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Booked into Glossop Travelodge (£34 per room without breakfast but cheaper if booked well in advance and it is above a Wetherspoons which does breakfast). This is very well placed for accessing Kinder and Bleaklow from the west. En route, walked Burbage Edge, Stanage Edge, Robin Hood's Cave, Higger Tor, Carl Wark and Mother Cap from Longshaws. Lovely views when clear. On day 2, from Old Glossop, walked up Yellow Slacks ridge and Dowstone Clough to Hern Stones then Bleaklow Head. Returned to Hern Stones where found someone lost and without a compass in thick mist! Took them to Higher Shelf Stones then down James Thorn back to the start. On day 3, from Bowden Bridge, walked up William Clough onto Kinder NW corner, to trig point retruning via Downfall, Red Brook, Kinder Low and Oaken Clough in thick mist, gales and hail! On final day, walked in from top of Snake Pass, across Ashop Moor, to Mill Hill then up on to NW corner of Kinder then on to Downfall before returning same way. With two cars, it would have been very pleasant to descend to either Edale, Mam Tor or Hayfield. Met 3 guys on Kinder without map or compass in mist! Ended trip with carvery lunch at Crossgates Tavern on A 57 into Sheffield near Crookes which was excellent value for only £4.19.
A few days later was back in the Lake District, again near Hartsop and Brothers Water. The weather was mild but very wet and windy with becks swollen. First two days involved ascents by the side of the very steep, but attractive, Angletarn Beck with visits to Angletarn Pikes and Brock Crags on day 1 then Brock Crags and Rest Dodd on day 2. Day 3 was a steep ascent up on to Bonscale Pike and Arthur's Pike from Howtown. Day 4 was really wet so waited for an afternoon improvement then had a very pleasant walk up Arnison Crag in a severe gale! Day 5 was a little better so did an extened version of day 3, this time starting off from Howtown then up Steel Knotts, which is a lovely ascent and ridge, on to Wether Hill and Loadpot Hill before returning over Bonscale Pike and Arthur's Pike. Day 6 was a day off to Visit Glasgow, easy on the train from Penrith. Day 7 was cold and very windy so headed into Dovedale and ascended the rarely walked Stangs Ridge and Stand Crags, which is a lovely route up onto the ridge between Little Hart Crag and Dove Crag, before returning over Little Hart Crag then down what looks like the steep nose of High Hartsop Dodd but there is a good path which twists its way down. Day 8 was hoping to be a round of the head of Haweswater but the weather was torrential so had an easier walk further down the valley over Knipescar Common which is probably more in keeping with the Yorkshire Dales than the Lake District. None the less, it is a pleasnat short walk. Day 9 was a lot colder with overnight snow on the fells so headed for the “car park” below Stybarrow Crag and walked up Glenridding Dodd then Sheffield. This is a lovely ascent especially the curving ridge up on to Heron Pike, a subsidiary top of Sheffield Pike. Fair amount of snow high up and very cold with a piercing wind. Descent was down the Glencoyne Valley passing the oddly named hamlet of “Seldom Seen”. Day 10 was going home day but just managed to fit in a little gem of a walk which involved an ascending traverse up Lingy Crag by various rakes then on to Brock Crags before a direct return to Hartsop. Whatever, the weather, you can always find a hill to climb in the Lake District!
Sunday, 2/2, led a group from Longshaws along Burbage Edge, Stanage to Robin Hood's Cave then back over Higger Tor and Carl Wark on a very cold and windy day but it was clear and dry! That evening, checked into Glossop Travelodge for 4 nights @ £25 per room per night without food. Monday, on a colder and windier day, set off from Old Glossop and traversed under Shelf Benches (very impressive to look at) then meandered up over Pike to Higher Shelf Stones where there is aircraft wreckage over quite a wide area. Walked north to Hern Stones then the Wain Stones where two of the rocks are also known as the Kissing Stones if you look at them from the right angle!. Continued to Bleaklow Head before walking back past the Wain Stones, detouring to Dog Rock on Yellow Slacks, then on to Glossop Low avoiding the Pennine Way as it leads to a very boggy route later on. Walked SW down Glossop Low to Cock Hill with its old workings before continuing down to the start. A lovely walk and probably my favourite route up on to Bleaklow and Higher Shelf Stones.
