Blog post 15
Wainwright count: 2
Wainwrights: Knott, Great Calva
Who with: Hannah (the wife) and Susie
Date: 8th August 2015
Firstly, apologies for the blog being inactive for the last couple of months or so, it has been a busy time for us personally as we have been moving house and so, I haven’t had the time to get out into the hills and hence no blog posts. Hopefully this will not be the case going forward!
Also, secondly an apology to www.kitshack.co.uk who asked me to review a Buff High UV with insect shield for them a couple of months ago, and this hasn’t been done either until now.
My daft as a brush wife wearing the Buff in testing (not recommended use)!
Anyway apologies now over, so back to the walk review, which will also cover a review of the Buff headwear. We set off from our caravan at Skelwith Fold, near Ambleside relatively late, after a little lie in, as the walk was a relatively short one. We made our way up towards Keswick on what was a lovely sunny day in Ambleside with not a cloud in the sky, although the same sky became slightly cloudier the nearer to our walk’s start point.
We parked at the head of the Mosedale valley, and as we were getting our gear ready, Hannah noticed some young lads jumping into the River Caldew and although the sky was now relatively clear and the day a warm 20 degrees, I’m not sure it could have tempted me in! We started the walk battling our way through chest-high ferns near the bridge at the top of the valley, which were heavily overgrown – this was a tough start to the walk and continued for the next few hundred yards, which were slow going, before we reached the heather!
As the going got tough, the Buff came in very useful for mopping my heated brow (not a nice image I know), but I had been wearing this round my head, as it not only prevents sweat running into your eyes, but if you are a tad pasty like me, it also helps keep the sun off you (95% UV protection)!
Susie, our little black Patterdale Terrier (aka the mountain goat) had no issues with this foliage and continued with her head down battling on through. The steep terrain continued as we ascended the base of Knott but the thick heather and lack of a path made it tough going, and our progress was a lot slower than we anticipated. I had sold the walk to Hannah, as a nice gentle incline (which it was) and only about 6.5 miles (which was also true); although the tough start left her giving me a stare that said she wasn’t enjoying this walk so far! She continued without moaning and at least the sun was shining, as when she joins me we usually face low cloud, mist and heavy rain!
Anyway, once we had battled through the ferns and heather, we could see the top of our first hill, Knott, and it was near the Great Lingy Bothy that we picked up the first decent path, which helped to raise Hannah’s spirits (Susie’s never need raising when she is up a fell). We continued up towards the top, on what is a relatively featureless top, before continuing down towards the col, in between Knott and Great Calva, our next ascent.
It was here that we met another walker who had warned us that there was some poison down in the valley and to keep an eye on Susie, which we duly did. After a few minutes rest, we made our relatively steep ascent towards Great Calva, which has a rather prominent top for the fells in this area and steepens up considerably before reaching its summit. It was here that although the sun was shining, the wind was extremely blustery and cold, and so I made use of my trusty Buff that I was testing. I wore it round my neck and pulled up under my nose, which really did help to keep the wind of my face, and as they always do, it served its purpose.
I use my own Buff a lot when walking in late Autumn and Winter, when the wind is much colder and it really does help keep the wind off the back of your throat when out on the fells. When it is really cold, like when up in Glencoe in February I use my balaclava, but when climbing in less extreme conditions this is too thick and I get too hot, which is where the Buff is perfect.
We followed the narrow path through the heather down along the fence line towards the valley, which if coming the other way would present a considerable slog! We had a few minutes rest on our way down, looking over to Skiddaw House and its lovely surroundings, and the magnificent views over towards Blencathra and Skiddaw.
We continued down to the valley and joined the best path of the day, which led us the 2.5 miles back to the car, at the head of the valley, running parallel to the River Caldew which provided a lovely back track. It was along here that we noticed someone’s tent right up to the river, which looked a lovely wild camp spot, although I’m not sure Hannah agreed, as there is nowhere to plug her straighteners in!
We made it back towards the car, where Susie tried making a great escape down into the river! Although the start of the walk had been a tough start, it had been a lovely afternoon up in the fells, and left us ready for some tea and a few drinks.
I am now looking forward to a week’s walking up in the Lakes later this week, which I will be posting about very soon!
To conclude my review of the Buff, I really do rate this bit of kit. I have used Buffs for a good number of years now and they really are a versatile bit of kit, being useful no matter what the weather. When it is cold, it helps to keep the draft from your neck, ears and face, and whilst in summer when the sun is shining, helps to keep the sun off my easily sun-burnt face, whilst keeping sweat from your eyes on a long climb. For around £15, they are great value and is one piece of kit that you will use on any walk. It is not just for hill walking, I use mine when out on my road bike or mountain bike too, and there are no doubt dozens of other activities where it would come in handy. The Buff High UV with insect shield really does work, with its 95% UV protection really does work with its Coolmax technology and its built in insect protection.
If you are interested in purchasing a Buff, then please check out www.kitshack.co.uk who have a great selection of Buffs, along with lots of other equipment available for outdoor enthusiasts.
Susie getting some rest!