Page 1


out there Been there, climbed that? Send us a picture!

4 Trail march 2012


Send us your shots, share your adventures

Email your photos to us, along with a description of what was special about your day, and we’ll publish the most inspiring examples! Put ‘Out There’ in the subject box, and send them to trail@bauermedia.co.uk

Bobotov Kuk Montenegro Ben and Eva, on a ‘Dad-funded trek’: day three, descending Bobotov Kuk. Dad Richard (behind the camera) tells us that they had “a fabulous August week, trekking Montenegro’s mountains and canyons.” Of this part of the route, he said “You have to see it to believe it. Not for the vertigo sufferers, but nobody using ropes.”

march 2012 Trail 5


CONTENTS OUT THERE SKILLS

Where this month’s issue will take you...

10

Gaze in awe at the Queen’s party guest list

The filthiest footwear you’ve ever seen, sorted

Open mic on Scafell Pike 12 Lake District to host great gig in the sky?

Eastwood vs the Eiger 14 Proof that Clint wasn’t your average movie star

16

Dream peak

Blencathra: a Lakeland giant in full winter mode

RECEIVE AN

OMM map pouch

RIBE! WHENeYe OpUagSeU3B0SfoCr S

p32

details

Kip in a cave and the fells can be yours alone! TOM BAILEY

8 TRAIL MARCH 2012

42

Clean your boots!

Jordan – just the place for a winter break: page 52.

46

Scafell Pike

Tackle England’s highest peak in confidence with our ultimate guide to summiting safely

48

Ask Trail

What if my laces break? Can I make my rucksack waterproof? Your questions, expertly answered

YOUR TRAIL Trail talk

20

18

30

Tent-free in the Lakes 32  et high in the hills whatever the weather G with an advance base camp in a cave or bothy

An OMM map pouch is yours if you do!

Why we love...

Scottish highs

We show you how to reach the magic 4,000ft contour this winter – it’s easier than you think

Have your say on the great outdoors

Subscribe to Trail

NEIL S PRICE

Right royal knees-up

ADVENTURES

138

...the ‘petrified stegosaurus’ that is Tryfan

Scramble in winter

52

Explore Wadi Rum’s sunny desert mountains


MARCH 2012 You too could be chilling out above 4,000ft – page 20.

GEAR

ANDY McCANDLISH

Gear news

60

Mammut Gipfelgrat

62

Insulated jackets

64

Trekking poles

74

Winter sleeping bags

86

The must-have kit that’s coming soon... A new high-end mountaineering jacket, tested Eight warm outer layers go head to head Which of these collapsible strain-takers best suits your activities and your budget? If you’re camping out at this time of year you really need one of these cosy cocoons

