The Vault Regulars

Monday, January 31, 2011

Kinniside walk part 2

We are now back home from Sheila’s mums and i am now able to expand on the Kinniside walk we did on the last post.

(I’m still not convinced about blogging on the go but i don’t want this point to corrupt this post, so i will leave it at that for now.)

We drove up the cold fell road from Calder Bridge and parked at NY 05587. As Dorothy was walking with us today there would be no mountains being summited, we were basically following the Calder river to the watershed and then retracing our path. It was still good to be out though.
Following Friar Gill east we passed Friar well which is a natural spring but was covered in algae but larger than i had expected.
This area was originally part of the great church estates. The land being owned by Calder Abbey which is now a derelict ruin in Calder Bridge, a small village a few miles south of here.

Calder Abbey was founded in 1134 by Ranulph de Meschines, Lord of Copeland, for a colony of monks from  Furness Abbey originally as a Benedictine monastery. The Abbey was once one of the most enchanting in the British Isles. So its said.
After the Dissolution in 1536, when Henry VIII’s demolition teams began their work of closing the monasteries, the monastery buildings slowly became the ruins they are today.
The privately owned abbey is not normally open to the public, and views from the nearby road or river path are a bit restricted. 
However the numbers of people who go and have a peek at the ruins are growing so maybe at some point the owners will grant access.

As we made progress further there are good views of Caw Fell, Haycock and Seatallon. Visibility was excellent today although it was bitterly cold in the shade and still quite a bit of frost on the North facing slopes.

It’s a good track down to the confluence of the Gill and the River Calder where a sturdy foot bridge is crossed.
Over the bridge the path splits, one heading east for the ridge line following Worm Gill up to the North of Caw Fell and our less adventurous path heads north towards Blakeley Raise.
Not far along this path and down to the left we passed Monks Bridge.
According to information this is the oldest pack horse bridge in Cumbria and was built by the monks from Calder Abbey.
A number of official websites state that this bridge was built over Friar Gill. In my opinion it’s not. It’s built over the River Calder.
More good pictures of the bridge can be seen here:-

The sun was giving off some heat at last and we could take off our gloves and hats and the odd fleece. It’s a reasonable path following the Calder although there are some difficult bits to cross if your not too good on the legs such as Latterbarrow Beck. However it is worth it as you pass Gill Force waterfall.

On our right hand side is Lank Rigg at 541 metres. There is lots of history here with numerous sites of cairns, settlements, homesteads and a Tumulus near the summit. There is also a trig point here with good views across to the Ennerdale peaks. Those peaks were not for us today though.

In about 1/2 hr you come to the watershed of the Calder and there are a number of routes from here where you can extend the walk and with varying grades of walking.
Its a lovely area and one we plan to come back to.
For us we were retracing our steps back but it has been very enjoyable if short walk.
Some more photographs of our bimble can be seen at this link.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kinniside walk, West Cumbria

Today we have done the walk we planned to do yesterday but ran out of time
Its a lovely cold clear day with good views of Seatallon and Caw.
Still lots of frost around but quite warm if you keep in the sun.
More pics on Monday
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Friday, January 28, 2011

St. Bees

A lovely day today. Clear and sunny. 4 degrees.
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Monday, January 24, 2011

Backpacking spoons. MYOG

I had to post a parcel today so i decided to walk into town rather than use the car. Due to the closures of village Post Offices this is now a 6 mile hike for us.
While i was there it gave me the chance to have a look round some of the shops. On my mind had been the idea of buying a Bamboo spoon for backpacking. Bamboo is the ideal material, it’s strong, relatively light weight, food doesn’t stain Bamboo so i am led to believe, and therefore it should be ok for those packet curries and spagbols we tend to take with us.
Also, i wanted a spoon with a longer handle to get down to the bottom of the packets without getting food all over my fingers.
Over the years i had tried many spoons, from the cheap and cheerful to the expensive folding titanium but had never been happy with any really. Although i did receive a freebie from Expedition foods which was quite good. Below is a few of our collection.
Then in one of the less expensive shops in town i spotted these tongs. (Sorry the photo contrast is too similar.)
They were only £0.59p and as you can see they are basically 2 spoons glued together. They are just the right length at 24 cm (9.5”) So i thought it wouldn’t take a genius to make something of these to suit my requirements.
Getting back home i set about them. First splitting the tongs and then sanding them down until smooth.
I decided just for cosmetic reasons to drill some holes in the handle and then tie in a length of Dyneema cord.

So here we have the finished spoon. Weight 0.5 oz or 14 grams. Only 3 grams heavier than my Expedition foods poly spoon, so that’s pleasing.
It looks good, and it will make a good companion for any Kupilka.
For £0.59p, a bargain i think.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

New homes required

As my clear out is taking effect i have a few bits of good hiking gear needing new lodgings. If anybody has any interest in these few items then send me an email and we can do a deal. Hopefully.

