In June 2014 I walked a circular route in the Lake District with my good friend Al from Gloucester. We have done quite a few treks together including Glasgow to Cape Wrath (334 miles over 26 mountains 2003 to 2005) and the Wainwright Coast to Coast trek (2011 to 2013), each of these two divided up over the three years shown in brackets.
This year I just opened the maps up and planned a circular route around the Lake District that took in all of the 3000 foot mountains and several others.
GPS: So that I didn’t have to worry too much about route finding and could enjoy the views and look for photographs I programmed the route into my gps. I used Satmap X-pedition Planner web-based software and then transferred it into my Satmap Active 10 gps loaded with OS 1:50,000 maps of Great Britain. This is an excellent planning system that also programmes the gps then it is easy to follow the route and quickly see if you stray off-route. I have previously used it with programmed routes for the Alpine Pass Route across central Switzerland and the Wainwright Coast to Coast trek. The Munro’s in Scotland would have been a lot easier if I had one of these when we were doing them! I also programmed Al’s Satmap 10 gps with our route when he drove round to pick me up, and he had the 1:25,000 OS map card for a lot more detail than I had.
Maps: I carried the 1:25,000 Harveys maps and a compass for the better and more accurate detail on the tops but they are useless in towns as there is no detail at all. The Satmap gps was quite adequate to navigate to the nearest pub in towns so this wasn’t a problem, it’s auto-programmed to seek out Jennings Snecklifter! The maps were used but it was good not to have to carry them in hand all day and checking we were on track every hundred metres or so as I used to have to do pre-gps.
Blog: I did a daily blog post during the walk illustrated with photographs taken on my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone. These low quality images were edited with Snapseed using the Crop tool, converted to Black and White, and finally Brightness and Contrast adjustment. To see the original daily blog click the title (Day 1 Thursday, etc) for each day. To view all trip posts for the Lakes Round click here.
Proper Photography: I carried one of my Mamiya 7 cameras with 65mm lens, Sekonic 508 spot meter, and my smallest Gitzo tripod (1028) with small Manfrotto quick-release ball head and a few rolls of Ilford FP4 and some B+W filters. In fact this was the only camera kit that I carried on most days. Days 3 and 5 I didn’t carry the tripod and they were the only days I didn’t take any photos on the Mamiya. Day 2 started really bright and warm so I used 1 roll of Ilford SFX infrared film with a Heliopan 715 filter from the top of Great Gable. For information, the Mamiya 7 gives 10 negatives of 7 x 6cm on a roll of 120 film. I often take duplicate shots or bracket exposures in tricky lighting. This is in case of coating faults or processing errors on the films that I use and results in just 4 or 5 images on a roll of 120 film.
This summary post has photographs taken on my Mamiya 7 camera as 7 x 6cm negatives on Ilford FP4 Plus 120 film and Ilford SFX infrared film. I have now scanned a selection using my Nikon Coolscan 9000 film scanner, edited them with Adobe Photoshop CS6 to look similar to a darkroom print and added them to my main gallery website, www.davebutcher.co.uk.
Where I took a similar view on my Samsung phone and posted it on my blog I have included that for comparison.
Route Descriptions: these use the place names from the OS 1:25,000 maps that I used for planning the route. We generally took the shortest routes on tracks and paths between the places I have listed. You should be able to follow our route using the description and OS maps.
Luggage Transfer: Jan, my wife, arranged luggage transfer between all of our overnight stops so that we just carried light rucksacks. There don’t seem to be luggage transfer companies willing to support independent hikers like us in the Lakes so Jan contacted a taxi company in Keswick. Suzi at the Keswick Cab Company/Suzi’z Taxiz couldn’t have been more helpful and agreed to support us over the whole route from her base in Keswick. Suzi did the transfers herself and everything worked like clockwork. Highly recommended!
Hours: 57 (including photo, lunch and pub stops) over 8 days
Metres ascent: 10,500
Miles per gallon (beer): 14
Route: Boot Woolpack Inn – Eel Tarn – Stony Tarn – Slight Side – Scafell – Foxes Tarn – Mickledore – Scafell Pike – Hollow Stones – Brown Tongue – Wasdale Head Hotel.
Start 9am (rain and low cloud until last hour), Scafell (964m) 12.15pm, Scafell Pike (978m, highest mountain in England) 2.15pm, Wasdale Head Hotel 5.30pm.
Route: Wasdale Head Hotel – Moses Trod path to bridge – Gable Beck path (between Kirk Fell and Great Gable) – Gable Beck Falls – steep scree track between White Napes and Great Napes – Great Gable – Windy Gap – Green Gable – Gillercomb – Sour Milk Gill – Seathwaite – Allerdale Ramble track to Strands Bridge – Stonethwaite.