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But Finally you reac daw slate. sfootp Bodelw inuespositive transpor a Tota of yddan through enough Betws middle l asce railway Lakes the App -y-Coe t view back ut this section ridge and a shorh the summit fields to lethwaite. Killarn Sheffi 4th high for the tough stati Timde Llango nt 900m ey Yo eld make up the t walk Bag a PenrithWater on at 7-8 hour Derwentwover Keswick leads to the llen in the day. 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Return dry you may this Glouce gov. thro ne oke very visibility Pic The Guidebo uk poor sterfrom d chal Southern views west acro Big view down to long stea ugho ut andast vast moooks north-e then desc 500 metres and dale to ledges leads descend ing soutThe Nort dy asce rocky rlan arm of Long moorlan s from mou the long ss andea d exte col at the head ofSwans nts h from hern Oxford direction end in an easte descents Fells by ntain ndA Wain Finish High Seat narrow Classic d rly down the of Skiddaw side Edge, one Maps Cardiff wriga to Sale How ht, . views OS Cat Bellpb Fran Bristo slop traverse from features ’s most shap ces Linc s (1:25,000 Explorer l and onw es moorlan dow Pic The ely oln Mineh nhill to Skid ard hanead ) OL4; OS More d to appr and a great way clear Land than just Beinn Trilleac daw Hous path provides rang oach the han moorlan The path Trilleac mountain e. an easy to Cat 89; Harv er (1:50,000 Bells d ) ey Walk NY28729 Cat Bell Meall nan Gobhar start. 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Lake l revol bus serv 300 6 Glendera Fell and high abov ution 0 foot mapp LEVEL 400 1 land ices to 5 lar in digita er l 2 High Seat ing for the from whe Keswick, www NY2602 spectacu terra Beck, with e 4 200 outdo NY2542 ors. Massive 1 .mapyx.co 90 At 931m 3 extend re bus serv m 3,05 leads easillar views. The path ices moo 2 alon climb 81 The long 0 mou the four 4ft Skiddaw is / MILES 1 ntains rland amo – tel. 0870 g the A59 as the angl ends gradually park at y back to the th ng the 0 RoughGRA 608 2608 1 Latrigg. car the Lake highest peak e of the www KILOMETRES and decr DIEN slop .cum ; in ease wildTmoo lenge PROFILE es south forDistrict. Return Guidebo bria.gov.uk rlan final few s and you take Star d chal Big view oks NY2 t -Appl the steps onto then desc 500 metres and The Nort 1 10:19 81253 Carls s from 1400 ethw 12/08/201 A 2011 Carl ide end moo path hern aite descends mountai Tarn in an rland direction OCTOBER Fells by A Wain saddle ahea nestles in Side. slopes 1200 n around now 120 TRAIL Classic MET down the easterly Carlht, the of the to Sale How Side viewsRES 1000 pb Fran wrig slopes dominate d, while Skid woods Latrigg through Skiddaw traverse ABO from ces Linc VE at daw s the scen moo downhill and onward oln Skiddaw the A66 first before cross More SEA 800 rland e. A clear to Skiddaw than LEVE and House 600 just moo House. into Kesw leading back ing L rlan 400 d ick. 1 NY28729 Cat120 dd Pen .indd Bells 200 oct11 swlpcmja 1 Skiddaw yr Ole 2 Quintess Hous 4 west highlands Wen MILES ential above sea- e lies at 1,55 KILO The ultim Lakeland 0ft 0 METRES 3 ate clas continue level. A clear Finish Finis Kesw 0 Fells 4 path sic walk h ick's 2 the lowe s south around Trail The grea classic walk 2 54 Routes r contours steep, crum in asso Incredib test views 4 of the 4 on ciati of Kesw le view with 6 Lonscale bly slopes of Classic128 ick Mapy A digita from TRAs IL x Lakeland l revol 6 SEP Glendera Fell and high abov 8 ution mapping TEMBER in digita 6 for the l 10 www 2011 spectacu terra Beck, with e NY2542 .mapyx.cooutdoors. 8 12 m leads easillar views. The path climb 81 The long 14 10 as the angl ends gradually park at y back to the 7-9 lake Latri car e GRADIEN 16 of district gg. the slop decrease sep11 PROFILE T 12 es swhlps.indd 18 s and you final few Start take the 128 NY28125 Applethw Carlside steps onto Carl 1400 aite 2 descends 3 A path now Tarn saddle ahea nestles in Side. slopes around METRES 1200 Carl Side the of the dominate d, while Skid woods Latrigg through Skiddaw ABOVE 1000 at daw s the scen Skiddaw the A66 first before cross SEA 800 e. 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Route 13 Cwm Llafar Round This issue’s Classic Route promises ‘delights normally unavailable’, including three Welsh 3000ers plus some amazing views

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Route 6 Norber Erratics See three geological giants on one route

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© CROW

Route 5 Sgwd yr Eira Let us spray for some stunning waterfall action

Route 10 Glyderau Rige Route 11 The Llugwy Valley Route 12 Moel Siabod traverse Fancy a long weekend in north Wales? See what this Snowdonia base camp has to offer the hillwalker, plus a trio of top routes

ISLE OF

ISLE OF

Aviemore

BAUER’S

107

119

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Fort William

N WITH

Brecon Beacons

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Shiel Bridge

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105

from NN111454 Start 1 the car park at the end (a little of the public road nted on short of that represe map). Go the Landranger the track of Aberdeen along the start Loch Etive and by the side of ately uphill head immedi forestry the by the side of is currently plantation. This being felled, Oban MULL of in the process out timber shipped Edinburghand the Glasgow JURA a short distance on-Tweed from a jetty Berwick-up The path up along the loch. is often very 8.9km ISLAY DistanceISLE Jedburghthe fence beside Ayr OF ARRAN and difficult (5½ miles) 960m wet and boggy, Continue Total ascent places. in Newcastle Dumfries to follow Ballantrae levels -upon-Tyne Time 5 hours until the terrain Glen Etive, uphill Londo Stewart Carlisle nderry Start/finish Newton 200m above about at off ugh 54 PenrithDoneg Middlesbro al NN1114Stranraer Keswick sea-level. town Ullapool

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Lake District

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HARRIS

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S

LAND WEST HIGH

N COPY

Route 3 Fife Coastal Path Walk this way for monster millipede footprints!

