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Date & start time: Friday 31st October 2008. 1.10 pm start.

Location of Event : Swinside Houses car park, Whinlatter, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 192 245 )

Places visited : Hobcarton Plantation, Valley and Crags.

Walk details : 3.5 ml, 1400 ft of ascent, 2 hours 20 mins.

Highest point : High on Hobcarton Crags under Hopegill Head

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

Weather : Wintery showers and overcast but some sunshine around.

This was where the story started . . . lunch two days ago.


Wednesday's walk was not without minor excitement when, at lunchtime, the strong winds whisked away my spare clothing bag and threw it over the edge.

Today, Friday, Ann and I go in search . . . starting in the Hobcarton Valley below the crags.

A cold and damp looking Hobcarton Valley from Whinlatter Road.

Grisedale Pike (left) Hopegill Head (right) but only Ladyside Pike showing at present.

We parked at the road junction above Whinlatter's Swinside Cottages and headed up towards the valley.

Turning off at this overgrown fire break, we join a rather damp footpath that gives direct access to the valley track higher up the slope.

A well wrapped Ann now on the forest track . . .
. . . that will take us up to the crags.

The cloud clears slightly to reveal the high ground at the head of the valley.

The forestry workers Land Rover at the end of the roadway.
Here we cut across to the other side of the valley.

Way up there is Hopegill Head and our Wednesday lunch spot. - The missing bag took off so rapidly that day, and rolled so well

that I was hoping it would have rolled a fair way down the gully where we had been sitting. Now to go and test my theory !

Despite the daunting aspect, there was in fact a reasonable line of ascent up the grass into the main gully.

Looks a bit cold and damp though !

Harry and Bethan lead the way
Icicles above the snow line.

Now anyone seen a bag ? . . . IT'S BEHIND YOU !

These dogs seem to be retrievers by name alone. Perhaps if the bag had a biscuit or two attached to the outside it would have grabbed their attention.

No amount of gentle words or instructions would persuade them to pick it up and bring it down to me. Even a stone tossed next to it resulted in them retrieving the stone but not the bag. There was nothing for it but to scramble up the last fifty feet of loose scree to fetch it myself.

Come back Bethan . . . not that way . . . it's down here !
Carefully retracing our steps.

Ann meanwhile had been searching the slopes below.

I carefully descend, choosing a zig-zag route down the damp grass.
Retrieved - one bag of clothing - none the worse for its adventure.

All that remained was to retrace our steps back to the forest track.

As if to compliment the success, the sun came out and some blue sky appeared over Whinlatter Fell.

Grisedale Pike was also clear on the opposite side of the valley.

Back at the forest track now, the workmen seem to be cutting down the re-growth at the head of the valley.

Pity it wasn't a couple of months later as some of them would have made lovely Christmas Trees.

Nearly back at the car, we dive into that narrow firebreak again and negotiate that same muddy path.

Toadstools on the forest floor.

This little group of four

were growing in splendid isolation

amongst the pine needles

of the forest.


My best guess is Lycoperdon Pyriforme, one of the puff ball fungi. *

(* see below)

One clear of the trees we could see the sunshine bringing lovely colour to the Whinlatter Valley.

It was just a short walk back down the track past the cottages and we were back at the car . . . mission accomplished.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with 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 . . . one safely retrieved Exped bag of clothing :o)

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© RmH.2008 # Email me direct # My Guest book (front page)

Previous walk - 29th October 2008 Whiteside and Hopegill Head

A previous time up here - 25th March 2008 Grisedale Pike in the snow

I just googled your mushroom, and the species you guess is written
to be growing on old trunks of leaf trees. So my guess would be
Lycoperdon perlatum, which looks quite similar, but grows on the soil.
Only slight differences between the two.

Furthermore, it says that
young exemples, as long as they are white inside, can be eaten, best
cut in slices and shortly fried in butter (Having seen them frequently,
I did never collect and eat them however!).

Thanks for your pictures.

Helmut, Austria.