A Derwentwater Dawdle 11th December 2022

Led by Pat

A hardy bunch of eight Cumbrian LDWA faithfuls met at the Portinscale bridge for what turned out to be a sometimes icy experience on a gloriously sunny December morning.

With a film of frost covering the road we carefully made our way to Nichol End. A stretch of less precarious walking through the woods brought us to Hawse End and the start of a good path under Catbells. The path was dry as we skipped along enjoying the views but care was needed as we encountered several icy stretches where water had flowed across or down the path. But hey ho the sun was shining and we were soon at Grange where we joined the Cumbrian Way towards Rosthwaite.

After Rosthwaite came our only climb of the day over Birkets Leap and Pudding Stone Bank to Watendlath. The ascent was incident free but care was needed as we made an icy descent to Watendlath.

As the usual path along Watendlath beck was in shade, therefore potentially icy, we proceeded on the road down the valley. Despite being on the sunny side it was not ice free. A sunny bank provided an ideal lunch stop but once the sun dipped behind the hills there was a distinct chill in the air and everyone was keen to move on.

After a brief stop at Surprise View we carried on to Ashness Bridge where we left the road and made our way to Great Wood along a narrow path with super views of Derwentwater and Catbells ridge opposite. When the recce was done in September progress was slow due to overhanging bracken and brambles. This time it was the icy stretches that commanded respect.
Having reached the car park the final couple of miles were easy walking on low level paths to Keswick where we joined the Cumbrian Way again back to the cars before 3 30.
An enjoyable 16 5 miles with 1900’ ascent.