Date & Time: Sunday 24th December 2006. 10.10 am start.
Location of Start : Buttermere Village, Cumbria Uk. ( NY 174 171 )
Places visited : Buttermere, Bleaberry Tarn, Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag, Seat, Scarth Gap, Burtness Woods, Buttermere (Bridge Hotel).
Walk details : 7.1 mls, 3150 ft of ascent , 6 hrs 5 mins.
Walked with : Anne and Andrew, Ann and the dogs.
Weather : Misty, cold and grey in the valley, but with the forecasted prospect of clearing to sunshine above 1500 feet (500m)
The "Group Photo" ~ High Crag
It was a grey morning as we woke !
Not an inviting prospect, but the forecast was favourable for better weather up high.
Rose Cottage, Loweswater at breakfast time.
Crummock was no better, in fact the valley mist and all encompassing cold, almost hide this the little wooded below by Wood House.
We crossed to the lake and then climbed the pitched path up through the woods.
It got colder as we climbed, the stone path got very slippery as the mist settled and froze.
It also settled and froze on this beautiful spider's web by the path.
Anne turns, unable to take her eyes of the beauty that was unfolding around us.
Opposite, Dale Head and Fleetwith Pike were clear of the mist.
Cool dark shadows cover Bleaberry, whilst bright sunshine lights the valley mist and Dale Head opposite.
A slight diversion took Andrew and myself to Dodd, the outlier of Red Pike, with chance to fully appreciate the scene.
Name those unusual looking fells . . . The Loweswater group of Hen Comb, Gavel, Blake and Burnbank, with the twin tops of Melbreak to the right.
Climbing again we are now looking down on Dodd
and across to Newlands Hause.
Blencathra and Skiddaw form the distant backdrop, and the inversion extends all the way across to the Pennines.
Vignetted in time . . . High Snockrigg, High Snab and Clough Head with the Pennines in the distance.
Fleetwith Pike above the mist at the head of Buttermere.
In no time we were at the top of Red Pike and could see the full extent of the inversion.
It covered the whole of the low lying Solway, south to Morecombe Bay, east to the Vale of Eden and north to encircle Skiddaw.
The guy we met here was one of only five people we saw on the high fells all day.
Harry and Bethan stop to enjoy the view.
Below, Melbreak is now split by a slightly higher cloud base.
The red colour giving the Pike it's name is evident on the scree path we climbed to Red Pike earlier on.
Nearly at our highest point , and chance to admire the view before we stop for lunch.
Clear air over Fleetwith Pike.
The visibility was superb today, and probably the easiest we have ever identified this peak, it was unmistakable today.
A slightly higher cloud base and a slight breeze was causing the mist to spill over Newlands Pass.
A close up of Buttermere Moss, Ard Crags, Knott Rigg, Causey Pike and the background slopes of Skiddaw Little Man and Jenkin Hill.
On along the ridge . . . as we made our way to High Crag.
Below was a very cold looking Ennerdale Valley with the Scafells in the distance.
The lower reaches of Ennerdale as the sun reflects off the cloud.
The last island must be Crag Fell.
Along the ridge, following the old posts . . .
Grasmoor is neatly framed above the lengthening shadow of High Stile.
Chance to grab a group photo while the afternoon sun still holds.
Magic at every turn of the path . . . a close up this time of the sheep sunbathing on Fleetwith Pike.
The frost underneath Great Gable is exposed as the mist retreats slightly
and we start our way down towards Haystacks.
Ok . . . still time for one more shot in the sunshine if you insist !
As if to remind us of the time, the sun dips below Pillar and as it does, the temperature drops several degrees.
Great Gable catching the last of the Wasdale sun.
All things that go up must come down, and we face a return to the cold misty conditions as we drop down from Scarth Gap.
Goodbye to the sunshine I'm afraid as we enter the underworld.
There used to be a good view of Buttermere from the gate half way down the Scarth Gap path.
The Bothy on the lakeside is just visible as we return to the valley.
We had been colder on the way down than we had been all day . . . Well, that's our excuse to pop in somewhere to warm up.
Mulled Wine, Black Sheep Ale and a hot chocolate at the Bridge Hotel, are our reward after an excellent walk.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon G7 Digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
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Previous walk - 20th December 2006 Clear Winter Wonderland above the gloom
Previous time up here - 15th April 2006 High Stile Ridge on the OFC's 5th Birthday