20/08/16 Glenridding Circular ‘A’ David Palmer ‘B’ George Gibson
With a dreadful weather forecast of persistent heavy rain in the Lake District today, 43 members (rather than the 49 that had originally booked) travelled westwards meeting the rain at 10 am. We were going to stop for coffee at the Haughton Garden Centre but discovered that a classic car rally was meeting there between 10 and 11 am with 185 people booked in. The car park was crowded with classic cars when we arrived so we drove straight out and stopped at the Seathwaite motorway services which wasn’t half as nice. By the time we reached Glenridding the rain was bouncing off the ground but this didn’t deter 11 hardy members for a stiff climb to Cats-y- Cam which is close to the top of Helvellyn. After lunch, 19 members set out on the ‘B’ walk but the party soon dropped to 17, then 15 and later on to 14. Meanwhile several others caught a service bus to Windermere for the afternoon. The ‘B’ walk followed a lakeside path with its ups and downs over slippery rocks and passing through woodland. At one point, a tree had a waterfall cascading down its trunk. The fell tops were shrouded in mist but we did spot a lone swimmer in the choppy waters of Ullswater. He had a bright orange floater attached to him and a single canoeist was following close by, I think he was training before he attempted a cross channel swim, Further on there was a group of canoeists being given some tuition but they were safely tucked behind a rocky outcrop offering some protection. The path we were following crossed to the opposite side of the road alongside fields of lakeland sheep. We continued on to Aira Force and climbed to a bridge to marvel at the cascade of water, the best time to see the waterfall with all this rain. As we retraced our route back to Glenridding the rain became heavier and we could see the main road was flooding in places. The stream that runs adjacent to the car park in Glenridding was a raging torrent with the water so strong that it was moving huge boulders along its path. The noise sounded like thunder. The Environment Agency were monitoring the situation after the devastating floods of last winter. After changing into dry clothes we found cafes for a warm drink and cake. The ‘A’ party returned as wet as the ‘B’ party as there was no let up in the rain except when we left just after 5 pm when it stopped for a short time and the sun even showed its face. We returned home via the A66 and stopped in Barnard Castle. Flowers: devilsbit scabious, harebell, ragwort, tormentil. Other: mushroom, rowan berries.