Lakes Caching 2009

Another return to the Lake District with Rob and Sarah of Paws for Thought. We enjoyed last year so much, we even stayed in the same cottage – Holly Cottage in Bowess on Windermere, conveniently situated next door to the chippy and next-door-but-one to the John Peel.

Our main aim this year was to climb England’s highest mountain, 3210 ft Scafell Pike…but more of that to come.

Day One: Saturday
Day Two: Sunday
Day Three: Monday
Day Four: Tuesday
Day Five: Wednesday
Day Six: Thursday
Day Seven: Friday


The Caches we Found

Day One – Saturday 12th September

Day one was mainly taken up with travelling – thanks to insane amounts of roadworks where there never seemed to be any work going on. But we did manage to stop for lunch at a nice pub in Ormskirk, and still arrived at the cottage in time to walk down to the lake and take some pictures.

Day Two – Sunday 13th September

Day two was planned as a gentle breaking-us-in day, with some fairly gentle walking – at least compared with what was to come. We drove to our starting point and posed for the obligatory team photo at the start of the walk.

We’d only gone a few feet when we saw this, which was rather picturesque

And equally picturesque was the location of the first cache of the day…and of the trip (there’s a list of all the caches we found at the bottom of the page).

After a four mile walk, we broke for lunch, then spent the afternoon on a few drive-by caches. I took this picture from near one we didn’t find, The Struggle:

Day Three – Monday 14th September

When we went to bed on Sunday night, Monday had a decent weather forecast, with the rest of the week not so reliable – so we decided that Monday would be the day we climbed Scafell Pike. By leaving the cottage just before eight, we were at the car park and walking before half past nine. Here’s the view down across Wastwater, and out towards Sellafield and the Irish Sea, from about the two thousand foot contour.

And from near 2800 feet, here’s the view north east: The tarn in the middle is Styhead Tarn, where we stopped for lunch on last year’s reconnaisance trip. We decided not to come up that way this time, which we think was a good choice.

Rob took this picture of me and Sally-J at the summit. Don’t worry, her head isn’t really growing out of the back of my neck – it’s just the angle. And I’m not really that fat, I was just wearing lots of layers.

And on the way back down, Rob took this rather quality image of yours truly. It’s a good pic, isn’t it?

Day Four – Tuesday 15th September

For some reason, we started Tuesday rather later than usual, with aching muscles, and I discovered the disadvantage of having a bedroom on the second floor. Especially when you text your loved one to say “Ring me anytime you like”, make the painful trip down to the kitchen, and discover you’ve left your phone two floors up. Ahem.

Anyway, we decided on an easy day, with some essential shopping in Kendal, intermingled with a riverside walk which netted us a few caches without any steep hills. Here’s the river Kent, which confusingly is in Cumbria:

and here it is again, this time from the opposite bank and looking away from the town instead of towards it.

Day Five – Wednesday 16th September

Wednesday started with us still not feeling totally fit, but we had to get out there and find that Tupperware – so we chose a nice circular (almost) walk with a ring of six caches. The start of the walk was rather marred by a horrible smell at the parking spot – which turned out to be a nappy bag neatly tied to the fence – but we were soon in the fresh air and mud. Sarah took this pic from the last cache in the series.

And then I took this similar one from the other side of the valley, looking back.

We decided to have lunch back at the cottage rather than at the car park of extreme smelliness, then after lunch we went and found the cache A Fordable Fun – after which, Rob drove Sarah’s car through the ford. Sarah sat in the passenger seat, whimpering and rocking gently. The cache is somewhere in this picture as well.

Having got the car thoroughly wet, we decided it was time for the traditional “Rob throwing Sarah in something wet” photograph. In this case it’s Windermere, and you can’t get much wetter than that.

Day Six – Thursday 17th September

By Thursday, we’d decided that the only way to get rid of the residual muscle stiffness was a proper walk – so we headed out over the High Rigg / Low Rigg ridge. Before we started, Rob and Sarah proudly(?) paraded their “his ‘n hers” T-shirts. Aww, aren’t they a lovely couple?

Ahem…so anyway, we jumped in the car and headed north, finding the recommended parking on the second try (it wasn’t clear from the map whether we were meant to approach the car park from the east or the west). Suitably set up for the day, we climbed to the top of the first incline – which coincidentally was the name of the cache we found there, where Sarah took this rather nice pic of me:

…closely followed by Rob taking this rather nice picture of Sarah…

…and it would have been nicely symmetrical (or congruent, or something), if I’d taken this pic of Rob. But I didn’t – this one’s by Sarah too:

High on this ridge – at the cache High Rigg – Williams Beck Top, I found my 1200th cache. I celebrated with a marmalade sandwich – shame I wasn’t wearing the Paddington hat really.

