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Walking in Cumbria and Beyond

First Snow Day

First Snow Day

Not sure if it was, but the forecast was -15C for anything much over 6m above sea level. And snow! My first chance of the year to go for a snow walk!

After a week in the significantly more temperate climes of Andalucía it was going to be a shock to the system. So on went the layers.

Everything from thermal long johns to long-sleeved, figure hugging ‘base-layer’. Female walkers wrapped for winter can give any Middle Aged Man in Lycra a run for their money. But as a friend pointed out, at least our hats and buffs hide our identity.

Little Langdale

Little Langdale

I digress.

So finished off with fleeces and down jackets. Carrying fats and carbohydrates. Hot drinks, first aid kit and shelters, not to mention microspikes. Off we set. From Elterwater. Intending to go up Lingmoor and back by the picture book perfect, tarns of Blea and Little Langdale. Icy blasts of wind soon changed our direction. A wind on your back is far preferable to one in your face. As it is, any remaining dignity is removed when eyes and nose run, almost as fast as the wind, accepted with complete lack of alacrity.

Little Langdale Tarn

Little Langdale Tarn

My most favourite bridge in the world. I can’t help feeling that the Brothers Grim came and supervised the design.

Slater Bridge

Slater Bridge

Avoiding bogs and most ice we made it almost to Blea Tarn before a patch of solid water sent two of the three flying. I shall not tell tales.

Thankfully none of the aforementioned safety kit was required.

Langdales From Lingmoor

Langdales From Lingmoor

After a brief lunch stop, the steep bit. Up the side of Lingmoor. Up to the snow line. Not a lot of it. Not very deep at all but with water now solid there were some interesting footholds to negotiate. Lingmoor provides a platform to view the whole of the Langdale valley with very little exertion. The day was beautiful enough to decorate any coffee table.

Wall on Lingmoor Fell

Lingmoor Fell

Bracken is far more attractive when dead and golden. Top with snow and blue sky and well, where else would you rather be! OK, so we didn’t pause too long. A few quick turns to admire the Far Eastern fells and the low winter light skimming over Blea tarn before we stirred our lycra base layers into action as the wind wrapped a soft layer of white winter dust over our boots.

Blea Tarn

Blea Tarn

As the sun dipped the temperature was falling a long way beyond tepid.

On the homeward stretch, it was time to leave the mountain – after emptying a flask of mulled wine!

The map

map

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