Lingmell, Scafell & Slight Side

Saturday saw us braving the crowds to tackle Lingmell, Scafell and Slight Side in Wasdale.  The vast majority of the people (we estimated over 1000 at the head of Wasdale), were focused solely on ascending Scafell Pike.  Fortunately, we were able to find much more space to ourselves by heading up the Western spur of Lingmell before joining the main tourist path at Lingmell Coll to ascend to the Scafell Pike plateau, though we then veered off towards Mickledore and Scafell.

The sheer number of people on the main path up Scafell Pike and on its summit was a sight to behold: the top was so busy there was a queue to stand on the highest point (see carousel image), though most folk showed no interest in the surrounding mountains.

Thankfully, our objectives allowed us to bypass all the hubbub as we headed towards Scafell.  We ascended by scrambling up Lord’s Rake (to the right of the main image of Scafell from Mickledore) and then onto the summit where we found only one other person – the difference between the country’s highest and second highest mountains was stark indeed.  From Scafell we headed to Slight Side before contouring back around Scafell and down to the valley.  A strenuous and rewarding day out.

If you’d like to explore the Lake District but would like to avoid following the well-beaten path and crowds, Steve will be very happy to support your adventures.  Please get in touch for a chat on steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk or 07796 213817

By |March 28th, 2022|Mountain walking|Comments Off on Lingmell, Scafell & Slight Side

An Eskdale Revelation

Harter Fell looking South

A stunning Spring day saw us heading to Eskdale to climb Harter Fell and Green Crag from the foot of Hardknott pass.  Steve’s previous ascent of these hills was nearly 30 years ago: on that day the weather was terrible and the abiding memory was of being soaking wet, cold and enduring endless tramping through very boggy ground.  What a revelation then to have the opposite experience: blue skies and fantastic views.  Harter Fell was particularly good as its high point is atop a rocky tor not dissimilar to that on Helm Crag, Grasmere.  The trig point has had to be sited lower down as it was clearly not possible to place it on the actual high point.  There is still significant bog between Hard Knott forestry plantation and Green Crag, though some judicious off piste navigation to follow the available higher ground enabled us to avoid virtually all of it.

If you would like support for your mountain adventures in the Lakes or further afield, please get in touch with Steve who’ll be pleased to help you: 07796 213817 and steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |March 7th, 2022|Mountain walking|Comments Off on An Eskdale Revelation

Whin Rigg & Illgill Head

Following weeks of stormy, wet and windy weather we finally had a day with crystal clear skies to enjoy the mountains, and what a day it was!  We headed for Wasdale and set off from the YHA, ascending by Greathall Gill and then onto Whin Rigg and Illgill Head.  Despite the strong and cold wind the views were spectacular all around.  We found shelter to have hot drinks and lunch looking down from above Wasdale screes over Wastwater, England’s deepest lake, before retracing our footsteps back to the valley.

If you’d like Steve’s support for your mountain adventures, whatever the weather, please get in touch on 07796 213817 & steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk  He’ll be delighted to hear from you and will do his best to help.

By |February 28th, 2022|Mountain walking, Winter mountain walking|Comments Off on Whin Rigg & Illgill Head

A grand day out in the misty Coniston Fells

Great Carrs

Thick mist and strong wind greeted us for a walk round the Northern Coniston Fells taking in Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Swirl How and Wetherlam.  With a wind chill of -7C we were well wrapped up and had a great day out in adventurous conditions.

We had a poignant moment when we arrived at the memorial for the eight Canadian airforce aircrew who perished on Great Carrs on the night of October 22nd 1944 (image).  Flying a Halifax bomber from Topcliffe in Yorkshire they became lost in thick cloud and darkness over the Lake District.  Despite RAF Mosquitoes being despatched to assist, they made the fateful decision to descend to try and locate themselves, only to be trapped by high ground which they could not avoid.  The impact carried much of the plane over the mountain edge into Broad Slack, where parts of it still remain, though the image shows some of the undercarriage at the site of the memorial.  A sad sight indeed.

Of more current concern were the two people who approached us asking the way to Great Carrs.  When Steve offered to show them their position on their map they blithely explained they had no map as they didn’t know how to navigate, and that they only had sat nav which wasn’t working.  Despite Steve trying to gently suggest they head down to safety they were intent on pressing on into the mist.  Such reliance on technology is now commonplace, though Steve strongly advises that all those venturing into the mountains have a map and compass and know how to use them – he’ll be delighted to help anyone with these critical skills.

By |January 25th, 2022|Mountain walking, Winter mountain walking|Comments Off on A grand day out in the misty Coniston Fells

A great day out from Three Shires Stone

Our first mountain day of the year was an excellent day out starting from Three Shires Stone on Wrynose and taking in Pike o’Blisco, Crinkle Crags and Cold Fell.  The Three Shires Stone is made from limestone and was first erected in 1860, though it was actually created in 1816 in Cartmel.  It is situated at the meeting point of the old counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire and has been broken, knocked over and resurrected on several occasions. The weather on our day from this old boundary marker was cold but clear; the views were good in all directions.  The image shows the Scafells from Crinkle Crags.

If you’re interested in guided walks and scrambles in winter or summer conditions Steve will be pleased to help.  Get in touch on 07796 213817 or email at steve@stevebanksoutdoors.co.uk

By |January 21st, 2022|Mountain walking|Comments Off on A great day out from Three Shires Stone

Hard Knott

Hard Knott tends to evoke thoughts of its vertigo inducing switchback road of 30% steepness and, arguably, the world’s most challenging cycle sportive (The Fred Whitton) which goes over it (and all the other super steep Lakeland passes) in one day.  Hard Knott is also though, a solitary Lakeland summit easily reached in 30 minutes from the road.  We had a gentle stroll to the summit on a glorious November day and had it all to ourselves.  The views in all directions were spectacular, taking in a large part of the southern Lakes and down to Barrow.  The image shows the view North to the Scafells.

Residents and modern day tourists are far from the first people to visit this spot: the Romans built a fort (named Mediobogdum) in approximately AD 120 to guard the road from Ravenglass and through Eskdale; it was occupied for 80-90 years.  It was originally garrisoned by troops from Dalmatia (Croatia) who must have had something of a shock being stationed so far from home on a bleak mountain hillside in northern England.  It is still clearly visible with all its defensive walls and buildings laid out.  You can make a day of it by driving the pass, walking to Hard Knott and visiting the fort.

By |November 21st, 2021|Mountain walking|Comments Off on Hard Knott

Winter in May

Winter in May

As the world continues to heat up with new mean global temperatures nearly every year, local weather anomalies seem even more notable – especially when they’re cold!  As the image shows of our trip up Blencathra yesterday, winter has temporarily returned to the Lake District.  Whilst the unseasonable conditions may have caught a few people out, they certainly did get others excited as winter boots had a last hurrah.  Even the Lake District Ski club had an excellent day out on Raise – none of the members could remember such excellent powder conditions in May.

If you’re interested in support for your days out in the Lakes or further afield, whatever season presents itself, Steve will be pleased to help you.  Just call to discuss your needs.

By |May 6th, 2021|Mountain walking, Winter mountain walking|Comments Off on Winter in May

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
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