4 ISLE OF LEWIS

ISLE OF SKYE

Capel Curig

miles

8.9km/5½ TRAIL ROUTE

© CROW

103

Stay in one place and walk for three days! This month’s first Ultimate Weekend gives three routes from this Cairngorms village

9

Scottish Lowlands

113

NO. AM105/0

101

Route 2 Borrowdale Scrambles on Cam Crag Ridge and Intake Ridge

Route 7 Ben Macdui Route 8 Morrone Route 9 Loch Callater

MEDIA LICENCE

Lake District

Braemar

ION WITH BAUER’S

99

Route 1 Mam Tor Ridge Gritstone and limestone in abundance

T IN ASSOCIAT © CROWN COPYRIGH

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1

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6

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10 16 18

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2

14/07/2011

15:46

MARCH 2012 TRAIL 9


Where? Cairngorms, Scotland What? High-level winter walking cairngorms

winter at

4000ft Words Hanna Lindon Photographs Tom Bailey and Andy McCandlish

M

ountaineering. That’s a big word. Usually too big for our personality-packed but pint-sized uplands, which line up on the international mountain boxing scene as David to the Alps’ Goliath. In typical British self-effacing fashion we talk about ‘hills’ and ‘hillwalking’ – appropriate words when the snowline is high above the summits and you’re never more than seven miles from the nearest road. For half the year we spurn the ‘m’ word with all the shame of a Primark addict forced to talk fashion with the editor of Vogue. �

20 Trail march 2012

It’s cold. It’s dangerous. It’s fierce as a lion on a bad day, and fluffy as a lamb when it’s good. So how will a firsttimer fare when faced with winter high in Scotland's Cairngorms?


Looking south towards Cairn Gorm (1245m) in ‘perfect’ winter mountaineering conditions.

march 2012 Trail 21


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Where? The Lake District What? Peaks from tent-free base camps

lakeland's great indoors How utilising the hills’ hidden shelters can be your key to a weekend of adventure‌ Words ben winston Photographs Tom Bailey

32 Trail march 2012


Bivvy perfection in the natural shelter of the Priest's Hole, mountain storm raging outside.

o

ooargh! Arguuuf! Goarrreaaar?” Roughly translated, I believe this means: “Perfect weather for camping, no?” but photographer Tom could equally be referring to the 1990 Lithuania crisis, intractable plantar keratosis, or rising bread prices. Because the fact is that right now, high on Fairfield just after dawn, whatever he’s trying to say is academic. We’re on a Lakeland summit during a weather warning and discovering that 80mph winds are about as conducive to conversation as they are to high, lightweight camping. Which, weirdly, is what � brings us here in the first place.

march 2012 Trail 33


© Katharine Eastham / Alamy

Bogging boots brought back to life: page 42.

Scafell Pike –the dangers: page 46.

Alamy

Be not a-frayed: page 48.

tom bailey

knee illustration © Nucleus Medical Art, Inc. /

Knees renewed: page 50.

See forever(ish): page 49.

skills

Trail's Skills section is put together by outdoor experts to help you get the best out of yourself in the UK’s high places. Here you can find cutting-edge information, handy hints and tips – and expert advice tailored especially for you. Simply ask Trail!

guide to... Bringing boots back to life Scafell Pike danger spots

42 46

ask trail How far can I see from a summit? What should I do if my laces break? Can I waterproof my rucksack? How do I build strong knees?

48 48 49 50

Shun sogginess: page 49.

march 2012 Trail 41


trail skills

outdoor advice from our hillwalking experts

Resurrect your boots How to clean, restore and maintain your faithful walking boots.

The walk of shame...

