Saturday, 25 February 2012

A first venture up Fitful Head

Well today is a bit of a change from yesterday when we had gales that left me wondering if Clare would be stranded on Yell. Today there's a light breeze and for all the day started off misty it's cleared up to a beautiful spring day.

I feel for the folks over on Bressay last night. It was their Up Helly Aa, ferrys were limitted to the island and later on it came in with sleet and hail. My usual walking buddy lives over there and was joining in the celebrations so for all it was looking a great day for a walk I knew he'd not be coming.  So alone I headed south to Quendale Mill with the aim of having a stroll up and round Fitful Head not sure whether I'd actually get to see anything up there today. Atleast I wasn't going to get blown off!

I parked at Quendale Mill (still closed for the winter) and headed North-West up the near by farm track aiming to join the service road for the radar station on the hill top about 1.5km later. 



For all the service road to the radar station is an excellent road it's still a pretty steep pull up there. The benefit is the views that open out as you ascend, when the mist parts that is!

Looking north; St Ninian's to the left and Ward of Scousborugh to the right...


Noss Hill in the mid ground looks like a place to visit some time. I presume there are some old military buildings on it...



South-East over the ness with Sumburgh in the far distance and The Bay of Quendale cutting inland...


One good thing about the mist was the odd rainbow as the sun was breaking through, but I'm not going back down now for the pot of gold!
 

 Sadly as you gain the summit this is the view. Very necessary I'm sure, but not very inpiring...


Luckily a hop skip and a jump around the corner and you get this wonderful view...


It was worth it after all...


 Looking North from The Punds you'd hardly notice the radar station...


Not far along the cliff is this hefty block of granite. It commemorates the crew of a Halifax bomber that crashed in to the cliffs on it's way back to Kinloss after an attack on the German battleship the Tirpitz...


Heading on, Siggar Ness is peeping out of the now clearing fog and the sun is blinding...


It's pretty much all down here from here back to Quendale and with the sun now fully out there's plenty of view to soak in. Scat Ness and Sumburgh stretch out south in to the sea, but I couldn't see Fair Isle in the south due to the sun and glare.


Looking back along Siggar Ness...



The last ankle breaking knee screwing bit of the walk is the very steep descent down from The Noup to Garth Wick. Thankfully it's only short, but it is very steep and on the wet grass I'm grateful for my new boots. 


Looking over Garths Ness to Sumburgh...




I noticed a lovely waterfall spouting out on to the beach below...



After a while pottering here it was just a short splodge across the headland to join the farm road that would lead me back to the mill. The water in The bay of Quendale was looking luscious, but not inviting enough for a swim. One guy was happy to be in there though, sensibly clad in his wet suit he was having shot at some surfing...


By this point it did look like a summer day, but even with the warming gulf stream I doubt many would want to spend long in the Atlantic in February.


Pity I don't have a telephoto.


Fingers crossed for another lovely day tomorrow so we can all get out some where for the day, may be even camp as we're off work until Tuesday!

7 comments:

  1. Excellent pics Kev - Fitful is an exceptional headland.

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  2. Cheers, yeh it is, look forward to getting up there again soon

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  3. Nice to see those pics Kev. You didn't get such nice weather as we got when we took the pictures for the Halifax Memorial page on Shetlopedia, but the weather we got was one of those million to one chances... The self-drive car we had when went up there didn't exactly come down in the same condition, it's really a 4x4 road, especially if you have a full car load. ;)

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  4. Yeh the road is awful steep but from where I joined it to the top was real good condition tarmac. I might drive up next time, my old banger won't mind as long as it doesn't overheat!

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  5. Just planning my own trip to Fitful Head. Thanks for posting such a great blog and pictures.

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    Replies
    1. Hope you have a good walk and glad you found the blog interesting. Thanks

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    2. Hope you have a good walk and glad you found the blog interesting. Thanks

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