Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Through the Clouds

Always something to look at
The Lake District is beautiful in all weathers. Sometimes even when the clouds are out in force, the wind is blowing and it looks as though it could rain any minute, I still want to get out on the fells. It isn’t always about the long-distance views (stunning though they are).

So it was one morning when I headed out to climb Lord’s Seat and Barf from the Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre. On this route, much of the walk is amongst the forest and with the weather uncertain this seemed a good form of shelter (besides, starting from the top of the pass meant I was already a good way up the mountain!)
Sheltering in the trees

I made my way along the forest tracks up towards Ullister Hill. With the clouds swirling around, the tall trees seemed very eerie next to me and they came and went like shadows in the mist. Without views, I paid more attention to the beautiful purple heather, yellow gorse and tall grasses around me. The mist had left tiny water droplets like crystals on them and spider webs glistened as they swayed in the breeze.

"View" from the summit
After about a mile and a half I emerged from the trees and before long, I had reached the summit of Lord’s Seat. Apparently the name comes from a natural rock seat just below the summit but today was not a day to explore too long as the wind was becoming quite feisty. When amongst the trees it was barely noticeable so my decision to try a forest route was a good one. 

Misty view of the "mound"
After admiring the cloud for a few minutes, I headed off towards Barf into yet more cloud. I passed the imaginatively named “mound” (according to the Ordnance Survey map). Even in the cloud I couldn’t argue with that apt description as a “mound” it certainly was! 

The view from Barf was much the same as from Lord’s Seat when I arrived on the summit but then, briefly, the clouds blew north and a misty view down to Bassenthwaite suddenly appeared and almost as quickly disappeared. I wasn’t expecting any views at all so this made it even more beautiful. 
A glimpse of Bassenthwaite from Barf

Ever improving views
I came back through the forest and the lower I got the thinner the cloud became and the views to the valley, with a patchwork of fields got better and better. The tracks twisted and turned through the trees until I arrived back at the Visitor Centre. If the weather had been better I probably would not have chosen that walk and I would have missed out. The forest walk was lovely, much nicer than I thought it would be and I will definitely return regardless of cloud!

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