Thursday, 4 June 2015

The Red Bridge

The media was abuzz with articles about the Paper Bridge, an outdoor “installation” that had been erected in Grisedale from 4 tons of red paper.  It was the brainchild of the artist Steve Messam and had gathered some vociferous comment, both positive and negative.  I’m clear about outdoor art, I quite like it and am a fan of Andy Goldsworthy and I saw this piece as a kindred idea.


There was plenty of space in the Patterdale Hotel car park and I set off up the Grisedale valley with the brightly coloured bridge soon coming into view.  There were a few people around when I reached the arch – a packhorse-style bridge made from numerous sheets of red paper and I set up my camera on its self-timer to make sure I was on the top of the bridge before the shutter fired.  There were a few people at the bridge and I’m sure that its position just off the Coast-to-Coast route brought it a few more visitors.  It had been quite a few years since I had walked in Grisedale and it really is a beautiful valley.


As I left, many more visitors were arriving, some of the thousand or more that visited on the day!  I headed up the valley past Ruthwaite Lodge towards a peaceful Grisedale Tarn where I set off for Deepdale Hause before the walk to the day’s highpoint.  St Sunday Crag was quickly ticked and I headed to Gavel Pike which, as an unclimbed Simpson summit, was the target for the day.  The Nuttall and Wainwright summits of Birks soon came and went and a steep descent towards Arnison Crag was followed by some undulating ground with a short steep rise to gain the last summit of the day.

Fairfield, Seat Sandal and Dollywagon Pike overlooking Grisedale Tarn

The car park was a lot busier than at the start of the day and I read some reports on Twitter that visitors who wanted to walk to the bridge couldn’t find a parking space in Patterdale and had to forgo the pleasant walk to, at least in my opinion, a really interesting outdoor artwork.

Thanks Steve, for getting me out of the house!