Williams Beck Top was going to be our decision point: Would we go on a bit further, or start following the path back to the car? As there were three more caches out along the ridge – and it was only lunchtime – we kept going. Lucky really, as if we hadn’t, Rob wouldn’t have got this lovely shot of Tewet Tarn.

And then we walked along the valley side back to the car, finding another cache and a walkers-only tearoom on the way (the tea room doesn’t have planning permission for a car park, so really only walkers can stop there…if anyone comes this way after us, it’s at Lower Bridge End farm, and it’s lovely).

Then we headed back to the cottage, stopping for a couple of caches alongside Thirlmere, and a couple of photos in Waterhead, at the northern end of Windermere. Rob took this one:

…and here’s one of mine:

Day Seven – Friday 18th September

By Friday morning, we’d already had the most successful cachepedition ever – and we knew that a big push today could take us to fifty caches for the week, and bring Paws for Thought a landmark number, with their 750th cache. So we headed back to the northern Lakes, and in particular Keswick.

After a drive-by at the Cumberland Pencil Museum, we moved on to a lovely virtual cache on the shores of Derwentwater.

I know virtuals aren’t everyone’s idea of a good cache, but this one was exactly what virts were supposed to be: it took visitors to somewhere really interesting, and showed them something they’d never have found without doing the cache.

And then we moved on to a churchyard cache, where we met Churchyard Cat:

The most significant thing about our next cache…apart from having to join a queue of cachers waiting to log it…was this HUUUUUGE tree. I just had to give it a cuddle.

And then we went to Ashness Bridge, where as well as this view we found a very clever, sneaky cache :-).

Over the next few caches we found a Surprise View (which wasn’t that much of a surprise, because we were expecting it, but it was still very nice)…

…we found a pretty village with a cunning sneaky cache in the middle of it, and we found a waterfall….

…and we found a big rock.

The cache at the big rock had taken us to 49 for the week, and advanced Paws for Thought’s numbers to 749. Although the day was drawing to a close…and we had loads of packing and sorting to do back at the cottage…we moved on along Honister Pass, where we found our fiftieth cache, and this lovely view…

And then we celebrated by visiting a museum….

…before returning to the cottage, where I set fire to my trousers.


Some pictures – nearly all by Rob – taken around Thirlmere

The Caches we Found

All Along the Watchtower
Crooked Pound
Post Haste – Ambleside
Brother’s Water View

The Path to Death or Glory
Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike – a Cache to Peak Them All
Netherbeck Bridge
Wastwater 4th

Do Not Find This Cache – Are You an Addict?
Krates and Kingfishers – Meadow
Krates and Kingfishers – Rail
Krates and Kingfishers – Promenade
Off Yer Trolley – North Kendal

Gilpin Ring Series – 1. Small but Mighty
Gilpin Ring Series – 2. Spike’s Island
Gilpin Ring Series – 3. Ash Crag
Gilpin Ring Series – 4. Hawthorn Split
Gilpin Ring Series – 6. Gorse Mountain
A Fordable Fun
PC Beech Hill

Post Haste – Grasmere
Dunmail Raise
High Rigg – Top o’ The First Rise
High Rigg – In the Little Dip
High Rigg
High Rigg Summit
High Rigg – Williams Beck Top
Low Rigg Summit
Low Rigg
Tewet Tarn
Golden Tree
A Dead End
Post Haste – Rydal
Holme Crag Windermere on Water

One Degree of Separation: Helvellyn Gill
Cumberland Pencil Museum
George Hodgson
Walpoles Gravestone – The Herries Chronicles
Cedrus Libani
Post Haste – Ashness
Surprise View
Judith Paris – The Herries Chronicles
Lodore Falls
Post Haste – Grange
Lava in the Lakes – The Bowder Stone
Halfway Up Honister
Post Haste – Honister
Put It on the Slate

And as many of the Fail to Finds as I can remember…
May The Lord Be With You – we got to the right place this time, but no luck finding the cache. It hasn’t been logged since we failed to find last year, so I don’t think the failure was our fault this time!
The Struggle – it’s been logged by plenty of people since, so we must have just been unlucky.
Krates and Kingfishers – Wedged – the owner checked and agreed it was missing five days later, and replaced it. We’ll be back one day!
SCGT – Kent Kiosk – we spent a disproportionate amount of time on this one without success. Frustratingly, the owber checked it later that day and reported all was well. Oh well, plenty of others have srruggled with it as well as us!
Gilpin Ring Series – 5. Water Wall – again it’s been found plenty of times since we passed by, although one finder has reported that the co-ordinates seem a bit out.
Maxkim’s Puzzling Puzzle Cache – not really a fail to find, as we did find it: But the cache rules are that you have to solve the puzzle inside the cache before you can log it, and we didn’t :-(