The Vault Regulars

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sad, Sensible and Greendale Tarn. Oh, and a bit of gear.

  This weekend we motored up to Dorothy’s, (Sheila’s mums) in Gosforth West Cumbria for the last time. We were to bring her back to Manchester to live. It was a sad occasion as we had all made a lot of friends in this small village and we will miss the local crack (conversations/humour) but we will endeavour to go back a couple of times a year. 

  It is a sensible decision as the winter can be hard and Dorothy doesn’t drive. So getting into towns like Whitehaven or Workington is a day out on the bus. 
Also, for us it means that we can free up every third weekend and it will obviously save us what is quite an expense.
But most important is the daily contact that Sheila will have now, ensuring that her mum is ok.

  During the previous weeks i hadn’t been out due to an illness and now over training has resulted in a pulled calf muscle. Last saturday Sheila and i went out for a run and i had only done about 1 mile when a sharp pain in my right leg brought me to a sudden stop with a bit of a hop.
 It had to be my right leg because this calf muscle was the same one as i torn badly about 10 years ago playing squash. I have never played squash since and occasionally, it does ache a bit if i have had a long days walk.

  However fellow blogger Old Mortality, bless him. On his fine blog Here was casting aspersions about other fellow bloggers becoming chair bound and so i thought i had better get a walk in this weekend, take a few pictures and chuck some words about. 

  The problem was that the leg still ached, so i had to find something not very taxing. I chose Greendale Tarn near Nether Wasdale as the likely contender for this bimble. 

  Sheila and i drove down to Wastwater first, (well i drove actually but you know what i mean) to check out the scenery and although the cloud was quite low it was still stunning and atmospheric.

It was a bit chilly lakeside as we parked up and headed off for the sheep trod skirting Middle Fell and picked our way up towards Greendale Gill. We reached the 150 metre contour and was enveloped in thick mist and the rain was becoming heavier. Fortunately the mist cleared a little and we got a view across the valley.
 East side of Greendale Gill looking towards Irton and Nether Wasdale
 Greendale Gill

A soggy pair.
  Where the track levelled out at the tarn the mist closed in on us, rendering our efforts for a view of the tarn and some photographs hopeless. We had a sit down and a drink but there was no wind around to move the mist. The tarn sits in a deep bowl so there was little chance that it was going to clear any time soon.
For Sheila’s benefit and for others who have never seen the tarn here is a photo taken on a better day that i downloaded very kindly from Mick Garratt.

Boulder near Greendale Tarn

© Copyright Mick Garratt and licensed for reuse under thisCreative Commons Licence

  Just as i stood up and started to head down i felt my calf pull again and so it was a tentative descent for me. About 10 yards further and Sheila disappeared down a Sphagnum bog. Disappeared is a bit of an exaggeration but she went down to her bum in the stuff and was a bit upset with me because i was laughing. Ooops! Silence and dripping wet through.
  Another 100yds and all was ok.

  As we came out of the mist i thought this would be a good spot to photograph my gloves. Sorry gear haters.

  Now these gloves are new. This was the first outing and a complete experiment. I have never been happy with “Hiking” gloves and  i am determined to find something that works.
I went to a local diving shop and told them i knew nothing about diving gear and explained what my perceived problem was with my gloves and does their sport offer anything better.
A very nice chap showed me all the range of diving gloves and explained the properties of each pair. There are so many options, Kevlar, 10mm, 5mm, 3mm, long, short etc etc.
He spent a lot of time with me and i eventually chose a pair of soft stretchy 90% neoprene/10% nylon gloves that have a fine fleece lining and are very light 3mm thick.  They are very much like wet suit material. They are made by Fourth Element and you can read about them here if you wish.

  We had been in the rain and mist for about 2 hours and my hands were lovely and warm but a little clammy. The outer material has sealed seams so there is no water penetration whatsoever but obviously they don’t breathe.
  My thoughts at this moment in time is that i would rather have warm clammy hands rather than the usual wet and cold hands. I turned the gloves inside out when we got back to Dorothy’s and they were dry in a  few hours. I am going to try them with a very thin liner glove the next time i wear them and see if there is any difference.
  I could also operate my camera with them on and working the zips on my camera bag and jacket proved to be easy. So operating a 2 way radio on my fell race stewarding duties will be ok.
  They can also be repaired if they get cut or show signs of wear by applying Black Witch. Readers might find this useful for other outdoor gear.
  As i say,  these gloves are experimental and only by using them more will i be able to give a better assessment but i am pleased with them so far. (Oh and i won’t mention the new jacket).

 On the descent back to the car the mass of cloud cover was easily discerned at about 250 metres along the entire length of the Screes and Illgill Head
 Although it looked to be clearing out towards Ravenglass.

Was i right to let Old Mortality get me out of the chair? I’m not too sure it was a good idea, it will be another 2 weeks to recover.


AlanR said...

HI Alan, it was a good walk and nice to get out in the fresh air again. Yes i did lose my sense of humour but soon recovered it. Well done on getting out again. We will soon be back to full strength.

On behalf of myself and mam thank you for everything you have done for both of us. Have a glass of merlot on us.

love Sheila xx

Phreerunner said...

Calling all hillwalkers:

"If you aspire to a life of crippledom, ill health, prophetic gear reviews and sphagnum moss immersion, this man is an ideal companion."

Just joking, Alan, perhaps you'll manage to turn the corner by 2012!

PS I hope the merlot didn't give you too bad a hangover!

Oldmortality said...

Thanks for the name check, Alan.
I cannot be held resposible for injuries resulting from participation in dangerous sports such as squash and running.
Even gearophobes like me enjoy your common sense approach - the gloves have given me an idea !

Anonymous said...

very nice images there. atmospheric and lovely autumn colours. Gloves look interesting.

AlanR said...

All very true.
I never managed to trying the Merlot so no hangover today. Been moving Dorothy into her new house. All takes time.

AlanR said...

The squash s now well into the distant past and running might be too but i hope not.
I hope my gloves idea comes to fruition for you and it's a worthy approach so far. Let us know how you get on.

AlanR said...

The gloves are good for taking photo's in. I had no trouble. Thanks for your comments on my pics, one day they might get as good as yours. I wish.

Martin Rye said...

Warm hands are always better than cold ones. Nice to see you got to stretch your legs Alan.

AlanR said...

I agree 100% Martin.
It was good to be out but i stretched the right one a bit too much.

Alan Sloman said...

Good to see you out & about again.

You certainly turn up the interesting stuff, Alan - those gloves are a cracking idea. One for the Christmas list, to go with the Zems.


AlanR said...

Thanks Alan.
I'm glad you are interested in the gloves. They are still in my trial classification but show promise.
It's good to try other ideas rather than just accepting what our sport offers and i am looking forward to giving them a tougher test.
I think they would be ideal in the snow.

Find it Here

About Me

My other blog.