Triple Spine Lakeland Challenge Day 3 - Sunday 24 September 2017
Ambleside to Keswick (The Bog Hop)
Ambleside - Rothay Park - Loughrigg - Red Bank - Dow Bank - Spedding Crag - Silver How - Blea Rigg - Sergeant Man - High Raise - Low White Stones - Greenup Edge - Ullscarf - Standing Crag - Long Moss - Shivery Knott - Middle Crag - High Tove - High Seat - Blueberry Fell - Walla Crag - Rakefoot - Keswick
Ambleside & Keswick
Good mountain paths until Ullscarf when the next 6 miles lives up to its mantle as the "Bog Hop". The terrain from Bleaberry Fell to Keswick is on good paths.
Mainly overcast and dry
OL4 - The English Lakes (North Western Area)
OL6 - The English Lakes (South Western Area)
OL7 - The English Lakes (South Eastern Area)
I awoke at 0400 for the third time in 3 days and shook a bewildered Fudge to take him out - he grunted at me from the depths of his warm and comfy pit - clearly he was not feeling the love bless him. After two long days walking I was feeling pretty good in the legs but in the head I wanted to go back to bed. In Ambleside we met up with Carl, Phil & Tim at the Post Office - Tim's feet had thankfully recovered overnight and he was raring to go. After a quick goodbye, Angie and Fudge headed home and would meet us later on at the finish in Keswick.
Terrain wise, today's route promised to be a real challenge. As well as being a fair old distance, the section between Ullscarf & Bleaberry Fell is a real bogfest. On the positive side the bog would come at the latter end of the walk by which time we wouldn't care - probably! Ambleside was just waking up as we headed through the streets and in to Rothay Park. Loughrigg awaited and we enjoyed benign conditions as we made the ascent, soon arriving at the Trig Point that gives great views for very little effort. From the summit it was a steep descent on a stepped path down to the road at Red Bank - crossing over to begin the walk over to Silver How. The entire ridge to Silver How and Blea Rigg is a bit of a rollercoaster but a really enjoyable one and we covered the ground quickly. From Blea Rigg the walking became a bit tougher with steeper undulations all the way to Sergeant Man.
We knew now that for a while the walking levelled out and it is an easy transit over to High Raise with only a slight rise to attain the summit - we rested a while in the shelter and had one of Tim's famous "Beef Flavoured Drinks" - that's OXO to you and me but very nice all the same. From the shelter we headed over Low White Stones and down to Greenup Edge from where we could see Ullscarf up to the North East and we made our way over boggy ground to climb up to the summit cairn. Having walked Ullscarf before a few years ago, I knew we had to handrail the fence and not be tempted off in the direction of High & Low Saddle - in simple terms to make for the eastern side of Blea Tarn via the precipitous drop down from Standing Crag.
From the bottom of Standing Crag was where the fun started - it was just a question of literally 'bog hopping' all the way to Bleaberry Fell via High Tove and High Seat - by this time we were all feeling the miles in our legs but morale was high as we jumped, sank and trotted through the bogfest. From Bleaberry Fell I knew that the bog was over and we could now enjoy good paths and terrain all the way in to Keswick and we therefore descended from the summit with almost a spring in our step. Arriving at Walla Crag we paused briefly for a breather before the long trudge into Keswick - it just seemed to take ages to reach Springs Road and ultimately the finish at Moot Hall.
But arrive we did - to a reception committee of Carl, Angie & Fudge who presented us with miniature medals before we all headed off for the best bit - the post walk Beer, this time taken outside the Lake Road Inn. The 3 days had been extremely challenging - not just the walking but adding in to this the early starts to actually get to the start of each days trek. The route is a cracker and with the right weather for the entire 3 days it would surely live long in the memory. We just did not get the rub of the green with the weather unfortunately but we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Will we do it again next year? Maybe!!
And away we go on the last day of this 3 day epic
The first of 10 Wainwrights today as we head to Loughrigg
Looking back to Windermere as we head up the lower slopes of Loughrigg
The summit of Loughrigg looking to the Langdale Pikes
Grasmere Water from the descent of Loughrigg
Heading along the gentle undulations of Dow Bank to Silver How
The summit of Silver How
A Silver How panoramic
Approaching Lang How
The summit of Blea Rigg - there was even a little flag on top
Stickle Tarn and the Langdale Pikes
The summit of High Raise looking to Glaramara with Great Gable just about visible to the left
Heading for Low White Stones
The summit of Ullscarf
Near Standing Crag - we could see the next 3 summits from here and they looked a long way away
On the summit of Bleaberry Fell
Leaving Bleaberry Fell - Keswick looked tantalisingly close but we still had a couple of hours walking left
Derwent Water & Keswick
On the summit of Walla Crag
The finish at The Moot Hall in Keswick - thanks for the chocolate medals Angie
Phil, Tim & Carl with Angie and I - superb walking companions and a fantastic back up team
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