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" Castle Crag Remembrance 2019 "
Date & start time: 10th November 2019, 9.15 pm start.
Location of Start : Grange Bridge, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 253 175)
Places visited : Hollows Farm, Broadslack Gill Valley, Castle Crag, the Memorial and back.
Walk details : 3.5 miles, 800 feet of ascent, 4 hours (1hr 15 for the ascent).
Highest point : Castle Crag, 951ft - 290m
Walked with : Sherran and Bill, Trevor and Gill, Jo, Ann and our dogs, Finlay, Amber, Dylan and Dougal. (Cameo appearance by Syd, Andrew & Joanne Nelson and Margaret Braithwaite)
Weather : Sunshine and blue skies, cool to start, warm on top !
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A beautiful morning as we set off for Castle Crag and the annual Service of Remembrance on the summit of this delightful Borrowdale crag.
We join with Sherran and Bill, Jo, Trevor and Gill for the climb to the top, following the road to Hollows Farm, then setting off up the delightfully named
Broadslack Gill Valley on the old track towards Honister.
Loweswater Morning Glory . . . the forecast was accurate and the sun rises over the Cumbrian Fells as hoped.
An hour or so later, after breakfast and a car ride over the pass, we arrive at Grange in Borrowdale.
As we cross the double arched bridge at Grange we can see the sun catching the summit of Castle Crag a little further up the valley.
The flanks of Maiden Moor have turned brown as the dying bracken reflects the colour of the morning sun.
It is a cold start to the day and even from this distance we can see that Skiddaw has a winter covering this morning.
Our crew today . . . Bill, Ann, Trevor, Gill, Sherran and Jo . . . not forgetting myself behind the camera.
Standing (or seated) in the front row are Dougal, Dylan, Finlay of Borrowdale and Jo's dog Amber.
Frost on the meadow to the side of 'Meadow View' house behind the cafe in Grange Village.
As we walk the lane towards Hollows Farm, Castle Crag re-appears ahead of us
encouraging us not to delay and thereby miss our 11am. deadline.
The paved road gives way to rough track soon after the camping field and we quickly arrive at the river.
A lot of the leaves have been blown off the trees in recent days but the sun is beautifully illuminating those that are left.
The path that used to cross alongside the main river now seems to be a part of it
due to the increased height of the gravel bank.
Kings How above the turn in the River Derwent.
Maiden Moor on one side and Kings How behind us create the narrow gap which is known locally as the Jaws of Borrowdale.
Castle Crag stands firm, a rock barrier in the narrowest part of the valley.
Alongside the path, the larch trees have a bright yellow luminescence in today's sun.
Broadslack Gill Valley as we climb the old Honister track around the back of Castle Crag.
As we climb out of the trees the views improve.
Skiddaw, Lonscale Fell and Blencathra are back in the picture, but even in the short time we've taken to get here, the snow on them is starting to melt.
Ann and Bill stop to enjoy the scenery as we enter the shade of Castle Crag.
A brief pause again at the base of the final climb up the slate path.
Sherran and Bill talk to a friend Sharron who they normally only talk to on Facebook.
A cool morning view of Rosthwaite but up here the sun is starting to warm everyone . . .
either that or it was the climb or the warm clothing we hadn't yet removed.
At the quarry level we can see the view across to a snow capped Helvellyn.
Looking west to Glaramara and on towards Great End and the Scafells.
Numerous stone sculptures point skyward all over this quarried area.
A close up of England's highest summit . . . Scafell Pike.
The summit of Base Brown is to the right and Great Gable, where there is another ceremony today, is out of sight off picture to the right.
Interestingly there were less people parking at Honister this year . . . last year's extra publicity for the 100th anniversary must have encouraged more.
We reached the top of Castle Crag in good time, as had many other people, so there's time for a quick coffee in the sunshine.
It makes a change from last year where we clasped our hands closely around the cups to warm up.
- - - o o o - - -
Also time to enjoy the view down Borrowdale to Derwent Water, Skiddaw and distant Blencathra.
A quick head count some minutes before 11am reached 125, with more arriving all the time.
With the later arrivals presumably there were well over 150 on the summit today.
Andrew and Joanne Nelson and Margaret (in yellow) prepare for the short talk at 11 am.
People gather round and a silence falls on the summit of the crag.
Andrew Nelson led the memorial today as Miles, who has done it in previous years, was unable to attend.
Both Joanne and Margaret read two poems, one written at the time of the First and one from the Second World War.
Videos courtesy of the Nelson family, with thanks.
- - - o o o - - -
Our augmented group after the memorial service was ended.
The extra gentleman is Syd Cornwell who we've met here for several years now and whom we keep in touch with via email.
He has a direct link back to his relatives who served and died in the First World War, one of whom posthumously gained the Victoria Cross for bravery.
They met last year but Dougal was probably too young to remember.
In attendance today, the Scouts of Macclesfield and in the jacket, Tom, whom I first met through George Fishers.
They had camped out last night at Dale Head Tarn and walked over for the memorial service.
Some time later . . . after all the coffee was finished and the chatting stopped . . . we made our way back down towards Grange.
Rather than reverse our route up, we would take the longer walk back via the riverside path.
A quick photo of the photographer and his dogs.
I couldn't escape the camera . . . the drop on the other side was too steep !
These two . . . well they are just posers.
There were more lovely scots pines on this side of the fell.
Behind them is the slate tip from the summit quarry, now clear of the queue of walkers who had attended today's event.
We descend into the upper Borrowdale valley and here the autumn colours have come to the fore.
A bright russet coloured oak contrasts with the dark Eagle Crag away in the distance.
Close up . . . the confluence of Stonethwaite Beck and the River Derwent that flows down from Seatoller.
Once in the woodland the micro-climate changes and we have extensive moss and fern growth on the valley floor.
Ancient fallen boulders litter the fellside.
A holly tree in the woods is full of bright red berries ready for winter.
High Steel Knotts and the crags of Low Scawdell and Maiden Moor form a backdrop to the Low How Woods.
The flat summit of Castle Crag where we were standing just a short time ago.
The River Derwent as it slows, forming reflective pools below the Bowder Stone crags.
Looking downstream over the next reflective pool.
The last turn in the river before it flows out towards Hollows Fram campsite and Grange Village.
It is lovely how the reflected image produces a deeper colour than the original . . . as seen through the eye of the camera.
Stronger winds and cool conditions have reduced the leaf coverage in recent weeks
but the colours of autumn, though good at present, will not last much longer here in Borrowdale.
New cabins and pods surround the clear glade in Dalt Wood on the way back to Hollows Farm.
One last view of an un-named stream, looking across at the rock climbing area of the Troutdale Pinnacle on Grange Fell.
- - - o o o - - -
We started the weekend with a birthday meal out for Ann at Quince and Medlar
in the company of Sherran and Bill who were staying with us for the long weekend.
A small but select group, looking respectable to celebrate the evening's event.
Hopefully still looking respectable, we bring the weekend to a close with a really nice soup lunch back at Grange.
A big thanks to Trevor and Gill for providing such lovely refreshments after our sunny Remembrance walk.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a pause to reflect upon sacrifices made for our freedom.
Previous walk - 29th October - Middle fell with Jenna
A previous time up here - 11th November - Castle Crag Remembrance 2018
Next walk - 18th November - Crummock Morning Glory