Birkhouse Moor leads up to Helvellyn. It’s a walk I’ve done many times; probably twenty or more. I remember once, years ago, I felt I was in Greece. I’d been there recently and the white rock you see in this area reminded me of the Lefka Ori – the White Mountains of Crete. It was a hot summer day and I felt, momentarily, I didn’t need Crete at such a wonderful moment.

Birkhouse Moor is a steep climb to begin with. I did it on one occasion and had to stop repeatedly. I did it a year or two later, anticipating the same effort, and I was much stronger. I remembered precisely where I’d stopped. That rock, before the path swings to the right.

After the steep climb, initially crossing a river, the ascent continues with views down to Grizedale and then these back to Ullswater. Climb a little further then where it begins to level you have views of Helvellyn and Striding Edge followed by Red Tarn below.

I camped once at Red Tarn, memorable for two disturbances. Around eight o’clock in the evening a man came roaring up on a quad bike. I wanted to shout at him for disturbing my peace and the happy (illusory) feeling of wilderness. Around two or three in the morning my tent was battered by wind funneling down from Helvellyn and Swirral Edge. I had to leave my sleeping bag, pull on clothes, ignore the chill, and relocate my tent and its contents slightly downhill.

I like the muted colours of this shot. As I recall there wasn’t much sunshine this day, which dulls my walking appetite. Sombre light photography is however an important part of a hill walking palette.


Lake District Photography: Ullswater from Birkhouse Moor

Wednesday August 5, 2015