Now in the Lake District staying near Brothers Water. On 10/2, drove to the head of Haweswater and walked up Gatesgarth Pass then over a snow covered Branstree, Selside Pike and on to Hare Shaw before returning along its undulating SW ridge which has a delightful descent back to Haweswater. On 11/2, set off from just before Swindale Foot, walking to the head of this lovely unspoilt valley before ascending up to Mosedale almost to the foot of Brunt Tongue before cutting back to High Wether Howe and Seat Robert then descending down the side of Goulther Crag back to Swindale. On 12/2, with a horrendous forecast, set off across Aira Force and up Gowbarrow where the wind was so strong, standing up on the summit was almost impossible. Descended down the wall on its NW/W side then walked back along the river. 22 hour power cut that evening and much of the following day coupled with bad weather so had a day off. On 14/2, with a poor forecast from late morning, went to explore Heughscar Hill, near Pooley Bridge. There are many interesting features here including a stone circle. On 15/2, better weather was forecast but it took longer to arrive than expected. Revisited High Wether Howe but walked along the top of Goulther and Outlaw Crags, mainly in a snow storm! On 16/2, much better weather was promised but the morning was abit disappointing and it was cold with a piercing wind high up. Headed for high Row near Dockray and walked to Dowthwaite Head before going up on to Watermillock Common then around to Birkett Fell, Hart Side, White Stones, Stybarrow Dodd, Watson's Dodd, Great Dodd and Clough Head before returning along the Old Coach Road. Very wintry underfoot with soft and crisp snow and some ice so crampons had to be put from Stybarrow Dodd to Calfhow Pike. Excellent views of Skiddaw and Blencathra from Calfhow Pike and Clough Head. On 17/2, a damp morning suggested a short walk up High Hartsop Dodd, on to Little hart Crag then down Scandale Pass. Unfortunately, it never cleared and quite a storm came in! The walk was still straight forward though but hardly any views. Caiston Beck which descends from Scandale Pass to the north has a couple of small and interesting gorges. 18/2 was going home day but just time for a quickie up Lingy Crag and Brock Crags above Hartsop. Unfortunately, it rained most of the time but very mild and the snow is thawing very quickly.
Now back at Glossop Travelodge; this time paying £31 per night. Drove over on Sunday, 23/2, via Edale where a shortish walk took in Golden Clough, northern edge, Trig Point 590, Madwoman's Stones and Ringing Roger. Very pleasant despite the high winds. The plateau is narrow here so one can enjoy views from both the southern and northern edges of Kinder. Boggy, as expected, on the plateau but Golden Clough and Ringing Roger much better. On 24/2, set off from Torside and went straight up on to the Longdendale Edge before walking along to Stable Clough then on to Bleaklow Head before returning via Wildboar Clough. Some rough and boggy walking but a good outing. On 25/2, decided to find an “idiot proof” route which included Wildboar Clough and Torside Clough which would be relatively simple even in mist. Succeeded and it was a very pleasant outing. On 26/2, decided to try and find a circuit, from the north, which included both Bleaklow Stones and Bleaklow Head without any doubling back. The route started at the Woodhead tunnels, went up Far Black Clough to Bleaklow Stones, across the plateau to Bleaklow Head then returning via Near Far Clough. A good outing but quite boggy and stony underfoot. 27/2 was going home day so parked in Howard Town and walked up Higher Shelf Stones via Shelf Benches then went over to Bleaklow Head and returned down the Yellow Slacks ridge. A good end to a good 5 days.
