Saturday, April 24, 2010

England. Skiddaw Peak

Yes, I am back in the land of Aus! I thought I would start my trip notes with fantastic walk I did in the Lakes district with two mates Ken and Jim. Skiddaw peak is in Keswick- perhaps the most beautiful part of the lakes area and, at only just over 900 metres, seemed to be an "easy " climb. Rather than write too much I have posted some photos and videos of the walk. Needless to say, towards the summit it was a bit more difficult.


Jim and Ken preparing for the walk. A pleasant start to the day.


Stunning views towards Keswick. The walk is very different to the Blue Mountains. Very open, with a broad, easy path and a steady climb.


As we climb- snow! At an altitude where snow does not fall in the Blue Mountains and a dramatic shift in the wind and a sudden temperature drop make it interesting.


Jim and Ken disappear into the howling wind and sleet. The terrain shifts from heath to just slate underfoot...


He's alive! Scott of the Antarctic!!


Nah.. It's Simon of Skiddaw! By this point it is as cold as the Snowy Mountains in a storm.


The peak!

video
Here is a little video of the peak. That noise is the wind. Very very strong and cold. The only respite was to sit behind some rocks. After a quick lunch of banana, and a mint cake ( sugar covered in chocolate basically) we began to descend the steep but faster route. This proved difficult for me as my old Scarpa boots are almost out of tread and I spent a great deal of time sliding instead of stepping.


Ken looking at the descent below the cloud cover.


A beautiful view again as we descend.

This is one of the best walks I have done. Tremendous variation in terrain and weather plus a couple of pints in a Lakes disctrict pub with frinds made this the perfect day.

More posts on England to come!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another flight cancelled

Well, even with flights resuming I have had another flight cancelled, and am awaiting for some communication with the airline this morning.
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I have moved from the lakes district to the south towards Portsmouth, staying with friends, as their home is closer to the aiport. They have been wonderful.

I dont' mind confessing I am frustrated. Its not so much the delay, as the uncertainty combined with my daughters 21st which i will miss, work responsabilities, and the fact that I am relying on others (something i find difficult).

See you all soon.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Stuck!

Just a quick update:- I was due to depart England tomorrow but all planes have been grounded in the U.K. due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland. The bottom line is, that it could be days before I get a flight. Fortunatly I am still in the Lakes district, so I can stay here until the dust settles,(forgive the pun).

Basically- the volcano is covered by 200metres of ice. As the lava pushes upward the molten rock is quickly cooled and is reduceed to tiny shards of glass. This is pushed up to 30,000ft into the atmosphere. If a jet engine flies through the "dust" the particles reduce the engine/s to nothing, with obvious results. Just like a massive sand blaster.

Anyhow, I have some great photos, 113 birds species spotted, helped with bird ringing, and done a couple of tetrads ( more on that later). Even a mountain climb to brag about. Sorry no photos yet, as I am writing this on a small computer.

See you all soon!