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      November 2010 > Above the snow line

Above the snow line

Looking north from Green Gable, Lake District, UKIt was wonderful - heading for the snow line on the Cumbrian Fells, an icy wind blowing from the north but blue skies and sunshine promising something really special and - hopefully - some spectacular views of the mountains.

I was not to be disappointed! I took a day off this week to go walking - the plan, to walk from the slate quarry at Honister Pass in Borrowdale rising over a couple of lesser hills en route for the rocky summit of Great Gable. As we slowly meandered over the top of Grey Knotts, Brandreth and Green Gable, the 360-degree views were superb - to the west down remote Ennerdale and over Buttermere and Crummock Water; northwards to the Solway (left) with Scotland in the far distance; east over the snow-covered ridge of mountains dominated by Helvellyn (bottom picture); and south towards the vast expanse of Morecambe Bay.

Windy Gap, Lake District, UKIn the end, we didn't quite make the summit of Great Gable - it has been shrouded in cloud all day and the rocks beyond Windy Gap (see right) were covered in thick ice. My walking companion is a member of the local mountain rescue team and even he suggested we heed Falstaff's advice: 'the better part of valour is discretion; in the which better part I have saved my life'.

It didn't really matter that we'd not climbed Great Gable - we would not have seen anything anyway and we had enjoyed a great day wandering over the icy fells (below), regardless. For me, there is something truly magical about walking in snow, and I hope for many such days over the coming few months.

Icy tarn, Borrowdale, Cumbria, UKWinter walking can mean different things for different people. For some, it means wrapping up well and heading out into the snow - maybe in the English Lake or Peak Districts, maybe into the mountains of Scotland and Wales - or maybe further afield into the heart of the Swiss Alps, where the villages of Kandersteg and Guarda, in particular, make perfect bases for a week of walking in the snow. Alternatively, for others, walking in winter might mean heading south to the southern Mediterranean, to stroll beneath sunny blue skies, amid the grandeur of the Mountains of Alicante or for a leisurely exploration of the Algarve's coast and hills.

Whatever your preference, enjoy your walking this winter...
Helvellyn, Lake District, UK

Posted: 26/11/2010 08:47:29 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: nature, snow, UK, walking

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