Summer has definitely cleared of, but the desire to continue swimming in the Lakes hasn’t!
However the days of just going to the lake have gone as now I need to follow in the steps of my friends and organise my swims around my baby. So today this meant going with someone happy to look after Evie whilst I swam, and then swap!
You would think this happy little bundle wouldn’t mind me going for a dip, especially when she had Josie as a doting babysitter!
However, hopefully just a ‘stage’, but apparently she cried for most of the time I swam….
Back to shore and a very quick change (it’s got cold) before consoling an upset Evie whilst trying to warm up.
But once she realised I was back to stay it was all smiles again! We all squeezed in to the much needed pop up wind shelter (I think I need one of these in my life) for a picnic
And it was laughs and giggles once more
Then sadly time for home, what a lovely way to spend a day, getting stupidly cold and catching up with friends!
I have been going up Knipe Scar, from Bampton or Bampton Grange, since I was a little girl. It’s a great hill if you want one a small one to do when carrying a baby. It doesn’t take long to get up, yet you know you have done some exercise getting up it, and it has fantastic views from the top.
There are a number of ways to get to the top, but from the knipe road beyond Bampton Grange, this signpost takes you up a guaranteed wet path!
Its a fairly steep ascent towards the top, the path winds through the bracken to the left of the stone wall.
From the top you can see south to the Howgills, across to Haweswater and High Street and over to Blencathra in the distance (Scotland on a very clear day)
Once again Evie bean missed the glorious views!
The limestone scar on top is where you need to be careful that monsters don’t jump out of the cracks as you are playing on them!
There is also a stone circle up here, but didn’t have time on this day to go & see it.
Making it a circuit, you go down the steep side towards Knipe, then cross the Knipe road to the rather fun wibbly wobbly bridge (but be careful of the trolls that live in the pipes!)
Then back along the river to Bampton, which often has beautiful reflections to enjoy as you wander back along it .
Meeting up with my Swim-Run pal Alex just outside of Grasmere, we decided to go for a Walk-Swim seeing as currently I’m not running, certainly not with Evie and a rucksack! The first part of the day was a repeat on one of our training runs three summers ago.
We set off up to Easedale Tarn at a considerably slower pace than in previous years. But the Tarn itself just as beautiful as we took it in turns to have a swim and look after Evie. It was such a hot day that we didn’t need to worry about being cold after the swims.
Continued upwards to Codale Tarn for a spot of lunch and another swim, also gorgeous. From here we considered our options and decided to go up to Tarn Crag, as it was the least likely summit to get to again without considerable effort.
Cracking views from here, we decided to keep onwards and do a circle over Sergeant Man as we had plenty of day left. It took a bit longer to traverse over the rough ground than expected and up to Sergeant Man.
However we finally made it. At this point I could happily have kept going except we had a time to get back for.
What we / I hadn’t anticipated was the time it would take me to get down with this load on!
The terrain was tough in sections, some really rocky sections to get down.
Then Evie needed feeding and changing…..
But we finally made it – an epic 7 hour fell day!
I was in Patterdale visiting a friend and thought I’d sneak in a cheeky walk whilst there.
Arnison Crag was not the walk I planned to do, I had meant to go up St Sunday Crag (much higher, in hindsight wouldn’t have got there). No matter how many times I looked at the map, it turns out I ended up on the wrong path. I didn’t work this out till later in the evening, asking for confirmation from some of my fell boff friends.
But the path went up (steeply) and the views were good!
It was slightly scrambly to actually sit on the summit (probably wouldn’t think twice about it if I wasn’t carrying a baby on my front).
And as I sat there, the thunder was booming and then I felt something I hadn’t felt in many weeks…. a big fat raindrop!
So Evie’s new piece of kit, the BundleBean, came out and I figured out how to put it on. Thankfully very easily.
Given the turn in the weather I made as rapid a decent as I could and wound my way through some beautiful woods at the bottom.
Which popped you out behind the pub in Patterdale.
Not the walk I planned, but a lovely one. And as it turned out a good one given the weather.
I had hoped to get up to Great Rigg today and do a loop. But I set off too late and had also arranged to meet Tim in Grasmere, so I had to settle for a there and back walk.
Setting off up the ridge is a very steep and stepped walk, which went on and on. However, another gorgeous day meant I could just stop and enjoy the foxgloves and the thousands of iridescent blue dragonflies flying around.
Stopping regularly also do enjoy the view as it got increasingly better
And then a nice platform for lunch, where Evie could have a wriggle and we could both feed.
Before continuing on upwards whilst Evie continued her all important sleeping !
Rather nicely, I’d had a text off my friend Salka, who was also in the area, so she chased me up the hill and we strolled on up to reach Heron Pike, the continuation of the ridge.
It was tough to turn around on such an amazing day, but cake was called at Greens Cafe, which do fabulous gluten free cakes. Tim wanted some daddy daughter cuddles and we got to end the day with a refreshing swim in Rydal Water and more blue dragonflies.
