Saturday, 27 April 2013

The Coledale Round - My Way

Most people set off to complete their walks with a purpose and a destination in mind.  I do usually.  But not this time.  This time it all just sort of happened.

It started with an intent and purpose.  It started with three men, a dog, and me meeting in Braithwaite at 9 am to do the Coledale Round.  The three men (and the dog) wanted to tackle all the highest and most difficult peaks in passing while they were at it, I would probably not.  So off we set up Grisedale Pike.  Trouble is, the four of them (including the dog) were like young whippets.  Me?  I was more like a worn out, over tired, grey old mongrel.
Looking over Braithwaite near the start of the walk 
The trouble with that situation is that the fast walkers are itching to get on and up the next hill, and no matter how patient they try to be, it feels like a forced march for really slow walkers like myself to keep up.  In fact, it sort of makes things worse, because in the effort to keep up, you get exhausted quickly, which actually makes you even slower.   You wish you had more lung power, better leg muscles and a magical energy source. But you don't, and it's exhausting and you stop enjoying the walk.

So we had a parting of the ways, cos I told them that I couldn't do it and I was gonna turn round at the top of the next ridge.  (Sleek How on the way up to Grisedale Pike by the way).  A quick goodbye, and off they went at their speed, and off I jolly well pottered at mine.

Thing is, now the pressure was off, I did exactly that.  I jolly well pottered. I pottered around at the bottom of Sleek How, taking pictures, looking around and  looking up at the final stretch to Grisedale Pike.  It didn't look that hard to be honest.  I mean, I was here now, and it would be stupid not to.
Looking Sleek How to Grisedale Pike
OK, so I took me time about it, but soon enough,  I was at the top with these wonderful views.
The big lump of Grasmoor centre left, Little Sand Hill in the middle,  and pointy Hopegill Head centre right
I sat and had a drink and nibble, and looked around a bit more.  I decided I wanted a better look down the valley in front of Hopegill Head, and I had loads of time, so I pottered on a little bit further.
Looking down the valley of Hobcarton.  Ladyside Pike on the left.
And I kept pottering.  Next I pottered across Coledale Hause, I wanted to have a good look down Gasgale.
Whiteside on the right
I liked the the little beck running down from Eel Crag
Eel Crag ahead, or is that above?
I spent some time at the head of Coledale looking down the valley and deciding whether or not I wanted to take the Miners Path back to Braithwaite.  But it was far too early, and like a kid, I didn't want to go home yet. I looked across at the other side of the valley, working out how to get to the paths I could see, but as easily as possible.  Now, there's this path that runs round the back of Eel Crag..............

As I set off,  I met a really lovely couple, who chatted away and kept me company for a bit.  Before you know it I was on top of High Crag....   Huh?
From High Crag - looking over Coledale. Blencathra, Skiddaw and chums dead ahead
A little further and we were on Sail, looking along Sail Beck at Buttermere
Buttermere can just be seen beyond Sail Beck
My companions went over Causey Pike from here.  But even at dawdley, pottering, gentle meandering speed, I knew me legs could only carry me so far and so high.  I chose to go down to Outerside and follow the path back to Braithwaite.  An excellent decision, even if I say so meself.
From Outerside, looking down past Stile End, Barrow and beyond.  Great Mell Fell in the distance.
Walking down Outerside, the sun came out, so I plonked me tired behind on a bit of heather and enjoyed a pit stop.  What a lovely place to rest.
Oh my.  Just lovely. 
Then it was the last stretch, and I couldn't resist taking this photograph before they disappeared from view.
My last little potter
So as it happens, I sort of did the Coledale Round.  I know I'd meant to at the start, but I hadn't planned to by the finish,  if you know what I mean.  So I was quite chuffed with meself.  (9 miles and 3700 ft of up by the way).

Next weekend it's Blencathra.  Now that is gonna be fun............


  1. Marvellous - looks like a fine day out. Bimbling is good for the soul.

  2. Hi there Tracey
    So sorry we couldn't walk together that day, I felt awful about it. I'm so pleased you did what did though, fantastic achievement :)

    1. Not a problem. I really enjoyed my day at my speed. I'm sure we'll get together again sometime. :-)

  3. Good for you Ditzzy. Go at your own pace and enjoy what's around you!