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Thread: ( Almost ) Iced in on Derwentwater.

  1. #1
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    Default ( Almost ) Iced in on Derwentwater.

    Despite hoping to get away around lunchtime, Mrs Cumbrian managed to find me plenty to do before I could pack the car and leave. As it was, Steve and I arrived at the lake within five minutes of each other, despite having travelled from opposite sides of Cumbria. Before long, the canoes were packed, and we were on the water by half two, having to break the ice to get out of the marina.


    Skiddaw:





    As the weather was so good, we kept our plans open as to where to camp, as we expected the more popular sites to be occupied. However, apart from our two canoes, all we saw on the lake was a couple of fishing boats, the launch and two people in sea kayaks. There was also a group of kids with adult leaders on St Herbert’s Island but they soon departed when they heard the dinner gong from Hawse End centre.

    Looking South:



    The Jaws of Borrowdale:




    Having stopped on the way to collect firewood from a bay where driftwood collects, all we had to do when we got to our campsite was unload the boats and put the hammocks and tarps up. It nearly got a bit Brokeback Mountain when the zip on Steve’s salopettes decided to pack in but I was spared the mental scars as I was facing the other way at the time.
    When this was done, I started to make something that I’d brought a specially selected stick along for. I’d wanted a pole that I can use while kneeling in the canoe, that also double as a crude paddle for when the water gets too deep for a pole. It’s a fairly thick stick, with the narrow end used and shaped as a basic grip, and the thicker end flattened out, but still with enough strength to use as a pole.






    When it was properly dark, we sat down around the fire and opened the beer and whisky. As we’d found a birch log, I didn’t use firelighters and matches as is my usual ( lazy ) habit, but I started the fire with birchbark and a spark rod. I was a bit dubious about the birchbark as it had a layer of frost under it after I peeled it off the log, but the stuff never ceases to amaze me as it took after a couple of strikes. The fire was soon roaring away,




    and I was glad that I’d brought a firebox because it encourages good fire husbandry, especially during the long nights of winter. I don’t know why it is, but just as chips taste better out of paper, whisky always tastes better when sat around a campfire. The food situation improved greatly when Steve announced that he’d brought some pre-microwaved potatoes to be finished off in the embers and a flask full of chilli. Preceded by some oatcakes accompanied by chilli flavoured olives, we were well set up survive the night.



    As we were sat chatting by the fire, I told Steve that I didn’t think that it was as cold as it had been recently, and that I wasn’t even sure if it was below freezing. He thought that it was around the freezing point, maybe a little below, but not by much. After Steve crashed I took some self portraits ( these are the least bad )








    and turned in myself. I was using my new hammock cocoon, but I just couldn’t get away with it. There’s no fault with the design or workmanship, I think I’m just a bit too wide for it. Plus the fact that I was happy to free myself from the tyranny of zips when I got my under blanket and quilt, it felt like a backward step to be zipping myself in. Apart from cold feet though ( note to self, get some bivvy boots ), I was warm enough and didn’t get out of my pit until about half eight.

    The first surprise of the morning came when I tried to take a drink out of the bottle of cola that I’d kept by the hammock and found it frozen. No matter, I just about managed to get enough liquid water out of the water container, which had been left near the fireplace, to fill the Kelly Kettle for coffee.







    The second surprise of the morning came when I looked through the trees towards the lake and noticed that there were no waves. I walked down to the shore and was amazed to see the water frozen to about twenty feet offshore. I went back up to our camp and told Steve that it was a good job that we’d brought more alcohol and food than necessary, as we were iced in. He didn’t believe me at first, but after looking for himself and realising that it was frozen, but that we’d be able to break out, phoning our wives and telling them that we were stuck wasn’t really an option.


    Looking South:




    Looking North:






    After packing up, we had a beautiful paddle back in perfect conditions.














    Yours truly:







    Rampsholme Island:



    Catbells:



    Heading back:







    There was some thin ice over a large part of the lake, but nothing serious until we got back to the marina. The usual approach that we’d used the previous day was completely iced over, so we tried the outer landing. It was still a bit of a struggle to get to the slipway, and I had to employ the kneeling pole that I’d made the night before.








    Speaking to a friend later that day, he said that he was driving along the A66 past Keswick at nine o’clock in the morning, and his car’s thermometer said that it was -7 C.
    As far as I’m concerned, it just shows the warming power of chilli and whisky.


    All the best everyone, and Happy New Year.
    Last edited by The Cumbrian.; 1st-January-2009 at 12:58 AM.
    Cheers, Michael.


    Brute Force and Ignorance is Vastly Underrated.

    "There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace."
    -Sigurd Olson

  2. #2
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    Great blog with wonderful photos. Green with envy
    Regards,
    Mike

  3. #3
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    That does look good. Portinscale Must be right chill at the moment.

