Old Man of Coniston

Posted in Old Man of Coniston on July 19th, 2013 by David Murphy

On the 13th July 2013 Me and Paul left home to head to the lake District to hike and Wildcamp on the Old Man of Coniston.
We stayed up all night to the most amazing cloud inversion we’ve seen to date.

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Watch the video below for our story.

 

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Causey Pike

Posted in Causey Pike Lake District on April 26th, 2013 by David Murphy

13th April 2013 me and Paul Kilburnicus met up at the Swinside Inn near Keswick, Lake District, Cumbria, to have a few pints and head up to Causey Pike for a spot of Wildcamping and by gum it was wild Camping.
I used my Osprey Argon pack which I find better for hiking any distance with weight, first time using my GoPro Hero 3 black edition, my tent would be my usual Hilleburg Akto.
Darkness was just creeping in when we reached the summit we were in no hurry to rush our journey up the steep side of Causey Pike.

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Me and Paul on summit.

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Causey Pike Summit in Distance

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Paul telling me where its at.

The wind was quite intense on the way up and at the top, feeling there was no suitable place to pitch two tents on the summit we continued walking and decided to pick a spot a about a hundred yards away, the spot we picked seemed calm so erecting the tents was a breeze.
We chatted and I cranked up the dragonfly for a brew whilst killy messed with his new Primus Omnilite Ti after trying out some vodka and orange we decided to head indoors as cooking outside wasn’t an option with the continuing showers.
So on firing up the stove for a second time on went some chicken see my video (bottom of page) for the full story on my food.
I managed to get my cooking done before the winds started hitting us more, a slight change in wind direction and the angle had lowered, what was going over the top of us from the steep ridge beside us was striking us now with some strong gusts.
The winds carried on throughout the night, kilburnicus was out several times firming up his tent and mine;) and pushing pegs back in whilst I just laughed away.

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Mine and Paul’s Aktos

Morning came it was still very strong wind and I had problems with a persistent peg coming out the bottom of my tent I found myself at one stage reaching over with my foot to put weight on the end of tent and trying to grab the pole I managed to pull a bedroom cord and tore it off. Unzipping the vent on the door to hold onto the pole as the tent was lifting about five inches off the ground because both guys had came out the sides of tent. Out came kilburnicus to bring some of his teabags as I had misplaced mine which later I found in my jacket pocket, whilst he was out he tended to my guys again giving me enough time to cook my bacon before another peg popped out.
Pulling on my boots I decided to head outside to see what all the fuss was about lol. I found a set of titanium pans on the side of hill what Paul had lost when a gust of wind had swept them out of his porch probs when he was out pegging down my tent haha.
We both enjoyed a wildcamp which had lived up to its name and look forward to the next which turned out to be a total contrast.

camping and cooking, wild as usual, next……

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The Calf Howgill Fells

Posted in The Calf Howgill Fells on October 15th, 2011 by David Murphy

On the 15th October I set off to Howgill Fells to hike up to the summit of The Calf and Wild Camp the night myself. Good weather is forcast I am looking forward to a possible view of a sunset and a starry night.

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My 4 mile Route to The Calf 

 I planned to do this trip a few weeks ago but just got around to it, in fact this is a hill I wanted to do way back when I done Fell Head lets face it you’re not a keen Howgills hiker unless you have done the daddy The Calf right!
I set off in plenty time this time in fact I got there a bit to early 12 o’clock I started the satmap at 12.16pm the hike over to The Calf was easy till I started the ascent and quickly released my fitness wasnt as good as when I done Grasmoor, Grasmoor was steeper and harder on foot this was all grass-covered like all the Howgill hills not like the rugged lakeland hills.
It took me 3 hours and 30 mins to reach the top this is pathetic lol total moving time of 1 hour 52 as seen on the satmap screenshots means I had nearly 1 and a half hours resting haha but hey I told you I had loads of time.
It was now nearly 5pm still loads of time to pitch and prepare for the sunset, I seen plenty of hikers this time around usually don’t see many in the Howgills.
There is a 360 view on the summit but only a small band of horizon as the hill-top is wide in places not my favorite type of hill I prefer the small top hills imagine a pyramid type summit that way your 360 angle of view is great.
This view was hampered mostly by low cloud and haze yet no cloud at all above me which ment a starry night not my best but ok I stood around looking at the stars for a good few hours and a few brews of yorkshire tea later I decided to retire to my sleeping bag and read the paper I continued to sit with the door open a future few hours admiring the moon a few bright stars I could see from my bed and enjoying a bit of banter on my live blog.
I awoke around 3am winds had increased which probs what awakened me, I immediately opened the vent in the top of my door to check on the sky and was disappointed in the blanket of fog that surrounded my tent I had hoped the clear skies would have carried on till morning which would have guaranteed me the sunrise I so wished to see, I had my alarm set for 7am just incase but it wasnt to be I turned over and went back to sleep till around 8.30 I crawled from my sleeping bag packed a few things away fired up the msr dragonfly stove and rashers of Danish bacon was on the menu washed down with a brew.
It was time just to sit around for a bit to see if the rain would halt and it did eventually I packed up and headed off 10.27am on the 4 miles back to the car as you can see from the satmap screens it only took me 2hrs 5 mins total time and 1 hour 30 mins moving time.

