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Date & Time: Friday 5th September 2008. 2 pm start.

Location of Start : George Fisher's, Keswick, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 266 232 )

Places visited : Great Wood, Cat Gill, Walla Crag, Rakefoot, Castlerigg, Keswick.

Walk details : 4.5 mls, 1000 ft of ascent, 2 hrs.

Highest point : Walla Crag 1,243ft ( 379m)

Walked with : Robby from Salomon, Graham from Suunto (with his dog Tigger), plus my colleagues Jo, Tabi, John and Richard from Fishers.

Weather : Rather poor . . . in fact I wouldn't normally go out in that sort of rain !

Let's not tell Cripps that they've parked on the pavement


Today was a product testing day at Fishers. Unfortunately no one told the weatherman, so we were in for a bit of a splash.

To keep the shop open, half the crew ventured out in the morning, the rest waited till the rain started and ventured out in the afternoon.

Guess which straw I drew out today !

Robbie searches the rather cramped workshop for a slightly larger size of Salomon boots for me to try out today.

We each selected one of Graham's Suunto Watches to wear today.

They then suggested we should take a walk out in the rain to try out the products !

Following the footpath alongside the Borrowdale Road we walked to Great Wood.

Damp roads, damp air but hey, it's not cold . . . the freezing levels are above the fells . . . according to the forecast !

Leaving the car park area, we take the footpath towards Cat Gill.

Graham checks his altimeter at the bottom of the climb.

As we climb, the small reduction in air pressure will be in proportion to the height gained and this will be shown and recorded on the watch.

Plenty of water running in the Cat Gill falls today !
Hoods up, heads down, we climb up through the woods.

Near the top the view opens out.

Below is Derwent Water, on the other side, a grey looking Catbells.

Clearing the trees, we reach the gate to the open fells.

While still in the shelter of the valley, Robbie takes the opportunity to discuss the subtleties of the Mountain Boot and Running Shoe trade.

We discussed manufacturing processes, sizes, shoe widths and children's needs, in relation to the range of footwear that we sell. Several of the boots worn today are pre-production models that will be in the shops next year. Salomon would be interested to hear how they performed in these damp conditions.

The Suunto Core shows the current altitude . . .
. . . and the Suunto X10 displays my current grid reference.

I check out a couple of the watches to see what they told us.

The Core offered all the normal time functions plus barometer, altitude and a compass. This is a updated version of the old Vector Watch and will be storing information such as the total height climbed during this walk.

The X10 on the right gave us all that plus a built in Gps system. With the X10 we get current position, distance travelled, a tracklog function plus forward navigation. It will store our start position and desired route if desired, but for now it is a just tracking us on the walk. An impressive wrist computer and hardly bigger than a normal wrist watch.

Climbing again, these sheep can tell the weather just by looking at it.

That's why they are sticking close to the walls . . . out of the rain and the increasing wind.

Recent weather reports mentioned that we had rain every day of last month . . . and September is heading the same way.

No wonder the water runs down the path . . . the ground is saturated.

Walla Crag . . . the rain has eased but the wind has increased. No group photo call today.

With my back to the weather I look across towards Blencathra.

Clouds swirl up from below as I look towards Keswick.

Standing water on the rocks in front as I turn towards Swinside Fell and the islands on Derwent Water.

Kings How is the more prominent of the Grange Fells in this picture . . .

Castle Crag, the more diminutive shadow in the valley to the right.

Into the weather now as we start our descent towards Rakefoot.

Is that a Teepee I see in the field below ?

Castlerigg Campsite is home to a few staunch holiday makers at the start of the weekend

but there's more grass than canvas down there.

Graham and Tigger, crossing the footbridge near Castlerigg Farm
The grey of the TV mast makes it to blend in with the view today.
The mist continues to swirl round Walla Crag as we descend.
Heading down through the woods, back towards town.
Springs Farm offering ice creams and accommodation if required.
He must be Friesian being out in this rain all the time.

Back to the shop.

Time for a cuppa and a de-brief before the last hour in the shop.


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital cameras.

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

This site best viewed with . . . rather less weather please.

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Previous walk - 3rd September 2008 A local Crummock Water Walk

A previous time up here - 2nd May 2006 Walla Crag with Ken Ledward of KLETS