An Escape To High Places

An escape to the mountains was needed. When a date that worked came along Cal, Dave W and I jumped at the chance to head north into the mountains. With flooding the day before we arrived and snow the day after we left, we finally got some karmic payback from the weather and found some damp but awesome autumnal riding.

24 hours earlier we were all in a major metropolis. Cal and Dave chase the light and escape into the hills

After some a whole load of train riding and a pro job packing the polo, we were good to go.

Read an article about the Lakes in autumn. It was bang on

The pain of the climb was ignored. The view was not

Cal and Dave discuss the merits of a Bhuna and our latest decision to snub Kamloops once again.

A surprisingly painless climb. The escape to the hills was nearly complete

The weather gods were kind for the second time in a calendar year.

And so to the singletrack. As with any 'Dad recommended' trail, there was a lot of deep, wet peat to start with.

Once we waded out of the bog we found superb scenic singletrack...

...more superb scenic singletrack & bog...

...some committing scenic drop ins...

...before some beautiful trail round from Angle Tarn to Boredale Hause. This was a spectacular piece of trail. Yes, there where a few walkers, all seemed please to chat or heckle, no one seemed to really mind the presence of bikes, and it is difficult to take the erosion argument to seriously when you see how two days of  heavy rain had changed the trails. Mountain biking is fun. Responsible trail use is the future.

And so we took the best drop from the Hause to the shores off Ullswater. Cal finishes off on the steps. A bit dryer this time.

Teashop closed disaster, but the view could not be more lakeland.

And then it got dark. Whilst Cal headed home, Dave and I unfurled the funk-mattress and contemplated the morrow.

Back to Patterdale, chasing the sun up the slopes of Helvelyn

Jaffa loading as we pushed upwards. The climb felt less daunting after 5 previous attempts.

It was clear. The Pennines, Scotland and the Isle of Man where all in view. This year feels a bit like a weather payback for previous wash outs.

On to the frosty ridge. It was cold and icy in the shade, but for the first time in living memory, not a gust of wind up there.

Dave, summit bound

There was a lakeland vista in every direction. Autumn/winter days like this make the passing of summer seem unimportant. Shows how cold the shade was though.

Summit. Coats on. Turn around. Fun

Dave drops in. A peach of a trail perches on the lower man ridge.

Warm sun on our backs. The immediate foreground a rocky serpentine. Beyond that the northern fells.

Just beautiful riding.

A Sticks bound return

Superb singletrack with some new easy access (That is enough Fix The Fells. Its good now ta) dropped us down to the rocky mess of Sticks Quarry

Dave on his way to the now traditional cleaning of the whole thing. It was nice to feel some progress myself. I'm getting closer to cracking it. I'll blame it on the hardtail for now.

Pretty Sweet shot...

And then it was done. Sandwiches rounded of a near perfect weekend of bicycles, curry and Lakes 'big mountain' riding at its finest. This whole winter thing might not be so bad y'know...

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