Thanks for reading, your comments are very welcome.

On Route to Summit

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The Calf Trig Point 

Akto on The Calf Summit


My Sunset Just before it disappeared into the cloud

Tarn on The Calf Summit

Another shot of the Tarn

I like this one of the Tarn

 Really Cold Out here

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Looking Fed up for some reason lol

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Now Happy haha
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Danish Bacon Breakfast
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Route Up left and Route Back on right here you can see the time differences.

 

 

 

The Calf
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The trig point at the summit, looking towards the distant Pennines.
Elevation 676 m (2,218 ft)
Prominence 383 m (1,257 ft)
Parent peak Cross Fell
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall
Location
The Calf is located in Yorkshire Dales
The Calf
Yorkshire Dales, Cumbria, England
OS grid SD667970
Coordinates 54°22′03″N 2°30′51″W / 54.36742°N 2.51403°W / 54.36742; -2.51403Coordinates: 54°22′03″N 2°30′51″W / 54.36742°N 2.51403°W / 54.36742; -2.51403
Topo map OS Landranger 98

The Calf, at 676 m, is the highest top in the Howgill Fells, an area of high ground in the north-west of the Yorkshire Dales in the county of Cumbria. It can be ascended from the town of Sedbergh to the south, by way of Cautley Spout from the east, or up the long valley of Langdale from the north. The Sedbergh ascent is the most popular, and has the distinction of being on good paths all the way.

The summit commands an extensive panorama, although foreground detail is obscured by the extreme flatness of the plateau. A twenty-mile skyline of the Lakeland peaks can be seen, as well as the Yorkshire Three Peaks and many of the nearer Howgill Fells.

Calders at 674 m is about 1 km SSE of the summit of The Calf. It is classified as a Hewitt.



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Dale Head Lake District

Posted in Dale Head Lake District on July 14th, 2011 by David Murphy

14th July 2011 I set off from my house about 12.30pm for a Wild Camp alone on Dale Head Summit In the Lake District, it took about 2 hours 30 mins to get to my destination going the scenic route I got stuck behind slow traffic, I parked about a half mile down the road from the Honister Slate Mine on the Honister Pass just outside of Seatoller.
After the steep walk up the road opposite the slate mine was the start of my path up to Dale Head summit, I reset my satmap at 15:02 and off I went as you can see from my satmap screens it took me 1 hour 18 mins total time and 50 mins time moving which means I only had about 30 mins of stops which is good for me lol.
On reaching the summit I had a walk around to find the best pitch for my Hilleberg Akto I setup my Mrs Dragonfly Stove for a cup of yorkshire tea then decided to have a walk over to Dalehead Crags there was a nice spot there for my tent with a nice view over Buttermere Lake, Crummock Water wasnt visable from here, after another brew of yorkshire tea I decided to head back to the summit of Dale Head as am a sucker for the summits even though the options maybe the more sensible at times.
After taking some video footage out came the Akto it pitched ok with only a slight breeze it was time for another brew of tea and then out came my steak for cooking as I was just awaiting the sunset which turned out a little disapointing blocked by a band of low cloud just above the horizon.
My phone signal was very patchy the best signal was over Dalehead Crags so decided to head back over there leaving the tent my backpack, tripod with my video camera on and head over to try and post on my liveblog and read my fans posts.
The moon came out first looking very orange which a captured on my video camera and later became covered at times in patchy cloud.
I  really enjoyed my night in total solitude alone on a hill without any rain with lovely views.
Morning came I must have had about an hours sleep I had my alarm set for 4.30am for the sunrise but was awake before it went off, the sunrise was hampered by low cloud but when the sun appeared it was a great sight lighting the sky red, in the distance over towards scafell Pike and great Gable there appeared to be a cloud inversion happening and the conditions at first appeared just right, the cloud was hugging the hills as a gentle breeze in my direction slowly brought it my way but after hanging around a few hours for it to surround my hill it didnt materialise how I was wishing.
I packed my tent away and was off back down the hill at 6.50am it only took 39mins total moving time and only a two min break back to the car.

