Sunday, 4 May 2008

Buttermere election break

I was the Green Party local election candidate for Northwich West - but before I can get my result I am off to Buttermere for the weekend with Susie to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We stayed at the Bridge Hotel, one of our favourite Lakeland haunts, which we have always found to be welcoming and good value. But there is no telly or radio - so I am in suspense to find out my result, and the dread of Ken losing to Boris Johnson in London. Of course I don't expect to get elected. But I do hope to have a decent showing - especially after slogging round Kingsmead, Leftwich and Castle delivering at least 1300 flyers.

However, a beautiful weekend in Buttermere is ample compensation for having to wait for the result. I had thought to take my ipod touch so that I could check the internet via wi-fi but they wouldn't have it would they - well they did! - so to ease that frustration we went for a bracing - beautiful sunny day but strong wind - walk up Grasmoor via Whiteless Pike [2159'].

What a slog Whiteless Pike is! We were both out of condition and just about managed to haul our creaking bodies to the summit. According to Wainwright "...nor is it as steep as may be expected" - well I beg to differ. The pain was well worth it and we were rewarded with superb views of Gable, Pillar and the Scafells - on this matter I would happily concur with Wainwright's opinion.

The ridge between the Pike and Wandope [2533'] is a splendid aerial promenade, and when you reach the top it flattens out onto a plateau which connects Wandope with Eel Crag and Grasmoor.
Here I somehow managed to turn my ankle, which was sore but not sprained, so we decided to make our way down by the least steepest route. This happens to be via Gasgale gill which is only steep in short sections but very rocky and also the longest route back. Nonetheless, apart from a few painful twinges, it was a splendid walk rewarded with excellent views of Red Pike form Crummock water.
Its about twenty years since I visited that high plateau, and the thing that struck me most of all was the erosion on footpaths. All are in need of repair and could do with the sort of treatment which has been carried out on Shining Tor in the Peak District. Its not quite the same walking on 'pavement' but action is needed to preserve these grand old mountains from the folk that love them.

So how did I do in the election? - well you will have to wait until my local election review - coming soon............

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