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Showing posts from August, 2011

Wild camping on Cadair Idris

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Leaving Romsey behind at 2pm on a Saturday may seem like a crazy idea when the aim is to travel to the foothills of Cadair Idris in Snowdonia National Park but there is method to my madness!
The idea was to arrive around 6pm, park the car and then head up to Llyn Cau (Lake Cau) and set up the tent for a night of Wild Camping and then set off early the next morning on a circular route to the summit of Penygadair (893m) via Craig Cau and Mynydd Moel (863m) before returning to the car and heading home!

So it was almost bang on 6pm that I pulled into the car park just off the A487 at Minffordd - unfortunately there is no ticket option for an overnight stay so paying £6 to the (very eccentric) owner of the campsite a few hundred yards down the road achieved the required parking spot for the night.

Heading off up the very steep steps that follow the course of the Nant Cadair river from the visitor center takes you up to around 400m and the split of the paths where you fork off to the left…

Lake District Part 2 - Great Gable

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So here I am, back in the Lake District for the second weekend running - how lucky am I?!

It was just a seed of an idea that led to Marcus and I driving up yesterday (Friday 19th August 2011) to Wasdale Head and setting up camp in the National Trust campsite.  We left sunny Chandlers Ford about 9am and arrived in Wasdale at exactly 3pm - not a bad drive and the traffic (for once) was kind to us.
The site was good and although there are no marked pitches we managed to bag a spot next to a large oak tree overlooking the gently babbling waters of Lingmell Beck - ideal!

The plan was to arrive, pitch up, walk Great Gable and then head back to the Wasdale Inn for some dinner and then to walk up Scafell Pike in a circular route today (Saturday).  However, on arrive 2 things struck us; 1 the weather was pretty poor and getting worse and 2 time was not on our side and the 4hr walk that is Great Gable would not really allow us any time for error if we wanted to have something to eat at the pub!

Lake District Part 1 - Scafell and Wild Camping that wasn't

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So on Saturday 13th August 2011, after a fairly uneventful, but 6 hour long, drive up to Drigg (a small village near Ravensglass, Cumbria, we arrived at our campsite in the Lake District.

Shepherds View (link) seemed ideal for us - clean, not too big and not too busy! So we set up the tents (in the drizzle) and started to plan the next 4 days of walking and camping.

Now the plan was to set off on Sunday morning for a 2 day walk from Dalegarth station to Silecroft station some 30 miles away - via Harter fell and with a night of Wild Camping in the middle. It was something I'd been looking forward to for ages since reading the trip write up in an edition of Trail magazine and the thought of a night of Wild Camping in my new Marmot Grid tent was like being 7 years old again on Christmas Eve!

However, Sunday morning dawned and things started to go wrong from the outset - its probably easiest to list them and you will be able to imagine the promise of the 2 day walk slipping away the fur…

Is that really a relaxing break?

That was the question my boss put to me this morning when he asked what I had planned for the weekend and the early part of the next week that I had booked off work.

Yes, I replied, it's my idea of heaven. 4 days of walking, wild camping and getting outside and away from the headaches, stress and problem solving of office life in the Lake District.

It must have been 3 months ago now that I read an article in Trail magazine (which, along with The Great Outdoors mag is rapidly becoming my lifeline to the outdoors and the life I want to lead and would were it not for the annoying need to earn money to stay alive!) about a 2 day wild camping trip/walk in the Lake District, starting from the railway station at Dalegarth and culminating around 25 miles away at Silecroft station, and it got me thinking....

Ok, so "the Lakes" is a long drive from me, 6 hours ish to be precise, but over a long weekend, say 4 days, and with a good campsite as a base it could be fun - and invaluab…

Early morning MTB ride in the forest

For some reason I found myself awake at 5:50am today - on my day off!  So I decided I'd haul my ass out of bed and take the MTB out to the New Forest for a quick ride;



I arrived at Milkham car park (a favourite haunt for me and my riding mates for many years now) at about 6:50am and was just riding out of the car park and onto the trail when I realised, to my horror, that I'd left the old cleats on my summer MTB shoes and couldn't clip in to my pedals!
Now this may seem a bit over dramatic but it causes a fairly large issue when you have pedals about the size of a 50 pence piece and shoes with very stiff carbon soles - you can't clip in at all so can't get any real power (there's my excuse for the slightly slower ride time!) and can't get any stability..

Now the easy option would have been to bail and go home, and it did cross my mind, but I decided to carry on and get on with it.

It was a lovely morning, misty to start with no wind and around 15C - perfect…

2 day Lake District walk planning

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Well I'm nearly there, and thanks to my recent find (TrailZilla.com) I've managed to plan out the route for the 2 day walk + camp in the Lake District.

Full route details (via TrailZilla) can be viewed and downloaded here;
http://www.trailzilla.com/index.php?tid=7888

I thought that, after seeing the route in Trail Magazine, I should give it a go and that the 1 night of Wild Camping would be great additional experience for my ML Qualification - what I failed to realise however was that there was no real route info and on reading the write up from Trail closely there was also no real path that they followed!

Luckily TrailZilla has come to the rescue and has allowed me to plan the route (on OS 1:25k and 1:50k maps) in great detail and then download the .GPX route to my Garmin - happy days!

Now all I need to do is to finalise my kit list, pack my rucksack and get through the next week and a half at work so I can get walking.  Watch this space for a full review....

In an effort to get fit...

I finally made it back out on the bike this evening after work.

Only 9.68 miles on the road bike but it was worth it - felt good to back on the bike again and I'm going to make sure that tomorrow's day off isn't wasted and that I get the MTB out for 15 miles or so in the New Forest.

Details of this evening's ride are here - on Garmin Connect
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/103424801

Well, that's it - just a quick post this eve!