Author Topic: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes  (Read 1200 times)

Mel

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[TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« on: 23:30:29, 08/03/20 »
Oh god.  Where to start with this trip report  :D
 
Well, I suppose the beginning is best...
 
Yours truly was feeling mildly miffed at the lack of meets and lack of interest in meets so she posted a back to front (ie. confusing) meet where anyone who WASN’T interested should select their excuse (sorry, reason) for NOT coming along from a list of options and anyone who could come along should remain silent.
 
And this is where I created a monster.
 
You see, I’m not sure I thought it through properly and when people started replying, I wasn’t at all sure if they meant they actually couldn’t come or were just playing the game (ie. humouring me) and it turned into a game of double negatives with folks saying that none of the excuses were relevant to them so they supposed they’d best come along.  Then there were folks who were definitely holding off making a decision about whether or not to decide to come along, or confirming that they could definitely maybe not make it. 
 
You see my problem?
 
Anyhow, as the day drew closer and the Met Office’s forecast looked something like this for the day:
 
 
 
…People suddenly started playing the game properly and using the excuses I’d provided for their intended purpose.
 
On the day, 3 brave souls turned up to meet me.  The only one I’d met before didn’t recognise me at first and walked right past me (probably wondering why this strange woman was smiling at him) which then made me wonder if he was actually who I thought he was anyway.  We continued in our separate directions momentarily before the penny dropped and (re)introductions were made before I carried on and walked up to 2 random strangers stood on a roundabout at the foot of the Kirkstone Road and introduced myself.  Now, they could have played a cruel trick on me here by pretending they weren’t the guys I was supposed to be meeting but, no.  They instantly put me at ease and all my internal fretting which had been with me that morning disappeared.
 
We decided “this” was it.  Just the 4 of us. So we set off.  A nice, relaxing walk in to start the day…. straight up the Kirkstone Road which, I believe is also known as “The Struggle”.  It got us warmed up nicely if nowt else and soon enough we turned onto Sweden Bridge Lane then through a gate onto the track. 
 
As always, I was leading from the rear…Paul, Karl and Colin scampering off into the distance:
 
 
 
Whoever says valley walks are flat is lying.  Karl, having walked this route before was having some memory lapses about how much uphill there was.  Needless to say, I needed a couple of breathers to admire the views.
 
After passing some dodgy sounding barking and shouting from the woodland to our right we soon reached High Sweden Bridge and the obligatory “oh god the group photo” photo opportunity.  Canny me, took the pic so wasn’t in it:
 
 
 
You can just make out the bridge on the left of the photo.  What you can’t make out is the Fairfield hills we should have been able to see in the background.
 
It was about now I realised I was walking with three postmen, or maybe it was the Coldstream Guards, or Canadian Mounties..
 
At least I wouldn’t’ lose them in the clag  O0
 
As we gained height, the views opened out for, ooooh…yards ….around us:
 
 
 
And, thus, we plodded on.  “It’s just a cloud inversion” Karl said. Well, he’d provided the weather so I took his word for it and looked forward to seeing my first brocken spectre once we were through this clag:
 
 
 
Seems to be brightening up:
 
 
 
It got noticeably colder and breezier as we got higher and I got terribly excited about this patch of snow:
 
 
 
I was practically orgasmic when I spotted this patch of snow:
 
 
 
Then the reality started to kick in as I discovered just how difficult it is to walk through even the most benign looking patches of snow, especially when your foot sinks calf-deep in it unexpectedly.  For me, skirting round these patches of snow became a “thing”, only the rocky craglets were quite greasy so I chose the grassy bits… only the grassy bits were quite boggy.  So, to summarise, conditions underfoot were kak  ::)
 
As we continued higher up, I decided I needed a snack stop as I’d gone food-shakey so we hunkered down behind the wall we were roughly following to get out of the wind.  Paul thought it was that warm behind the wall, in comparison, he started stripping off.  Steady on now, we’ve only just met  :o   Turns out he was actually putting an extra layer on.

