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" Castle Crag Remembrance 2013 "

Date & start time: Sunday 10th November 2013, 9.40 am start.

Location of Start : The NT car park, Rosthwaite, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited : Rosthwaite, New Bridge, Castle Crag and back.

Walk details :  2.75 mls,  800 ft of ascent, 4 hours  20 mins including a longer summit stop.

Highest point : Castle Crag 951ft - 290m

Walked with : Dee and John, Peter, Ian, Sherran and Bill, Neil, Richard, Jo, Hilton, Ann and Gareth and the dogs, Jodie, Amber, Harry and Bethan ... plus nearly 200 others.

Weather : Sunshine and blue skies with a cold, frosty start.


" Castle Crag Remembrance 2013 " at EveryTrail

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On Sunday a group thirteen friends including ourselves, many of whom met through the OFC,

walked to the summit of Castle Crag to join others in an Act of Remembrance

for those who lost their lives whilst serving in the Armed Forces of this country.

- - - o o o - - -

Several friends had expressed a desire to join up for the weekend and the walk

so we all met on Saturday evening to enjoy a meal at The Chalet in Portinscale

Names will become apparent . . .

 Hilton and our son Gareth at the head of the table.

Sherran listening intently to Hilton as he tries to decide which carnation to have first.

Bill and I.

No cameras please for security reasons . . . social security reasons !

Ian, Peter and Neil.

Ann and Jo next to Ian.

Those wine glasses look almost as big as them . . . must be the perspective . . . no, they were made of glass!

An excellent meal in very modern surroundings.

- - - o o o - - -

Next morning it dawned bright and clear after what was a very cold and frosty night.

7.50 am . . . For those heading for Great Gable today there would be a very cold and possibly icy start.

and had we been joining them we should be away by now.

But we adopted a more leisurely pace, enjoying a communal breakfast and waiting for the sun to come up.

The overnight frost had left a white sheen on our guest's cars

but the strong sunlight would clear the windscreens before we needed to be away.

In view of the potential for black ice we opted for the low level route to Rosthwaite via Whinlatter.

As it happens, the weather contrived to beat us . . . the Lorton Valley and the lower part of Whinlatter Pass were quite slippery.

Sherran and Bill who travelled over via Honister Pass said the high parts of the road were clear of ice and weren't a problem.

That's valley fog and temperature inversions for you.

The view from the car park at Rosthwaite . . .

a stunning morning with blue skies, strong sunlight and rich hues on the bracken and autumn trees.

Group Photo to start . . . courtesy of the nice National Trust man . . . thank you.

Behind us . . . and behind the large oak . . . is the tree covered Castle Crag, our summit objective for today.

Our number has been swollen by two with the arrival of Dee and John from Keswick.

We have two potentially slower dogs in the party so we planned a slightly earlier start than necessary.

The bonus was we still had plenty of photogenic valley frost . . . and we didn't have to search for car parking spaces.

Striding out towards the river, led by Gareth.

Morning sunshine through the trees, as we walk towards New Bridge in order to cross over the river.

South facing slopes here have less frost and more colour.

Just a hint of valley mist adds atmosphere to the riverside scene.

Thick hoar frost on the bracken as we start our ascent.

Climbing steeply past an old mine.

Bethan is resting but seems delighted to be out.

At thirteen years old, Jodie should be finding it hard work too

but she just breezes up, taking the steps in her stride.

The sun just catches the slight mist emphasising the differing high and low temperature bands of air.

Sunshine on the bracken at the top of Lingy Bank before we cross the stile to Castle Crag.

In the distance to the right, the high ground of High Scawdell, then Great Gable, Scafell Pike (in the cloud) and Great End.

The main purpose of the day was Remembrance

and this small group had one particular person in mind.

Over the stile and we reached the point where all paths combine

for the final ascent to the top.

Ahead of us a contingent of Army personnel

who had come to add their respects to colleagues lost in battle.


- - - o o o - - -


From here there would be a steep zig-zag section up the old spoil heap,

the path being cut into the stone pile

and protected by the passage of so many feet over the years.


- - - o o o - - -


As I paused to join the queue

my eye was attracted to the classic Scots Pines

on the side of the crag.


The steep ascent . . .

. . . with an ever growing contingent of people climbing up for the 11am. ceremony.

Nearing the summit and there already appears to be a good crowd,

many more than we had expected on the basis of our quiet walk over from Rosthwaite.

Up in good time so we had chance to look around and really enjoy the view.

The most stunning part was of course the view over the edge . . . down the Borrowdale Valley to Derwent Water and snow capped Skiddaw.

Two beauties . . . Skiddaw and Blencathra . . . oops . . . I mean Jo and Dee.

Autumn trees alongside the River Derwent.
A car passes through the "Jaws of Borrowdale"

With the big lens . . . a closer view of the snow on Blencathra, seen over Walla Crag and Brown Knotts.

Spinning (carefully) round, the high central fells from Dale Head over to Scafell Pike, the highest point of England.

It will be cold up on Great Gable (off to the right) but it looks like they'll get some good views today now the cloud has cleared.

Neil in the foreground as people continue to gather at the summit memorial.

Team photo . . .

Bill, Sherran Ann with Hilton behind, Gareth, Peter with the white stripes and . . . an unexpected pleasurable surprise . . . Richard Ratcliffe.

