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" Castle Crag Before the Rain "
Date & start time: Sunday 29th April 2012, 9.45 am start. ( early for us ! )
Location of Start : The NT car park, Rosthwaite, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 258 148 )
Places visited : New Bridge, High How Woods, Broadslack Gill Valley, Castle Crag and back via Lingy Bank and The Flock Inn tearooms.
Walk details : 4.1 mls, 950 ft of ascent, 3 hrs 5 mins.
Highest point : Castle Crag summit, 951ft ~ 290m
Walked with : Jo, John, Maggie, Ann and the dogs,
(New line for the dogs) ... Keera, Polly, Jodie, Amber, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Cloudy, a cool breeze and a definite promise of rain later.
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We are joined by a new walking partner on an outing that was planned with the weather forecast very much in mind.
Rain by midday was the real threat so we started early and chose a fell that could be completed in good time.
We met up at the car park in Rosthwaite . . . It was an early one for us AND we were there in good time . . .
but we were still behind Jo and John who obviously couldn't sleep due to the excitement of going for a walk today (?)
Maggie was later than us but still before the 9.45 planned meeting time so all was well.
The first vehicle in the car park however was the National Trust recruiting Land Rover and the very cheerful lady (sorry no name) who, in the nicest possible way, encouraged us to join the organisation. Free car parking and an instant membership pack were on offer.
Unfortunately for her we were already members.
The walk took us past Rosthwaite's Yew Tree Cottage.
Outside is an inverted tree stump (possible of Yew) with a wonderful moss garden full of trinkets and model animals.
The couple who were inquiring as to the possibility of morning coffee would end up featuring in many of our photos as we walked round.
Castle Crag ahead as we walked the new track to the old 'New Bridge'.
John and Maggie are first across.
We followed the river down and stopped for a few moments watching the farmer collecting a new born lamb and its Mum.
On our side of the river, the sheep were taking advantage of some extra feed.
Our track led up to the left so they were not disturbed.
On through High How Woods, following the River Derwent downstream.
Keera (and the other dogs) could enjoy a run off lead without any sheep or lambs about.
The path climbs slightly past the slate quarries . . . plenty of spare stone to build a wall.
At the top of these series of quarries is the cave adopted as summer residence by Millican Dalton all those years ago.
We take a left turn following the track, back up towards Castle Crag, leaving the river far below.
Our path is flanked by a large group of mountain bikers who were a friendly lot, one of whom was busy mending a puncture.
Quiet again as we walk up behind the main crag.
High up above the scree slope are the two pines I would photograph later.
Ann and Jo make their way up the pitched path.
This is an old roadway and probably carried the slate down from Honister to Keswick in the days of pack-horse traffic.
In the distance we can see Derwent Water , Keswick and the high fells of the Skiddaw group.
I'll take the high road and you take the low road . . .
The slate scree I was climbing is the waste from the old quarry high above us on the fell.
It is humbling to think (and totally commercially inefficient) that every piece of this slate has been handled by quarrymen of old.
Half way up the zig-zags . . . our new companion Keera . . . well on the way to her first Wainwright summit.
She is eleven months old and if today performance is anything to go by, she'll make a great fell dog.
By the By : If you are ever in Keswick and have a few minutes to spare, call in the Museum next to Fitz Park
They have a complete xylophone made out of musical slates which you can actually play if you wish.
Our path leads up to the quarry site and a superb open view across the valley to Rosthwaite and distant Eagle Crag.
Visitors have created slate sculptures out of the old stone.
The final summit rock has its own cairn on top, available via a set of rock steps around the back.
On the front face of the rock is a memorial to those who died in the Great Wars.
We met that couple again and they seem to have dogs like ours . . . Oh they are ours !
From the top is a clear view of Derwent Water and the now cloud-free Skiddaw.
Behind our lofty viewpoint, the view is of the high fells . . . Great End and Scafell Pike.
After a short while on the top we started back down through the quarries once again.
I must just stop for a small artistic moment.
Through the archway is Eagle Crag . . . I'll just reposition to see if I can frame the Flock Inn in the next photo . . .
Oh No ! . . . never work with children and animals !
The open fell path continues towards Honister on the Allerdale Ramble route.
The last time we were here was summer last year and the temperatures were much higher.
The valley fields were really green compared to the high fells.
I thought it was the camera but looking back it was actually this rich colour.
The anatomy of a tree.
The farmer has stripped this tree to within an inch of its life.
Laid bare are all the twigs, branches, boughs and the trunk. It may survive . . . but maybe it was already dead.
Tongue Gill has descended the fells via the Rigghead Quarries from High Spy.
Down here the banks have been built up to prevent flooding on to the local fields.
The others return the short distance to New Bridge
but Maggie and I take the riverside path to the stepping stones.
The face of concentration . . . she knows the camera is watching !
Back to the village . . . a last view of Eagle Crag over a rather nice pink flowering cherry.
Just as we return, it starts to rain . . . perfect timing for the end of our walk.
The top half of the stable door is open . . . a good sign.
We drop the dogs back to the car and returned for a rather nice lunch.
A Herdy-pastie for John and Minestrone soup and toasted herb scones for us . . .
Washed down by a large mug of hot tea . . . Flock-Inn gorgeous !
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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . weather that keeps time with the forecast.
Previous walk - 28th April 2012 Floutern Tarn with Jo
A previous time up here - 31st Dec 2009 New Year's Eve Castle Crag
Next walk - 6th May 2012 Rannerdale Bluebells 2012