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Christmas Day Walk on Rannerdale

Date & start time: Christmas Day, Friday 25th December 2009. 11.45 am start.

Location of Start : Buttermere NT car park, Buttermere, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 173 172 ).

Places visited : Buttermere Village, High House Crag, Low Bank and Rannerdale Knotts.

Walk details : 2.75 mls, 975 ft, 4 hrs including lunch, hot mulled wine and mince pies.

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

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

Weather : Glorious winter sunshine with shadows from cloud over the High Stile Ridge.

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With beautiful Alpine weather in the Lakes at the present we forego a big Christmas lunch in favour of sandwiches on the fells.

It's a short drive to Rannerdale Knotts to enjoy fine views from a little fell with a big character.

It's another beautiful day and on the way over Lanthwaite Green so we just had to stop for this photo of Carling Knott and the Loweswater Fells.

Hawes Point, often photographed, but perhaps never quite as dramatically as this.

( Photo especially for Sue Walker, a Loweswatercam viewer )

Across the way, the full length of Mellbreak reflecting in the calm waters of Crummock Water.

Round the headland

and the view takes in Fleetwith Pike, Haystacks and Great Gable, partially covered in cloud in the distance.

A snow covered Buttermere car park at the start of our walk . . . A sun drenched Robinson Fell shines out in the background.

Our walking companions today, Jayne with Ann . . .
. . . and Max, well dressed for the conditions.

This part of the fell is covered by the shadow cast by the High Stile Ridge opposite.

We gain height steadily as we leave Crag Farm behind and head for the sunshine on the ridge.

High Snockrigg, the first part of Robinson Fell, which overlooks the village.

By the trees, a slightly cool looking horse, suitably dressed with a blanket to protect him from the weather.

The woods go by the name of Grassgarth Coppice.

Above the trees, the ridge of Rannerdale leads to the summit at the far end . . . with Mellbreak again in the distance.

That's better. . . back in the sunshine . . . and jackets open as the temperature rises.

The temperature is close to freezing but the steady climb keeps us warm.

Jayne and Harry take time out to play snowballs.

The last pull up to the ridge . . .
. . . Ann and Max stop to enjoy the view.

With cloud gathering slightly over High Stile we alternate between bright sunshine and shade

with sunbursts like this giving the clouds a real silver lining.

We make the ridge and are greeted with lovely views of Crummock and Loweswater, including Low Fell catching the sun.

The sun also casts a shadow on the snow covered slopes of Whiteless Pike opposite . . .

. . . which includes our outlines . . . Ann, Jayne, Max and myself.

Another fine view of Low Fell . . . ooh . . .and the dogs !

The strong sunshine on the distant fell was rather mesmerising.

Jayne with Bethan and Harry . . . play snowballs with me please !

Yeah !!
More !!

Jayne catches a photo as I play with Harry.

Bethan however seems more concerned with burying her head in the snow, chasing the smells.

Harry and I playing in the snow . . .
. . . Harry in bouncing mood.

Onward along the ridge, heading for a spot of lunch.

The old sheepfold really stands out in the snow . . . you hardly know it's there when the bracken is up.

Alpine Explorers.

Max . . . Lord of all he surveys.

No apologies for a closer look now we are nearing the summit.

Over to our left, Scale Force, Great Borne and Floutern Cop just catching a few feet of sunshine.

Robinson Fell now shows above High Snockrigg now we are up on the ridge proper.

The rock step up to the first of the two main summits.

Ann's view from below . . . with the rather nice blue sky.

Max and I on the rock summit.

Harry and Bethan on the first Rannerdale Knott.

The camera adds a touch of "fill in" flash as the sun has temporarily gone behind the clouds on High Stile Ridge again.

Grasmoor, the grasmoor ridge towards Crag Hill, Thirdgill Man and Whiteless Pike across the Rannerdale Valley.

Harry and Bethan in attendance at lunchtime.
It's Christmas and it's mulled wine and mince pies.

The (electric) candle was a one off for my birthday today . . . twenty one again . . . sigh !

- - - o o o - - -

Time to turn and retrace our steps along the ridge.

Looking down it appears that the National Trust have already reinstated the damaged bridge near the bluebell meadows.

Full marks to them for effort.

Looking towards the Central Fells as a snow shower blows across the head of the Buttermere Valley.

A short while later it has blown through . . . and we return to blue rather than grey in the sky.

Back via the sheepfold but this time we pay it a closer visit.

Just the decent to the road left and we've reached the car again.

All but one of our fellow walkers have gone as we return to an almost vacant and very white car park.

- - - o o o - - -

I try not to miss the opportunity to catch the view at the head of Buttermere, and today was no exception.

The Buttermere Pines in wintery mantle.

Haystacks and a slightly yellow sky as the day light starts to fade.

New pine trees have been planted in the small fences to replace those lost to the high winds of recent years.

A final shot of Mellbreak, looking down the length of Crummock Water past the trees on the Hasness meadows.

One final shot back home with the real birthday cake.

More candles . . . one each for Jayne, Max and Ann and two for me (that makes five) . . . I was only kidding about being 21 !

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . Mulled wine and mince pies in the sunshine.

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Previous walk - 24th Dec 2009 Christmas Eve on Hen Comb

A previous time up here - 14th to 16th Dec 2009 Rannerdale and Cockermouth

Next walk - 31st Dec 2009 New Year's Eve Castle Crag Walk