#48 – Cnicht, the “Welsh Matterhorn”

Cnicht, “The Welsh Matterhorn” (JB)

 Sat at home in the middle of ‘normal’ UK October weather (dank, misty drizzle), it seems strange that two weeks ago we were walking the hills of Snowdonia wearing T-shirts.  Yet, that’s exactly what happened, and I have the evidence! (Blogs #46 and #47)  And we still had another day to go on Cnicht, sometimes known as the “Welsh Matterhorn”.

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Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

#47 – From Ogwen to Capel Curig – The High Route

On the High Route from Ogwen to Capel Curig

“…..the can of cold cider in the camper fridge didn’t touch the sides on the way down”!  (Blog #46 – Foel Fras and Drum in the Carneddau)    Now, that’s the way to end a walk, a variation on the old ending “….and they all lived happily ever after”.  Our day in the Carneddau had been a ‘biggy’, with a lot of height gain before reaching the high ground.  Day 2 was set for something a bit kinder, so over a couple more ciders, plans were made.

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#46 – Foel Fras and Drum in the Carneddau, Snowdonia

Foel Fras from Llwytmor

Whichever way you look at it, the Carneddau range of mountains in North Wales is big – it is, in fact, the largest land-mass south of Scotland that is over 2500ft high (762 metres) in height.  Although there are many fine mountains in England and the rest of Wales, there is nothing quite as wild (or perhaps intimidating) as the Carneddau, and I am a recent convert to these high, lonely mountains.  The range includes seven out of the fifteen peaks in North Wales that are over 3000ft (914m), as well as a couple of major climbing crags.

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Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

#45 – Wide open spaces! – Whitendale in the Forest of Bowland

Wide open spaces above Whitendale

If you like your spaces to be ‘wide open’ ones, you could do a lot worse than the Forest of Bowland, a tiny bit of wildness tucked away between Lancaster and the Yorkshire Dales.  Go expecting trees and you will be disappointed, as it’s an ancient hunting forest.  Instead, expect to find empty peat moors with isolated gritstone edges.  It’s not particularly pretty (though it does have a wild grandeur) and there’s little drama.  For me, though, these are the hills of home.

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#44 – On the edge – Walking the Saddleworth Edges

Raven Stones Edge above Greenfield Reservoir

Let’s face it, you either like walking on gritstone moors or you don’t – I do! I started walking in my mid-teens, on the gritstone moors of the Forest of Bowland, the nearest hills to where I lived.  Perhaps the term ‘gritstone moors’ is a bit of a misnomer though, as most gritstone moors have more peat in evidence than gritstone, which makes this kind of walking an acquired taste.  I’m a Lancashire lad, but I had never walked in the Saddleworth area, so a visit seemed long overdue.

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Posted in 4. Northern England | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

#43 – Blencathra – A Lake District gem

Blencathra - Early morning – © Peter Johnson

It’s a question that I get asked a lot – “What’s your favourite mountain, then?”  Blimey!  My stock answer to get me off the hook is, ”The one I’m on at the moment”.  Well, to start with, how do you chose between areas?  The wilderness feel of the Highlands, the stark drama of Snowdonia, the quiet of Mid-Wales, the beauty of the Lakes or the cosy, welcoming feel of the Dales, just how do you choose between them?  But, OK, if I’m pressed I’ve got to pick Blencathra.

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Posted in 2. Lake District | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

#42 – A quick walk up (and down) the High Street

The Riggindale Ridge, seen from Mardale Banks (JB)

 A walk up and down the High Street might not seem to be the first choice for a mountain day, but lovers of the Lake District will soon put you right.  On the eastern side of the Lake District National Park, a long high route over the mountains runs from Troutbeck near Windermere to Tirril near Penrith.  It is mostly famous for being a route that the Romans used between their forts at Brocavum (Brougham) near Penrith and Galava at Ambleside.  It became known as ‘High Street’.

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Posted in 2. Lake District, General Interest | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments