Should I stay or Should I go?

January 20, 2017

This is what I asked myself on Wednesday morning as I walked Bramble at 06:00 around the usual 1 3/4 miles walk in a slight drizzle. The forecast wasn't the best and I almost persuaded myself to stay at home, it was like part of a fave film (Animal House) from years ago, with a Tog Devil on one shoulder and an Tog Angel on the other... Stay, Go, Stay Go.

 

I said to myself, no need to rush as there won't be a sunrise this morning, eventually one of them won (not sure whether it was the Devil or the Angel) and the decision was made to venture out for the day. I hadn't been down to the South Lakes for a while and decided that Blea Tarn needed a visit and that I would go via Kirkstone Pass. In passing Ullswater looked tempting and calm around The Duke of Portland and again at Glenridding but temptation eventually won at Brothers Water where I did a quick stop.

 

 

 

 This was the scene as I arrived at Brothers Water, I quickly set up to capture the touch of available colour. It often amazes me how much colour you can get when you have full cloud just after sunrise when the sun gets above the clouds. Next I wanted to capture the copse in more detail by zooming in just as the colour was fading.

 

 I don't think that as photographers we take enough portrait shots but this one enables me to capture the mood in the sky above the fells and small copse. Both of these were taken with the assistance of a brolly to keep the drizzle on the filters to a minimum.

 

I couldn't see more than 50 yards by the time I got to the top of Kirkstone Pass and that only started clearing near the bottom of the Struggle. Here I persuaded myself that it was worth the small diversion to the River Brathay before heading towards Blea Tarn.

 

 I spotted this Copse as I was walking towards the river and thought it was worth a small detour to capture the mood with the fells barely visible behind. The drizzle by this time was quite persistent and the brolly struggled to keep off the droplets. Next stop was Side Pike.

 

 I had seen a similar image in my Facebook stream and loved the big rock as foreground with the colour of the surrounding grasses. So an explore up Side Pike was required, it was a little higher than I thought and as my next stop was Lingmoor Fell I decided to look for a path that didn't descend first. Good decision as that's where I came across my next image a little further up Side Pike.

 

 It's when you have a rest puffing and panting after a stiff climb that it always makes me wonder at the work and effort that must have gone into the building of these drystone walls that frequent the Cumbrian Fells. Loved the view here at such a surprise seeing the tree that almost looks as tall as The Langdale Pikes. I eventually came to a small pass in the footpath through a piece of sheer rock, even going sideways it was going to be a struggle without my camera bag especially after the few extra xmas pounds I'd gained. The alternative was a scramble down some very slippery rocks which was an experience...

 

 This had been my real aim of the day, a view that I love with the wall leading towards Side Pike and Lansdale Pikes behind. Another slippery bit of climbing was required to get the height here but I think it was worth it. Next was back to the van for a well deserved sarnie and a coffee. It's surprising how much quicker and easier going back is.

 

I thought that I would have a quick wander to the tarn to see whether it was calm next.

 

 By now we were having a few breaks in the heavy clouds from earlier. The water levels in the tarn were a touch lower than I'd expected so my fave rocks were to exposed and these had to do. Next it was back up the other end of Lingmoor Fell for the view of Blea Tarn.

 

 This is another favourite view of mine and well worth the walk from the National Trust car park. I didn't know whether to just wait here for the hour or so until sunset but decided to head home when the cloud started thickening again. I decided to head back via Kirkstone Pass again just incase there was any colour.

 

 

Last stop of the day just outside of Glenridding and I was lucky enough to get a touch of colour at this well photographed stump at the end of the day.

 

So although the weather wasn't the best I had a great day of photography and came away with some images that I was pleased with, especially considering the conditions. Not sure whether it was the Devil or Angel Tog that won the argument but thank you for a great day.

 

 

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