Pre Dale Head Comments

My Route

 

Me On Dales Head Summit

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Buttermere

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Dale Head
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Dale Head seen from the neighbouring hill of High Spy
Elevation 753 m (2,470 ft)
Prominence 397 m (1,302 ft)
Parent peak Great Gable
Listing Hewitt, Marilyn, Nuttall, Wainwright
Location
Dale Head is located in Lake District
Dale Head
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, North Western Fells
OS grid NY223153
Coordinates 54°31′37″N 3°12′07″W / 54.527°N 3.20208°W / 54.527; -3.20208Coordinates: 54°31′37″N 3°12′07″W / 54.527°N 3.20208°W / 54.527; -3.20208
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL4

Dale Head is a fell in the northwestern sector of the Lake District, in northern England. It is 753 metres or 2,470 feet above sea level and stands immediately north of Honister Pass, the road between Borrowdale and Buttermere.

Topography

The North Western Fells occupy the area between the rivers Derwent and Cocker, a broadly oval swathe of hilly country, elongated on a north-south axis. Two roads cross from east to west, dividing the fells into three convenient groups. Dale Head is the highest fell in the southern sector.

Dale Head is the apex of two hill ridges. The principal ridge descends from Dale Head to the north-east and forms several other fells, each given a chapter by Alfred Wainwright in his Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. These are High Spy, Maiden Moor and Catbells (alternative spelling, Cat Bells). This ridge forms the western side of Borrowdale and overlooks Derwent Water. The other ridge descends to the north-west and includes the fells of Hindscarth and Robinson; it overlooks Gatescarthdale and Buttermere.

Dale Head is named for its position at the head of the Newlands Valley. This stretches away due north for three and a half miles before debouching into the floodplain of the Derwent between Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake. The eastern wall of the valley is formed by the High Spy to Catbells ridge, separating it from Borrowdale. Entering on the western side are a series of side valleys which drain the main mass of the North Western Fells. The source of Newlands Beck does not however flow from the apex of Dale Head as might be supposed from the name. Instead it has its birth at the col between the main summit and the eastern top, High Scawdel (1,815 ft). The northern face of the fell forming the dalehead is ringed with crags. The main faces are Dalehead Crags and Great Gable, not to be confused with the fell of that name.

The southern flank of the fell running down to the summit of the Honister Pass road (1,180 ft) has much gentler slopes, although there is outcropping rock on either side. Buckstone Hows and Yew Crag overshadow the road.From the top of the pass Gatesgarthdale Beck runs north west to Buttermere while Hause Gill flows east to Seatoller and Borrowdale. Across the road is Grey Knotts in the Western Fells.

The ridge to Hindscarth departs north west from the summit of Dale Head, soon narrowing into the fine and airy Hindscarth Edge. Both slopes are rocky, that to the south being known as Molds. Far Tongue Gill descends from the north of the ridge, a tributary of Newlands Beck.

