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Date & Time: Sunday 7th September 2008. 4.45 am start.

Location of Start : Seathwaite Farm, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 235 122 )

Places visited : Seathwaite Fm, Stockley Bridge, Grains Gill and back several hours later.

Walk details : 4.8 mls, 1800 ft of ascent, 5 hrs 30 mins including one long stop !

Highest point : Top of Grains Gill. 2000 ft.

Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan, plus twelve teams and marshalls.

Weather : Bad, improving to poor. Low cloud, rain and very windy up high.

One of the mini buses leaving the valley at the end of this section of their Challenge.


In August I had a beautiful morning start to a marshalled event starting at Seathwaite with a pre-dawn cloud inversion and sunrise.

Today it was the exact opposite. Low cloud from the top down, the rain and high winds on the summit forced a change of plans.

We were the central section of a Three Peaks Challenge including Ben Nevis in Scotland and Snowdon in Wales, organised as a charity fundraiser by CARE.

- - - o o o - - -

Ben Nevis had been great they said . . . wonderful evening weather and fine views from the top . . . unfortunately Scafell Pike had other plans.

Early morning as Ann and I walk up with the first group.

It's raining but this guy is leaving his waterproofs in his 'sac for a few more minutes.

Stockley Bridge.

The water is running powerfully after all the rain we've been having recently.

Half way up Grains Gill and Ann breaks off to take up a marshall position near a bad step on the path.

A little further up, first light, and a murky waterfall emerging out of the low cloud.

Chris at Grains Gill Challenge Relay, the radio link between the high Fell and the valley.

Three more marshalls were already up on the mountain ahead of us, and those at Esk Hause had radioed back that conditions were very poor on the high fell.

I know that yesterday had been a bad day up there. Friends of ours had been out on the fell and returned safely but very wet and wind blown. They were experienced walkers and well equipped.

Several of the marshalls had also been out on their own events and it was felt that as the teams today were less experienced, the mountain was not a safe place for them to be in these conditions.

As a result today's Three Peaks teams were turned round at Esk Hause and they were asked to make their way back down to the valley.

(left) Harry and Bethan get confirmation of the turn around via the radio

. . . . . confirmation but no biscuits !

I returned to the main path but further down towards Ann. I would be in place to offer assistance to the teams if required.

This was the top of Grains Gill before the stream started it's rapid descent to the valley below.

The lookouts wait to report on the first of the teams making their way back down.

The recent rains had swollen the streams

and the waterfalls were in full flow.


This is the same fall from above and below,

close to where I was stationed.

One of the teams descending past a slippery rock section, the beck swollen by the rain.

Even now the camera is using flash, which highlighted the reflective strips on the jackets.

Another of the teams descending from Ann's position.

Ann's photo of me making my way down the path with Harry.

Bethan was ahead somewhere !

Oh there she is . . . . down with Ann . . . and already having her portrait taken.

" This is my best side "

A strange light in the valley as the cloud lifts slightly.

First time it took me a couple of goes to identify this silver streak in the sky as Derwent Water.

The last two Challenge participants walk down ahead of Ann and Chris as we all make our way down to Seathwaite.

The view becomes clearer.

The 'bump' in the middle is Castle Crag with the green fields near Keswick in the far distance.

Ann looking ever so slightly bored by the weather !

[ The rain has also forced the cancellation of the Loweswater Show we had planned to visit this afternoon ]

Taylor Gill force could be seen and what's more, heard from this side of the valley.

This is the same gate that was in the first night shot some five hours earlier.

Back to base, a quick de-brief and hand-back of the radios.

This was only the second Three Peaks that has had to be cut short this season.

The teams leave sunny Seathwaite (not !)

bound for Snowdon, to try and finish the Welsh section of their event in better weather.

I hope they did.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital cameras.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . less wind and rain and therefore some summit photos.

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Previous walk - 5th September 2008 A Fisher's Gear Test afternoon

A previous time up here - 27th July 2008 Scafell Pike Red Cross Fundraiser

Email received 15.9.08 . . . . . . A message of thanks from Neil & Steve

Total funds raised this season by CARE International (about half of our events in the Lakes this year) will be just shy of £1,000,000

Neil and I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the guys and girls who have helped out this year on our events. It is great to be able to rely on the professionalism that you bring to the events and I can assure you that there is always a huge round of applause when we thank the mountain guides at the end of each of our events.

Steven Lindsay
Challenge Events Officer
CARE International UK
Direct Line: +44 207 934 9407

CARE International - Defending dignity. Fighting poverty.

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