Stormy weather in the Howgills

It seems odd when posting these today on a relatively mild day. This was a week ago up on the Howgills with some friends. Our route took us up by Cautley Spout, then up on to the main ridge and along to the summit of the Calf.

An unpromising day cleared in the early afternoon and gave way to squally snow showers. I love being in the mountains when the weather is like this. It just seems to bring the place alive. None of the showers lasted more than about 15 minutes but we all got a severe stinging from the driving hail when they passed over.

Andy Goldsworthy’s sheep fold above Cautley Spout

The lads

Tim on the summit

Wonderful light

…and moody skies

A snow shower heading our way

… and clearing.




Headed up in to the highlands for New Year and stayed at the excellent Kinlochewe Hotel. The weather was a big letdown and high winds kept me off the mountain tops. Unfortunately the flat light really didn’t help with photography either in fact my most interesting images from the trip were taken whilst driving home.


This forlorn looking hut was one of those driveby shootings. It just looked interesting. The other is the Falls of Rogie which is a short way of the road but worth the walk, certainly after heavy rain.



The changeable weather we’re experiencing at the moment makes chasing the light a hit and miss affair. This morning was a hit and the overnight snow and clear morning light made for some great reflections. Taken near Elterwater on the way back from the school run.

Larger versions here

Skelwith Bridge



Yesterday evening was cold and clear and the mists were rolling off the water so I thought an early start again might produce a result. I’ve been wanting to shoot this scene for a while now and although overnight cloud had reduced the effect of the mist I still thought there may be a chance of a good picture. I set the camera up and waited for the light to develop but this morning it was particularly stubborn and as the sun came up, so did more and more cloud and the mist was just too ethereal to really make an impact on the image.

It was one of those mornings though were it was just great to be out there. I watched what I took to be a water vole making a V wave along the bank. As it got close it came to an area of weed and rolled over in the water showing itself for what it really was - an Otter, no more than 30 feet away.

I had spent ten days in the Shetland Isles earlier this year hoping to see Otters, without success and here was one on my own doorstep. I quickly refocussed but he had dived again and that was the last I saw of him. Larger image here.

Early light

Morning Mists

One of my sons goes to school in Langdale and although this is a reasonable drive to get him to school in the mornings, it’s always an interesting one. Elterwater common is a favourite stopping place for tourists wanting the classic image of the Langdale Pikes but this morning the view southward towards the Coniston Fells was more rewarding with a gentle mist rising from Elterwater and slowly making it’s way up the valley. There’s a larger version here.


Remembrance Day 11-11-11

Remembrance day for me invariably means a trip up Great Gable. I have no familial experience of loosing anyone in either of the Great Wars nor in the many conflicts since so I go and pay my respects to the members of the FRCC who lost their lives in the wars and to whom the memorial on Great Gable is dedicated.

Besides it’s a good excuse to get out in the mountains before before winter’s icy grip descends. For the first time in many years the weather was calm and the assembled crowd could hear the simple address from the FRCC representative.

On the way down I spotted someone I vaguely knew and when we had said hello and remembered where we knew each other from, Mike told me about his son Tom Quinn who was wounded a few weeks ago, whilst serving in the Royal Marines in Afghanistan. As a thank you to all those who’ve help Tom in his recovery, Mike has set out to walk all the Lakeland Peaks in Wainwrights ‘Guide to the Lakes series AND climb the 15 Lakeland climbs in Ken Wilson’s Classic Rock.

Details of Mike’s challenge can be found here and their experience made me treasure the time I have with own boys even more.

Great Gable-1
Cole on the way up

Great Gable-2
Looking back at Green Gable

Great Gable-3

It’s one time when I don’t begrudge the crowds on the summit.

Great Gable-4

Early risers

This morning I had to go over to Ullswater, bright and early. A clear morning at this time of year generally produces an inversion but this morning’s was rather patchy. Still the early morning sunlight produced some great images.