Category Archives: pictures & trips

Not the TGO Challenge abort

I’m heading home today. After a great Saturday, on Sunday morning I woke with some slight discomfort in my left knee. Trying to walk it off just made it worse and by Sunday lunchtime, it was very sore and seems to be a ligament issue from when I used to play football. I thought I’d got rid of the issue over twenty years ago. I took a taxi to meet my Challenge friends at Gairlochy campsite. It was just too sore to contemplate carrying so the sensible thing was not to aggravate it further and to come home. Unfortunately it’s going to be a long day. I’m afraid this year is turning out to be a bit dismal.

Not the TGO Challenge 2019

I’m not able to participate in this year’s TGO Challenge because I can’t be away from home for more than a week. However, I’m going to have a week in Scotland and will meet with a few Challengers for three days, with two solo days either side. On Friday evening, I’ll get the sleeper up to Corrour for Saturday morning. I’ll take two days walking through Glen Nevis, Ft. William and the Great Glen to Gairlochy. Then over Creag Meagaidh and to Garva Bridge. Lastly, I’ll take the ridge on the northern side of the Spey to Aviemore. It is just under one hundred miles and will take seven days. The weather forecast looks good, so it should be fun.

Langdale washout

Last week I was in Langdale at the National Trust campsite just in time for storm Freya to hit. I only managed two half days of walking out of four.

Monday morning was quite nice with a bit of sunshine, so I headed up to Red Tarn with a view to going over Crinkle Crags. I’d not been up Oxendale or Browney Gill before. It was a really pleasant walk, although the wind was bitter. The views back down the valley and across to Langdale Pikes were impressive.

Oxendale and Crinkle Crags

Langdale Pikes

Crinkle Crags and Bowfell under cloud

By the time I reached Red Tarn, Crinkle Crags was under cloud. I managed to get 4G phone signal and checked the weather forecast, which suggested rain early afternoon. I had a little poke around Red Tarn and then had an early lunch.

Red Tarn

I decided to go over Pike o’  Blisco and back to the campsite rather than go into the snow and clag on Crinkle Crags. There were a few snow patches on the Pike but it was relatively easy going.

Small tarn on Pike o’ Blisco

The cloud was coming down so the views weren’t great. I descended on the pathless north flank down Wrynose Fell. It was a bit tricky at first because of the snow patches.

Langdale Pikes from Wrynose Fell

Nearing the road, it started to spot with rain. By the time I got back to the campsite, the rain had become more persistent. I retired to the warmth of my camper van.

Overnight and into the next morning I was treated to some seriously heavy rain and strong winds. The rain continued until around lunch when the weather suddenly cleared.

Harrison Stickle

I decided that I’d take a low-level stroll up to Chapel Stile and back. The ground was absolutely saturated but there was a good path most of the way.

Crinkle Cargs and Bowfell

Harrison Stickle and Stickle Ghyll

Although the afternoon started sunny, the cloud was started to build by the time I got to Baysbrown Farm. I picked up the Cumbrian Way and followed it as far as the footbridge before crossing over to return to the campsite.

Lane to the New Hotel

By now the clouds had darkened and the wind had strengthened markedly. Fortunately, I made it back to the campsite before any rain.

The next two days were a complete washout with more or less 48 hours of rain. The nice thing about a camper van though is you can ride out the unpleasant weather in comparative comfort. While it was a bit of a shame that I didn’t get much walking done, it was good to reacquaint myself with Langdale.

The NT campsite has recently refurbished one shower block and the other is due to be finished before Easter. I was very impressed by them. They wouldn’t be out of place in a hotel.

Iceland – January 2019

Not a backpacking trip but might be of interest anyway. Unfortunately we didn’t see the Northern Lights because of the weather. On the other hand, the weather made it more dramatic, especially the rough seas and the fall of snow which made Gullfoss and Thingvellir look amazing. Hope you enjoy the video.