I was working in Bowness on Friday so I took advantage of this and headed for Buttermere to bag 5 wainwrights while I was over that side of the country. I set the tent at the Skye Farm campsite and did my usual boycott of the Fish Inn and had a filling homemade chicken pie at the Bridge hotel.
The weather wasn’t great so we headed for Honnistsr slate mine and set off towards Grey Knotts, the cloud was covering the tops and the wind was high but hey Ho. Brandreth was the next top and then Green Gable. Getting up Great Gable was a pain in the cloud and on the way back down I lost the path and ended up dropping down some scree and then having to head back up towards windy gap. On the plus side i managed to practice some Bear Grylls scree sliding skills.
The last top of the day was Base Brown and we made a total hash of the descent, losing the path again and having to scramble down some dodgy ground down into Seathwaite. Good day out but rustiness with navigation skills made the day a lot harder than it should of been, thank god for memory map on the iPhone which saved the day a few times.
So things have changed a lot in the last 12 months meaning my time has now become more precious than ever. No more can I just decide to disappear for a week into the hills, a promotion to the big league at work means I now need to plan my personal time well in advance to make sure I don’t leave this hobby of mine behind for the rat race.
With this in mind I have devised a cunning plan that will let me hike the Cleveland Way in 4 days and still have time to chill with my little clan at the same time. With my base set at Osmotherly camp site in our glorious new caravan I intend to break the walk into 4 very long days over and fit it around family time on selected weekends. It kind of goes against my goal of through hiking all of the national trails but a compromise had to be made. I will still carry my full kit which some might think is a little perverse considering I wont be using my tent but it makes me feel like i have tried to stick to my original ideals even with the new format.
So Day 1, back end of May I set of from Helmsley at 7am knowing I had to cover 30miles or so to get to my destination in Carlton to meet with the family. I thought I would be more or less walking alone and I was for the first section of the walk which takes you up to the top of Sutton Bank, weather was good and I was moving fast after a long lay off. I think I reached Sutton bank at 9am and there was a huge charity walk heading off along the national trail. They had an hours head start on me and they numbered about 100. I have walked this section of the trail many times so i decided to sack the usual photo/relax points and just plough through the trail.
The weather took a really bad turn for the worst at abut 11am and it turned really windy with rain lashing in constantly. By the time I reached osmotherly I was chilled to the bone. I popped in the Queen Catherine for a bowl of soup in front on the roaring log fire and warmed up for an hour. The walk between Osmotherly and Carlton is a lovely walk when the sun is out but I had no such luck with the weather and was soon back in the heavy cloud with rain whipping up the escarpment of the North York moors into my face. Sometimes hiking isn’t fun and this clearly wasn’t. By the time I reached Carlton bank I couldn’t even be bothered to stop and wait for my lift so I just jogged down into Carlton to meet Tom, Leanne and her family in the Black Bull Inn for dinner. They menu was Thai food, the beer was cold and I was happy that I’d battered in some 33 miles and managed to keep the rest of the clan happy at the same time.
Next up Carlton to Saltburn when my diary sees fit.
Name – Tookie Bunten, technically it’s really David Bunten but your more likely to get a response if you shout Tookie.
Blog – walkwithtookie.com
Twitter profile – @tookiebunten
Age – A young looking 34
Home Town – As I always say, I’m a Ayrshireman (Cumnock), living in Lanarkshire (East Kilbride), working in Glasgow.
Where do you spend most of your time outdoors? A fairly even split between Ayrshire and Lanarkshire these days.
Where did outdoor passion come from? Mostly my parents and family, we would always go walks all over the place. We had a caravan but before that a tent or the loan of a Caravanette and went away for weekends and holidays. Galloway, the Borders, Sutherland, Argyll. You name it and I’ve probably been there, even south of the wall. The Lake District, Wales, Norfolk are few that stand out in my mind. Also living in the countryside helps. I was never more than a 5 minute walk or bike ride from hills, woods, rivers, open fields. I enjoyed exploring and was given a fair bit of freedom to roam, get dirty, soomin wet wading burns, sook water from puddles, fishing and the like when I was younger. I joined the Boys Brigade as an Anchor Boy and stayed through to Company Section. I got a greater access to the outdoors through them and to more activities. My eyes were opened to more than just walking. The brigade had their own mini-bus, canoes and kayaks. That got me more weekends away. My first experience of sleeping in a bothy and the West Highland Way. Doing the DofE through them as well. All the skills I learned through them for the outdoors. The list goes on, it just added up to great time and I think that is why I have a passion for the outdoors.
