Showing posts with label dad and lad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dad and lad. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Taking the Boy up Bowfell (AKA the Eiger) via climbers traverse in winter

Video of the walk

Date: 3rd December 2016
Start/Finish: Old Dungeon Ghyll
Summits: Bowfell (2959 feet), Rossett Pike (2136 feet) [and the Eiger! 13,020 feet]
Distance: 9 miles
Elevation: 4076 feet
Time Taken: 6 hours

The Route : Clockwise from Old Dungeon Ghyll (far right)

It had been ages since I was last in the fells. Five months in fact. The main reasons were 1) getting a new job 2) having a child who needs driving to football-lots 3) bad weather whenever I planned a trip. Anyway, it was time make amends. My 9 year old was keen to get out for a hiking adventure and I had promised to take him up Bowfell. Stories of steep crags, exposed routes and stunning views had whetted his appetite and there was also the chance of some snow high up which added to the excitement. 

We parked up near the Old Dungeon Ghyll and headed off through Stool End Farm and up the Band. Patches of snow were visible higher up but the summit of Bowfell remained elusively under cloud. As he had managed Blencathra with ease in the summer I thought that the climbers traverse / great slab route would be good challenge for him, especially if there was a bit of snow around. However, as we didn't have axe's & spikes I was prepared to turn back or change routes if needed 
(I had checked the various web cams, weather forecasts and blogs and was satisfied that any snow/ice would be patchy and avoidable).

Stool End Farm

Oxendale Beck 

A friendly local

Pike O'Stickle

Looking back along the Great Langdale Valley

First patch of snow high up on the Band

We headed up the Band until leaving the main path to access climbers traverse (a detailed description of how to find the route is described here). At this point we encountered the first few patches of snow which the boy promptly jumped in, got his gloves soaking wet and his hands cold. No problem though. I has prepared for such eventualities and had a rucksack full of spare warm stuff. So on went the waterproof mitts and the conversation turned to famous mountaineers and epic alpine adventures. Before long his imagination was fired and we were embarking on the first ascent of the Eiger. He had great fun climbing up a steepish patch of snow using 2 poles and plenty of grit and determination. He felt like a real mountaineer and I was happy that the slope gradually levelled out at the bottom where there were no rocks to slide into if he slipped.  

Struggling up the the Eigers fiercesome north face !  

Up to his thighs on the 'Rote Fluh'

Kicking steps on the 'White Spider'

Having successfully conquered the Eiger we returned to Bowfell and made our way towards the climbers traverse. It was great to take my son along this narrow route which winds its way amongst some of Lakelands most spectacular rock scenery. The presence of a few snow patches added to the adventure. 

Climbers Traverse .....

..... or rather the Hinterstoisser Traverse!

Looking towards Bowfell Buttress

The water spout under Cambridge Crag

A hyperlapse video of climbers traverse

We stopped for a well earned rest and a bite to eat by the water spout at the bottom of Cambridge Crag before heading off for the final push up the steep boulder field by the famous Great Slab.

Views over Great Slab towards the Langdale Pikes

Scrambling up the boulder field

A misty Great Slab

From the top of Great Slab its just a short amble to the shattered summit of Bowfell. Unfortunately there were no views today so we didn't linger. Instead we headed quickly off towards Esk Pike but then got distracted by more large snow fields which just had to be walked over, slid down and jumped in.

Getting back below the cloud and about to 'bum slide' down this inviting slope

Views over to Esk Pike

How Exciting!?

By the time we had finished playing around it was clear that we wouldn't have enough daylight left to climb over Esk Pike and come back via Esk Hause as originally planned. Instead we took a short cut down to Angle Tarn at Ore Gap where even more large snow fields distracted us into further fun and frolics. By the time we bagged Rossett Pike and got down the Rossett Gill path it was going dark. Head torches were deployed for that last mile along the Cumbria Way back to the car. This made for a last bit of excitement before the end of a perfect lad & dad adventure.

Snowball action shot

The arty black and white shot of Angle Tarn

Bowfell summit now out of cloud ..... typical!

Trying to make a snow angel

Icing a limb threatening wound on Rossett Pike summit

Looking down Rossett Gill and back along the Great Langdale Valley

Next on the adventure radar .... The Matterhorn!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Lingmoor Fell : A Dad & Lad Hike

Date: 24th August 2014
Start/Finish: Old Dungeon Ghyll
Wainwrights: just Lingmoor Fell
Distance: 4.5 Miles
Height Gained: 1719 feet
Time Taken: a very leisurely 5 hours

Standing in isolation between the Great & Little Langdale valleys Lingmoor Fell is a bit of a loose end for a Wainwright bagger who likes to link many peaks together over longer walks. The solution was therefore to bring to my 7 year old and make a day of it. No rush, just a leisurely exploration of a fell untrodden for me but often seen from above. As the boy loves 'climbing' and 'scrambling' I decided on a route from Old Dungeon Ghyll which took in the rocky Side Pike and then return via Blea Tarn where he could skim stones and do other 'boy stuff'. It was a resounding success. He had a great day and the weather was perfect. He now wants to climb the Langdale Pikes having seen them from one of their best vantage points on this walk. 

Admiring the Langdale Pikes

Looking along Mickleden

Bow Fell & Crinkle Crags

Doing some 'Scrambling'

Racing me to the top ... and winning!

Lovely views over to the 'Pikes' ...

... and over to Bowfell / Crinkles

'Boy Heaven'

Side Pike summit panorama

Looking over to Lingmoor Fell from Side Pike
Squeezing through rocks on Side Pike

Looking back to Side Pike - Great spot for a rest

Stunning Scenery

No words required !

Picture postcard stuff !

Looking back along the route taken

Blea Tarn

Approaching Lingmoor Fell summit

Great views over to Bowfell

Lingmoor Fell summit with Windermere beyond

Views back westwards

Lingmoor Fell summit panorama north ...

... and south

Summit Selfie

Nice views from our lunch spot

Heading back down

The Heather in full bloom

Always time for a bit of tree climbing

Thinking Blea Tarn is heart shaped

Those Langdale Pikes are just too photogenic

Blea Tarn ...

... and again

Doing 'boy stuff'

Looking back towards Lingmoor Fell ...

... and Side Pike

Nearly back at the car

But first a bit of paddling

That felt good!

Perfect spot to cool down

   We actually spent about an hour by this stream as the boy insisted on taking his kit off and going for a 'swim'. It really was a lovely spot to splash around and cool down. The perfect end to great dad & lad day out.