A r g h ,  I ' m  3 0 !

16th - 22nd July 2006

How did that happen?
One minute you're 20. Your hair might be thinning already, but you can have a beer and lie back and be glad you're not a teenager any more, and life is good. Then you get a job, have a few more beers, and before you know it 10 years have passed
I chucked my bike and boots in the car, pre-ordered some sunshine, and blackmailed some friends to join me for outdoors adventures in The Dales. Click the pics to bigerer makerer.


Spud generously ran away from work for the week too. We warmed up on a Garsdale - Dentdale loop.

Hawaiian shirt weather

Descending into Dentdale under the Arten Gill viaduct

I can see the house from here (it's just down there)

Hard work getting to the trees

Monday - Tuesday

A 1 ½ day loop North out across the Howgills, with an overnight bivvy, across to the Green Dragon in Wensleydale, and back via The Moorcock (well it was my birthday).

Mere boys ride up the hills. Proper men walk.

Heading up to The Calf, and hot hot hot

This season, I will mostly be wearing, a bike

Summit of The Howgills, a hard fought 676m

Time to withdraw from the gravity bank

Getting remote in Bowderdale. Best not fall off down here.


The long haul out of Bowderdale. Think pub food!

Re-fuelled by cumberland sausage,
9.30pm and bivvy time back up at 580m

Better than watching TV before bed
(unless Buffy is on, obviously)

Tents are for wusses

Get to bed!

Morning water stop for us.
Morning blood stop for the midges, grr.

Soaking up the Yorkshire Dales scenery

Descending into Wensleydale. I smell beer!

11am is ok right? Just 8 roady miles and 1 pub to go.


Our planned rest day got ditched in favour of going to the beach. The one I'd heard about on top of Wild Boar Fell. Via a limestone waterfall, and a canyon, and Swarth Fell. With 0 footpaths and 0 other people.

Right, let's start by going up here then...

Into the Hidden Valley of Doom, and we find this waterfall

And this mini gorge. In we go then...

Boulders and plunge pools on the way up

Emerging from the top of the canyon

Heh heh. Not much hair left on me!

Will he make it? Won't he?
It's a cliffhanger this one .... [runs away]

Mad bird club

Back a bit, yep, bit more...

Wild Boar Fell summit - the only swine is me. Oink.

It exists! A beach up a hill!

Sand Tarn: not very deep then

Heading down from Swarth Fell. That'll do, pig.


Day 5 in the Big Brother house, and Bill has joined the gang. For today's task, Big Brother has asked the housemates to shop at Keswick in the Lake District, and go for a walk from the Castlerigg stone circle.

It's an anti-office

Forgetting I have a red rucksac on

South to Thirlmere

High Rigg - and another Wainwright ticked off


It's out with the bikes again, and a drive over to try the new North Face trail at Grizedale forest. It's short and fast and not very difficult (unless you don't use your brakes), so only the 1 ride photo today. Link it up with the existing bridleways to make a better ride. I'm happy to report that the sarnies at the Grizedale visitor centre are still excellent.

Nice spot for a pee

That's how you get 3 bikes and 3 people inside a Renault Megane


With Rik, Jo and Andy now in attendance, we headed out for everyone's first ever caving/potholing session at Alum Pot and the Long Churn caves. Thanks to Tony Flanagan of Dales Ventures for an excellent introduction to crawling around inside wet rocks. The camera would have been trashed so I've 'borrowed' some pics of where we went...

Emerging from the Baptistry section
(from Outdoorsportsinthenorthofengland)

Down the 14m high Dolly pitch to Alum Pot
(from Scott Heyden)

Emerging on the ledge half-way down Alum Pot
(from Outdoorsportsinthenorthofengland)

The Cheese Press. Jo and I made it through, Rik and Andy laughed a lot
(from Outdoor Instruction)

And ... r e l  a   x


Après-cave refuelling

With thanks to Ma & Pa for their Garsdale venue, excellent food, drink and hospitality, and pub chauffeuring skills.

  L i n k s

Dales Ventures - nice caving people
The North Face trail at Grizedale - the natural trails are just as good though