I

s this a familiar sight? If so, we can help you. As high-performance equipment, your boots have to endure extremes of temperature, extended soakings in rainwater, dunkings in pools of glorious mud and the relentless corrosion of acidic sweat from within. It’s no wonder they begin to look their age, especially when abandoned to a less-than-disciplined cleaning regime. But, just because your leather or fabric walking boots have been overrun by damaging fungus and mould, it doesn’t mean they’re fit for the bin. With a spare day – and the right cleaning products – even the worst examples can be back on your feet and ready to conquer the next peak in rugged and close-to-new condition.

Though they may appear beyond repair, these boots are merely covered with a surface layer of aggressive microbes and fungal growth. They’re entirely salvageable and can be recovered in a few simple steps...

42 Trail march 2012


boot care Aren’t you glad we didn’t include a ‘scratch and sniff’ panel?

Turn the page for the solution...

march 2012 Trail 43


trail skills

outdoor advice from our hillwalking experts

Scafell Pike danger spots Scafell Pike and its sister peak Scafell are the two highest points in England, and their dangers shouldn’t be underestimated. Their multi-faceted massif is littered with scrambles, drops and pathless scree, making knowledge of the safest routes essential – whatever the weather.

Bad step

© Crown copyright in association with BAUER’s media licence no. AM105/09

NY218085 Lying on the popular Corridor Route, Scafell Pike’s ‘bad step’ can represent a navigational hazard on descent, particularly in misty conditions. Many walkers are hesistant to follow the sudden 7m scramble that presents itself, assuming that it couldn’t be part of the main route. But stay with it: it’s less intimidating than it appears, and will keep you on the correct north-north-east bearing, eventually leading to Spout Head.

ex p e rt t i p! Good navigation skills are key to staying safe on Scafell Pike. Many inexperienced walkers are caught out by the indistinct paths, and risk approaching dangerous drops or suffering exposure while lost on the hillside. Carrying a compass and making regular bearing checks is essential – even more so in misty or snowy conditions – and if you can take a GPS device with you so much the better. If you encounter problems near Mickledore Ridge, Wasdale Mountain Rescue has a gear store (containing first aid equipment, a casualty bag and a map) at NY210069. You are free to use it, as long as all items are returned.

46 Trail march 2012


mountain safety Scafell Pike summit

NY215072 Though less severe in nature, a large number of accidents occur on the Pike’s summit. Covered in shattered rock, it’s an uneven place that becomes particularly dangerous when masked by ice and snow, or even when wet. Slipping and sustaining head injuries on rocks, or twisting ankles in small crevices, are the main risks and represent a serious hindrance to a safe descent. As always, confident navigation is essential as the lack of clear landmarks makes descending the wrong face of the mountain an ever-present threat.

Mi ckle dore ’s most dan ge rou s ri dge

Broad Stand

NY209068 This is a notorious accident black spot, and it results in some of the most serious injuries seen on the Scafell massif. Rarely dry, the giant steps appear far easier to climb than they actually are. If you fall, the sloped ledges offer little purchase and threaten 40m drops onto jagged rocks below. Severe injuries are common, and fatalities occur with tragic regularity. Broad Stand presents a difficult Grade 3 obstacle even for experienced scramblers and should not be taken lightly.

The Scafell massif, seen from Yewbarrow. Katharine Eastham / Alamy

Piers Gill Mickledore Ridge

NY210069 The narrow Mickledore ridge links Scafell Pike to neighbouring Scafell at an altitude of 840m. Many accidents occur here as walkers attempt to cross from one peak to the other, wrongfully assuming that they will find a safe, easy route. There are three main routes to cross the ridge: Lord’s Rake, Broad Stand and Foxes Tarn. The first two present considerable dangers: Lord’s Rake is blighted by loose rock fields, while Broad Stand is notoriously sheer. Foxes Tarn is technically the safest of the three, but be aware of the 150m+ descent and reascent it requires, and plan accordingly. Wasdale Mountain Rescue advises that experience on steep ground and good navigation skills are essential when attempting these routes.

NY211081 A tightly-knit ravine that should only be attempted by experienced scramblers. Piers Gill is responsible for a vast number of mountain rescue call-outs on the slopes of Scafell Pike, particularly when time-rushed walkers are attempting the Three Peaks Challenge.

