My son and grandson are camping in the Lakes this week. It has not been the best of summer weather but they have made the most of it. I arranged to join them this afternoon and drove up the motorway in the low damp cloud, not exactly encouraging. However, when we met up at Newby Bridge there was a hint of brightness in the sky so I suggested a quick ascent of Gummers How nearby. This is a relatively low hill, 321m, and is made even easier by starting from Astley’s Plantation car park, itself at over 200 m. A Lakeland Fell in miniature.
Wainwright included this summit in his Outlying Fells book – “it is an old man’s mountain, and when ancient legs can no longer climb it know ye that the sad day has come to hang up the boots forever and take to slippers” So it was satisfying for our three generations to make the ascent together. In the trees low down the path was rather muddy probably due to the Luing cattle, imported to maintain balanced flora. Higher the path has been stepped with Lakeland stone in parts and there are bits of scrambling to keep the youngster [and oldster] interested. Before long we were standing at the trig point in the strong wind. The celebrated views over Windermere were there but with overhead cloud.
Coming down we found a different way through trees which were made for climbing especially if you are 7 years old. Back at the campsite, there was more climbing on some glaciated boulders. The wind didn’t abate and it felt miserable, despite games of Frisbee, so I made my excuses and left them cooking supper. The joys of camping in an English summer. Back home to my slippers.
A gem of a post. A number of evocative thoughts and descriptions intertwined and concisely compressed. I was with you all the way.
Also, I couldn’t help remembering the two of us walking past the start from the road leading to Gummer’s Howe in the dark after our thrash round the wilderness on the other side of the road.
It was our visit Conrad that made me think of this little expedition.