Thursday, 26 April 2018

Lake District, April 2018. Day 4

Inspired by Rob and Harriet Fraser's The Long View over the last few visits up to The Lakes we have been walking to each of the seven remarkable trees.  This week it was the turn of the Glencoyne Pine.  A magnificent statuesque scots pine reminiscent of a patriarch of the ancient forest of Caledonia it stands perched high above Ullswater on the edge of a precipitous slope down to Glencoyne Park on the shores of the lake.  Not wanting to tackle the diretissima from the lake shore I had planned a round walk from the National Trust car park at Air Force.  Picking up the others at Ings and we drove over the Kirkstone pass with sperb views down towards the Troutbeck Alder where we had walked in March and as we descended down to Patterdale, Glenridding and Ullswater itself.  Having reached the car park, the immediate necessity was coffee and cake in the excellent National Trust cafe.  Refreshed it was time to gird up our loins and climb up past the spectacular waterfalls of Aira force.  This is a beautiful spot and a couple of years I spent a happy couple of hours here photographing them.
To view large, please click on an image

At the top of the falls it was time to stop for a team photograph before continuing up the climb towards 'our' tree.
Heading on the flat across the moor we crossed the road and then scrambled up beside an old quarry.  Linda began to question my route finding abilities at this juncture but I assured the party all would be well.  I have to say, though, my promises of a gentle ascent were not totally fulfilled (I fibbed!).  After my recommendations for a parking spot for John's car yesterday and the stiff climb of today my qualifications as a mountain leader have been called into question, especially when Helen fell into a bog.  Nonetheless as we climbed higher all agreed that the views were worth it.  The sun sparkled on the surface of the island dotted lake and steamers plied between Glenridding to Pooley bridge.  The eastern fells were spread before us with the long flat ridge of Racecourse Hill with the old Roman Road leading up to High Street being prominent.  Snow still gleamed here and there on the highest fells.

Despite the forebodings of all we eventually reached the location of the 'tree' and the beginning of our descent.  I soon spotted the pine, although I was still well above it.  Scrambling quickly and precariously down, I was aware of the cloud sweeping in from the west bring rain.  Perched in position I extracted the camera and quickly took a couple of pictures only to have the battery go flat.  No problem, replace the battery.  Unfortunately that one was also flat, an elementary mistake.  I quickly got the phone out but now it had started to rain.  Oh dear.  Fortunately the shot I took with the camera did capture the tree in lovely light!!

It was time now to make our way back down a delightful path to the car.  The sun came out again and we were accompanied by the cheerful yaffle of a green woodpecker.  The small beech wood at the start of the descent was absolutely beautiful; a splendid spot for a picnic if we return in the summer.  Primroses studded the banks and ramsons or wild garlic were just coming into flower.  We also saw bright yellow kingcups or marsh marigolds, swarms of violets, wild strawberry and insectivorous butterwort.  On our return to the car we were just in time to be rewarded with pots of tea.
An excellent day.

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