Brown Tongue

NY206071 Though Brown Tongue – en route to Hollowstones – may appear as an innocuous zigzag path, a surprising number of injuries are sustained here through fatigue and complacency. Knees and ankles are always vulnerable on a descent, and the typically wet grass underfoot presents a significant risk of slipping and jarring or twisting a leg. There are few significant landmarks, but it’s an open area that presents few navigational problems.

For more information, visit the official Wasdale Mountain Rescue site at: www.wmrt.org.uk

march 2012 Trail 47


TOM BAILEY

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MARCH 2012 TRAIL 65


CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: TOM BAILEY, BEN WINSTON, GRAHAM THOMPSON, RONALD TURNBULL, PAUL RICHARDSON AND TOM HUTTON

P99

P125 P105

ROUTES

P122

Trail Routes use OS mapping and gradient profiles, and are written by walking experts. This month we feature six adventures packed with stunning geological features from eroded shales to limestone erratics, so not only can you stretch your legs and gawp in wonder, but you‘ll learn something too! Download routes and GPS waypoints at lfto.com/routes

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MAM TOR RIDGE BORROWDALE FIFE COASTAL PATH BLENCATHRA SGWD YR EIRA NORBER ERRATICS

14km 10km 10.5km 10km 15km 11.8km

p99 p101 p103 p105 p107 p109

ULTIMATE WEEKEND – BRAEMAR 7 BEN MACDUI 37.8km p114 8 MORRONE 7.3km p115 9 LOCH CALLATER 13.7km p116 ULTIMATE WEEKEND – CAPEL CURIG 10 GLYDERAU RIDGE 11.9km p120 11 THE LLUGWY VALLEY 6.8km p121 12 MOEL SIABOD 10km p122 CLASSIC ROUTE 13 CWM LLAFAR ROUND

16.4km p125


16.4km/10¼ miles

classic route

snowdonia

trail route

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STRENUOUSNESS NAVIGATION TECHNICALITY Welsh 3000 count Trail 100 count

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classic route

© Peter Heyes / Alamy

Contemplating the ridge between Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llewelyn.

Cwm Llafar Round For those prepared to put in a bit of effort, this circuit brings delights normally unavailable, says Jeremy Ashcroft.

S

hielded from view by the protective bulk of Carnedd Dafydd and Carnedd Llewelyn, and located at the head of a long, lonely valley, the shapely peak of Yr Elen is one of Snowdonia’s hidden gems. Its pyramidal form is perfect in every sense; and given an alternative roadside, images of its elegant, sweeping lines would be plastered over every chocolate box in the land. Fortunately though it’s not, and its delights can only be savoured by those who are prepared to put a bit of effort into

visiting its remote location. Aesthetically it’s a stunning mountain with sharp, symmetrical ridges at each compass point; and it makes a worthy objective in its own right. Combine an ascent of it with a high-level tour of its giant neighbours Carnedd Llewelyn and Carnedd Dafydd and you’ll bag yourself an outstanding classic walk. For tired walkers doing the 15 Welsh 3,000 footers, Yr Elen tends to be viewed as a bit of an annoyance, an extra peak stuck out on a limb. Tackled from Bethesda, with a wonderful

warm-up along Cwm Caseg, it takes on a wholly different context. Its ridges just cry out to be climbed and its isolated summit appears temptingly unobtainable. The ascent to its summit makes an outstanding start, which is nicely complemented by a walk over the imposing summit crests of Carnedd Llewelyn and Carnedd Dafydd. This route is partially pathless, and it also takes in some amazing views, so to make navigation easy and to ensure you enjoy the � sights, aim to do it under clear skies.

Trekmates is the official partner of the British Association of International Mountain Leaders

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MARCH 2012 Trail 125


classic route

13 trail route snowdonia

130 Trail march 2012


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On the summit of Carnedd Llewelyn looking towards Carnedd Dafydd, with Snowdon in the far distance.

march 2012 Trail 131

tom bailey

‘Yet another spectacular set of views opens out from Carnedd Dafydd, this time over the deep trench of the Ogwen Valley towards the crag-ringed summits of the Glyderau.’

Trail magazine - March 2012 taster  

Trail magazine - March 2012 taster

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