill-equipped and inexperienced folk venturing into the winter mountains. We’re pleased at the increased interest in the hills and outdoors in general, though also observed several parties who didn’t appear to have the requisite knowledge or gear to stay safe in the winter hills.  If you are keen to venture up the mountains in winter but have little or no prior experience, you are strongly advised to seek professional support: the appropriate qualifications are Winter Mountain Leader, Mountain Instructor Certificate and British Mountain Guide.  All of these award holders will be able to help you enjoy your winter experience safely as well as advise you on the selection and use of appropriate equipment.  They’ll also likely save you money and mistakes in the long run and will help you become competent and independent.

By |January 1st, 2021|Mountain walking|Comments Off on A winter walk from Grasmere

Guided winter walks in the Lake District

Harter Fell

Winter conditions have arrived in the Lakes and we had a good walk from Mardale up by Small Water and Nan Bield over Harter Fell, Branstree and Selside Pike returning from Gatesgarth Pass.  The plan was to find a less trodden route – and this one certainly is, partly because of its relative remoteness and partly due to the boggy ground up to Selside Pike.  We were hoping this would be frozen, though the thawing conditions beat us there and it was a bit squashy in places.  A great day out was still had – dinner was well earned!

If you’d like support for your winter walking or scrambling Steve will be pleased to help.  Please get in touch by email or call 07796 213817.

By |December 10th, 2020|Mountain walking|Comments Off on Guided winter walks in the Lake District

Great days out in the Lake District mountains

Langdale Pikes

We’ve had several good days out in the Lakes mountains recently, including a round from Hartsop including Caudale Moor, Thornthwaite Crag and Grey Crag.  We also had a couple of excellent days in Langdale with one taking in all seven of the Langdale Pikes.

If you would like to take advantage of our mountain and environmental expertise we’ll be pleased to hear from you.  Call Steve on 07796 213817 or email us at steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk .

By |October 12th, 2020|Mountain walking|Comments Off on Great days out in the Lake District mountains

Thirlmere nature walk

Guided nature walks

We had an interesting nature walk along the west shore of Thirlmere spotting a good range of birds, some interesting bugs, butterflies and flowers and these Shaggy Ink Caps (Coprinus comatus).  Also known as Lawyer’s Wig, these large fungi are usually found in late summer and Autumn, they can be up to 40cm high – these ones were certainly big!  They are edible when young i.e. before the gills blacken, though, as with all fungi, very great care should be taken when picking mushrooms for food as misidentification can lead to severe poisoning and even death.

If you’re interested in a guided nature walk either as a standalone experience or as part of a mountain day then please get in touch with Steve who’ll be very pleased to help you.

By |September 28th, 2020|Environment & nature|Comments Off on Thirlmere nature walk

The year of the butterfly

Nature walks

It’s been an excellent year for butterflies (and other invertebrates) due to the early and prolonged warm weather the UK experienced from March.  This has not been harmed by the reduction in traffic and pollution due to coronavirus restrictions.  Covid-19 lockdowns have also encouraged increasing numbers of us into the outdoors where many people have been reacquainting themselves with nature and developing a connection with the UK environments.  We’ve had many good days out engaging with wildlife, including 15 species of butterflies so far.  The Peacock in the image is widely seen, we’ve also encountered Common Blues, Ringlets, Tortoiseshells, Graylings, Skippers and, perhaps most notably, have twice seen the rare Mountain Ringlet whilst out in the Lakeland Fells.  These are only found in England in the Lakeland hills between 500m and 800m living on matt grass.

If you’d enjoy a day out spotting butterflies or engaging with any other part of our natural history please get in touch with Steve.  He’ll be pleased to hear from you and happy to help.

By |August 28th, 2020|Environment & nature|Comments Off on The year of the butterfly

New Lake District guided walking website

Keswick Guided Walks

Steve Banks Outdoors has set up Keswick Guided Walks as a new website to specifically cater for anyone interested in personalised guided walking and scrambling, summer and winter.  We’re also offering natural history and environmental walks to draw on Steve’s expertise in these areas.  Navigation training and practice, campcraft, equipment and all other mountain skills are available.  Whilst the activities are centred on Keswick, Steve is more than happy to consider specific requests for support further afield. He also offers via ferrata trips in the Italian Dolomites.

If you would like our support and guidance for your mountain adventures please contact Steve at steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk or call 07796 213817.  He’ll be pleased to hear from you and will do his best to help.

All of our other outdoor provision, plus detailed information about us, is available on our main website: Steve Banks Outdoors

By |August 22nd, 2020|Website|Comments Off on New Lake District guided walking website
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