Sunday, 26 January 2014

Middle Fell: The Photos

Well it's been more than a little busy this week, and there's no real let up on the horizon – in fact if anything, next week is looking even busier – so I've not had chance to go hill-ward just yet. But I'm giving serious thought to joining the hiking soc at my new uni once my scholarship comes in (i.e. when I'm able to afford something other than air), it'd be cool to meet new people... but mainly I just want to tag along when they go up to the Lakes every other week.


If you're curious about how the first week of my PhD went, I wrote a post about it here (on what I guess is my personal blog), and I will attempt to make my infrequency up to you by smothering you with pretty photos from the time I hiked Middle Fell, way back in 2012. 

One day I might get round to doing a write up about that excursion (well, what I remember), but for now – here are some pictures...

«


«

«


«


«


«
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Moving Day


Today I moved from (near) Sheffield to Manchester. 
The drive over to the city involved scenes like these:

«

«

And especially...
«

I'm feeling rather a lot happier about moving, now.

Apologies for the less than stellar photo quality, by the way: I only had my phone to hand. Nonetheless, I think you can still get at least an idea of how lovely it was (even with all the rain).

Apologies as well for the lack of update this week; this was due to me having a ridiculous few days: Manchester, then home, then night out, then doctors (always injured...), then teaching, then packing, then my leaving do... then today. I start my PhD on Monday, so I can't promise frequency will return immediately, but I will try to put up at least one hiking-related post in the next week.


Sunday, 12 January 2014

Back at Sea Level: Birthday, Shitscram, and lots of Boxes

«
I've been away for a fair bit, so a fair bit has happened. 
So in chronological order...

  • I had a birthday
    I turned 25 (gah), which I celebrated with a hike and an evening out (I went to TGIs with my friends; they ran out of cutlery and I had to eat my ice cream with a fork). The Yeti also treated me to the most awesome coat ever: warm and stylish... plus now I'm ready for Manchester! ;)
  • I quit my full time job
    I enjoyed the routine, the satisfaction of earning a decent bit of money, and even some of the actual work... but I did not enjoy getting shouted at by old people about things that made no sense. I was going to quit in December any way, but I ended up leaving a week earlier than planned. Some people are cut out for call centres; I am not one of them.
  • Sam and I Went to London
    Arcturus played London last Month and there was no way in hell I was going to miss it. Plus Sam had never had a proper trip to London(!) - so a weekend away was inevitable. It was awesome: the gig, shopping, sightseeing, my beloved NHM, and dinner at the best fast food place in London. Ace.
  • Shitscram
    Thanks to an amusing image I stumbled across, Sam and I have now taken to referring to the Christmas/NYE period as Shitscram. As you do. Anyhoo it was pretty decent: I didn't do too badly out of Christmas and it was lovely to ring in 2014 with the best person I'd met in 2013 (and for some time, come to that). I hope you all had a brilliant Shitscram!
  • I visited the Yeti in his natural habitat
    Which was a fair bit of fun. He'd also not long since left his job, so there was quite a lot of relaxing involved. Sadly, illness and uni drama meant that we still haven't managed to attack the Long Mynd just yet, but at least we got a lot of shopping done (including a new piece of kit...).
  • Packing. All of the Packing.
    This photo accurately represents my life right now. This time next week I'll be in my new home at the over side of the Penines. I start my PhD Monday-week and tomorrow I'll get the keys to my new flat. It's a very busy time - but it's also quite scary, which is why I'm writing this rather than doing anything to get ready for my new life.
Hope you've all had a decent couple of weeks. Now to get back to the grind....

Monday, 6 January 2014

Kinder Scout 2.0

Attempt 2.0, that is. They haven't upgraded it (I think).

But yes, I spent my last day as a 24-year-old stomping up Grindsbrook Clough for the second time in less than 19 months (just call me Miss Regular). It was cold. It was wet. It was very, very foggy...
 It was amazing.

«

We set off from our B&B in Ollerbrook (more on that another day) and headed over to Edale to try and find our way onto the trail. Alas, my memory is atrocious at the best of times, and while I could remember random and tiny bits about that first hike, beyond "get train into Edale", I was a bit stumped. Luckily, we were soon able to find our way to Grindsbrook Clough, thanks to a combination of the Yeti's awesome map-reading skills and... well... path signs pointing to Grindsbrook Clough.

«

Now, this was our first hike for quite a while, so I'm sad to say I was a little slower than usual at times – which was less than ideal as it seemed every fell running group in South Yorkshire had chosen that day to descend onto the same path as us. Cue lots of "let's just let these get past first, eh?"

This was especially the case as I had managed to forget one pretty important feature of this route (though how I'd forgotten is beyond me).  Remember how I explained that I "can't fsking handle streams"? Well, there's a lot of rock hopping and stream crossing with this route. And it had been raining an awful lot of late.  But still, I managed it!  Not without annoying the Yeti by suddenly freezing with fear on a regular basis, but still.

«

Then came the scramble to the top. I love a good scramble – while I can't yet completely handle any with sheer drops, anything like Side Pike or, indeed, this part of Grindsbrook Clough is my bread and butter. So much fun.

«
But, as I mentioned earlier: this was our first hike in quite a while, so while the scramble was a lot of fun, my thighs proceeded to fall out with me for a few days afterwards. I had never noticed how many stairs my office had...
Then, the (sort-of) summit: that rock that's shaped a bit like a toadstool. Apparently it's at about 600m, if that's any help. I realise that that's not the actual summit of Kinder. We would have made for the true summit from there, but decided against it on the grounds that (1) it was wet and cold, (2) We'd managed to forget our compass, and (3) We'd managed to forget our compass when it looked like this:

«

So we made a slightly awkward descent from there instead. Still, despite a few panicky moments ("We're lost! I don't remember this bit!" "Roxy, you've not remembered most of this route..."), we still managed to get back to Edale relatively unscathed.
(Though it was hit and miss at one point.)

«

Thursday, 2 January 2014

2014: What's Next?

«
I was supposed to be going up the Long Mynd today.
But alas, a head cold that could kill a horse, panicked time-sucking uni admin, and a misplaced map all put paid to that plan.

So instead, I decided to use the pyjama'd, paracetamol-y down time to have a bit of a think about some of the things I want to get done this year. Especially those things that involve being a little bit outdoorsy.

It's not a complete list by any means, but here's some ideas...

  • Climb at least 2 hills that are taller than Middle Fell. To my shame: Middle Fell remains the biggest thing I've ever hiked. This year, I want to sort that out (though I will try for more than 2 fells that are bigger. That's more a starting point.)
  • Have a driving holiday in the Lakes. This has been my dream since mine and the Yeti's incredible mini-hol in Langdale last summer. Those few days were phenomenal and while I didn't feel the need to leave the Valley, it would have been nice to explore a few more areas. So a dream was born: hire/borrow a car and spend 1-2weeks driving around the Lakes, stopping at a different campsites for a few nights then moving on (and maybe even a night or 2 in random, scenic B&Bs). Whether it's this year will depend on money, work, and how much Hellfest sets us back - but it's certainly a decent goal to have.
  • A hill a month; no excuses. This shouldn't be too difficult: I'm moving to a place down the road (broadly speaking) from the Peaks and the Lakes - and I'm planning on joining a hiking society to boot. None the less, it's still a goal.
  • Try out a climbing wall. Because why not.

Here's to a (hopefully) decent, outdoorsy new year.