Although High Scawdel stands east of the main summit, the high ground takes a great loop to the south around the head of Newlands Beck. It then drives north to the depression at Wilson's Bield (1,655 ft) before climbing to the summit of High Spy. The rest of the North Western Fells bear no tarns worthy of the name, but Dale Head has two. On the northern slope near the source of Newlands Beck is Dalehead Tarn, while the smaller Launchy Tarn lies near the top of High Scawdel. Dalehead Tarn is a shallow pool providing a popular stopping place for walkers. Its varied flora include water horsetail, sedge and bogbean. Launchy Tarn is smaller and may have been formed by overgrazing and erosion of the underlying peat.[1]

Geology and Mining

Dale Head stands at the junction of the two main Lakeland geological systems, the Skiddaw slates to the north and the Borrowdale Volcanics to the south. On the northern flanks are outcrops of the Buttermere Formation, olistostrome of disrupted sheared mudstone, siltstone and sandstone. Southward march the Borrowdale series beginning with the plagioclase-phyric andesite lavas of the Birker Fell Formation, visible near the summit.[2]

The fell has seen extensive mining history. Dale Head Mine was driven below the northern crags for copper, several levels still being visible. Long Work was another copper mine a little further down the valley, worked for malachite and pyrite from Elizabethan times. On the southern flank of the fell, centred around the head of the pass, are the Honister Quarries. These are an extensive system of underground quarries, worked for Green Slate. The earliest extant records date from 1728 and since then huge caverns have been carved out on either side of the pass. The Yew Crag workings on the Dale Head side were operated until 1966, operations on the slopes of Grey Knotts continuing. In 1887 work began to drive a tunnel right under Dale Head into Newlands Valley, connecting with a proposed tramway to join the railway at Keswick. The scheme was abandoned after opposition from landowners. The main workers accommodation at the mine is now the Honister Hause Youth Hostel.[3]

Summit and view

The view of the Newlands Valley and Skiddaw from Dale Head summit cairn .

The summit is marked by a cairn standing on the brink of the northern face. There is a fine end-on view of the Newlands Valley to the north, backed by Skiddaw. All around are rank upon rank of fells, of the major Lakeland ranges only the High Street group not being fully visible.[4][5]

Ascents

One of the most popular ascent routes of Dale Head begins from the summit of Honister Pass, where there is a car park and a youth hostel. The route ascends directly alongside a fence for approximately 2 kilometres and would take the average walker some 45 or 50 minutes. Longer routes begin at Little Town in the Newlands Valley, climbing either via Dalehead Tarn or the old access track to Dale Head Mine. From Borrowdale a start can be made at either Seatoller or Longthwaite, ascending first to Launchy Tarn and High Scawdel.[4]

References

  1. ^ Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  2. ^ British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 29: BGS (1999)
  3. ^ Adams, John: Mines of the Lake District Fells: Dalesman (1995) ISBN 0-85206-931-6
  4. ^ a b Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Book 6, The North Western Fells: Westmorland Gazette (1964): ISBN 0-7112-2459-5
  5. ^ Birkett, Bill: Complete Lakeland Fells: Collins Willow (1994): ISBN 0-00-218406-0
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Hike and Wildcamp on Yarlside Howgill Fell

Posted in Yarlside on April 17th, 2011 by David Murphy

17th April 2011 I set off on a 1hr 20 min drive to Howgill Fell this was around 2.5 miles east than my last wildcamp here at Fell Head I arrive at the Key Cross Inn at 11.20am I started hiking along a route I had pre-planned and started on the wrong path again.

After a hard slog alone the gorge of Backside Beck I started to climb up to Kensgriff you can see me on the summit (below) then a hard trek to Yarlside where I setup my wildcamp.

 

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Having a cuppa on Kensgriff below
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Yarlside Summit
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Hilleberg Akto on Yarlside Summit
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Suppa

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To finish off a nice days hiking 🙂

 

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(From left to right) Satmap images showing Kensgriff Summit then my rather messed up route over to Yarlside next the Trip Log showing the drop into the saddle from Kensgriff to Yarlside and Last the rather direct route back to my car the next day.

 

 

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Hilleberg Akto

Posted in Uncategorised on April 7th, 2011 by David Murphy

As you will know I like to take my wildcamping seriously well they don’t come anymore serious than this.

I am trying to simulate why this tent let me down so much in regards to the water it let in on that faithful night of 4th April 2011 when i camped out between Kidsty Pike and High Raise in the Lake District after hiking to high Street.

You will see from the video the vents at the ends of the tent open which I believe led to the river flower in my bedroom compartment which soaked my change of dry clothes and down sleeping bag which led to the most uncomfortable night I have ever spent 🙁

 httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiW-P5ku9f8

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