B was invited to spend a day as a guest of Morecambe FC. Training in the morning, watching the match (against AFC Wimbledon) in the afternoon. I was tempted to join him in the afternoon, I haven’t been to watch Morecambe since they moved into their new ground, which was quite some time ago. But then, the forecast was for sunshine. There was snow on the hills. The temptation was too much.
It’s just recently dawned on me that, in the same way that I used to manage to fit a pretty good walk in by setting off ridiculously early and then aiming to be home for lunch, now that weekend mornings are dominated by sporting fixtures and/or training for the boys, I can still accommodate a half decent stroll by setting off at lunchtime.
So that’s what I did. It was around one o’clock when I parked in a little pull-off by Trout Beck (the stream) and set-off up into Troutbeck (the village).
I like Troutbeck, it’s a handsome place, especially when the sun shines and there’s some white stuff about to enhance the views.
Nanny Lane climbs out of the village towards Wansfell and Baystones. It was quite busy, although most people seemed to be heading the other way – back down into the valley.
I kept right, sticking with the lane rather then making a bee-line for Wansfell Pike and when the lane ended and the right-of-way heads up-hill via a stile, I stuck with the wall – just to ring the changes really.
Red Screes, Broad End, Stony Cove Pike.
On Baystones I was finally exposed to the full force of the wind. It was fairly fierce. So much so that taking photos was quite challenging. I put my rucksack down, and even though it was encumbered with a full load of extra clothing, a virtually full water bottle, ice-axe (unnecessary), micro-spikes (uncalled for) etc, it blew away and I had to chase after it.
Looking at the map I realise that, so tempting is it to climb Stony Cove Pike from the top of the Kirkstone Pass, that I’ve never explored the ridges it throws down into the Troutbeck valley. Broad End – prominent in this picture – is a continuation of the St. Raven’s Edge ridge which I’ve climbed many times from the Kirkstone and I suppose that Baystones and Wansfell Pike are the further continuation of that ridge. There’s definitely scope here for a Troutbeck horseshoe, maybe starting and finishing at Troutbeck Bridge. Hmmmm. If I ever have both the time and the energy…..
Froswick, Ill Bell, Yoke.
Looking along the ridge towards Wansfell Pike it was clear that the slopes were being regularly scoured by spindrift. So having had a free, outdoor-gym work-out courtesy of the ascent, I know enjoyed a complementary exfoliating face wash. It was a bit rough going, but still on the enjoyable side of invigorating.
And the views were pretty good. Especially of the Fairfield Horseshoe which was catching the sun to good advantage.
Looking back to Baystones.
Like Black Fell, Wansfell Pike has something of a grandstand view of Windermere. My first walks in the Lake District were somewhere above Windermere, when we were holidaying in Garange-Over-Sands – in about 1978 I think. Wonder if we came up here?
It had been my intention to loop back to Nanny Lane and hence return to the car. But, fortuitously, when I came across a signpost indicating a permission path not shown on my 1:25000, a couple with a newer map showed me that it linked up to another lane, the Hundreds Road, which would take me down to Robin Lane and give a more satisfying circuit. So naturally, I took that.
The light, and the views across Windermere to the Coniston Fells were lovely.
Down at the southern end of Windermere, Gummer How was catching the last of the sunshine. But I was using my new camera’s powerful zoom to take a closer look at the islands in the middle of the lake – we’re hoping to be back to explore some of the islands in our inflatable canoes this summer, hopefully on a less windy day than last time.
Of course, one advantage of a late start is that you inevitably have a late finish too. I think if I’d been half an hour later it would have been really spectacular.
But I’m not complaining.