Fast hike / slow fell run up and down Latrigg, the fell that I see from my kitchen window and garden. Latrigg’s not the Himalayas nor even the Alps: at 368 m. altitude it’s too low to be even a “Wainwright” but it’s so close to home here and I’ve climbed it so often that it’s the hill with which I have a particular relationship.
Chilly hike in a brisk north wind out from Preston Park, Brighton to Great Wood in the South Downs National Park. It’s a privilege to wander amongst the many big old trees in Great Wood; they’re mostly beech and many have to be more than a century old.
Sunday stroll through Fulham, Putney and Wimbledon. But it is hard not to see just my lockdown routes in this area close to home. We all did them, these permitted daily exercise walks, desperate to escape the four walls that we call “home” but also anxious to “stop the spread” or catch Covid and be part of the problem.
Sights and shapes on the paths to Skiddaw House hostel (470 m.), round the back of Skiddaw (931 m.) and Lonscale Fell (715 m.), it’s accessible on the Cumbria Way from Mosedale, Glenderaterra or Candleseaves Bog.
Skiddaw House was built circa 1829 as the gamekeeper’s lodge for Skiddaw Forest (hunting reserve), then it was run by the YHA as “Britain’s highest hostel”, currently it is open to private groups only. Skiddaw House is out of sight of towns and villages so it seems a long way from anywhere, plus the facilities are basic. Even now it is well out of the range of the mobile phone networks, which - rather charmingly - peter out just beyond the gate to the fells. You do indeed feel you are “At the back o’ beyond” as the slogan on the YHA’s Skiddaw House postcard used to say.
An exceptional hike from Corps to the limestone ridge between the Pointe de Rogne (1651 m.), the Col d’Aspres (1758 m.) and the Roche Courbe (1938 m.). Wonderfully diverse flowers and wildlife along the ridge path and in the alpages leading to it. The Sentier des Crêtes overlooks the valley of the River Drac up towards the Col de Manse (1251 m.), then the Alps of Haut Provence, and over towards the Dévoluy Massif and the Valgaudemar. The Route Napoléon weaves its way alongside the river. In the other direction, the Lac du Sautet and its dam, then the Vercors plateau in clouds.
Not the easiest climb: steep and once the path became indistinct in the alpages, a matter of “always up”. But a rewarding walk both in terms of the visual opportunities and not having had as long a hike for several years. I hope you enjoy my journey through my photos.