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    Default Lake District (UK), July 2020: A Quiet Day and an Iconic Crag (Trip report and video)

    ***Please bear in mind that the lower quality of the footage from my first three videos is only because I wanted to be sure I enjoyed creating content for YouTube before I upgraded...videos with far better footage is already in the works***

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    Day 4

    After another long day we kept it quiet today. A brief stop at the Bowder Stone outside of Rosthwaite and another brief stop in Rosthwaite itself for a beer in the garden was the start of the day, which was actually already noon by that time (no 8am beer for me if that’s what you were thinking).


    From Rosthwaite we watched sheep being moves to new pastures and I had two dogs very eager to help. We also checked out a couple of farm campsites for future use when we finally get back to doing the original loop we had planned, or a variation thereof.

    From Rosthwaite we did a quiet, low level 5 mile hike to Seathwaite, the wettest place in England. Of course the sun was out for us and bathed the valley in layers of shadow and sunlight. The easy hike, other than the mild scramble just beyond the youth hostel, followed the River Derwent into the valley to Seathwaite Farm Campsite.



    The crystal clear waters of the river, little more than a beck here, were just too inviting. We paused on the banks, a low gravel beach, and the dogs played as I threw rocks for them. Kye brought me at least three rocks from the river bed. With the dogs thoroughly soaked and having had their fun we continued on.



    At Seathwaite Farm Campsite we made a slight U-turn and head back along the opposite side of the valley. This route took us through several stone-walled fields before leading us back to the youth hostel and then to Rosthwaite.

    We stopped for a second beer at the Scafell Hotel before heading up to find an overnight parking spot on Kirkstone pass…of which there were few and not easy to find. We did end up in a lovely spot but it rained for a while, although we were rewarded with a gorgeous rainbow first thing in the morning…although the camera didn’t capture it nearly as gorgeous as it was.


    ***

    Day 5
    I was up well after the sun and it looked amazing reflecting on the mountains behind us. I am not sure which peaks hugged us to the north east but they were rugged and wild like so many in the Lake District.
    The chill of the morning didn’t last long as the sun finally hit the car as I was packing up. It looked like it would be a good day for hiking and the weather forecast confirmed it.
    We parked just north of Grasmere (much to my annoyance at the end of the hike) and followed a narrow path on the verge to the turn off of the main road. A quick meander through farm houses or B&Bs took us to the start of the climb for Dead Pike and Steal Fell, the highest point for the day.

    We had mountain to ourselves and the trail was easy to find. Loud voices across the valley brought our attention to farmers and dogs bringing sheep in to the sheepfold. It was fun to watch, even at a distance but one of the dogs had managed to corner the sheep on quite a precarious precipice.
    I kept an eye on the progress as I climbed, reaching false summits (should have known they weren’t the top as I reached them too quickly). I am still not sure which one was Dead Pike but the peak of Steal Fell was obvious…and the cold wind was quickly and brutally sapping the heat from my body.

    We dropped off the top and the wind immediately quieted a little. Another cairn was ahead, not more than 30 yards away. I am not sure exactly which is the official summit but we touched both. Wainwright number 8 done.
    We paused at a point well protected from the wind and almost half way around the horseshoe for a snack. And just as we were settled a chill rain came through. The poncho was hastily pulled over me, gear and pack…and camera…and we waited out the 15 minute shower while staring at superb views.
    The weather continued to threaten throughout the rest if the morning but despite me donning my full rain suit for a bit we experienced no more than a few sprinkles of the wet stuff.

    There might not have been much water coming from above but the ground underfoot more than made up for it. From just below the summit of Steal Fell the ground was nothing but peat bog. Gortex trail shoes didn’t help much in those conditions although they did initially help keep my feet dry…they just weren’t up to THAT kind of challenge.

    We managed to mostly stay on the less wet parts and water never made it over the top of the rim of my shoes. The few rock outcroppings and mounds between the bogs were welcome islands of relief, despite the rocks and some scrambling.

    We summited Calf Crag and followed a faint trail by various pikes and mini-peaks to Gibson’s Knob (?), both of which I believe are Wainwrights. More of the same followed…descent to boggy area, rocky climb to dry area and back down again…and repeat.


    The final ascent took us to Helm Crag, home of the iconic and well-known rock formation The Lion and The Lamb…a gorgeous picture of which can be found here by landscape photographer Henry Turner:

    (Credit to Henry Turner. Print can be bought here: The Lion and the Lamb – Limited Edition Photo)

    We didn’t get the best views of the rock formation (and certainly not as good as Mr Turner) and the one place we did see it well I forgot to take a picture…I was too busy taking video. Just below the crag we took a lovely long break with views over Grasmere…it was such a perfect moment with amazing weather…it had be so changeable it was nice to have.


    I check with some passing hikers about the best way down as there were two routes…the direct one was very much not advised. The “easy” one was still tough and rocky so I can only imagine how tough the direct version was…I was glad I had asked. Compared to the descent from High Crag, however, this one was a walk in the park.

    The trail dropped us in to Grasmere where I enjoyed a pint of Hope House 13 on the patio. There was no pub garden, but it was enough to be a good end of the day…well that, and some famous Grasmere gingerbread as well as an ice cream. I definitely splurged!
    Last edited by DuneElliot; 08-04-2020 at 15:28.

  2. #2
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Very cool, looks awesome nice pictures and report. Looks like the dogs are loving it. Heading to work I'll have to watch the video later, but at the beginning of day 5 did you mean to post a picture of the rainbow? Thanks for sharing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Very cool, looks awesome nice pictures and report. Looks like the dogs are loving it. Heading to work I'll have to watch the video later, but at the beginning of day 5 did you mean to post a picture of the rainbow? Thanks for sharing!
    Rainbow? I'm not seeing any rainbow...where are you seeing a rainbow?

