Footloose Walking Club
Walking in Lakeland since 1999
A strong group (see the picture below but note Pauline was hiding behind everyone) enjoyed a two night stay at Black Sail Youth Hostel between 24th and 26th March. We met at Wasdale Head intending to walk over Great Gable and possibly Kirk Fell before descending into Ennerdale via Black Sail Pass . However once we reached the col above Styhead Tarn we realised the wind was too strong to make a safe ascent of either of our planned peaks and we settled for a route via Windy Gap to the hostel. Even in the Gap the wind was strong and as we made our way across the pass it started to rain, so that we were very wet by the time we had gone half way. However, the weather got brighter and the strong wind helped to dry us out by the time we reached the hostel.
The following day was gloriously sunny with clear skies. We walked down Ennerdale and then westwards via a steep footpath to the summit of Red Pike, and followed along via High Stile and High Crag. As we trekked along this beautiful ridge, John Doff suggested that he had not been up Hay Stacks for 30 years, and so we agreed we would tack it on to the journey, with a bail out down Scarth Gap Pass for anyone who did not feel like scrambling up Haystacks. From the summit we had views down the valley to Buttermere and Crummock Water, and also into the top of Ennerdale towards Great Gable and Scafell.
The weather on the final day was overcast and windy again. We said goodbye to our hosts and walked up Scarth Gap, where the party split into two. One group walked down directly into Wasdale while the others scrambled up onto Kirk Fell under the leadership of Cliff Etherden. We paused for refreshments in the shelter at the summit before descending via Gable Beck to Wasdale Head where we said our goodbyes and set off for various homes.
In all it was a good trip, with a very fine day’s walking and some challenges. The hostel staff were friendly and the food although basic was excellent. The hostel itself is small but our stay was comfortable. Thank you Sarah for organising a great trip.
Eighteen of us went to Spain between the 7th and the 16th May. We stayed in two centres, Torrox, near Malaga, and San Jose which is north east of Almeria. Torrox is one of the white villages common in Andalucia, and has a typically Spanish character. There were few tourists in evidence as it is a largely Spanish resort. Accomodation was provided in several traditional houses dotted around the town. They were all within 10 minutes walk of the centre and had 3 to 4 stories with a flat roof where you could sit outside.
Our hosts were Walk Andalucia, John, Vicky, Danny and Steve. They provided the accommodation, arranged the restaurants at which we ate each evening, and guided us on our walks. They proved to be exemplary hosts; we did interesting walks, ate great food, and we were well cared for.
Our first challenge was the heat. However, in general there was a breeze at high levels, and we were cool enough to walk comfortably. The paths generally follow old mule, or mine tracks and tend to follow the contours even when climbing towards the passes between the hills.
The gradients are less steep than those we encounter but the distances greater than usual. Because the paths are often well defined and broad we were able to admire the view, without having to watch our feet continually as we do in the Lakes.
The first 3 days walking were spent in the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara Y Alhama National Park. A moderate and an easy walk were provided each day. We ate at local restaurants, and memorably one lunchtime we ate in the inn at Acebuchal. This is a village with only a handful of houses which was cleared by the nationalists at the end of the second world war to prevent the people offering support to insurgents in the hills around.
On the 4th day travelled along the motorway to the Cabo De Gata National Park, where we stayed in a hotel at San Jose, which is a small beach restort. Here our walks took us into the semi desert, where much of the scenery has been fashioned by the erosion of old volcanoes. It is a centre for the film industry, and Lawrence of Arabia, and the Clint Eastward movies were shot. The views along the coast and in the old gold mining area around the valley of Rodalquilar are spectacular. We also had our photograph taken outside an old monastery which appeared in the Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Clint however, was long gone.
Twenty one of us travelled to Deeside House, for a four night stay from the 10th of June. Although the weather was not as good as we wished we were not washed out and all of our walks were enjoyable. We had intended to attempt the 3 peaks if the weather was good. In the event we managed to do 2 peaks (Whernside and Ingleton) on one day and followed up completing the 3rd one (Penygent) the next day. We enjoyed a varied and tasty Jacob’s Join on the first night, and an indoor barbecue on the following night. On Wednesday we had booked an outside caterer, Amanda Booth, who provided a strongly acclaimed meal for us. The last night involved a trip to the George and Dragon in Dent, where they were glad to see us and made an excellent meal. This was followed by a party which lasted into the small hours back at the Deeside residence.
On 12th July at 6pm Cliff and Isobel are putting on a Crown Green Bowling event. If you are interested please let Sarah Walker know. They need to know in advance so let them know. If there is insufficient interest the event will not go ahead, so please let them know if you intend to attend. The venue is Kendal Subscription Bowling Club, Serpentine Road,(which becomes Queens Road) Kendal LA9 4PD. For those who know Kendal its behind the Riflemans pub.
The Summer social is being organised at Wilf’s at Staveley near Kendal.The event starts at 6pm, on the 26th July. There is a hot buffet meal, and you can bring your own drinks. We will be showing the film Free Solo about the first solo ascent of El Capitan. At £12 this is a snip, and if you want to go you should let Sarah Walker know urgently.
The 20th anniversary of the club will be celebrated at Hartington Youth Hostel in Derbyshire. The dates are 29th September to 2nd October. This event is now full. If you are attending please give your attention to planning walks in the area, so that you have something to offer when we meet at the venue.
Christmas Social and AGM
The AGM and Christmas Social will be at the Old Mill, Bardsea on Sunday 24th November. A three course meal will cost £20 and a two course meal £17.50. More details will be published later.
Tony Mayo is evaluating a holiday in Sardinia for the Spring of 2020. Once he has a full proposal we will share the details. In the meantime if anyone has any other ideas for a spring holiday please do a bit of investigating and let me have your ideas.
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