DATE                                   30.07.11

DISTANCE                         ABOUT 10 1/2 MILES

WEATHER                         HOT AND SUNNY



A day in the Howgills

To say I was looking forward to this trip was an understatement, my second walk with the living legend the big Guy himself AJ and just to make sure that I wasnít overcome I asked my new found walking partner Yvonne AKA cheviot stroller in her role as chief navigator (not that I donít trust the big guy) and in her newly appointed job as culture rep (which means I pass on all the research & any other crap onto her) to join us..

Naturally I got off to a bad start and couldnít find Yvonneís house but after a quick phone call and a 20 meter dash she located me, threw her stuff into the car and off we went.

Being a super driver we arrived ten minutes early (I wont mention the fact I missed the turning) and waited for AJ.

Once he dully arrived off we went for breakfast, and talked about the route he had planned for us. I think at this stage he was a bit concerned about my ability to do some of the steeper bits, but I assured him I had Yvonne who being tough Northern lass would carry me if necessary, so it was on with the boots and rucksacks and off we went.

All I can say is we started up this hill, it went up and up and up, several times I was certain that I left my lungs laying in the boot of the car or someplace, the sun naturally came out to play and did its best to boil my head, however I was having to much fun to worry about these things, alough at one point when I still hadnít reached the summit and my lungs where bursting I did shout at AJ at least pretend to look knackered.

Anyway evently we reached the top of Winder and much lying down was had by me whilst trying to get my breath, from there off we went to Calders passing Arant Haw? & Rowantree Grains (who thinks of these names?) stopping to take many photos and discuss what mountain was what , I of course couldnít even see them so I just nodded and agreed .From Calders we headed up and down and up again towards the Calf via Bram Rig Top. I believe it was planned to stop for lunch here but as it was a bit crowded we moved further along and found a spot overlooking some lovely valley where we sat down and eat our lunch, Having no manners I decided it was a good time take off my leg and check things where all right, somehow this lead to a mass expose of feet everywhere.

Anyway time was then made for a serious chat about the route or more to the point a change in route, AJ route had us heading back in more or less retracing our steps rather than go down some steepish hills, we decided that we would make it into a circular route and if it didnít work out we would simply blame Yvonne for making such a disastrous decision. (Naturally if things did go pear shape I would say it was AJ fault once we where back in the car so I couldnít lose) I mean no one could blame me could they?

Onwards our new route took us back slightly past the Calf where AJ did what AJ does best (see photo later) and down onto what I think was Bram Rigg, here the path got a bit narrow and it was a bit of a drop which would have hurt a bit if you slipped down, unfortunately this caused Yvonne a bit of concern , at this point there was some sort of mix up between Yvonne and us , I was having a bet with AJ (£10.00) he recon that she would scream several times as she fell , myself knowing what a tough Northern lass she was wouldnít cry at all even if she broke  several bones on the way down , we also discussed who would get the goodies out of her rucksack , I think its only fare that I got first pick , any way she made it across and treated us to a glare that said loads. however  it left me and AJ with a bit of a problem who won the bet , we decided that Yvonne should pay us both £10.00 as it was her fault that she didnít fall , you donít want to know what her reply was .

Anyway the walk by this time we was heading slowly but surly down , I was totally buggered by now and had to have a few rest stops , I wasnít at my best , but what a place to stop the views where lovely and it really was a joy just to sit there and take it all in.

Eventually we got to Bram rigg beck where much splashing and washing was had by all and over we went by this time we where on farm track, which meant the pace picked up a bit,

Now due to some shocking planning (Yvonne) we where hoping to skirt around the edge of the hills back to Sedbergh but there was no track or footpaths and it looked like huge stone wall blocked any chance of that route so we headed off down to Birkhaw farm where we joined yea old Roman road (Howgill lane) and made our way back to Sedbergh, however the day still wasnít over and my faithful arty leg started playing up causing much concern , AJ being the sort of person he is , quickly offered to run back and fetch his car whilst Yvonne produced yet another bottle for me to drink I was touched but pointed out that as a northerner (a pretend one) I would carry one regardless . Sometime later we walked (well I hobbled) into sedbergh where Yvonne treated me to drinkies unfortunately it was that late AJ had to go straight away (something about curfew and not allowed out after 8 or something) so we said our goodbyes and off he went. (I couldnít help but notice that there were a lot of blue flashing lights following him.)

All in all a very good day, I will say a very tiring day for me but what a place , sometime I forget just how big the Howgills are compared to the Cheviots .

Great day great scenery great walk great companions, I consider myself very fortunate to be out with these people thank you.

Now a few (a lot) photos.

 Looking up towards the lower slopes of Winder.


Approaching Lockbank farm.


AJ and Yvonne on the lower slopes.


General view as we stop for a breather.


Yvonne (Cheviot Stroller) waiting for us to catch up.


Looking back as we gain a bit of height.


This hill seemed to go on for ever and ever.

Made it to the top at last .

Looking ahead, at this point I didnít know where Dave was taking us.

Dave and Yvonne bringing up the rear.

Yours truly.

Not sure how to label this.

Some fell ponies taken at max zoom.

Not sure what I am looking at here.

General view.

Our route, I think that this is Calders that Iím looking at (I could be wrong).

Again not sure what I am looking at, but these hills are a lot bigger than what they seem.

Peering over the top, pity that there is a bit of a haze.

Looking ahead towards these hills.

I think that we are now on Arant Haw looking towards Calders.

Cheviot stroller waiting for the slower members to catch up.

View half way up Calders.

Looking back down the path, this was a lot harder than I thought.

Dave acting as back marker, but what views.

Peering over the other side.

Stone Cairn on Bram Rig top (I think.)

The big guy taking time out to take a call from one of his many fans.

Now on the path towards the Calf looking back.

As the trig point was busy we went down here for lunch.

Time to check out the leg.

On our way back now Dave on the Calf trig point (gotta luv the big fellow eh!).

Our way down the side of Bram Rigg.

Itís a lot bigger than what I first thought.

Yvonne leading the way (what a brave lass)

Looking down, we did comment that it would hurt if she slipped and fell, but sheís a tough northern lass.

Then the path started to open up a bit.

The view to one side.

Due to the fact I was knackered trying to keep up with these super fit people, I called a rest break.

Dave taking full advantage of this break.

Looking across to the other side fell.

Looking back & up and we are not even a quarter of the way down yet.

Yvonne leading the way again as chief navigator.

Something we passed on the way down, not really sure what it was, I think it might have been an old sheep stell but not really sure.

Same spot just looking up at a different ridge.

Looking back up the path we had just come down.

Still heading down towards Bram Rigg Beck.

Looking back .

Again Yvonne fearlessly leading the way.

Approaching the beck.

Yvonne still taking her role as no 1 navigator seriously and setting a cracking pace.

Again looking back (yes I know that there are a few of these)

Starting to climb out of the beck.

A few general views.

 Looking back at what I think is Swarth Greaves.

Now on the road looking back at Birkhaw farm.

Last look back as we walk along the road.