Back in the Lake District near Brothers Water. On 5/3, with a deteriorating forecast, headed for the head of Haweswater to ascend High Street by its best route via the Rough Crag and Long Stile ridge with the possibility of extending to Mardale Ill Bell and Harter Fell if the weather holds up. Went equipped with in step crampons and ice axe as the top of the Long Stile ridge seems to be holding a lot of snow. As it turned out, the winter gear was not needed but the weather was poor so just retraced the route of ascent. Very windy with some ferocious gusts. Quite a few others attempted the ascent but gave up because of the wind. On 6/3, the forecast was not so good with the cloud quite low around Brothers Water so headed for Gowbarrow and Aira Force to try and get some decent photos. Lovely short outing but higher fells in cloud. On 7/3, the forecast was clear, becoming drier with winds easing form severe gales so headed up Deepdale for Gavel Pike and St. Sunday Crag with the remainder weather dependent. The wind never eased and could not stand up on St. Sunday Crag so came down via Birks and Arnison Crag which was still a lovely walk. On 8/3, laptop broke so had to go into Penrith to get it fixed! On 9/3, forecast was dull and overcast so waited until late morning before setting off to repeat a very bad weather walk from February: High Hartsop Dodd, Little Hart Crag and Scandale Pass. Tops were just about clear and the weather much, much kinder than previously. For 10/3, we were promised glorious weather and it was. Had an excellent day up Rough Crag and Long Stile to High Street then along to Mardale Ill Bell and Harter Fell before descending over Adam Seat then down Gatesgarth Pass – all in wall to wall sunshine with hardly a breeze! The glorious weather continued on 11/3 so decided to head for Cross Fell, the highest peak in the Pennines and not far from Penrith. With an open mind about where to start, found a road heading up towards the “Golf Ball” on Great Dun Fell. The public section of this tarmac road takes you up to 670 m!! From there it is almost a stroll to Cross Fell from where one can see the Helvellyn range, Grasmoor, Grisedale Pike, Blencathra and Skiddaw. A wonderful day out!Another glorious day on 12/3 taking in the Kentmere Horseshoe, 10 tops in all but quite strenuous. 13/3 did not promise weather as good but it wasn't far off although a heat haze was now building. None the less, it was an excellent (linear) outing over Red Screes, Little Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Fairfield, Cofa Pike, St. Sunday Crag and Gavel Pike.
Back at the Glossop Travelodge on 23/3. En route led a walk from Grindleford to Hay Wood, Froggatt, Curbar & White Edges before returning via Longshaws and Padley Gorge. Lovely scenic walk on a nice day but it was showery with a piercing wind! On 24/3, drove around to the A635 on the north side of Black Hill which is a lovely drive. Ascended via new Pennine Way which is now a well constructed path and descended via old Pennine Way which is without maintenance and quite boggy, leading down to the road about 2.5 km west of the start. On 25/3, a wet and miserable day, ascended Black Hill from Crowden using the easily followed but boggy and stony Pennine Way then returning over Tooleyshaw Moor which was not as boggy as has been seen previously. On 26/3, decided to walk up Crowden Little Brook, as an alternative to White Low. It is a lovely little valley with a picturesque waterfall on a tributary. Continued to Black Hill returning via the Pennine Way. This route is rough in places but misses the worst of the bog on the White Moss crest.
Late March into April
Back in Killarney after the overnight ferry from Holyhead to Dublin. Again, staying at the very pleasant Fossa Camping Park in a modern mobile home. On 30/3, headed for the Baurearagh Forest near Kilgarvan to ascend Knockbrack and Dromderalough which are essentially subsidiary tops of Mangerton Mountain. This area does not welcome hill walkers! A pleasant day with excellent views including Mangerton Mountain, Torc Mountain, Purple Mountain, MacGillycuddy's Reeks, Broaghnabinnia & Stumpa Duloigh and Beann & Mullaghanattin even if much of the route was pathless over rough ground. On 31/3, the forecast was none too good (but turned out to be much better!) so headed for Torc Waterfall and Mountain which is a lovely walk of about 4 hours with superb views to Mangerton Mountain, Purple Mountain, MacGillycuddy's Reeks, Broaghnabinnia and more. Very easy path to the summit. On 1stApril, the weather forecast was obviously an April Fool's Joke as thunderstorms were promised but never materialised!! Given this, headed for Mullaghanish, near Ballyvourney, which is an easy ascent (less than 2 hours up and down) in the hope of some photos of The Paps and Caherbarnagh. Mullaghanish is over 2000 feet but its summit is a collection of buildings and masts so has little attraction close up. In the event, the worst weather was gloom so got a few decent photos to upload. On 2/4, the forecast was for a poor morning then brightening up in the afternoon so, at lunchtime, headed for the Knockmoyle range hoping to cover all five tops but the good weather was slow to arrive so only the first two of Knocknagantee and Knockmoyle were covered but what a fantastic rugged group of mountains which are well defended by rock and bog! The following day back for the whole range but the weather