One of our favourites and a special place to. We parked in the Keswick streets as always, but because it had taken so long to get out the house, and breakfast seemed a long time in the past, we didn’t get beyond the cafe at the bottom of Walla Crag without first justifying an ice-cream before starting the up!!
The up we went, steady away with the climb. Gorgeous view on yet another gorgeous day.
We headed back down Cat Gill, which as a bit of a rocky scramble path, is no mean feat with a baby strapped to your front in a sling! It’s amazing how much we must look at our feet without realising, which meant being super careful.
A respite from the sun walking back through Great Wood and down to the shores of Derwent Water. Or as it was on this day ‘Costa del Derwent’. Having carried my cossie with us, I enjoyed brief swim to cool off.
Refreshed we headed into Keswick to get me an early birthday present. I needed a bigger rucksack to continue with the Wainwrights!
An early 10am meet (that was still super early for us with Evie still only 7 weeks old) with some of my mums walking group,
the Bampton Amblers, for a walk up Helm Crag…. and a few more if we fancied it.
I was getting better at carrying Bean and a bag, but it was still super hard work doing that initial ascent up to the Bracken Hause saddle. There was a decision to be made. Continue right to do the round, or deviate left to bag Helm Crag.
Left it was, and worth it…. and no I did not climb to the actual rocky summit with a tiny sleeping baby.
Then back down and up onto Gibson Knott and Calf Crag, and we stopped somewhere here for a spot of lunch.
Some gorgeous views and a tiny tarn deserving of a swim (but not this time).
Then for our final ascent up onto Steel Fell. The walk was starting to feel very long, but the views were still fabby.
So that left the long descent back down….. our biggest day out to date, the body knew about it. Evie slept most of the day!
On a roll and a bit too cocky.
On a map, not looking too closely, this looked a nice achievable loop. So off we set.
Souther Fell = easy tick
Look at the map more closely once on top of Souter Fell and I realised that there was no direct link footpath. I could see one which looked a lovely steady climb going up to Bannerdale Crags on the other side of the valley, and the ground down the edge of Souter Fell didn’t look too bad, it was dry and a beautiful day….. So I went for it.
As I started walking down it turned out that it really was as steep as all the close contours on the map suggested. Knees were sore so I thought, well why not slide down on my bum (don’t fret, Evie was secure in the sling on the front). And asleep.
Well that’s what we did, bum-sliding interspersed with walking when the terrain was more rocky. And it brought us out into the valley floor, amazingly without Evie waking up. However then another obstacle….. a wide region of heathery grassy lumpy ground to actually get to the path!
Finally to the path, I started tromping up, by this time quite hungry. Evie woke up half way up the ascent so we stopped for a double feed with a view.
It was at this point I realised I’d lost my banana in the bum-sliding descent so had less food than anticipated to fill my now energy depleted body. At least I had refilled my water bottle at the stream as that would otherwise have run out to.
Eating all I had and having fed Evie, I continued onwards and upwards to the summit of Bannerdale Crags. A new one for me; Evie was asleep again!!
Then for the final descent, which was on a path this time but almost as steep and very tough on the knees.
A glorious but tough hill day, with my sore legs I was pleased for once to get back to the car.
With Evie now 6 weeks old, for Angletarn Pikes I met up with my friend Lou ( well into a pregnancy herself) and her old but fit dog Seamus O’Leary. Given as this walk was before I thought to start this blog, looking back I now find it funny as we were trying to find a catchy title for a book for a guide to the Lakes with an ante-natal woman, post-natal woman with baby and a geriatric dog! Not quite what this is going to be, but part way there.
So it was another gorgeous day so we packed our cossies and headed to angle tarn.
Taking our time getting up the hill, both with good reason for a slow and steady approach, we decided to get in the Pikes and tick off a Wainwright en-route. Seamus seemed happy with the pace to!
Once we reached Angle Tarn and had some lunch, it decided to get cooler. Angle Tarn is generally very cold anyway early in the year, so we swapped the swim for a jumper and headed down instead.
What it did mean was that when we got back to Lou’s we had time for an ice-cream, and Evie had time for a cuddle with Paddington!
For Evie’s second Wainwright we needed a small and local one, as we were still getting used to having a baby, I was still sore and Evie was still under 6 weeks old. So we set off up Gowbarrow. However, Tim decided that we should try a new route, so rather than going up the main path it turned instead into a bit of an adventure.
The path turned into a bit of a non path, so some heather bashing and a bit of scrambling were required to actually get to the cairn on top. But it was worth it. Another amazing day and stunning view looking down over Ullswater, not that Evie saw it as once again she was asleep at the top!
We then followed a real path, though not our normal one, to get back down…. glad it was dry as normally I think it would be a bog!
A regular walk of ours, it being close to home. But today was one of those cracking days with beautiful late afternoon light, autumnal colours…. and Evie awake at the top!
Didn’t want this day to end!
25 November 2018
A quick walk out with Evie’s buddy Oliver.
For once Evie was the one awake!