Sunday, September 21, 2014

Barf and Lords Seat

Gerard and Stephen up on Lords Seat

Jonathan smiling for the camera
We met later on on Saturday to have a look at the route directly up Barf via The Bishop.  A bit too hard for a Hardly AC run was the conclusion but we still had a really lovely run out in great conditions.

We parked at the bottom of the scree opposite the old Swan Hotel and headed straight up.  You soon get to The Bishop, the painted white rock which supposedly marks the point where the Bishop of Derry fell to his death in the 1700s after betting that he could ride his horse up the scree.

The Bishop is actually quite low down on the scree but the way up is arduous.  After the rock, the path splits into two tracks.  We have taken both tracks, they both lead to the same point, below the rocky ledge just below Slape Crag but on this occasion, we confirmed that the path to the right is much better.

Up one rocky ledge by taking the gully through and then you cross Slape Crag on the path.  There is one slightly difficult step to make, a scramble with good holds, just time needed to work out how to bend your body around the rock.  Jonathan was last up and I was a bit concerned when I called back and heard no response.  Eventually though, Jonathan emerged, rubbing his knee which he said he had whacked on the corner of the rock.  Ouch.  We obviously gave him lots of sympathy and made sure he was ok before carrying on.

Jonathan on the steep eastern slopes, old Swan Hotel below
The path then winds up to the final shelf which becomes grassy again just before the summit.  As Stephen and I got up there, Gerard was already on top admiring the views.

After a few pictures on top, we headed across to Lords Seat.  This area can be a little bit boggy at times but was dry tonight.

We were running into the sun but it was the time of the evening when the light makes the mountains even more beautiful.

Gerard and Stephen got to the top first again and we regathered here.

We then set off down through Whinlatter Forest.  

As it was late and quiet, we decided to have a run on the mountain bike route.

Obviously these tracks are not meant for running on and it's not something I would do at busier times as mountain bikers would be very unhappy to come across a group of runners.  On this occasion, we didn't see anybody else and enjoyed a nice run through the forest.

Gerard, first time at The Bishop
Gerard sat on top of Barf with Stephen about to go up the final bit of track to the summit

top of Bark

at Lords Seat

heading over to Whinlatter Forest from Lords Seat
We headed down once we hit the second section of forest track and then worked our way back to the track which takes you back to Barf.

We took the steep track down through the woods.  Head torches were needed for this final section which is very steep but brought us out at the car.

the last bit of the MTB trail.
7 or so miles

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