 
After a few minutes we carried on.  I’m not sure if it was because we were getting higher up or the weather had worsened generally, or a mixture of both, but continuing on became increasingly difficult with sideways winds battering us with sleety rain.
 
This pic just doesn’t do the conditions justice:
 
 
 
A plus point though is that my new gear was standing up to these BLUDDI AWFUL conditions pretty well, in fact, exceptionally well.  I was warm and dry.  My waterproof legs failed though, although they are about 15 years old and too big for me.  Oh, which reminds me, some time earlier we discussed the thermal leggings thing and I asked who was wearing ladies stockings (reference gunwharfman’s preference).  Nobody owned up but there was a few red faces and the subject quickly got changed  ;)
 
As we reached the summit, the clag and the wind and the sleet disappeared and we found ourselves in brilliant sunshine with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees C.  It was so warm we went for a swim in the little tarn to cool down but modesty prohibits me from posting any photos of that.
 
Back to reality  :'(
 
I thought the conditions were bad.  And getting worse.  We were part-way up the craggly bits before it “sort of” levels out and takes a right turn for the summit.  The sleet/wind was coming at us from the right which meant our descent would have this blowing pretty much in our faces all the way down and absolutely ZERO chance of any views at the top.  After a quick chat with Paul to that effect I made the reluctant decision to turn us around and head back down.  So near yet so far but, honestly, it was worse than grotty and I’d rather take any flak for making that decision than reading about 4 idiots being rescued off Red Screes. 
 
As an aside, when I went to buy some new waterproof legs today and got chatting to the sales shop guy about the conditions on Red Screes on the Saturday.  He said Mountain Rescue went out to someone doing the Fairfield Horseshoe who’d got in a pickle due to the conditions which just confirmed I made the right decision in turning us round.
 
Anyway, back to the adventure.
 
We headed back down the hill, picking our way through the crags and at some point (and I’m still chuckling about this), in my quest to avoid walking on the snowy bits and greasy rock bits, I ended up ankle deep in bog.  And stuck.  Properly stuck.  Colin heard my shriek (or expletives, one of the two) and came to help.  At this moment in time I had one foot stuck and the other foot on firm ground.  So holding on to him/him me, the idea was that I was to brace myself against him, lean backwards and lift the front of my stuck foot to release the vacuum….except I put my other foot down behind me to keep my balance and ended up with both feet stuck!  With Colin calmly saying “lean backwards and lift the front of your feet” and me wittering something like “I can’t, I’ll fall over” (I wouldn’t have because he had hold of me) I got this mental scenario in my head of falling backwards and taking him with me, at which point Karl and Paul would have appeared to see what all the fuss was about and completely misread the situation  ;D   With this playing out in my mind, I got a fit of the giggles as we played a game of push-me, pull-you which did eventually work and I got back onto firm ground.  And if I didn’t say it at the time, Colin, thank you for helping me.  I’m not sure how I’d have got out of that predicament on my own  :)
 
Mountain rescue completed, we caught the other guys up to find out that Karl had his own adventure – he’d done a bit of floor-surfing.  Happens he slid quite a fair way and proudly showed us his skid marks.  The ground was quite steep thereabouts so it could have been a different story but he was chuckling as he told us so no lasting harm done.  Bet you’re gonna get some smashing bruises though Karl  :D
 
So, with me being a stick in the mud and Karl bob-sledding down the fell, only Paul and Colin were left with their dignity intact and we continued uneventfully down the hill to the relative safety of the walled track.  The weather now seemed positively balmy in comparison to “up there” and we chit-chatted about this, that and the other the rest of the way.
 
The clag seemed to have lifted somewhat and I discovered that Scandale Beck is really quite pretty bubbling and burbling away below and I reckon it would look stunning in autumn:
 
 
 
More views which didn’t exist on the way up – Rydal water:
 
 
 
It was turning into a not bad day (bet it was still grotty “up there” though) but as we admired the views we were robbed of earlier, Paul mentioned something about tea and cake.  You’ve never seen me move so fast in your life.  I was down that lane like a shot  ;D
 
One last thing we spotted was this folly:
 
 
 
…before we returned to Ambleside and headed to Daisy’s Café for a well-deserved cuppa and bun then said our farewells.
 