Favourite spot to camp? I wouldn’t say I have one. Maybe it’s a case of too many to choose from? This years would be below the Shelter Stone in the Cairngorms. It was a great weekend with great company.
Favourite hill? All of them but if pushed, I’ll probably say Blackcraig at New Cumnock for any number of reasons or the Merrick in Galloway because it was my first ‘big’ hill.
Biggest achievement in the outdoors? Nothing that I would consider worthy compared to what some of my peers have done, are doing and continue to do.
Any burning desires? To paddle round and camp on some of the smaller uninhabited Western Isles. Always been a dream to do that one summer or over few. Another would be to cross Scotland on foot a bit like the TGO Challenge.
Boots or trainers? I’m a convert to trainers just need to find a suitable pair for the winter. Best decision I have made in regards to outdoor gear. My feet are so happy these days.
Down or synthetic? Coming from the West of Scotland; synthetic, it likes the rain better but I do have some down gear.
Ale or lager ? Both. I’m a card carrying CAMRA Member. I’m not a spirit or wine drinker. I haven’t acquired a taste for wine and spirits is another story altogether…
Going up or down? Definitely down. I’m a shorty, 5′ 7″ in old money, on a good day after being on the rack. It can be really hard work constantly bouncing my knees off my chest climbing up hills.
Trail or TGO? Neither. Couldn’t actually tell you the last time I bought copy, it’s been that long. Much prefer reading blogs.
Compass or GPS ? I would say compass, I’ve not had one of them let me down yet but a GPS is seriously handy and quick, even the one on my phone.
Other blogs you like to read? As many as I can. I love seeing the outdoors through others eyes. Currently my google reader has 92 feeds in its ‘Outdoors’. It’s great inspiration.
Funniest thing you’ve seen on the hills? A guy walking an inflatable sheep with a tartan leash….
Favourite bit of kit? My Inov8 Roclite 315s. To my feet they feel like slippers.
Favourite tipple? That’s a hard one, Arran Ale springs to mind straight away not the Blonde, Dark or Sunset versions you see in Tesco but the original blue labelled plain old ale. It’s hard to get but well worth it. However I do have a real soft spot for a Miller; a MGD, Genuine Draft. Milwaukee’s finest. Ice cold. I think my CAMRA membership card just went in flames there…
What do you like about blogging? Everything. Sharing my experiences, sharing in other people’s experiences. Also it’s a great community. Everyone is welcoming and happy to talk, whether it’s trips, gear or just to have a good laugh.
Best rant? I’m not really a ranty person, well I don’t think so but I can get a good one going about all those folks that are blinkered by the Highlands…don’t get me started.
Something good about the outdoors? Something; everything is good in the outdoors, even the rain. Just being outside that’s good.
Best joke? Have you heard about the oyster who went to a disco and pulled a mussel?
Football team? (Glasgow) Rangers
Many thanks Tookie, hopefully i will get my arse across the boarder again soon and join you for a Munro. If any other outdoor bloggers fancy being involved in this feature just let me know. The next blogger in the series hails from the US of A.
The second in the instalment of meet the bloggers comes from a good friend and fellow FC Hiker the leg end Mr Mike Knipe, one of the UK’s most active bloggers/hikers.
Name – Mike Knipe aka The Pieman
Blog – Northern Pies – www.northernpies.blogspot.com
Twitter profile – None
Age – Don’t be so cheeky, young man
Home Town – Earby in the West Riding of Yorkshire
Where do you spend most of your time outdoors? In the Pennines, mainly North Pennines.
Where did outdoor passion come from? She was a nurse from Halifax. Ooooooer… Family picnics on the moors – what’s that hill over there Dad? “That’s Ingleborough, son….”
