- Frosty Rannerdale Knotts -

Date & Time: Monday 17th December 2007. early morning 8.30 am.

Location : The red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited : The garden, Rannerdale Knotts, Whitehaven and the Kirkstile.

Walk details : 1.5 mls, 825 ft of ascent, 1 hr 20 mins.

Highest point : Rannerdale Knotts 1,160ft (   355m )

Walked with : Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Cold, a deep frost and a beautiful, blue sky sunrise.

Low Fell from the back Bedroom



Today was one of those amazing winter mornings that personify all that's best in winter weather ~ cold, a deep frost and a beautiful, blue sky sunrise.

This is the view as we scraped off the frost from the bedroom window.

As the sun rose it illuminated the side of Low Fell, making the bracken above Foulsyke House come alive with colour.

Looking around, there's a deep frost on the fields making the Scots Pines in front of Mellbreak really stand out.

The Church too, is catching the full light of the risen sun.

Map Reference NY 143 211

Frozen water in the bird bath, but the birds are fed and Harry waits his turn.

Temperatures were well below freezing last night

Even the Puffin was feeling the cold.
The Rhododendrons seem to be hibernating this morning.

The log supply is cut and ready for the winter.

Winter Veg ~ Leeks
Frosted Cabbage
There's not much else growing in the veg patch though.
Our next door neighbours forage the hedgerows for food.
Harry has followed me around the garden this morning
But Bethan relaxes under the Oak Tree in a world of her own.
Two final shots before breakfast ~ Whiteless Pike . . .
. . . and a silhouetted Ash Tree hiding the direct sun from the garden.

There's plenty to do today, not the least of which is to get out and enjoy this superb weather.

We decided on a walk up Rannerdale Knotts, because provides a fine little climb, it has excellent all round views of the high fells

and it also was about the right time scale to fit in with our other pre-arranged plans for the day.

We parked at Hawes point, just opposite this view of Mellbreak.

Now illuminated by a sideways light, all the texture of the hillside is highlighted.

Hawes point was as cold as my garden

Calm waters and blue reflections as we start the climb.

The top section of the first climb were made more tricky by the frozen water on the normally damp path.

The first of the light catches Ann's head as we reach the top of the first bluff.

Slightly strange colours as the camera tries to cope with the extremes of sunshine and shadows.

A close up of Low Ling Crag opposite ~ again deep frost on the grass bank leading out to the rock.

Climbing further up the steep end of Rannerdale we get improving views as the sun streams across the face of Haystacks.

Buttermere comes into view above Wood House. The white streak in the water is a reflection of a passing jet's vapour trail.

Ann starts the climb up the pitched path
Part way up, there were delightful icicles on the bank.
More delicate temporary stalactites
The deep frost disturbs the bank at the side of the path.

From our lofty position, Rannerdale Farm is like a toy box model.

A study in blue, green and frost.

Nearly at the top now and that view of Buttermere is almost magnetic, we keep turning to look.

Bright sunshine on the Grasmoor / Whiteless Pike tops.


Topping out at the summit cairn is always a pleasure.

Those there first get an extra rest.

Those there second chose a better vantage point for the view down to the lake. We're looking north here to the bottom end of Crummock.

The Kirkstile is the long white building, and at just gone midday our house is temporarily caught in the winter shadow cast by Mellbreak.

Also in the shadow is Rannerdale Valley.
Deep frost on the ground at the base of Whiteless Pike.

Time to get back now so we cut short our ridge walk

and descend the steep, sunny side of Rannerdale towards the lake.

Just as we enter the shadows in the valley we got this view of Red Pike's Dodd pretending to be the jewel in the crown.

The summit is flanked by the main peaks of High Stile and Red Pike.

Out of the sun it's into the cold.

This is Wood House. We will be carol singing there tomorrow night.

The larger of the small islands at the head of Crummock.

In the summer you may see families relaxing on this beach and canoeing out to the island - but not today !

Harry poses on the path above the road
A slight breeze cuts short any chance of good reflections.

Back around the hillside now and into the sun again.

The old path above the road leads us back to the rocky bluff above Hawes Point.

Low Fell is reflected in the far end of the lake,

Back to the road and one last view of the lake as we return to the car.

It's all go . . . After a quick lunch, it's time to get over to Whitehaven . . .

While Ann was busy, I took the chance to pop into town.

The Marina full of smaller boats.

The Beacon, Whitehaven's museum and exhibition centre ~ well worth a visit.

On the headland above it, a Harbour lookout and old industrial chimney are landmarks for incoming boats.

The Wave - the harbour sculpture - with feeding Swans and Pigeons enjoying some recently spread food.

Whitehaven is the start of the cycling Coast to Coast route.
An old crane on a harbour side building

Artistic Cycle Racks at the start of the C2C route ~ really nice to see them and other artwork brightening the dock land area.

A wider panorama now as we leave town and make our way home.

What else can we fit in today ? . . . . . Oh yes . . . out to the Kirkstile for a Brewery visit tonight with the Farmer Discussion Group !

Malted Barley and Hops, two of the five basic ingredients that go into making Mellbreak Beers.

The others are yeast, water and skill.

Roger Humphries explains all in his "illustrated" talk . . .
. . . accompanied by his able assistant, Sarah.


The Kirkstile Inn ~ Beer Tasting List ~ 17th Dec.

Yates Malty and Hoppy - excellent beer
  (3.7%) Cumbria's 1st micro brewery
Grasmoor Dark Bitter, lots of malt taste (4.3%)
  Kirkstile's heavy ale - good in sml qty
Marstons IPA Classic strong hops taste
  (5.7 %) full taste. Travels & stores well
Hoegarden Wheat Beer cloudy sweet (low %)
  An acquired taste but not bad
Duval Very tasty - corked bottle with wire
  (8.5%) easy drinking but watch it !
Budwar Original continental lager
  (5%) A good lager at last
Budweiser American version of Budwar
  (5%) Light and tasteless in comparison
Kirkstile Gold Tasty golden classic British real ale.
  (3.9%) Now that's a good pint !

[ All opinions mine, Sg % may vary, memory poor ]

Now that's what I call a busy day.


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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.

This site best viewed with . . . a day-by-day diary with lots of lines on each page.

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Previous walk - 11th December 2007 Binsey and Frosty Loweswater

A previous time up here - 4th April 2007 A Rannerdale Scramble with the boys

While we were enjoying the day, our OFC friend Geoff (V&G) was also walking the Buttermere Fells

Click here for his photos - we missed being in his last photo by about 30 minutes or so.

Next walk - 19th December 2007 Mellbreak Direct