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" Stormy Buttermere "

Date & start time:      23rd February 2022.   11.40 am start.

Location of Start :     The Church of St James, Buttermere, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 176 170)

Places visited :          Round the lake anti-clockwise, via Burtness, Gatesgarth and Hassness.

Walk details :              4.75 miles, 350 ft of ascent, 1hour 55 mins.

Highest point :           Lunch, definitely the lunch.

Walked with :              Loes and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     The forecast said mist, then high winds then rain . . . reasonably accurate !


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The forecast before we left home was for a misty start, a windy middle of the day and rain to end the walk at Buttermere. 

What would be the best time for that walk ?  We looked up the valley from Loweswater and the weather looked better than forecast.

There's no such thing as bad weather .... but just in case, we kitted up accordingly and head out for a walk sooner rather than later.

The prospects at the head of the valley looked better than the forecast as we drove up the road alongside Crummock.

What the weather was hiding from us behind Rannerdale Knotts was yet to be discovered.

Parked up and following a quick house visit to friends, we were on our way.

Clockwise or anti-clockwise was the question today . . . decision made we headed down hill, to leave the cafe close by at the end of the walk.

My walking companion once again was Loes . . . that's Dougal next to her, Dylan was by my side.

- - - o o o - - -


These two finger posts on the wall by The Bridge

must at one time have been fixed to a finger post

but there's no sign of it now.


It seems that part of the top sign sign has also been lost

in the last year or so.  It seems smaller than I remember.


- - - o o o - - -


The Bridge Hotel has had a new coat of paint over the lockdown but there's something else different ?

- - - o o o - - -


They owners have added balconies

on the front of the building

to match the existing ones

that grace the bedrooms on the left hand side


[ This archive picture taken in Feb 2021 ]

- - - o o o - - -


Dougal climbs aboard to try and walk the plank.

After a false start he actually managed to walk the narrow log from one end to the other.

I try both dogs out each time we pass along the track and this was the first time one of them achieved this National Trust challenge.

The weather suggested mistiness in the forecast but it was reasonably clear and surprisingly mild.

Plenty of water about after the rains of February, both on the paths so far and ahead in Sour Milk Gill.

One very noticeable thing today was the amount of tree work that has been carried out recently.

A combination of high winds and two tree diseases of the larch and ash, has meant there's been a lot of heavy pruning.

Crossing the bridge at Buttermere Dubbs.
Here pruning has been taken to the extreme.

The red paint on the ash spelt its demise . . . presumably they know what they are doing.

The notices on the gate gave details of the problems the Trust are facing in the woodlands hereabout.

We take the lakeshore track and find a surprising amount of folk doing the same.

The poor forecast for the high fells and late school half term holidays have probably both added to the number of people doing this walk today.

The mist was clearing but the wind was getting up.  Squalls rushed down the lake causing the spray to be whipped from the wave tops.

I managed to get the camera out as one of the squalls produced a min-whirlwind which crossed the path ahead of us.

You can see the circular nature of this one in the shape drawn on the lake's surface.

A slight wipe of the lens and a few moments later all is calm once again.

We continue on through Burtness woods and see Hassness House on the other side of the lake.

Loes stops at the gate as we exit the woods and then we head on towards the trees at Horse Close.

Looking up across the bracken we see the dramatic outline of High Crag Buttress.

A better idea of the waterfall cascading out of Burtness Comb was gained closer to those trees.

We head out on the 'motorway' section as the "belties" take the upper lane in the opposite direction.

The width of the path allowed the farmer to drive along here with her quad bike full of fodder . . . the cows were following !

The bothy seen at at the head of the lake . . .
. . . with people on Peggy's Bridge at the river crossing.

Fleetwith Pike and the Warnscale Valley as three quarters of our party crosses the bridge.

Well someone has to hang back to take the photo !

Herdwick sheep over at Gatesgarth Farm seem to be sheltering from the wind behind the wall.

Winter maintenance brings a new coating of slate shillies onto the coffee area next to the farm.

A different view of the Buttermere Pines as we walk the road section back to the lake.

The more normal view taken from further on.

The wind seems to have dropped now (as forecasted ) but the third type of weather for the day seems to be arriving early.

Yes, hoods are up and covers are on the rucksacks as we head on round the lake.

This time fortunately the rain is on our backs, not in our faces.

Well, it wasn't quite as bad as this picture looks . . . or perhaps my memory is playing tricks ?

- - - o o o - -


Sadly as we approached the tunnels

either the rain or the continual in-and-out of the camera

from my pocket caused a slight malfunction  :o(

The bellows didn't work and the camera couldn't focus.

Still this was us approaching Hassness tunnels !

- - - o o o - - -
And this was me passing through, back towards the light !

[ For viewable pictures of the tunnel check out the link at the foot of the page.]

However a quick think and a bit of a fiddle and I was back in business.

The splodges on the lens mean it is still raining.

More trees down as we leave the lakeshore path and head up towards the village.

[ Don't panic, that spindly tree on the water's edge is still there for all you photographers.]

Plenty of water and muddy paths on the way back.

Wilkinsyke farm ahead as we near the village.

No ice cream today but the cafe is open and after a delightful lunch . . .
. . . it was time to say goodbye to the farm dog and walk back to the car.

One of the nice things about going our all weathers is that you can enjoy an area in all its various guises.

Today may have been slightly wet and windy but it was a great walk, rounded off by a lovely warm lunch

which included, on a separate plate, cafe treats for the dogs !

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix TZ60 Camera.

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

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Previous walk - 17th February - Maryport Town Walk

A previous time up here - 12th May 2010 Round Buttermere Lake

Next walk - 25th February - Back and forth over Low Fell