forecast was wildly out and the hills were shrouded in low cloud all day. The first four: Knocknagantee, Knockmoyle, Coomura and Coomanassig were relatively straight forward but the ridge from Coomanassig to Finnararagh was very complex and featureless making for very slow going in mist and it had to be reversed! Will be back again on a nicer day. On 4/4, headed for The Paps by the most direct route and it was a lovely short day in clear conditions. On 4/4, Radio Kerry forecast that 5/4 would be a similar day. How wrong they were! It rained all day so decided to head up the so called “Red Route” on Torc Mountain. It does not go to the summit so left it about halfway up and tried to follow an old path through a severely overgrown area of dense rhododendrons. Progress was exceptionally slow but managed to force a way through and get to the summit then descended by the gentle tourist route. Try this route at your peril! On 6/4, with a reasonable forecast, headed for Lauragh, beyond Kenmare, for the long horseshoe which takes in Tooth Mountain and Lackabane plus many other tops, none of which reaches 2000 feet but it is still a tough round to rival any other in these parts. A fine circuit. On 7/4, walked up to the Head of the Gap of Dunloe then returned over Drishana, Cnoc na d' Tarbh, Cnoc an Bhraca and Struicin. A fine yet tough walk with excellent views of the eastern Reeks and the Purple Mountain range. On 8/4, a reasonable forecast suggested another look at the full traverse of the Knockmoyle range in order to get some better photos. Fortunately, the weather held up and a wonderful day was had. On 9/4, a better forecast suggested it was a good day for the Coomloughra Horseshoe in the clockwise direction. It was mainly clear and dry but with a bitterly cold and piercing wind. The path down Caher NW is now quite badly eroded. After a rest/catch up day when it rained for hours anyway, 11/4 promised sunny skies so headed for a direct ascent of Coomcallee from the north. This looks very steep but is actually just a walk and it takes little more than an hour to the top. Weather forecast was, as seems usual, wrong and although clear, gloomy skies persisted all day!
Mid- April into May
Staying in the Killin area with glorious weather. On 19/4, headed for the remote Corbetts of Meall Buidhe and Sron a' Choire Chnapanaich. Lovely wild walk on pathless but mainly pleasant terrain. On 20/4, headed for a big horseshoe of two munros, a munto top and a corbett taking in Beinn Pharlagain, Sgor Gaibre, Sgor Choinnich and Carn Dearg. Long and tough but superb views. On 21/4, headed for Ben Vorlich, Ardlui, via Little Hills which is a lovely ridge and the finest approach to the mountain. On 23/4, with an uncertain forecast, headed to Glen Falloch (northern continuation of Loch Lomond) to climb Troisgeach, Meall an Fhudair and Beinn Damhain. Lovely walk but turned out to wet, windy and misty so not much seen of the excellent views which can be had. Will have to repeat this walk! On 24/4, headed down the Balquidder Glen for Stob a' Choin and Stob Breac – a Corbett and a Graham separated by a deep gap. This is probably the hardest route in the glen which many will find surprising as this is an access point for the An Caisteal group of Munros. Cruach Ardrain, Ben More and Stob Binnein! It is a very tough route on some very steep grass in places but good to have done. The views are outstanding. On 26/4, only had time for a shorter walk so headed for the Graham of Sgaith a' Chaise on the opposite side of Glen Ample (Loch Lubnaig to Loch earn) from Beinn Each and Stuc a' Chroin. Very pleasant walk but not the day for photos! On 27/4, relocated to Kinlochleven. On 28/4, headed for Stob a' Choire Odhair and Stob Ghabhar. Unfortunately, left ice axe in car as did not think it would be needed and it was needed so changed route slightly but still took in both Munros. On 29/4, headed for the Corbetts of Beinn Udlaidh and Beinn Bhreac-Liath which give excellent views when clear; it was clearish! Had a day off on 30/4. On 1/5, took the train from Bridge of Orchy to Corrour and had an enjoyable round on Leum Uilleim but with a bitingly cold wind. On 2/5, the forecast was brilliant but turned out to be wrong. Headed up Beinn Dorain, which had mist and hoar frost on the summit, and Beinn an Dothaidh. Good views some of the day. On 3/5, walked in from Victoria Bridge for the Graham of Beinn Suidhe which is a brilliant viewpoint especially for Stob Coir'an Albannaich and Meall nan Eun. On 5/5, only had time for a shorter walk so headed for Beinn a' Chrulaiste which is behind Kingshouse but, more significantly, opposite Buachaille Etive Mor and offers some of the finest views of this mountain. Weather was reasonable enough for some fair photos and, for a change, walked off down the W ridge then back along the West Highland Way before heading for Fort William for a few days. On 6/5, took the long drive down Loch Arkaig and climbed the Corbetts of Sgurr Mhurlagain and Fraoch Bheinn. The former was in cloud but it cleared for the latter and fine views were had. On 7/5, returned for the next mountain up Glen Dessary: Sgurr Cos na Breachd-laoigh which forms an almost perfect horseshoe. Good views but mist at times with some showers so the waterproof camera had to come out. 8/5 was the last day of the trip so drove down the Mallaig road to Fassfern and ascended Druim Fada by its long west ridge with fine views.