Favourite spot to camp? Upper Glen Feshie amongst the scots pines and the wild thyme.
Favourite hill? Don’t be silly
Biggest achievement in the outdoors? TGO Challenge Leg End +
Any burning desires? Did I mention the nurse from Halifax?
Boots or trainers? Boots
Down or synthetic? Mainly down
Ale or lager ? As long as it’s in liquid form….
Going up or down? Up
Trail or TGO? TGO
Compass or GPS ? Neither, either or both
Other blogs you like to read? Loads – I specially like blogs from people just starting to explore.
Funniest thing you’ve seen on the hills? Blowing up an ancient rambler with some flash gun powder whilst trying to make a new foothold in a rock step in Buckden Gill – he started climbing down just as the fuse….. And the odd thing was that there was a big flash and a white cloud and he didn’t seem to notice. It seems that this kind of thing happens to him all the time.
Favourite bit of kit? me old akto….
Favourite tipple? malt scotch (any…)
What do you like about blogging? I like to write stuff….
Best rant? There’s very little point in asking me to just rant, straight off without any actual reason. I mean ter say, you can’t just switch a rant on and off like a..er.. like an on and off switch at will. They have to come naturally. They have to have a trigger. Like a bad experience on the A1 involving an old lady in a Ford Ca and a Pikie’s Truck full of borrowed scrap metal or somebody nicking into that parking spot that you’ve waited ages for that lass with the pram and all the shopping to finally get her fucking arse in gear and get home to make her man’s tea. And then you find that the bloke who’s nicked your spot has “HATE” tattooed on his knuckles and supports Hartlepool United. And he calls you “Bonny Lad”.
Nope, sorry, I can’t just turn it on.
Something good about the outdoors? Its outside. Not inside. It’s windy and there’s birds singing and stuff….
Best joke? I had a crazy dream that I weighed less than a thousandth of a gram. I was like, 0mg!
How do you kill a circus? Go for the juggler! (Christmas cracker joke)
Cheers Mike, full of wit as ever from the man who classes crossing Scotland like popping out for a pint of milk. More in the series of Meet the Outdoor bloggers can be found here.
This is the first of many “Meet the Outdoor Bloggers” feature that my little blog will be featuring. The idea is simple, a place were you can learn a little about the queer folks that make up the Outdoor Bloggers in the UK and abroad (yes i do know a few). The format is a simple questionaire, hope you enjoy, first up TerryBnd.
Your blog terrybnd – hiking and wild camping in the UK
Twitter profile terrybnd
Home town Nottingham
Where do you spend most of your time in the outdoors? Peak District National Park. It’s my office, if you like. I used to go backpacking all over England and Wales but since I’ve gained much of my video work in the Peak Park, consequently it is now where I spend most of my time. I regularly spend more nights in a tent on the moors than I do in my own bed at home! Fortunately, I have a very understanding (hill widow) wife.
When/where did your outdoor passion come from? Two key things spring to mind. My grandfather was a farmer and also a gamekeeper for parts of Sherwood Forest. I was never happier when spending time with him out in the woods, taking in flora and fauna and so on. I’d often make shelters in the woods or on hills too! Needless to say this had a profound effect on my upbringing. Then when I was 12 yrs old, I paid the Lake District my first visit and was awestruck by it’s majesty and beauty. I just wanted to run and head out onto all the hills and take in the views.
I recall one trip out in horrendous conditions atop Fairfield looking south over Windermere just as the cloud parted and the weather gave some respite. In those few minutes it flicked so many switches emotionally for me that til this day continue to do so whenever I’m in the outdoors.
It was only in my 20’s that after several poor attempts at camping out in woods and dales with cheap Argos camping gear that it dawned on me that there was much better equipment available for spending nights out on the hills. And I’ve never looked back! I get cabin fever if I don’t get out and about in all weathers. It can drive my wife absolutely bonkers – but with it forming part and parcel of my work now, we’ve both generally accepted how things are.
