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" Gavel and Blake with Jo "
Date & start time: Sunday 14th June 2015, 1 pm start.
Location of Start : Maggie's Bridge car park, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 134 210 )
Places visited : Maggie's Bridge, High Nook Farm, Gavel, Blake, High Nook Tarn and back.
Walk details : 5.3 mls, 1975 feet of ascent, 4 hour 15 mins including lunch.
Highest point : Blake Fell, 1,878ft - 573m.
Walked with : Jo, Ann and our dogs, Amber, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Overcast and clearing but a cool breeze at times and one big, grey cloud nearby.
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I was working on Saturday this week, but Jo was able to change plans and so drive over here on Sunday instead.
A longer walk for the three of us today, but still a local one as Jo has to travel home tonight.
There are a few extra pictures included . . . as The Buttermere Horseshoe fell race passed the door yesterday
and a bonus end to the today's walk . . . two falcons in hand !
Something is going on . . . and Dylan wants to be fully informed !
The field opposite is full of cars.
It is the day of the Darren Holloway Race, in memory of Pennine Fell Runner Darren Holloway, who died whilst competing in a Cumbrian fell race.
It is based a challenging race that had not been run for several years . . . the Buttermere Horseshoe.
The race was not for the fainthearted being 21.2 miles long and comprising of 9,100ft of climbing.
The first runners are in sight . . .
. . . and approach . . .
Dylan watches the runners go by . . .
About thirty or so are attempting this extended fell race today.
The winner would be back in at the Loweswater Village Hall in 4 hours 13 minutes, the tail-enders took about twice that time.
Check out the route map here.
Dylan heard they had a race for relay teams too . . . but by the time he brought his baton out they had all gone.
Click here for Race Results.
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On Sunday Jo came over for a walk.
Leaving Jodie at our cottage (she is now just too old to go on a long fell walk) we drove the short distance to Maggie's Bridge car park.
The track to High Nook . . . with Carling Knott looking down on the meadows below.
Our team today . . . Ann, Jo, the dogs and myself.
The farmer (or maybe a National Trust team) are re-building the dry stonewall alongside the farm track.
Looking back at Darling and Low Fells.
[ There's a path from this point over to Loweswater (lake) and it makes a great circular, local dog walk from Maggie's Bridge.]
We negotiate the barking dogs of High Nook Farm.
The working dogs are full of energy. each bouncing up and down, barking in their kennels as we pass.
Once through . . . the open fell is calling.
A sun-cream moment . . . the forecasted sunny skies have arrived an hour or so early.
Looking back from the fell gate as the Lorton and Loweswater Valleys are laid out behind us.
The cloud has almost gone from the top of Grasmoor and Hopegill Head here on the right.
Dylan and Harry set off up the track towards the tarn . . . but they'll need to come back . . .
as we branch off up the slope of Black Crag, onto the path to Gavel.
First view of the ridge of High Stile above Little Dodd,
including the more pointed peak of Red Pike basking in the lunchtime sun.
The top of Black Crag always appears lower but it is more or less level with the top of Mellbreak and Hen Comb.
The sun isn't that warm and in the shadow of a passing cloud the breeze is still cool.
Fleetwith Pike and Buttermere come into view.
The prominent rock on the side of Honister Crags, the summit of Black Star, stands out today for some reason.
Must just due to the angle from which we are viewing it.
Cotton Grass blowing in the breeze as we set off again and continue the climb up the sunny slope of Gavel.
A passing cloud denies Blake Fell the same pleasure.
The intermediate 488m summit on the ridge up to Gavel.
Marked as 'cairn' on the map it almost deserves a name of its own . . . any offers ?
In the shelter of the down-slope beyond we find a nice soft, grassy spot for lunch.
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Slightly damp and boggy along the top
but the path eventually wends its way across to the summit fence.
A new post and wire fence leads off towards Floutern.
It is a shame that the builder didn't find a few spare minutes to repair the main stile across to the summit.
With a south westerly breeze that big cloud could be heading our way, so I catch the sunny view before the sunshine goes.
That's Great Borne to the left, Dent in the middle and Knock Murton to the right.
It was quite an impressive cloud with an angry, dark lower layer.
Fortunately for all concerned there didn't appear to be any rain falling from it.
For those that followed our recent walk . . . that's Dent Fell with the signature haircut of its forest edge on the left hand side.
Who turned out the light ? As the outer edges of the cloud obscured our sun, the colours changed and the temperature dropped.
More new fence as we progressed towards Blake.
The old fence wire has been neatly rolled but seemingly abandoned along with the old fence posts.
A real mish-mash of wire and posts, the one stile remaining again being in the wrong place for most walkers.
The old stone gate stoop placed here as a boundary stone has been roughly used to anchor the new post . . . a sad demise for a proud object.
A soft patchwork of sun shines on High Pen as the side ridge leads down towards Knock Murton.
It forms part of a delightful round walk of Blake Fell when climbed from Felldyke, the hamlet down below the reservoir.
Summer skies and a fairly clear view across the Solway to Scotland, from the summit shelter on Blake Fell.
The walking party from Barrow Ramblers who we talked to on the way across have not stopped for long
and so apart from one fellow, we have the top to ourselves.
Despite the lack of sun the temperature is holding up . . . waterproofs and warm mid-layers remain unused today.
'Living on the edge' . . . the ladies and gentlemen walk over for a better view of Cogra Moss reservoir.
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The view looks west but we must backtrack to the summit and head east towards home.
Across that summit fence, this time on a good stile, and the view ahead is of the North Western high fells.
Dylan pauses on the rock outcrop before bounding away down the slope.
The rest of us take a more leisurely approach to the descent.
Following the fence line most of the way down we pass the old gate slate posts, where we traverse slightly towards Black Crag.
The slope gets too steep here for comfort so we head across and pick up the zig-zags down to High Nook.
With the summer comes the dreaded bracken.
The old sheepfold is fast disappearing as it is engulfed by this voracious weed.
High Nook tarn is unusual in that it isn't fed by either of the tributaries of the valley.
It sits perched under the steep slopes of the crag and forms the third feed into the High Nook Beck.
The old walls direct us back down the fellside to High Nook Farm.
These two new-season lambs are growing apace.
Relaxed and carefree, these lambs are now confident enough to sit as we pass by.
None of the panic that young lambs or older sheep exhibit . . . despite their mum calling from higher up the track.
An old skeleton of a tree with a backdrop of Mellbreak.
It looks almost dead, but the late spring warmth is at last bringing out some leaves on its open branches.
Down in the meadow the hawthorn is in flower . . . May blossom in June.
In close up, the delicate flowers grow together to form white blankets on the tree or in the hedgerows.
An artistic wool sculpture . . . they'd pay millions for that in a posh art gallery . . . here you can view it free !
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We return to Maggie's Bridge car park.
We brought the car over the short half mile from home to save time . . . but using the car brought an unexpected bonus.
In the car park we met up with Philip of Northern Falconry who was out exercising his two birds.
It you've ever wondered what a Kestrel looks like close up then here's your answer.
Catching a photo with their wings out was more difficult.
Philip offered me the chance of holding the lovely bird for a short while . . . it weighed next to nothing on my hand.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . Loweswater tea and cake before the drive back to home for Jo.
Previous walk - 8th June 2015 - Loweswater Farmers 2015
A previous time up here - 6th February 2010 Blake Fell from Cogra Moss
Next walk - 19th June 2015 - Railway Children - Scafell Pike - 2015