: Hair Hung Down In Ring-a-lets
27th June 2019
we set off walking from Gatesgarth Farm
(at the top end of Buttermere), I did my
best to ignore the fearsome sight of Fleetwith
Pike to our left. I knew we would
have to come down it in a few hours’ time
but I was trying to put it out of my mind.
For the moment we were bound for Scarth
Gap. From there, the path up to High
Crag looked horrendously steep and scree-like
but we weren’t headed that way. Been there.
Done that. BB1626.
objective was the much easier Haystacks
and then Wainwright’s resting place- Innominate
Tarn (the further one in the photo below).
It seemed an appropriate place for
the Comitibus photo.
those was Brandreth. All the time,
Bryan was trying to coerce us to add in
Green Gable, in clear sight not that far
Mike would have been game but I argued that
we didn’t need it today as we would be going
there along with Base Brown as part of a
forthcoming Great Gable trip. Stan
was much more succinct. He just said
Knotts was an easy saunter following which
we had to determine the best route to Fleetwith
Pike. As we crossed the open ground
we met a man whose hair hung down in ring-a-lets.
Small ones, it must be admitted. He
said that he was looking to photograph butterflies.
Mountain Ringlets. Small ones,
it must be admitted.
had never heard of them but
apparently they are one of our
most difficult species to see.
are only found in remote, mountainous
locations and we were in a rare,
pointed some out to me. Apparently
they are hard to spot in anything
other than bright sunshine.
continued over to the slag heaps and the
old Honister Mine tramway.....
up the hill, close to the cliffs, until
we reached the Fleetwith Pike summit. Here
the boys seemed inclined to linger but my
mind was focused on the terror ahead. I
had to keep moving on.
was hot. It was steep. 1,600
feet down in three quarters of a mile. That’s
a 40% slope. That’s the average. Some
parts much steeper. And the slopes
on each side are much, much steeper still-
not a place for missed footing. As
per last time (BB1021)
I didn’t find it too scary but, like last
time, I did find it very tiring. However,
last time was after nearly twice the distance
and double the amount of climbing. But,
of course, I am now 9 years older. That
is my excuse. Age doesn’t seem to
bother Stan; he and youngsters Bryan and
Mike flew down in comparison to my sloth
the bottom, Bryan and I were looking out
for the White Cross. By the time we
saw it I was in danger of becoming de-hydrated.
I stopped for a long glug of water
whilst Bryan climbed to the cross to pray
for my survival. Suddenly, he was
illuminated by a strange shaft of light
from above. I kid you not. It has
not been digitally added.
prayer had been answered.
afterwards we reached the bottom where my
spirits were quickly revived. How? Well,
you might be surprised to learn, not in
the usual manner (though we did think the
farmhouse would make an excellent pub).
No, by devouring an English Lakes
Vanilla Ice Cream in the shade. Delicious.
Served by a fair maid whose hair hung
down in ring-a-lets. Oh, her hair
hung down in ring-a-lets. Yes, her
hair hung down in ring-a-lets as she bade
us on our way.
Thursday 28th June 2019
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