Back in the Lake District, albeit with a late start, so, on 18/5, headed for Striding Edge, Helvellyn, Swirral Edge and Catstye Cam in the hope of some better photos. Success although it was abit hazy. Hills surprisingly quiet. On 19/5, as had cycle along on this trip, decided to leave a bike in Kirkland and walk from Dufton over Knock Fell, Great Dun Fell (“Golf Ball”), Little Dun Fell and Cross Fell then descend to Kirkland and cycle back to Dufton. Worth doing with good views on a clear day. On 20/5, the forecast was for a good morning with increasing heavy rain and thunderstorms in the afternoon so headed for Catstye Cam by its NW ridge, continuing over Swirral Edge to Helvellyn then returning over Lower Man, Whiteside and the Zig-zags. As it turned out, there was no rain until after 7 pm so a fine day was had! On 21/5, with a good forecast, headed for Ambleside and the Fairfield Horseshoe, one of the most famous Lakeland walks. Good clear conditions produced many fine photos. On 22/5 headed for an overnight stay in Kinlochleven. The following day. Ascended Sgor na h-Ulaidh by an old and interesting route through broken rocks. Very clear with superb views of the Ballachulish, Glencoe and Glen Etive hills. Later that day moved on to Fort William. On 24/5, headed for one of the hardest to reach mountains in Scotland: An Stac on the south side of Loch Morar. The weather was very kind with superb views as far as Rum and Skye which made up for the drive down Loch Arkaig, the cycle in through forestry works and the long boggy walk through Glen Pean! On 26/5, headed for Streap, a high Corbett near Glenfinnan. Took the Gleann Dubh Lighe approach and included Beinn an Tuim on its S ridge which is almost a Corbett in its own right. This S ridge gives a lot of up and down. The final ridge to Streap then the ridge to Streap Comhlaidh are quite narrow but enjoyable. On 27/5, went to ascend An Stac's “mate” but not via Glen Pean as it is sufficiently west to be reached from Loch Eilt and Loch Beoraid with a ridge to be crossed en route. Lovely views again. On 28/5, went for probably the easiest summits above 1100 m: Stob a Choire Mheadhoin and Stob Coire Easian which were still holding a fair amount of snow. Good views in all directions including to Grey Corries. On 30/5, went back down Loch Arkaig to finish the group with Sgurr Mor and Sgurr an Fhuarain which meant crossing over from Glen Dessary to Glen Kingie to reach these mountains. Tough but good views again. On 31/5, went for the Ring of Steall in the Central Mamores from Glen Nevis. This walk starts with crossing the infamous wire bridge but it is straightforward if you take it slowly! A tough round though with 7 tops above Munro height but excellent views especially to Ben Nevis, Aonach Beag and Grey Corries. The path back to Glen Nevis from An Gearanach is easy to follow but hard on the knees! On 1/6, had an easy stroll up Meall an t-Slamain which is opposite Ben Nevis on the corner of Loch Linnhe and Loch Eil. An excellent viewpoint in clear weather.