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    Right before day 5 *** there's this and you say we were rewarded with a gorgeous rainbow?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Right before day 5 *** there's this and you say we were rewarded with a gorgeous rainbow?
    Oh, I see what you mean...sorry, misunderstood what you said and forgot I wrote that in there. I have added the not-very-good picture of the rainbow I took...didn't do it justice

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    I just got paid to watch your video, don't tell anyone I just watched it while at work lol. You got great weather and that place has some really awesome views without a crazy amount of walking. Great looking well behaved dogs. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    I just got paid to watch your video, don't tell anyone I just watched it while at work lol. You got great weather and that place has some really awesome views without a crazy amount of walking. Great looking well behaved dogs. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.
    Ha ha...used to do that all the time. Thanks for taking the time to watch. The Lake District really is quite unique...but certainly a lot wetter most of the time.

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    Very nice. Lake District is on our list of places to visit. Question. Is dispersed (wild) camping allowed? Also a suggestion. A lot of your pictures had a person blocking the view. I would think that would be easy to avoid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    Very nice. Lake District is on our list of places to visit. Question. Is dispersed (wild) camping allowed? Also a suggestion. A lot of your pictures had a person blocking the view. I would think that would be easy to avoid.
    Just an inkling but maybe because "that person " is her and she planned it this way? I don't mean to be rude just saying........

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    Very nice. Lake District is on our list of places to visit. Question. Is dispersed (wild) camping allowed? Also a suggestion. A lot of your pictures had a person blocking the view. I would think that would be easy to avoid.
    It is one of the few places that it is tolerated and lawful to a degree. There are only a couple of places to camp like that in the UK; Scotland and Dartmoor are the only legal places to wild/dispersed camp. Must be above the highest Fell wall and limited on nights...you can't pitch and wander off for a day hike.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Just an inkling but maybe because "that person " is her and she planned it this way? I don't mean to be rude just saying........
    And yes, thank you. I go solo and after a while landscapes get a bit generic after a while...pretty and all, but I want to be a part of my own vacation memories and there's no one to take pictures of me in the pretty landscapes. I do take a lot of landscape pictures as well, but my blog is about me and my adventures and hikes so need to make myself visible in those more than anywhere else.

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    Sorry about the photo comment. I know full well these are selfies. I was just trying to find a witty way of expressing my own personal dissatisfaction with current trends in photography. I disagree with the assertion that inserting myself in landscape pictures makes them less boring or that a travel blog needs pictures of the author. But I am an old fart and probably the only one who feels that way. But consider this. Ansel Adams was most famous for landscape photos, but he also took portraits, even self portraits. For me there is a difference between a self portrait and a selfie. On my last backpacking trip I was at a road crossing with a scenic overlook. I was enjoying a view when a car pulls up, a person gets out, takes a selfie, and drives off. She had her back to the overlook for the entire 5 seconds she was there. To what degree is what we post contributing to this type of behavior?

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    I solo myself, I was social distancing before social distancing was cool! My only concern for you would be getting to close to a steep drop off taking pictures, with loose rocks or slippery. Every year someone falls to their death taking selfies on MD heights down there in Harper's Ferry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Odd Man Out View Post
    Sorry about the photo comment. I know full well these are selfies. I was just trying to find a witty way of expressing my own personal dissatisfaction with current trends in photography. I disagree with the assertion that inserting myself in landscape pictures makes them less boring or that a travel blog needs pictures of the author. But I am an old fart and probably the only one who feels that way. But consider this. Ansel Adams was most famous for landscape photos, but he also took portraits, even self portraits. For me there is a difference between a self portrait and a selfie. On my last backpacking trip I was at a road crossing with a scenic overlook. I was enjoying a view when a car pulls up, a person gets out, takes a selfie, and drives off. She had her back to the overlook for the entire 5 seconds she was there. To what degree is what we post contributing to this type of behavior?
    To me, there is a difference between a selfie (what you're talking about) and taking a photo of the scenery with you in it. I do agree with what you are saying in essence though...but I think it's all subjective. I don't see my pictures as selfies...I'm taking a photo of the scenery primarily, and me in it secondly.

    I do a LOT of the other kind of photography also...but backpacking trips are not a place I take my good camera. Different trips, different priorities, different thought process...you just need to look my Instagram to see that is more about capturing the essence of the landscape and "real" photography.

    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    I solo myself, I was social distancing before social distancing was cool! My only concern for you would be getting to close to a steep drop off taking pictures, with loose rocks or slippery. Every year someone falls to their death taking selfies on MD heights down there in Harper's Ferry.
    Again, not selfies. I have never, and would never, put myself in danger just to take a picture with or without me in it. I put my camera (video and stills) away on rough sections...safety is a priority...I don't need any shot THAT badly.

    I don't want to turn this thread into a debate about what is and isn't a selfie so lets just leave it here.

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    Apologies, I didn't know what else to call it , I'm old. I perfectly understood your reasons for being in pics. I also agree it adds to the personal side of a story not just another scenery. Adventure on and please share your future experiences.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Apologies, I didn't know what else to call it , I'm old. I perfectly understood your reasons for being in pics. I also agree it adds to the personal side of a story not just another scenery. Adventure on and please share your future experiences.....

    Ha ha, no worries. I think I just get a little bit of ruffled feathers when people call anything a person is in a selfie just because they had to take the picture themselves...to me, selfies are those with nothing but the person in them, making pouty faces, or drinking, with nothing around them...I think it's all about the psychology of WHY you are taking a picture that determined selfie or landscape with self in it.

    Glad you enjoyed. Have a new one coming out next week.

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