14 January 2009

Red needle over red arrow...

is all I've been doing today. For the past few days I've been closely watching multiple weather forecasts in the hope of catching the best day of what looked like a rather grim week so that I could head to the hills and get some half decent views. Supposedly that day was today and to be honest it was all going well until I clicked on the indicator to turn off the A66 to cut down to Ambleside via St John's in the Vale; there was cloud covering all the central fells, which was just where I was heading.

Anyway I carried on and pulled up in the car park at the New Dungeon Ghyll, I dropped my money into the parking meter and after putting £5.20 of change in the machine it let me know that the transaction was cancelled and refused to issue me a ticket, or give a refund. I had no more money on me so was now in a dilemma: do I leave the van with a note in the windscreen and hope I get away with the £60 fine, or do I turn tail and head for home, or abandon the van on the B5343, which is littered with signs stating: "POLICE. NO PARKING,' and hope it doesn't get towed away.

In the end it was none of the above as what can only be described as the nicest person in the world, the owner of the New Dungeon Ghyll, who was just setting off to walk her dogs, gave us permission to park in one of her free parking spaces by Stickle Cottages. Problem solved, but the
National Park will be getting a few whinging messages sent there way about parking fees and actually trying to pay them.

As for the walk, it's as the title suggests, most of it was done by taking bearings from the map and religiously following them in the hope of hitting the right paths at the right time. It did work to some degree.

Stickle Tarn.

We managed to summit Sergeant Man after reaching a bleak Stickle Tarn, and then hit High Raise for a quick dinner stop in the stone shelter before carrying on to Thunacar Knott.

The triangulation point on High Raise, which was a blessing when it reared up in front of us.

I'm still unsure if we actually reached Thunacar Knott's summit, and that is maybe why we had so much trouble finding the 736m high summit of Harrison Stickle. A friendly rambler, who appeared out of the mist, was able to reposition us on the map with his GPS as I was starting to loose hope of ever finding the summit. We eventually reached it, took a westerly course off the top and starting looking for the next one, Loft Crag. When the path started descending I guessed that we were on the wrong one again, gave up and just followed the path as it carried on down the side of Dungeon Ghyll to retreat back to the van, giving up hope of bagging the last three summits.

A break in the cloud, on the early descent, reveals the cascading waters of Stickle Ghyll.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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