11 May 2013
Sunday 5th May and the weather is shockingly bad. Drizzle and grey murky stuff is making today's walk seem like hard work. I woke with a stinking cold, head blocked, fuzziness, no energy and a general lethargy which meant that I'd have to muster up all my gumption to make it through today's wander up Grisdale pike & Hopegill Head.
Unfortunately because of the weather there are no pictures on this post but I'll sum up the day quickly (that wont be hard) as a record of our day out.
After parking the car and having consulted the map (fingers not allowed!!!) we started up the path but not before taking the picture of a group of German students who were also heading towards the Pike.
The path was gentle but not feeling great I was struggling. My nose was running and getting sore and the rain had started to fall and coupled with the wind the day was matching my mood.
Before the start of the big climb the German students had passed us, as had another group of people but I didn't care. I was going as fast as I could and with the weather closing in, cloud dropping, rain turning harder and wind picking up I just wanted to get to the top as quickly as I could, get the box ticked and get back to the warmth of the car.
Grisdale Pike is a series of false summits, something we're very used to, but with horrid weather you really do curse every pretend top. We knew, from the map, that there was a shelter on top and I couldn't wait to get there so I could just sit and rest for a few mins and get something to eat of course.
About 50m from the summit we came across the German students who were struggling. The girls of the group didn't seem too happy in the wind and driving rain. They looked uncomfortable and told us that they were probably going to head back down. A shame really as they were so close to the summit.
A little bit further on we happened across the other group that we'd met earlier in the day. Mum, Dad and daughter who too were struggling and feeling a bit exposed in the wind and rain. Mum was suggesting they go back but we persuaded them to go onwards (as it really was their best option) and they asked if they could walk with us. So our little group of 2 became 5 with the addition of Gillian, Dave and their daughter.
The final push to the summit was tough, slippy rock, driving cold rain and blustery wind. The only thing keeping me going at that point was that I knew there was a shelter on top and I couldn't wait to get there. Even when we reached the summit I think I practically ran down the path to the shelter, plopped myself down and tucked into a sandwich and chocolate. I could have stayed there for ages but the daughter of the family that had joined us had jeans on, which were soaked through, and she was shivering a bit. Time to keep moving.
Down off Grisdale Pike (grrrrrrrr!) and then up and over to Hopegill Head where we'd been on a previous walk although today there was no visibility whereas before the sun shone and there was snow underfoot. Hopegill Head looked completely different today.
Once the path was found off the hill we knew that where we'd previously turned right to take us to Sail, today we'd turn left to take us down past the waterfalls to the valley floor. Onto the old mining road back to Braithwaite where the pub awaited.
As we were descending the sky started to break up and we could see little glimpses of blue sky. The rain stopped and the wind dropped and what was a horrid day weathewise turned into quite a pleasant afternoon. Gillian and family were still with us and we'd had a lovely time chatting whilst coming down off the mountain. We parted just before the pub and they were heading down to Lancaster for a Gourmet Burger which was their treat after a walk and we headed to the pub for a drink before heading home.
Grisdale Pike was a beast to tackle and I've been up and down many a beast but this one was tough. I really felt I had to fight it all the way to the top and yet it didn't beat me. Another tick in the box and a hill I'd like to go back and do again in calmer conditions as I'm sure its a stunner when visible.
Our weekend in the Lakes over with and some great walking was had. Until the next time.............