For sure, I feel like the luckiest man in the world at times – but equally I’ll miss home and my family and be desperate to pack up and head back to suburbia. It’s a double-edged sword really.
Favourite spot to camp? Ah, that be telling! I have several in truth. I love Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales, for example. I adore the geology, it’s visual and underfoot character, it’s history and of course it’s stupendously fine views to all points of the compass. Many times I’ve spent the night up there.
There’s a couple in the Lakes and in Snowdonia too. And another two in the Peak District – but I’m just not telling!
Favourite hil/mountain? Each to their own – but I’ll publicly say Ingleborough. I can’t really fathom why to be honest. But it keeps calling me back. But I wouldn’t like to say it’s my favourite per se. I love all hills and mountains. And most of them are not the grandest or most dramatic either. It’s about more than that for me in the outdoors. Atmosphere, views and so on. Some of my favourite places are deemed small in height but often they afford the best views in my opinion. So, what ever floats your boat really…..
Biggest achievement in the outdoors? Getting married to my wife in the Lake District and a few days later taking her on our first and only wild camp together! It’s a long story that one…..
Any burning desires/plans for the future? I want to enjoy more of Scotland, first on my wishlist is the Moffats. Otherwise to compensate this desire I’m taking part in the TGO Challenge in 2012. Otherwise to continue doing the work I do in the outdoors – just make more money!
Boots or trainers? They both have their place. More often you’ll see me in trainers though.
Down or synthetic? Again, they both have their place. But it’s down for most things I do.
Ale or lager? Ale of course! Though I’m partial to a cold can of lager from time to time – otherwise it’s ale all the way. Why not? A large range of flavours (and silly names) and often a good pint is served in the best pubs. It’s a British institution ale and thankfully it’s a growing market too. It’s managed to shed that old, grumpy, bearded man bitter image and more landlords take care of their ale now (as opposed to serving off pints).
Going up or down? Both. I always plan the easiest gradients – even if it means following sheep tracks.
Trail or TGO? TGO all the way. I used to enjoy Trail but find it’s very moreish in the past couple of years with recycled ideas and articles. Besides, I see it this way – Trail have staff that are journos first and (maybe though debatable) outdoors lovers second.
TGO, have staff where they’re genuine lovers of the outdoors and are journos second. And you can see the difference it makes in the features and reviews too. I like TGO for being able to talk about controversial, contemporary and relevant issues with our hobbies and interests such as windfarms.
Trail just pussy foot round such issues – it’s childish in comparison. Even it’s tone and style is somewhat of an insult to any normal persons intellect. “10 hills to do before you die” and other such silly headlines. However, they do it well – albeit being part of a big organisation (Bauer) which is always an advantage for mags on shelves, eh?
TGOs recent revamp hits a sweet note I think. It doesn’t alienate the regular veteran readers and is more accommodating or appealing to folk who are new to outdoor pursuits. It’s the winner on most counts in my opinion.
Compass or GPS? Compass. I’m know fan of GPS. Unnecessary expense in my opinion. Map and compass win every time – though a GPS for a quick grid ref is excellent if caught out in a white out, for example. In which case, there’s software out there that costs nothing to let you know your position via the GPS on modern mobile phones.
Other blogs you like to read? I like reading most blogs in truth. Each to their own. I wouldn’t like to say names as it would appear to be favouritism. I love them all and the outdoors blogging community overall. There’s some great and interesting folk out there make no doubt. Whatever your thoughts and opinions of blogging and bloggers – there’s something for everyones taste out there.
Funniest thing you’ve seen in the hills? Many things to be honest. I suppose one is when me and a few friends went on a wild camping weekend in the Lake District – a send off for a friend who was moving away. Awful weather had cleared to reveal a fine and sunny evening, too many drinks were had and the next thing I know is I’m in a race on a fellside with a friend – naked. Yes, you read that right. It was a childish, macho dare and goodness knows what anyone would’ve thought if they caught sight of two grown men running naked up the flanks of Nethermost Pike. I’ll say no more to save me embarrassment!