Guys, cheers for braving the forecast.  Surely that was far better than sitting at home, warm and dry on a Saturday.  Feel free to add your own piccies / version of events as you see fit  :)
 
It was great to meet you Karl and Paul and to meet you again Colin and thanks all for the company, chat and chuckles.
 
The next (mis)adventure is scheduled for the beginning of May…. Get your excuses ready, the weather’s gonna be pants  ;D


Thanks for reading  :)
 
 
No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/

Jac

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #1 on: 07:50:08, 09/03/20 »
In the spirit of the original posts - that's a pretty poor TR, wish I hadn't bothered reading just as I'm delighted to have been able to join you :(
So many paths, so little time

richardh1905

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #2 on: 07:58:18, 09/03/20 »
Glad that you had such a miserable time, Mel ;)


Seriously - sorry that I couldn't come.

pdstsp

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #3 on: 08:10:06, 09/03/20 »
Cracking write up in the spirit of the day, Mel.  Love the weather map!  Gloves are finally dry this morning.  Hope you got some time out yesterday as well as shopping.


I like to think Karl, Colin and I looked like the Walking Forum MRT rather then three postmen!


Edited just to say - I won't be adding any photos.  Far too incriminating/didn't take any.
« Last Edit: 08:47:18, 09/03/20 by pdstsp »

Percy

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #4 on: 08:44:07, 09/03/20 »
I like to think Karl, Colin and I looked like the Walking Forum MRT rather then three postmen!
I will absolutely not be the first person to mention the Chelsea Pensioners. No way will that happen.

pdstsp

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #5 on: 08:48:12, 09/03/20 »
Thanks for not mentioning that Tim. O0

Dovegirl

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #6 on: 09:23:25, 09/03/20 »
Enjoyed the tale of your misadventures Mel     :D

vghikers

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #7 on: 10:59:19, 09/03/20 »
A most entertaining report and an excellent weather pic  O0
Seems like red shell jackets are making a comeback then  :)

pdstsp

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #8 on: 12:14:17, 09/03/20 »
O0
Seems like red shell jackets are making a comeback then  :)


Never went out of fashion among us youngsters.

karl h

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #9 on: 12:20:39, 09/03/20 »
Excellent Tr Mel O0
Sensible bit of hillcraft. Wouldn't have wanted to call out the MR for a bad case of frothy crotch  :o   And unless we have a freak tectonic event Red Screes will still be there in the spring.
show your love for Lady Nature. And she will come back again.
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Ridge

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #10 on: 13:16:43, 09/03/20 »
Great report Mel.
Glad you didn't post your pics of the boys in their matching speedos by the tarn.


Turning back and then thinking later that perhaps you could have carried on is always the way you want it to be.

richardh1905

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #11 on: 14:54:37, 09/03/20 »
Quote
Then the reality started to kick in as I discovered just how difficult it is to walk through even the most benign looking patches of snow, especially when your foot sinks calf-deep in it unexpectedly.


Snow is there to be ENJOYED, Mel, not avoided  :D
« Last Edit: 16:13:29, 09/03/20 by richardh1905 »

karl h

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #12 on: 15:23:26, 09/03/20 »
Mel. Found the TR we were discussing - http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=29186.msg425124#msg425124  much preferred our day though with that lovely grey cloud and none of that pesky bright sunshine spoiling the pics ;D
show your love for Lady Nature. And she will come back again.
www.karlswalks.co.uk

April

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #13 on: 17:15:06, 09/03/20 »
Great write up Mel  O0

Shame the weather was a bit rubbish for you, you deserve a good'n next visit  :)
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

Ridge

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Re: [TR] : Forum Meet - Red Screes
« Reply #14 on: 17:30:51, 09/03/20 »
Mel. Found the TR we were discussing - http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=29186.msg425124#msg425124  much preferred our day though with that lovely grey cloud and none of that pesky bright sunshine spoiling the pics ;D
You only had to go back 5 years to find a whole day of sun in the Lakes.