Thursday, 9 February 2012

Following trails and making tracks

Thirlmere view

I headed up to Thirlmere and took the icy road to the left of the lake parking up at Dob Gill then a slippery yet pleasant walk up the forestry tracks.When it was time to turn off the main track on to the narrower footpath, for some reason rather than follow the human footprints I decided to follow some animal tracks off in another direction.You can follow animal footprints a lot easier in the snow and when you follow them there is logic to them, they always follow an easy clear route. The other week when we lost the Helvellyn path down I followed a sheep trail down, and to great success I thought. Anyways they didn't look like they were bear, wild cat or boar marks so I thought it safe enough that I wouldn't stumble upon their lair.

I eventually came to a gate at the edge of the woods with the wilderness opened before me and a bitterly cold wind in the face. The path lead up with Dob Gill remaining to the left which had many frozen waterfalls.

Icy Stream

Icy Stream

From there the path was vague and seemed to split into three leading away with footprints, human with crampon, bear, and erm yeti?
Human with crampon

Had thought about bears and wild cats but not yetis...

I thought it best I follow the human though if your footwear doesn't look like that then is it any safer than meeting a bear or yeti?

It didn't take long for the path to turn to sheer ice, spikes were definitely needed.

I reached the crest and could see Blea Tarn lower down in front of me, and from it a path leading down to Watendlath. I trudged down to the waters edge and quickly took some photos for as long as my frozen hands would allow(my drink had iced up!) As it was getting late I headed to Bell Crags on a circular route back down.

Frozen Blea Tarn

Tuffs of grass poking out of the snow making an interesting pattern.

Sunset over Blea Tarn

Distracted from photo taking I suddenly became aware the wind had died down, it was 5pm on the dot and it was still, eerily still. Is that when 'they' come out to feed,early evening when there's no wind? Cautiously looking around to make sure I wasn't being caught in a bear-yeti co-op pincer movement I headed back down into the woods. Hmmm. Bears and woods...
"I could see things were about to kick off;so I got out of there!" Ross Kemp style...

ps. no there aren't really any bears or yetis out there, it was just the cold affecting my brain ;-)


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