07 June 2015

A weekend in Wasdale Part 2

Sunday was billed to be a better day weather wise however it looked pretty grey when we awoke. I didn’t feel well and had been sneezing and spluttering all night and had a pretty horrible runny nose. Not really in the mood to get out of bed I managed to get dressed and hoped to feel better as the day wore on. Achy and head cold symptoms were a bad start.

Buckbarrow, Seatallan and Middle Fell were our targets for the day and I must say Buckbarrow and Middle Fell both looked attractive prospects and with Seatallan tucked in behind I hoped it wouldn’t disappoint.

As with any hill really it was a bit of a slog to begin with. As we continued upwards it wasn’t really long before we came upon the summit of Buckbarrow. The last part of the upwards climb was through some rocky bits and the views were outstanding. The weather wasn’t being kind to us with intermittent rain and there was our old friend the wind again. The sun kept peeking through the clouds but not anywhere near us. We could see its shadows cast upon the surrounding hills but alas no where near us.

Cold update: I feel rubbish, sneeze splutter, sneeze!

So after Buckbarrow it was onwards to Seatallan and this was the first time I thought “oh I'll just go back” I really couldn’t get a grip and my head was throbbing but I wandered on. It didn’t seem that bad a walk up to Seatallan that was until we lost the summit in the cloud. It closed in and obscured views on all sides. Drizzle and a brisk breeze made the last part of the walk up quite tedious indeed. One of those moments we you really need to remind yourself why you do this and why its so important. Today it wasn’t for the photography as cameras were firmly tucked away whilst we endured the mist and drizzle.

Thankfully there was a shelter at the summit currently occupied by a nice couple and their dog. I offered the dog some of my Pink Lady apple which it licked and then ignored. How very dare it!!! It really was a lovely dog but just having a picky day.....weren't we all !

We were up and off as soon as we'd finished our snack and heading down to the plateau area between Seatallan and Middle Fell. It was quite steep and the path is poorly mark but easy to see where the path meets down in the valley below. The best bit is that the cloud was starting to lift and we could see Middle Fell, in its entirety, for the first time today and it was beautiful.
I wasn’t sure I had the energy to do another climb and worse still another descent but I waited until I had reached the plateau below and the start of the upward path before making my mind up. Once there it was an easy decision to make and I couldn’t let this gorgeous hill pass me by today. That and that the ground underfoot in the valley was quite boggy and the thought of trudging through bog to go down the valley was really not an option. So upwards we went.
It was a lovely rocky path up and views were opening up all around. Great Gable stood proudly to the left with Yewbarrow in front and it just took your breath away. The route from yesterday was ahead of us with Waswater below and all in all it was a lovely fell.

The downwards was tough as I'd reached my limit for the day. I was exhausted, coupled with the fact that I hadn’t had a good nights sleep meant I felt a bit wibbly wobbly. Nevertheless I kept going with the occasional wee sit down and before we knew it we were back on flat land and the sun, as like the previous day, was splitting the trees. 

At the campsite we'd arrange to keep the tent pitched during the day so we could get an early start and the thought of having to dismantle it when we returned wasn’t a great thought but it wasn’t too bad actually and quite enjoyable in the sunshine.

Great weekend, great walks, great company and looking forward to more camping weekends in the weeks to come, love it!

06 June 2015

A weekend in Waswater Part 1

Racing to arrive before the light fades on a Friday night so we can try out our new tent for the weekend and Nether Wasdale was our destination. Church Stile Farm Campsite for the weekend with 5 wainwrights thrown in for good measure.

We arrived with plenty of light left in order to get the tent up, not perfectly, but not bad straight out the box and we headed for the pub for a little refreshment.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early and not really sure what the weather had in store for us. It was a bit grim, clouds everywhere and quite windy, although we were protected in the camp-site but could see the far trees swaying.
The hills ahead of us were our target for the day. Illgill Head and Whin Rigg then down to Waswater for a walk back along the screes.

The route up Illgill Head was a slog. Steepness and high found quite quickly. Looking back we could see the strength of the wind in the waves lapping the Cumbrian shoreline.
We met a nice lady from Liverpool whom I thought I recognised from somewhere. She was clearly the leader in her party as they straggled behind and all were heading for a Beer Festival in Boot and not claiming any tops today.

The path to the top of Illgill Head was clear enough but the wind was buffeting us all over the place. Chris did his impression of “flying man” at the summit and we didn’t stick around long. 
Over towards Whin Rigg there was a choice of paths and even though it was windy I chose the path that ran along the top of the screes and rock-face. It was thrilling. Straight down towards Waswater with the most beautiful rock on either side.
A flat plateau then onwards towards the next summit where there was a little shelter which enabled us to have a quick bite with the stunning Yewbarrow ahead of us.
We knew that as soon as we started downwards we would have lost the effect of the wind as it had been behind us all along the tops.

A nice wall guided us down and soon we were on the banks of Waswater and again we could see the effect of the wind on the top of the lake. Little water birds were darting all around as we started along the path to the screes.

The path was fairly level but the wind was now in front of us and the buffeting never ceased. We met a few people along the path but mainly we were on our own. Upwards was scree and rock and downwards was scree and rock dipping into the lake. Chris said that the screes went down into the lake as much as it was high behind us. Very deep water.

We were caught out suddenly by a very sharp rainstorm which made the skipping over rocks of the scree a little more treacherous as things became just a little slippy. Thankfully almost as soon as the rain had come it had gone and we were left, for the first time that day, bathed in sunlight. This was good news as the longest bit of scree was still to come and we hoped by the time we got there the sun would have dried most of the rock.

We weren’t disappointed. The big scree part was dry and absolutely delightful to cross with big section of very big boulders mixed with smaller sections of smaller rocks. I loved it.
The evening was now turning quite pleasant weather wise and the remainder of our walk back to the campsite was absolutely lovely with lots of little birdies flying about in the evening sun.

12 miles, variable weather, great walk and now for a nice meal coupled with a nice glass of red in The Strand. Grand day out!