Favourite tipple? You can’t beat a pint of Thwaites Wainwright Ale, Coniston Bluebird or Caledonian IPA after a long day in the hills. Otherwise at camp I enjoy a bottle of port. Though it has to be said – some will say I’m not particularly fussy with what I may enjoy as a tipple in the pub or on the hills at camp. My attitude to the latter is if I can’t be at the pub after a long walk outdoors, I’ll bring the pub with me.
What do you like about blogging? I enjoy the community side of it all mainly and of course reading what others get up to on the weekends out and about. Differing perspectives on places and kit interests me too. I just enjoy sharing my experiences really.
Give me you best rant.
Now tell me something good about the outdoors. The scenery, ever changing moods of the landscape and peace and tranquility. Cliche – but true.
Finally tell me you best joke. Too rude to mention, I’m afraid!
Thanks Terry for your comments, you can find all the Meet the Bloggers posts here.
I’ve always wanted to do this walk since my dad hiked it for charity many years ago when I was just a wee lad. The walk itself is a 40mile slog starting in Osmotherly and ending in Ravenscar via a high moorland route across the North York Moors.
When Paddy rang me up to see if I fancied it my reply was “when”?, and so a plan was hatched and without a thought it was upon us. Now as you may of noticed I’ve been a little lapse with my blog for sometime, mainly due to the fact it’s hard to write an outdoor blog when your not actually doing anything in the outdoors. With my new job now going extremely well I can announce the return of the adventures of ukmase.
We used Cote Ghyll campsite in Osmotherly as our base and I brought along the Outwell Nevada tent for some luxury, it easily fit 3 people and 2 dogs. We hampered down for an early nights sleep but I was hardly slept thanks to Pepper being a little excitable.
We set off on the stroke of midnight in true dirging tradition and headed of into the dark, cold moors that lay before us. The first part of the walk follows the Cleveland way for some 12 miles, the ground underfoot is great but there is a lot of ascent involved. It was quite breezy on the escarpment of the NY moors but the sky was lit with a perfect array of stars.
After a quick hot brew stop near clay bank we were soon at Bloworth Crossing, from here we struck off into the heart of the moors following an old railway track. The mist rolled in the second we left Bloworth Crossing and it was the thickest mist I have ever seen, I was struggling to make out the puddles in the track, I must admit I was glad to have Paddy with me, manly because my head torch battery ran out and secondly because I would of been shitting myself if id been walking solo.
By the time we had reached the road which the lion inn sits on it was just getting light, however the mist was that thick we missed the lion Inn which was our meet up point with Gill and the chance to pick up some food. This was the low point of the walk, Pepper was hungry and I only had jelly babies to give her. Anyway we struck off out into the moors again with empty bellies.
The path now turned into ruin and we were soon splodging through bogs, I would recommend changing into wellies for this section. The going was really difficult and sapped a lot of my energy, at some point we crossed the North York Moors railway and Ella Beck just before our last check point for a very well deserved rest break and some hot soup. Pepper looked knackered and I covered her with my coat but she soon jumped up when we headed back out for the last stretch towards Ravenscar.
The last section seemed to take forever and we were moving quite fast, it was dark for the last 15 minutes of the walk and by the end i was pretty weary. It took 18 hours and a lot of hard graft on some of the sections. I swore never to do it again but I’m starting to think a few weeks on that a summer crossing would be nice and a lot quicker. Well done to Paddy and Pepper and thanks to Gill for supporting our crossing.
I did this walk in non waterproof innov8 trainers, no issues really but it did mean on some sections I had very cold and wet feet mainly due the continuous bogs which never gave my feet the chance to warm up and dry out but on the plus side I wasn’t having to lug big heavy boots for 40 miles.
Its good to be back in the thick of it.
I camped at Skye Farm campsite, £8 per night, basic but in a great location and two pubs within 5 mins walk. Very uneven pitching ground for larger tents so beware.
My plan for the day was a route called the Buttermere marathon and what a great route this is. Highly recommended to anyone willing to go a little bit further to secure a few more hills. We had lucked out on the weather but a cool breeze made the going a lot easier.