I did a rough head-count from the summit cairn and the total was approaching two hundred.

The time is nearly 11am so I retreat from the actual top to take this next photo.

Click here or on the picture above for a larger Loweswatercam annotated panorama

A wreath from the people of Borrowdale is hung in place.
Thoughts turn to matters of the moment.

The gentleman in red leading today's Act of Remembrance was Mr Miles Jessop, Church Warden and owner of the local Scafell Hotel in Rosthwaite.

The army contingent were from the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

An introduction and prayer from Miles,  a reading of the poem "Flanders Field" by the officer on the right

and a wreath is laid on behalf of the battalion, in memory of latest young man of their number to lose his life.



- - - o o o - - -

Click to start the 5 min video from the day

illustrating some of the ceremony.

( Use the full-screen icon to see a larger version of the video )

- - - o o o - - -

Afterwards people stayed a while and chatted.
Many checked out the plaques and the poppies.

A few more people pictures.

Everyone agreed that the short service was a lot more meaningful with the inclusion of the prayers, readings and the ceremony.

Someone suggested it was coffee time . . . good idea.

Richard, Peter and myself.

Richard was half way through a walk that would see him climbing back up to Watendlath to complete his day in the Lakes.

Ian, Richard and Neil.
Bill in contemplative mood.

Harry and Bethan waiting to find out what to do next.
Sherran and Ann on the summit rock to take in the view.
( Both pictures by Gareth )

A quick group photo in the sunshine before we go our separate ways.

Suddenly you realise that the summit is almost clear.

Just a few ardent walkers stay to enjoy the views for just that little bit longer before they too must leave.

Our route took us back down through the quarries.

The valley frost from the earlier part of the day has all but disappeared.

Help for the dogs down the short ladder stile.

A gap in the lower wall has a couple of slate steps to drop down to the ground below.

Harry found the easy way . . . through the hogg-hole in the wall.

Down on the Allerdale Ramble, the old mine road and now long distance foot path that passes behind Castle Crag.

Looking north towards Skiddaw, down the short Broadslack Gill valley.

We, however, are walking the other way before taking the path back down to Rosthwaite.

Nearly down in the valley, one awkward stile to go.
From here there is a fine view of Eagle Crag in Langstrath.

The beautiful sunshine continues and lights up the trees..

The pollarded trees to the right have grown a lot in the eighteen months since it was cut back.

Big dog / little dog . . . it's those perspective glasses again !

Lunchtime . . . now that's a good idea.

Despite the cold, damp seating left over from the overnight frost (for which sit-mats from the rucksack were very welcome)

we took our lunch into the garden where we could continue to enjoy the day.

Even thirteen of us descending on the cafe in one go did not fluster them.

Soup, teas, cakes, herdi-bergers were all purchased and consumed.

Better catch a picture before I eat it all.

I know how much some of you look forward to these mouth-watering photos !

All good things come to an end.

John and Dee returned to Keswick and on to Durham,

Gareth drove home to Swansea,

Neil drove back home to Derbyshire,

Richard to near Pendle in Lancashire,

Hilton to overnight at his friend's in Seathwaite,

Jo left for home in a York direction,

Ian to his flat in Seascale and eventually to Bedfordshire,

Peter to Staveley and then onto London,

and then we drove back over Honister to Loweswater

where Sherran and Bill would spend one more night with us

before returning to Peterborough.

Deep shadow in the Buttermere Valley provides a view high in colour contrast today.

We stop to let Peter (and myself) take a few photos.

The view from the head of the lake down towards Mellbreak and Hen Comb.

Time for another cuppa and a piece of famous Loweswater fruit cake

before the sun finally sets on these shorter autumnal evenings.

Late sun on Great Gable from our late afternoon vantage point in the garden.

- - - o o o - - -

Check out other pictures from today from Sherran and Bill,   Jo Hall,   Ian Smith  and  Richard Ratcliffe

- - - o o o - - -


Hi Roger,   I was interested to see the turn out on Castle Crag this year from your photos.

After many years of an annual pilgrimage to Great Gable from Liverpool, my walking chum Jim and I went onto Great Carrs and repeated the walk you had undertaken last year.  It was a beautiful crisp day with snow underfoot. As you can see from the photo I took at 11am, there were only a handful of us. The silence was only interrupted by the call of 2 birds high above us.

We walked onwards to the Old Man, meeting many people on our way. The views were fantastic - across to Ingleborough, Blackpool Tower, Liverpool and the North Wales mountains, the Isle of Man and the Galloway coast of Scotland. We couldn't have asked for a better spot for lunch.  Our return journey was a lot quieter - we didn't meet anyone!

A wonderful day was completed with a visit to my Dad's (near Kendal) for tea and cake on the way home.  Thank you for the inspiration for the "alternative" Remembrance walk, and keep up the cracking work on the website.       


Thanks Alistair . . . I'm please but very humbled that I've been able to encourage you on such a walk.

I'm glad you felt it was worthwhile . . . and what a stunning photo.    Rmh.



Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Canon 1100D SLR digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . time to look back as well as forward.

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Previous walk - 9th November 2013 - Vintage Sports-Car Club Lakeland Hill Climb at Honister

A previous time up here - 9th November 2008 Castle Crag Remembrance Service 2008

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