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Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Kentmere brings a spring in the step


Tuesday 20th March 2018

Today seemed to herald a significant advance in knee recovery. I felt fine nearly all the way on this walk, and even though descents are stressful I know I am coping with them much better than on recent walks. Just by the end of the 4.4 miles I was feeling a fair amount of discomfort - it had involved a modest 455ft of climbing, but more importantly the equivalent amount of descent. Back home after a hot bath combined with my exercises both knees felt very stiff and quite painful during the evening. That doesn't sound so good, but my optimism acknowledges that this morning, as I write, both knees have recovered, and that is a sign I well recognise. On my backpacking trips I have the same painful symptoms after reaching my destination, but with that same recovery next morning enabling me to continue in comfort. But of course on recent trips that has been after 16 miles or so.

My intention is to still take things easy with  short walks and recovery days in between, and I know it will take time, but I am more hopeful now than I have been for a while. If I do get back to proper backpacking it will be b-and-b only, therefore not carrying camping and cooking stuff, and I would try and target 12 miles per day rather than 16.

I have walked this Kentmere round several times. Gentle climbing on well established bridleways brings one out onto open fellside at just under 1000ft: liberation and breathing space, and a sense that you may be much higher,  a perfect scenario for a frustrated hill walker.  I met a  pleasant couple who were mountain biking and we had a fairly long and enjoyable conversation. The going is often on cropped turf and the whole ambience was energising. I found a perfect little shelf to sit on right at the high point before descending back into upper Kentmere, and munched my ploughman's sandwich followed by a fruity bar and accompanied with my flask of coffee; all was contentment. The sky was blue, wind had dropped, sun was warming, remnants of snow littered the extensive views.

This had been the most enjoyable walk by a long way that I have had since aborting my Berwick-upon-Tweed to Castle Cary backpacking trip at Hellifield when my knee packed up on 20th August last year. 


CLICK FIRST PHOTO TO SEE AS SLIDESHOW
River Kent, just off the road from the start



Black Beck

Sallows - 1681 ft.

Start of descent into upper Kentmere just after my lunch stop

Kentmere Tarn

Kentmere Hall 14th Century Pele tower, apparently undergoing some kind of restoration.
Below, as it was on a previous visit - 19th July 2012

Loads of info if you Google


Click to enlarge

11 comments:

beatingthebounds said...

Lovely walk that Conrad. More importantly: great news about your knees!

Sir Hugh said...

beating the bounds - I said recently that I'm not over enthusiastic about repeating walks at my age - I'm still hungry for new horizons, but there is something special and individual about that Kentmere semi-upland terrain that draws me back.

gimmer said...

sounds very promising -
not just about the weather

Sir Hugh said...

gimmer - fingers crossed. I don't think knees crossed is a good idea according to all the nurses who have reprimanded me for that over the years.

Roderick Robinson said...

And I sit here having added an infected cough to the sciatica. This I am familiar with and can bear it. But now I have passed it on to VR where it is proving to be far more severe.

I am taken by your phrase "brings one out on to open fellside" and am reminded of the first of the Marilyns where I accompanied you. It started with an upward half-mile of unused lane, overgrown with saplings and their treacherous exposed roots. The gradient continued but on wider, close-bitten grass. Finally we reached a quite large plateau from which we could inspect the adjacent gentle valley with an even larger plateau beyond. We were masters of distance. Influenced by such openness the mind expands.

Satan takes Christ up to "a high place", points and says, in effect, this could all be Christ's. That high place could have been our plateau. And you could imagine the temptation, a direct function of altitude. Perhaps there's the essence of a response to the next fool who asks you why you once climbed. "Satan tempted me," might strike a chord with even a persistent Man Utd fan.

Sir Hugh said...

RR - Sorry to hear of your afflictions. Will give you a call.

That was a rewarding event to get you up those Marilyns. Perhaps you were Satan in disguise, but then I have never thought of myself as Christ, but it wouldn't surprise me if you had thought of yourself as Satan!

Kendal Grufties said...

Hi Conrad, we enjoyed meeting you on this track and thanks for all the knee op info. Delighted to find your blog and discover another Bolger fan! We bought the plans for Micro many years ago but never built her, built a Yachting Monthly Senior instead and various other small dinghies and canoes. Hope the knee continues to improve and that you get to finish that long distance walk, kind regards

Sir Hugh said...

Kendal Grufties - Thanks for your comment and welcome to the blog - please comment anytime. If you are in Arnside sometime you would be very welcome to drop in for a brew and a natter - email me at conrob@me.com and I will give you directions.

afootinthehills said...

It sounds like this walk was an uplifting experience Conrad and I’m not surprised looking at the lovely photographs.

Excellent news about your knee.

Phreerunner said...

Well done Conrad. Steady improvement. Life is worth living.

kendal grufties said...

Thank you, that would be great, we'll be in touch! ☺