Late June/Early July
Based at Dingwall Campsite. On 26/6, with a very good forecast, headed for An Teallach – probably the largest mountain in Scotland. Took on the full traverse which adds a lot of time as 3 tops are off the main ridge. The scrambling on Corrag Buidhe is good but exposed and sitting on Lord Berkeley's Seat – a flat topped tower – is a must. Long tough day though especially with 1 car as that means a walk back along the road from Dundonnel to Corrie Hallie. Brilliant views into Fisherfield. On 28/6, took the boat ( £25 but saves 3 hours of rough walking) down Loch Mullardoch and walked back over the four Munros. Brilliant views and some lovely easy ridges but almost cold enough to snow! On 29/6, took advantage of the dry spell to ascend Am Faochagach from the NW end of Loch Glascarnoch. In normal weather, this is a very boggy approach and a very difficult river crossing but not today. Fine views of Beinn Dearg, Seann a Bhraigh and the Fannaichs. On 30/6, headed for Liathach on a very good forecast which turned out to be completely wrong! No chance of any decent photos so will come back on another day. On 1/7, went back to Loch Mullardoch and took the boat to the foot of Beinn Fhionnlaidh which is rather awkward to access from the Glen Affric side. Had a long, tough but very enjoyable walk over Beinn Fhionnlaidh, Carn Eige, Tom a' Choinich and Toll Creagach back to the Loch Mullardoch Dam. On 3/7, with a poor forecast (which turned out to be wrong, again!) headed for Ben Wyvis and all its tops. Taking in its most remote top of Glas Leathad Beag virtually doubles the time for the walk but does allow one to see the back of Ben Wyvis which is much more interesting than its mainly grassy front. On 5/7, headed for the Beinn Dearg quartet (Beinn Dearg, Cona Mheall, Meall nan Ceapraichean and Eididh nan Clach Geala). These are rough, but magnificent, mountains with a long walk in and out but well worth the effort. Excellent views. On 6/7, headed for Scotland's “mountain in miniature” properly known as Stac Pollaidh which lies north of Ullapool. This is very rocky and much is only for the climber but that still leaves enough for the average mountaineer to have a wonderful day out. A tower prevents many reaching the summit but there is a fairly straightforward way to get past which many do not find.
After a short break, back in the far north of Scotland. On11/7, with a very good forecast, headed for Torridon and a full traverse of all the Munro tops of Liathach including the least visited Meall Dearg. Excellent day with brilliant views. Many worry about the pinnacled main crest but there is a good avoiding path for those who just wish to link the two Munros. On 13/7, with an indifferent forecast, headed back to Torridon for Beinn Alligin. Although the mist took away many of the views, it was still a splendid day especially on the Horns of Alligin. On 14/7, with a poor forecast for later in the day, headed for Little Wyvis and missed most of the rain. Even got a few decent views. There is now a path for most of the way to the top making the walk an easy 4 hour stroll. On 15/7, with a poor morning forecast to get better, headed to Achnasheen for a grassy ascent of Fionn Bheinn and Meall a' Chaorainn. Quite wet and boggy underfoot in places but excellent views when it cleared especially to the other Fannaichs. On 16/7, with quite an indifferent forecast, headed to Glen Glass to ascend the Graham of Meall Mor which is well placed for views of Ben Wyvis and Carn Chuinneag. A straightforward walk but Ben Wyvis in cloud most of the day! On 17/7, spent final day on a full Munro Top traverse of Beinn Eighe in Torridon. As rough and tough as ever! Found a “traverse path” on Coinneach Mhor but it turned out to be far worse than the short and rocky crest from Sail Mhor as it meant ascending steeper, looser, wetter and vegetated rock with some sheer drops!
Late July/Early August
Got the overnight ferry from Holyhead to Dublin on 27/7 and headed for “The Apple” - avery pleasant camping and caravanning site between Cahir and Clonmel. Had time to pop up Slievenamon which only takes about 2 hours and gives good views of the surrounding area. On 28/7, headed for the Comeragh Mountains which are noted for their spectacular coums (corries) rather than their featureless ridges. A very pleasant circuit starts at Kilclooney car park and goes around the rim of Coumshingaun (and its fine lough) with the summit of Fauscoum easily taken in. This may well be the finest coum in Ireland. On 29/7, with an indifferent forecast, headed for the southern end of the Comeragh Mounatins starting from the top of the pass on the Dalligan Bridge road. A good track and path made it an easy day but it looked like it could be boggy in a wet spell. On 30/7, headed for the Nire Valley and walked around the coums above it, taking in Coumfea, Coumlocha, Knockanaffrin and Knocksheegowna. Good views but fairly tough underfoot in the very warm conditions. On 31/7, with a very indifferent forecast, headed a long way east, from Clonmel, to near Ballymurphy for a fine short walk up Blackstairs Mountain. On 1/8, headed for Mount Leinster from Ballycrystal. Nothing more to say! After a couple of days being bored as an ordinary tourist (!), headed for Moat Farm in Donard on the western side of the Wicklow Mountains. As welcoming as ever. On 5/8, headed for the Mullaghcleevaun range which turned out to be boggy, featureless hills similar to the North Pennines. On 6/8, headed for a circuit around Kilbride Military Camp taking in Seahan, Kippure and Seefingan. This is a high moorland walk but, unusually, has a megalithic passage tomb on Seefin which is well worth a visit. On 7/8, headed for Lough Tay and used the Wicklow Way to gain easy access to White Hill before heading on to Djouce Mountain, War Hill and Tonduff. Many sources, including guidebooks had warned about crossing from War Hill to Tonduff but it was nothing like as bad as expected. The route also took in the Coffin Stone – a large boulder similar to those at Stonehenge. On 8/8, it was pretty wet and misty to headed for Glenbride to climb Silsean and Moanbane which are two moorland hills overlooking Pollaphuca Reservoir. The day turned out to be better than expected with some decent distant views. On 9/8, drove to Glenmacnass Waterfall on the Sally Gap to Laragh road. Ascended Tonelagee on a very pleasant circuit of Lough Ouler. Only took 3 hours so then headed up Scarr from the same starting place on what was a very pleasant ridge walk and only took 2 hours. On 10/8, headed for the Wicklow Gap. Ascended Tonelagee. Up and down in under 2 hours but it is not as scenic a route as from Glenmacnass Waterfall. Then ascended Turlough Hill but instead of taking the easy option up the track, headed through the power station and ascended the rough vegetated corrie. On 11/8, headed for busy Glendalough and walked up The Spink, on to Mullacor then down via Derrybawn Mounatin. Very pleasant route with good views. On 12/8, headed to Oldbridge for another walk up Scarr by its south and north east ridges which was very pleasant indeed and a good end to the trip.