The walk starts by taking a high path alongside the lake, it’s a long slog over boggy ground to reach Great Borne but the summit is easy enough and has great views to take in. After Great Bourne head to Starling Dodd, the wind on top of this hill was incredible considering how low the wind throughout the rest of the day. The climb to Red Pike gives you a chance to see the whole route laid out and we took the opportunity to shelter from the wind and eat lunch. We had covered quite a bit of ground but the best was still to come.
From High Crag you get amazing views of the ridge that leads to High Crag which beholds an amazing vantage point for viewing Haystacks, Wainwrights favourite hill. The only downside to the full day was the scree slope that descended High Crag but once past this annoying feature it was pure joy heading towards Haystacks.
Haystacks itself is a hill I had read plenty about and the Innominate Tarn was just special, I must come back here for a wild camp, quite literally stunning. We spent half and hour just taking in the surroundings in the warm sun.
There was one more Wainwright left to bag but Woodstock was looking a but tired so Paddy & Gill headed on down. It was a fair old slog up to Fleetwith Pike but again I was rewarded with an amazing view over the valley. I had plenty left in the tank so I jogged down to the valley and to head back to the campsite via a lakeside path rather than the road.
Trust me this walk is so great you must try it, 17 miles, 7 Wainwrights, 9 hours, job done.
Before I end my blog post I would just like to draw attention to the absolute muppet of a landlord from the Fish Hotel. I will never return to this pub again after customer service that beggared belief. Instead I would advise you head to the Bridge Hotel were the food was amazing with hospitality to match. Night night.
With a dull ache in the legs from last weekends hike I decided to bag all the Coniston Fells in one push. Coniston Hall provided the campsite for the weekend and the sun was in full force.
I was set off from the campsite and this added 3 miles to an already big day out in the hills. The route I decided on took in the Wainwright summits of Weatherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag. The sun played a big part in the day and I was so glad I took a baseball cap with me as I would have burnt to a crisp.
This route is one of my favourites so far in the Lakes and comes highly recommended, I took a slightly different route up to Weatherlam ignoring the guidebook (Walking the Wainwrights) and taking in Kennel Crag which is a very interesting feature to play about on.
Dow Crag and Buck Pike also floated my boat and I will be coming back for a wild camp at either Blind Tarn or the summit of Kennel Crag.
Fitness wise I’m happy with the steady progress I am making and nailed the route in 6 hours dead with plenty to spare in the tank. 16 miles, 4400 feet and 7 Wainwrights, job done.
Friday night was spent in the ODG, the Cumberland sausage was a real let down and I don’t understand why they changed the old recipe. On Saturday I woke early, cooked breakfast and packed my gear into the car. We set off around 8:30am and the clouds were covering a view of the tops. The pull up to Pike of Blisco showed my lack of mountain legs and we were treated to a cloud inversion of sorts at the summit. Unfortunately that was the last view I would see until I was back in langdale valley.
Cold Pike didn’t cause any problems but navigation across the top of Crinkle Craggs was a nightmare, even so Pepper did rather well for a dog and quickly picked up the art of scrambling. Bow Fell was next and I must return here to tackle this in full winter conditions. Esk Pike was next and Angel Tarn looks like a top place for a wild camp. Pepper got thrown in the tarn after she decided to roll about in a pile of mud, lessons were earned by the young pup.
One more Wainwright completed the days bagging and it was quick stroll up Rossett Pike. By the time I reached the valley the sun was out and I took a quick video to capture the setting.
Legs are aching now which means one thing, I need to get my arse in gear with training for the Welsh 3000 challenge in July.
We headed to Danby in the heart of the North York Moors to check out the Moorland Outdoor Centre. The weather was hardly great but we picked up a Moorland quiz for 50p – excellent value when it makes a day trip into an adventure for a 6 year old.
After completing the quiz we took a stroll over to the remains of Danby Castle about 30 minutes walk away. There was plenty of mud to splodge about in, shame the castle was shut though.
The moorland centre itself has plenty to keep children happy and Thomas loved the indoor climbing wall for under 8’s. A bit on hang time later and we headed to The Jolly Sailor for a pub lunch with lovely home cooked chips. Good day out despite the dismal weather.