From Lakefoot to Mountaintop
We began the path repair season in unusual fashion by building a dry stone boat ramp into Wastwater for the use of the Wasdale MRT when rescuing stranded walkers on the Screes path. Although not exactly a mountain route the obstacle course of giant boulders frequently leads walkers into difficulties and injuries. The ramp was carefully constructed using local stone without compromising the lake's protected status.
I suppose it looks like a rather short stretch of ridiculously wide path, but it will save other areas of the lakeshore from damage, as well as providing a quicker launching site in relation to the rescue team's Gosforth base.
The view from the foot of the lake looking up towards the ring of giant pyramids at the head of the valley provided quite a change of scenery for us.....
After the succesful launch of the Mountain Rescue boat at the end of May we returned to our more familiar habitat, looking down on Wastwater from the heights of Great Gable and Scafell.
First task was to tackle the effects of scree running on the Sty Head to Great Gable path. Stone was flown in and distributed to create relatively stable boulder fields to contain loose debris and halt it's downhill slide
We plant the larger rocks weathered side up, the next stage after this picture being to arrange smaller debris among them to recreate less mobile natural looking areas which hopefully will stop small debris spilling onto the pitched path and eventually burying it.
By the end of June we had completed this task and before heading across the valley to begin another phase of the Brown Tongue repair project we spent a week helping the South Lakes team on one of their projects on the Swirls to Helvellyn path.
After getting underway on Brown Tongue we were joined by the South Lakers in a reciprocal weeks worth of help. The usual gameplan was employed of every individual starting their own stretch of path, about 10 metres apart and eventually joining together in a continuous stretch of new path.
You can see the difference between the small river cobbles used in pre helicopter days compared to the larger treadability of the blocks Nick Petrie of the South Lakes team is replacing them with. We are also making the new path wider to allow ease of passage for the increased number of people using the track.
Away from the continuing Brown Tongue project in late July we hosted another residential weekend for the FTF volunteers. The route alongside Piers Gill has developed a diverging line leading people into a steep slippery scramble down a vegetated crag so we obliterated it and returned it's original state while at the same time making the correct line easier to follow.
Here we see the variant line being landscaped out. It is always an impressive sight to see the cavernous gloom of the gill with its lurking menace, on this occasion enhanced further by the lowering mist revealing glimpses of the ravine.
Another residential weekend is planned for late september, when we will hopefully have completed this year's stretch of Brown Tongue work.