Start 9am (sunny), Great Gable (899m), Green Gable (801m) 3pm, Stonethwaite 5pm.
Mamiya 7/Ilford SFX 120 film Heliopan 715 filter, Wasdale from Great Gable infrared
Samsung Galaxy S3/Snapseed, Wasdale from Great gable
Day 3 Saturday 7th June, Stonethwaite to Keswick, 12 miles, 1000m of ascent, 6h
Route: Stonethwaite – Cumbria Way to Rosthwaite – New Bridge – Lingy Bank – Tongue Gill to Rigghead Quarries – High Spy – Maiden Moor – Cat Bells – Skelgill Bank – Cumbria Way to Derwent Bank, Portinscale, Keswick.
Start 9am (dry then rain by quarries), High Spy (653m), Maiden Moor (576m), Cat Bells (451m) 1pm, Keswick 3pm. No Mamiya 7/Ilford FP4 photos today.
Day 4 Sunday 8th June, Keswick to Threlkeld, 11 miles, 1200m of ascent, 7h
Route: Keswick – Great Crosthwaite past Keswick School – Thrushwood – Applethwaite – Millbeck – White Stones – Carl Side – Skiddaw – Little Man – car park near Whit Beck – Brundholme – Wescoe – Ings – Threlkeld.
Start 9am (sunny spells), Skiddaw (931m), Little Man (865m), Threlkeld 4pm.
Day 5 Monday 9th June, Threlkeld to Thirlspot, 8 miles, 500m of ascent, 3.5h
Route: Threlkeld – Burns Farm – near Low Rigg – High Rigg – Sossgill Bridge – Low Bridge End Farm – A591 at road bridge over river – Thirlspot
Start 9am (rain), High Rigg (357m), Thirlspot 12.30pm. No Mamiya 7/Ilford FP4 photos today.
Day 6 Tuesday 10th June, Thirlspot to Grasmere, 10 miles, 1500m of ascent, 8h
Route: Thirlspot – Brown How – Browncove Crags – Lower Man – Helvellyn – Lad Crag – Nethermost Pike – High Crag – Dollywagon Pike – Grisedale Tarn – Grisedale Hause – Tongue Gill – Lancrigg – Grasmere
Start 9.30am (rain am, then sunny spells pm), Lower Man (925m), Helvellyn (950m), Nethermost Pike (891m), Dollywagon Pike (858m), Grasmere 5.30pm
Mamiya 7/Ilford FP4 120 film, Red Tarn
Samsung Galaxy S3/Snapseed, Catstye Cam, Red Tarn
Samsung Galaxy S3/Snapseed, Striding Edge from Lad Crag
Day 7 Wednesday 11th June, Grasmere to Coniston, 14 miles, 900m of ascent, 8h
Route: Grasmere – road around west side of lake – track to Hunting Stile – footpath to Hammerscar Plantation and below Huntingstile Crag – Walthwaite Bottom – Elterwater – Track along north side of Elterwater – Skelwith Falls – Skelwith Bridge Hotel – Park House – Park Farm – High Park – track beside Tongue Intake Plantation – Oxen Fell High Cross – Track past Stone Chair Hill – Tarn Hows north, east then south sides – Tom Gill footpath through Lane Head Coppice – track south from car park then west to Tarn Hows Cottage – through Tarn Hows Wood to Low Yewdale – Cumbria Way to Coniston via Back Guards and High Guards woods
Start 9.40am (dull start then sunny spells), Elterwater 10.40am, Skelwith Bridge 12.30pm, Coniston 5.40pm
Mamiya 7/Ilford FP4 120 film B+W Light Red 090 filter, Tarn Hows Sky
Samsung Galaxy S3/Snapseed, Tarn Hows Sky
Day 8 Thursday 12th June, Coniston to Boot, 12 miles, 1900m of ascent, 8h
Route: Coniston – steeply up on the Walna Scar Road – turned right at National Trust car park – track goes north near Big Hill and The Bell – turn west on old quarry road through disused mine workings – Old Man of Coniston – Goats Hause – Far Gill past Little Pikes – track on north side of Seathwaite Tarn – Brow Side – Troutal – Birks – Harter Fell – Spothow Gill – Penny Hill Farm – Doctor Bridge – Boot Woolpack Inn
Start 9am (cold and damp am, sunny spells pm), Old Man of Coniston (803m), Harter Fell (653m) 2.30pm, Boot Woolpack Inn 5pm. The End.
Samsung Galaxy S3/Snapseed, Cottongrass near Seathwaite Tarn