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" Gowbarrow on a Hot Day "
Date & start time: Saturday 1st October 2011, 11.20 am start.
Location of Start : The N.Trust car park, Aira Force, Ullswater, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 401 200)
Places visited : Aira Force, High Force, Gowbarrow, Shooting Lodge, Yew Crag and back.
Walk details : 4.5 mls, 1300 ft of ascent, 4 hrs 10 mins excluding the ice-cream.
Highest point : Gowbarrow 1,579 ft ~ 481m
Walked with : Jo, Ian, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Amber, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Sunshine but hazy, a very warm and humid breeze.
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
The Indian summer continues . . . which is most remarkable after what has been a seemingly cool and wet year in the Lakes.
Today we see Autumn colours on our walk despite the sudden warm summer temperatures.
Has Autumn arrived too early or has this bit of summer arrived rather late ?
Thinking back, it is almost the reverse of last April when we had a summer-like month of weather with sudden high temperatures
yet the countryside was still in its winter mantle . . . there's no predicting this climate is there ?
So . . . with shorts, t-shirts and autumn colours we start our walk from the Aira Force car park.
[ Free for National Trust members, mere mortals have to pay ]
The area was laid out as a grand garden or park of the grand home of Lyulph's Tower
so that the gentry were able to brings their guests and show them the impressive waterfalls.
Somewhere along the way a fallen tree was encased in coins, a sort of wishing well . . . where you pushed a coin in and made a wish.
However the main feature is natural . . . the impressive waterfall of Aira Force.
We've climbed down the stone staircase to see the sights.
Looking down on the bottom bridge . . .
Looking up at the top bridge . . .
. . . and now the reverse
. . . looking down from the top bridge a few minutes and a hundred or so steps later.
It is warm and humid in these southerly, high pressure airs.
Harry takes a dip in the river above the falls.
A developing cliff face leads into a ravine and the second of the set of waterfalls on the river.
Unfortunately these are more hidden from the main path. The ravine is crossed by a high wooden bridge.
How do you like your waterfalls ?
Some like them to look as if they were still flowing, some like to have that moment in time captured for posterity.
[ Hold your cursor over the picture to see which you prefer. ]
Out of the woods and we get our first, if rather hazy, view across to Place Fell and St Sunday Crag.
As we climb, the view extends and we see more of the lake.
Fellow OFC members who suffer from insomnia are up there somewhere.
They started their ascent of Red Screes, Fairfield, Dollywagon and Helvellyn some time back.
Don't panic RR . . . we're going for quality not quantity . . . and we might get an ice cream at the end . . . bonus points !
The hot temperatures were driven even higher by the effort involved in the short but steep climb up from the Aira Beck valley.
This led to an unusual autumn-watch-special sighting . . . Jodie cooling down in the water.
She normally doesn't venture in . . . but today was different (check out that last few inches of tail !)
The summit of Gowbarrow, a mighty fell amidst the crowded eastern hills.
The urban based, Aira Force visitors rarely venture up here . . . we saw no-one else while we were on the top.
As if by magic . . . a photo taken by both Ann and I.
(No tripod, no self timer, no-one else to take the shot . . . good old photoshop . . . who says the camera never lies ?)
We had a really silly few minutes in the summit breeze while we took several photos in order to achieve one good one.
Lunch was taken at leisure . . . just below the summit and therefore out of the breeze.
All that remains of an old shooting lodge, a relic of the old Lyulph Estate.
The bridge as gone in favour of an embankment . . . less maintenance but also less fun.
Did I say it was warm ?
Walking on around the fell, we reach the Yew Crag Cairn
and get our first view (for a while) of Ullswater, the water below glistening in the sunshine.
Ian taking a photo as we take in the view.
Down the lake past Hallin Fell, Loadpot, Bonscale and Arthur's Pike.
Then the lake turns north west again, heading for Pooley Bridge.
Below us the Lady Wakefield cruises the lake
as a power boat tows three dinghies in the opposite direction, presumably after an event or a one-way hire.
Into the sunshine . . .
The visibility looking into the sun was not good . . . it was better looking the other way.
The circular route round Gowbarrow continues on past Yew Crag corner
and soon began to drop back down to the car park where we started earlier.
Lyulph's Tower . . . from the front it looks like an impregnable castle.
From the rear the house is furnished with large, stone mullioned windows more appropriate to a later architectural period.
( Click on the link to find a little more detail )
Nearly back to the Aira Beck valley and we re-renter the woodland.
I think this is the largest tree we passed . . . (that's me in the picture, sent across to add a sense of scale)
One last chance for the dogs to cool down.
The bridge would take us back to the car park . . . and the Aira Force cafe.
Jo, with a second ice cream . . . pity you be there to take up the spare one Richard . . .
you must have been on the early morning shift !
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a bog or two to relax into . . . for the dogs that is !
Previous walk - Thursday 29th Sept 2011 Indian Summer on Fleetwith
A previous time up here - 14th February 2009 An OFC Walk around Gowbarrow
Next walk - Thurs 6th October 2011 Raven Crag between the showers