Headed for Kinlochleven, near Glencoe, where other activities restricted my time on the hills. On 17/9, walked to the end of the Mamore Lodge track to Luibeilt then ascended Creag Ghuanach on a very hot and sunny day. On 18/9, had a short trip up Ben Starav. On 21/9, was able to be dropped off at the foot of the Devil's Staircase, opposite Buachaille Etive Mor, and walked back to Kinlochleven on the West Highland Way. On 23/9, now based in Fort William, did a traverse of Meall an t-Suidhe the peak on the W side of Ben Nevis which everyone on the tourist path walks past but hardly anyone ascends. On 24/9, had a glorious day on the Grey Corries with superb visibility. On 26/9, decided to ascend the only hill in Lochaber not climbed before: Cow Hill above Fort William. It is only about 290 m high but an excellent viewpoint and has well engineered paths.
Headed for Wasdale Head in the Lake District. On 7/10, headed up the west ridge of Lingmell then on to Scafell Pike. Thick mist rolled in so walked back down the “tourist” path. On 8/10, with a mixed forecast, walked below the Wastwater Screes then ascended to Whin Rigg and Illgill Head before descending back to the head of the lake. Excellent views. On 9/10, in poor weather, headed for Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell, did not see much at all! On 10/10, with a good forecast, headed for Scafell Pike and Scafell but the weather was atrocious so just walked up to the Pike's summit via the tourist path then back down the same way. On 11/10, feeling rough, had a shorter, but very enjoyable day on Yewbarrow, meeting a very nice group of people, from Lancashire, on the way down. On 12/10, still feeling rough, set off, late morning, for Scafell via Lord's Rake. Enjoyable day but horrible descent path off the W ridge. On 13/10, still feeling rough, headed for Stakes Bridge over the River Calder, upstream from Calder Bridge, and walked up Ponsonby Fell and Swainson Knott. Fairly non-descript hills but good views especially to Seatallan. On 15/10, still feeling rough, headed for Harter Fell in Eskdale. Fine walk and nice rocky summit. Walked back via Hard Knott Pass and the old fort. On 17/10, now based in Langdale and with a poor forecast, headed for Side Pike and Lingmoor Fell which are much more interesting than their relatively modest height might suggest. On 18/10, with a horrendous forecast of rain and severe upland gales (which never arrived!) headed for the relatively low but very scenic Black Fell and Tarn Hows. On 19/10, with only a short day possible, headed for Holme Fell above the scenic Yew Tree Tarn near Coniston. Fine views would have been had on a clear day! On 21/10, now based in Ullswater, with very severe upland gales forecast, headed for Gowbarrow by its most scenic circuit. Struggled to stand up on the summit! Excellent views though. 22/10 was the last day of this tour and good weather was hoped for. Headed for Long Sleddale and Grey Crag and Tarn Crag but saw very little!