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MotoMike View Post
    Great blog with wonderful photos. Green with envy
    I'm thinking the same, some cracking pics

    Thanks

    Mick
    Stay safe, enjoy


  5. #5
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    Wow! Stunning stuff! A cracking blog with fantastic photos - easily the best blog of 2009, so far! If there's another photo competition at the end of this year, your no 13 will get my vote!
    Juvanile delinkwit, vaguely faffing around with a pair of pliers. Du skal ikke tro at du er bedre end mig!

  6. #6
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    Fantastic stuff !
    Picture No 17 is superb too (the one where the paddler is a way away and the distant hills are shrouded in mist) - looks like it could be one of those inspirational type posters with a deep meaningful saying printed on it (beyond me right now, but something about venturing into the unknown ?)
    Bill

  7. #7
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    Fantastic!

    What a great start to the New Year, I love the photo's as you really capture the essence of winter paddling and the benefits of a well *prepared camp.

    (*Whisky , Chilli and a roaring fire!)

  8. #8
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    Beautiful photographs. Wish I was there. Well done.
    Matto

    Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles of the sea.


  9. #9
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    Great blog with some cracking piccys to match. Wish I was there with you

    Greg

  10. #10
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    realy enjoyed that. I've been layed up with a wounded shoulder all over the christmas break desperate to get out and blogs like this are what keeps me going. Agree about the wonderful pics i'd say some definate contenders for this years photo comp.

    Thanks

  11. #11
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    Sounds like a great trip - and a great blogg as well.

    Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Biff
    'I can gather all the news I need on the weather report...'

  12. #12
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    Excellent trip, excellent blogg!

    All the correct ingredients for a good over night low temperature trip!

    regards.

    Alan L.

  13. #13
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    A great start to 2009 with your photographs and your descriptions. Thanks. I enjoy the ice on the water. My son and I canoed and broke the ice for a couple of miles on the canal between Sale and Altrincham on Tuesday. The noise of the ice creaking and shattering is quite musical and like windchimes. Most enjoyable.

  14. #14
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    Default Almost iced in on derwentwater

    what a great set of photos of derwent i like the misty shots you can just see the silence and calmness in the air (No i wasnt drunk when i wrote this) just envious
    happy new year cragger
    People keep telling me im in my second childhood I never left my first

  15. #15
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    wow wish id been there.
    the lake that still and with clear sky and at the weekends when most of us can make are few and far between
    nature is m X-box

  16. #16
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    Excellent blogg and photos, wish I was there
    My sister was walking on the Derwent ice yesterday...and it did look cold!
    Kazbunny
    Don't dream it... DO IT!

  17. #17
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    Great pictures! Looks a bit cold for me though!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyro View Post
    Fantastic stuff !
    Picture No 17 is superb too (the one where the paddler is a way away and the distant hills are shrouded in mist) - looks like it could be one of those inspirational type posters with a deep meaningful saying printed on it (beyond me right now, but something about venturing into the unknown ?)
    Bill
    I have three of the "demotivation" series in front of me.
    In that series the No. 17 could have "Going nowhere, you can never get lost" as a saying. Beautiful pictures. Looks like the paddler is just there, without any apparent goal.
    It looks like infinity.

  19. #19
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    Just magnificant.....Thanks for sharing what can be a beautiful time of year.

  20. #20

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    A little group of us were out today on Derwentwater - New Year's day. The ice is really getting quite thick with big patches all over the lake. The launch service is now running a resticted service as it cannot make it into some of the jetties. You could walk on the ice at Derwentwater Marina.

    So this means its going to be lots of fun over the next few days as the ice gets thicker and thicker. Its going to be very difficult if not impossible to launch from some spots and recommended gear has to be a couple of ice axes and a throw line so you can use ice climbing techniques!

    Dont be put off though - the weather is wonderful and you will have a wonderful time - as you can see from the photos above. Enjoy!

  21. #21
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    As said fantastic pictures of a great paddle.

    Sounds like you had some of the issues I worried about with the new cocoon. I am not a huge fan of being enclosed in my hammock. I do not even like having the insect net on unless really necessary.
    John

  22. #22
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    Default Work of Art

    I think Number 18 just has the edge on 17. It's the "beauty spot" on the left that just makes it into a work of art:


    Quote Originally Posted by The Cumbrian. View Post
    Best Wishes

    Frank
    The impossible we do at once - miracles take a little longer!

  23. #23
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    wonderful photos. what great conditions for a paddle.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by caibach View Post
    wonderful photos. what great conditions for a paddle.

    It really was a plesasure to be out. It was one of those trips where the paddling was absolutely effortless, just gliding along on the still water.

    Until we had to break the ice to avoid having to portage back to the cars, but that was character building stuff.
    Cheers, Michael.


    Brute Force and Ignorance is Vastly Underrated.

    "There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude, and peace."
    -Sigurd Olson

  25. #25
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    Absolutley Fabulous Hope lots more to come....Raymond.

  26. #26
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    Default ( Almost ) Iced in on Derwentwater.

    Cracking blogg with photos to match!!

    (I am thinking of spending some time in the Lake District in July, I must contact you looking some advice where to go.)

    Andy

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