Monday, January 05, 2009

View from the top 

The top of Bowfell, that is - the peak in the distance, one-third of the way in from the right hand side of this shot. Our way led leftwards from where we sat here for a quick break, then up over the succession of summits - Crinkle Crags - running left to right:

Bowfell is also visible as the appropriately-pointy right-most peak of this panorama:

Looking south-east from the summit:

South-west, down Eskdale...

...an almost fairy-tale landscape of meandering stream, interlocking spurs, and misty mountains:

West, towards Scafell and Scafell Pike, with the step of Broad Stand on the direct route between the two clearly visible. These days, although not quite a true rock climb, it's rarely climbed without a rope, as a slip will most likely lead to serious injury. Amazingly though, the first recorded passage was by the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and was made in descent. Clearly he was no softy, no drawing-room poet, but a poet with balls!


And another take on that sunset I posted a couple of days back:

This shot is just a little way down from the summit; it was dark by the time we were two-thirds of the way down, but my son with his army training wouldn't let us use headtorches - he said once you've turned them on it destroys your night vision. There was no moon, yet it's surprising just how much you can see in the dark when your eyes become accustomed to it. The descent - the path known as "The Band" - is quite steep at the bottom, often more a succession of rock steps rather than a path, yet somehow eye and brain manage to make sense of the shadows. Eventually though we had to succumb to the need for artificial illumination when the way became icy and we couldn't tell the difference between rock and ice. That however was about half an hour after I'd first been inclined to dig the headtorches out of our packs - so a useful lesson was learned about just how effective night vision can be. If it hadn't been for the ice we'd have got all the way down by the faintest of glows in a hazy sky lingering well after the sun had set.

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