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" Aira Force in the Snow "
Date & start time: Sunday 24th March 2013, 11.15 am start. ( NY 401 200 )
Location of Start : The National Trust car park, Aira Force, Ullswater, Cumbria, Uk.
Places visited : Aira Force and High Force and afterwards the Inn on the Lake.
Walk details : 1.75 mls, 350 ft of ascent, 1 hour 45 mins.
Highest point : High Force 750 ft above sea level, 600 ft above lake level.
Walked with : Susan, Ed, Alex, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Overcast with sunny periods, a very cold easterly breeze.
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Ed, Susan and Alex were in the Lakes for the day where they had an afternoon appointment at the Wedding Fayre.
We arranged to meet them at Aira Force and join them for a walk up to the waterfalls that Susan had never seen.
All good walks are followed followed by lunch or suitable refreshment afterwards and today was no exception.
First we have to drive there . . . and the road conditions along the way are a little unknown.
Friday's snowdrift is Sunday's cleared single-track road thanks to our local farmer
who turned out with his JCB and cleared several of the roads locally so that people could get about.
Hardly needs a caption . . . this is the boathouse on Ullswater.
It is formally known as the Duke of Portland Boathouse and is available to let if you fancy an unique venue for your holiday.
Our journey across had been on one snowy minor road but the main roads were clear all the rest of the way.
Into the car park on time and slowly find a parking space due to the slippery nature of the day.
It looks like they've had more snow over here
and what has fallen has stayed to form a lovely family playground here in The Glade.
Alex, Susan's daughter, visits a willow-made shelter, designed I presume before the weather changed back to winter.
Before we walk over to the falls the path in the woods reaches a clearing
and across the fence we can see Place Fell opposite and St Sunday Crag at the far end of Ullswater.
It looks cold up there !
We decide to walk a little further up the valley to appreciate the snowy scenes.
The path is narrower here as less people venture up this far.
Follow the indentations . . . for the steps and tracks are all covered.
Harry enjoying the snow . . . his favourite sport today . . . catching snowballs in his mouth !
Ahh . . . butter wouldn't melt in my mouth ! . . .says Bethan
Brother and sister . . . or rather it should be . . . sister and brother.
I made it up the short distance from the wooden footbridge to High Force.
This is the third and topmost of the waterfalls on this stretch of the river.
Zooming in on this lovely waterfall . . . it is about 25 to 30ft high.
This weekend last year the weather was so warm that people would have been sitting around and cooling their feet in the water.
Not today !
" Over the top "
Time to leave the snowy scene and the white topped boulders and catch up with the others.
. . . who were already back at the wooden bridge over the second waterfall.
Group photo with Ann, Alex, Ed and Susan.
We'll return down the valley on the opposite side of the river this time.
More snow covered boulders in the river as we re-cross the beck for the last time.
We drove to the Ramblers Bar at the Inn on The Lake for a spot of lunch.
Goodbyes said, we made our way back home taking the secondary roads now as there was no time constraint.
This was the Penruddock turn off our Dockray to Troutbeck Road.
The web site before we left home said the Troutbeck road was closed but in fact the road over the top was clear.
The fields show the extra snow that had fallen compared to our part of the Lakes.
Blencathra from the A66 on the way back to Keswick . . . a classic view as people drive into the Northern lakes.
[ Gain a point . . . spot the Eddie Stobbart lorry !]
The roads around Loweswater are all passable now.
The combination of wind and weak sunshine has allowed the grass to emerge once again
but those high fells are well covered and will be for the whole of the Easter holidays I imagine.
If you are planning a visit, don't forget your warm clothing.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 or my 1100D SLR digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . .that illusive sunshine and blue skies.
Click here for the Picasa pictures from Ed and Susan
Previous walk - 23rd March 2013 - March Snow in Holme Woods
A previous time up here - 14th February 2009 An OFC Walk around Gowbarrow
Next walk - 25th March 2013 - Keswick and Castle Head