Back in the Dark Peak, based at Glossop. En route, on 2/11, headed for Edale and walked up the lovely Crowden Clough, visiting Crowden Tower, the Woolpacks (including “Winnie the Pooh”), Pym Chair, The Pagoda and Noe Stool before returning via Jacob's Ladder. On 3/11, went for an exploratory wander on the south side of the Woodhead Reservoirs. Very pleasant on the edges but tough going on the moors. On 4/11, on a cold clear and sunny day, headed up Yellow Slacks then across Dowstone Clough to Higher Shelf Stones then over to the top of the Sanke Pass before descending down the Cold Harbour Moor ridge – a very pleasant day. On 5/11, with another clear and cold day forecast, headed for Bowden Bridge, near Hayfield, and walked up the heathery Leygatehead Moor to Mill Hill then on to Kinder and its NW Trig Point, continuing to the Downfall then Kinder Low Trig Point with a fine descent down Kinderlow End. On 6/11, with rain forecast by late morning, headed for Lantern Pike and Cown Edge and had a very pleasant day with the rain holding off until almost 2 pm. On 7/11, only had time for a short walk on the drive home so headed for Hope and had a very pleasant circuit on Win Hill.
Mid to Late November
Initially based in Borrowdale. On 18/11, headed for Skiddaw via Ullock Pike, Longside Edge and Carl Side – generally reckoned to be the finest approach to Skiddaw with fine views over Bassenthwaite Lake. Descended the north ridge to Bakestall then across Dead Beck and down to Melbecks. Unfortunately, there was a string, bitingly cold wind and mist rolle din on the summit but still a walk well worth doing. On 19/11, with a promising forecast, which was somewhat inaccurate, headed for the old mining village of Threlkeld and the Blencathra Centre where the track towards Skiddaw House takes one to the foot of Mungrisdale Common, hardly a separate peak, then an easy walk up on to Blencathra descending the west ridge known as Blease Fell. Brilliant views if you get a clear day! On 20/11, with a better forecast, decided to repeat this walk. The weather was better but Blencathra summit was still in cloud! On 21/11, the forecast was not very good so, feeling optimistic, headed for Lonscale Fell, Little Man, Skiddaw and Bakestall, returning via Skiddaw House and the pleasant traverse path on the E flank of Lonscale Fell. Severe gales on the summit and not much visibility but mainly dry! On 22/11, with widely differing forecasts depending on who you listened to (!), headed for the eastern Caldbeck Fells and had a very pleasant day. On 23/11, the forecast was for clear but cold weather most of the day but it never cleared on the higher tops and lingered on the lower ones until early afternoon! Headed up the Skiddaw House track from the north, past the impressive Dash Falls then up on to Little Calva, continuing to Great Calva, Knott, Great Sca Fell and returning via Meal Fell and Great Cockup. Brilliant views when clear but some very boggy sections. On 24/11, with a much better forecast, set off to repeat yesterday's walk. Rewarded with clear views and good photos. On 25/11, it was time to move on but there was just time to squeeze in a quick ascent of Castle Crag which only takes a couple of hours but offers excellent views. On 27/11, headed for Bowscale Fell and Bannerdale Crags to the NE of Blencathra. The forecast was for low cloud and it was spot on. Very little was seen! Repeated the walk the next day with the same weather!! On 29/11, the weather was much kinder, so repeated the walk but in the opposite direction and enjoyed some lovely views. On 30/11, after negotiations with the army, headed for Mickle Fell in the North Pennines which is an army firing range. Long boggy trudge in from the south on a day when the top was in cloud but that's the way it goes sometimes so will have to revisit for some decent photos!
Mid – December
Based in Glossop from 14/12.. On the way over, did a quick but very steep walk on Mam Tor. Went up NE ridge and down E ridge. A slip on the wet grass could have been serious. On 15/12, did a lovely short walk from Bowden Bridge (Hayfield) past Kinder Reservoir then up the ridge to Sandy Heys, along the edge to Kinder Low then down the Kinderlow End ridge. On 16/12, started near the Grouse Inn on the Glossop to Hayfield road and had a pleasant walk up Harry Hut and Mill Hill, returning over The Knott where there was some deepish heather! Good views of Kinder. On 17/12, in very wet, windy and misty conditions set off from near Plainsteads Farm to walk both Coombes Edge and Cown Edge. A lovely little walk even there was little seen! On 18/12, repeated this walk in equally bad weather although somewhat clearer. On 19/12, the forecast was glorious so, en route for home, headed for Win Hill from Yorkshire Bridge. Unfortunately, the forecast was completely wrong and the weather was heavy showers! Still, a nice walk, though. Probably the last walk of the year and number 154 for the year!