1. Therm-A-Rest Neo Air - short with stuff sack. In excellent condition. SOLD
2. Garmin E Trex H gps. Still with it’s box and with all the usual pamphlets. Been in my rucksack but hardly ever used and there’s not a scratch/mark on it. SOLD
3. Optimus Crux stove. One of the lightest gas models available. In excellent condition. STILL AVAILABLE


Just a bit of fresh air.

Sunny Rochdale. But not from where i was standing. It was dark and looked ominously like rain so i scarpered quick. At least i managed to get out for an hour anyway.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

That Taboo word - Death and beyond

I've had numerous conversations with myself about should i be posting this issue here on my outdoor blog or let it pass.
In the end i decided that it is an issue worth making folks aware of and maybe our experiences will help others when this event comes unwillingly into there lives.
As readers of my blog will know, Mum passed away a month ago. (Hence the reason for the lack of posts). Dad passed away 2 years ago.
When you are at that point where you have lost both parents it's a very strange feeling and one that i must admit i wasn't expecting. The void is massive.
There is an emptiness i feel,  knowing that you cannot just give them a call or pop round for 10 minutes. To have that quick disagreement that all parents and their kids have.
Even though the kids are now adults, they are still wrong.

  When one parent dies, the family get together and help the remaining parent sort out what needs to be done, but the final decisions lie with the remaining parent. When the 2nd parent dies then everything has to be done by the kids and you just don't realise how traumatic and stressful that event is because it's all so final, the end of an era. A complete clear out.
When Mum died after her operation for a burst bowel, we walked out of the hospital almost completely at a loss of what to do next.
  Because she died in hospital there had to be a post mortem. We didn't particularly want this as we thought she had been through enough but the coroner has to know that the death has not been caused negligently during the operation. It had to go ahead and you have to wait for the results before you start to organise anything.
Then there is the death to register and the forms to fill in for the local council and the dept of works and pensions.
Then a form has to be acquired from the registrar or the coroners office and passed to the funeral directors so that they can acquire the body and make arrangements.
Once this has been cleared the funeral can be arranged, the church procured, the vicar organised, the music for the service, the wake,  flowers, charities etc.

  Usually a lot of this has been decided prior to death but not always as some people just cannot bring themselves to go through it and talk about it. And worse still is the clearing of the house and estate.
  Mum and Dad didn't talk much about death and didn't leave a Will so we were pretty much in the dark as to what to do.

 The house they lived in was rented and they were not well off by any means so we didn't have the sale of a property or probate to go through. So this was a big plus but on the minus side we have had to clear the house within a month or so.
  They had lived in the house for 53 years and believe it or not i doubt that they had ever thrown anything away. The things we found took us back, literally.
Every Birthday card, Christmas card, Get well soon card that they had received had been collected. Lots of Christmas paper carefully remove from presents had been neatly folded and saved. Morrisons and Tesco plastic bags the same. Why? Why had they saved all this for all those years.
I understand sentimental value but how many times did they ever see the light of day? Never is the answer.
 We found lots of broken appliances, toasters, kettles, hair driers, hoovers, lamps. They didn’t work, none of them. I can just hear my dad now “ Don’t throw that out i will fix it when the weather gets a bit better” and yes it never got fixed it just gathered dust and i mean dust.
Bits of wood that would come in handy one day had been stored under the stairs. Did it ever come in handy? No.
  Old newspapers of big events, the ending of the 2nd world war, Churchills death, the 1st man on the moon, Charles and Diana’s wedding and the like.
  Every bill, receipt, even mundane item like bus tickets had been kept in envelopes, just in case. Just in case of what? God knows.
I even found TV licences from 1957 onwards. That Justin Case has a lot to answer for.
 One good thing i found was the Manchester United programme v Sheffield, 19th Feb 1958, the match after the Munich Air crash. It has a team sheet but there is no team shown.

 I could go on and on but the point of this post is this, death is not just an old age thing it can happen at any time. There are no rules. We tend to push it away like it doesn’t affect me. But it could and we need to make sure that we have things in place for when that times comes.
DO make a Will out, even a simple one that you can update over the years, don’t leave it till the last minute because you might miss it.
DO specify who you want to be the administrator of the Will.
DO let your kids/family know what you want to happen to you. Burial, cremation, other.
DON’T be afraid to talk about it.
DON’T hoard tons of absolute rubbish for your family to send to the tip or charity shops. Lofts, cellars, sheds, garages, have a good clear out while you can. It’s not nice for the family to have to do this, believe me. You know it makes sense.
DO find out about what happens when somebody dies BEFORE it affects you. You can’t take it all in at that point when a loved one passes away. I know it may sound morbid but i do wish i had done this.

 Well i am going to leave it here. I think i have made my point and i do hope it has been helpful or at least an eye opener into a world that we don’t necessarily want to be involved with. Well not too soon anyway.

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