I’ve been on trips with the Walking Club a few times before (Snowdonia, the Peak District, and a few local walks – notably to the Malvern Hills), and though a whole weekend spent with strangers can be a bit of a toss-up, I’ve had the Lake District on my list pretty much since I arrived in England. I haven’t managed to get there before because it takes some real planning and organization. You really need to have a car if you want to explore, and with a 5 hour drive ahead (and no license to drive in the UK), it’s not one to achieve without a little commitment.
Although I didn’t do a great job packing, I brought my pack (clothes, sleeping bag, boots, various tools and daypack needs) to work on Friday and then met just outside one of the colleges at 5 on Friday afternoon. We divided into two buses and were a little late leaving Oxford, so we didn’t get to our bunkhouse until nearly 2 am in the evening (after stopping for Chinese in a sit-down restaurant). I caught up with Barbara most of the drive there.
The first morning we were up early, had a big bowl of porridge with raisins and golden syrup and looked at maps. We decided to split in three groups, one starting with the gables (Green Gable then Great Gable) and moving across a ridge to Glaramara. The other starting with Glaramara and working in the opposite direction across the same ridge. The last group (mine) decided to bag the highest peak in England: Scafell Pike (978 M).
We didn’t manage it.
The start of the day was very nice weather – we worked through the Duddon Valley away from Seathwaite (where our bunkhouse was) and up towards the Scafell Massif.
At slightly higher altitude…
My friend Barbara
Looking back to the Valley
At this point it was streaming freezing rain vertically. The wind was far too powerful to go to higher altitudes, and the visibility was – clearly – totally obscured.
You could see approximately the elevation that visibility ended and clouds started
So instead we picked a tarn to walk to – Anglesey Tarn
This guy, enjoying the view
And descended the another, adjacent valley to ours
Our walk ended up lasting about 9 hours through two valleys, up towards Scafell and around several mountains at a lower altitude.
Start of the massif
The next day we had a very bad weather forecast, so we set our ambitions lower.
Notice the good weather though.
We went to a National Trust area near Ullswater to have a breezier hill walk along a ridge and then through a forest. It turned out we had wonderful weather, but the winds were still strong at a high altitude, so that’s fine. Here are a few pictures from that day…
Our lunch spot!
This was actually just a very small summit
All the weather patterns patterning
Those colors tho
A little walk through the woods
THOSE colors tho