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Walking in Cumbria and Beyond

Breakfast on a Hill

Breakfast on a Hill

Windermere – Rydal – Grasmere – Thirlmere.

Soft white mist rising from the images of inverted hills.

Early morning quiet undisturbed,

Hillsides and valleys still dark.

Pasture green tipped with remnants of last nights frost

There are some good reasons for an early start to the day.

  At last high pressure has hit the hills and there have been a few clear, cloudless days with  the slightest whisper of a breeze.

Thirlmere

Good Morning Thirlmere

With a plan to go up to one of the highest hills I arrived at Wythburn car park before the rest of the world.

Steel Fell

Blue sky, sunshine on hills, deep, dark shadows.  Birkside Gill

A stunning contrast as I made my way to Birkside Gill.  But a cold one.  Hats gloves and layers were piled on.  The frost had left its mark.

Waterfall

There are now easy routes up to the Helvellyn Ridge.  Fell paths fixed to almost pushchair pushabilitly and equal monotany.

Waterfall

Instead waterfalls in Birkside Gill tumble down the side in a spectacular white trail.  Get up close and investigate deep plungepools, rocks with dramatic drops and cool slate slopes, as yet resisting the ever plundering force.

Breakfast

Breakfast View

My early morning rush had meant packing, not eating breakfast, so I left the cold lower slopes and headed skywards to the sun.

Herdwick Sheep

There was no one.  Just the Herdies.  I have eaten breakfast in some pretty swanky places but this really was the best.

Eagle Crag from Dollywaggon

I had the top of Dollywaggon totally to myself.

Fell Runner

Fell runners the only others crazy enough to make that early morning start.

Dollywaggon

Dollywaggon Pike

Shadows accentuated crags and snow pockets gleamed white in the deepest gullies.

Grisedale

Grisedale

Parched moorland grass drifted down to green valleys, lakes and the merest hint of horizon haze.

Striding Edge

I sat and enjoyed the solitude for a while before hiking over the distinctly poor relative, Nethermost Pike towards Helvellyn, where the congregations were en-mass.  Ant trails of people dotting over the ridge of Striding Edge to the top of the prominent cousin.

catstyecam

So, did I go up to the higher peak?  Knowing the crowds that would be there.  That would break the magic.

Thirlmere

Time was against me anyway.  I left the mountains to rest of the world to enjoy and wound my way back to the valley.

DollyMap

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