Sunday, 20 March 2011

Two Superb Days in the Lakes

I was fortunate enough to have a few days break from work and I planned a trip to the Lakes. Each day for about a week before I looked at the  weather forecast and I could not beleive that there was no rain forcasted at all for Cumbria. I packed my rucksac and headed off up the A1.

I arrived at Seathwaite for midday and found a great parking spot very near to the farm. I took the route to Stockley Bridge. The weather was cool and the sky was slightly overcast. I then walked straight up towards Styhead Tarn. There were a few people about. I had no specific plan where I was going to stay the night as it was all based on the weather.

I then walked up to Styhead Tarn and in the cool 4 degrees I was sweating.

First View of Scafell Pike

Styhead Tarn

I then took the Corridor Route, slow going but nice to have no pressure to head down before sunset. Just before Piers Gill there is a slight scramble down and I managed to drop my rucsac 15 feet, I panicked and checked that the plastic Port bottle had not burst! Priorities!!


The Snow begins on the last climb up to Scafell Pike
I brought my Micrspikes with me which proved to be usefull in certain places. I saw one fellow walking down in his trainers, rather him than me. He was all over the place.

Great Gable
I then reached the summit of Scafell and was in my own company there, thats a first. After a 15 minute break I headed down towards Great End after taking some pictures.

Scafell from Scafell Pike

Looking North West

Styhead Tarn and Derwent Water in the distance
Looking back at Scafell Pike and the slippery slope.
I then headed down towards Great End, the first drop down was a little bit slippery. A fell runner ran up passed me and then back down with the greatest of agility leaving me to negotiate the drops. I then passed over the boulder field and decided around 5p.m. to make my pitch. I had a phone signal which was not the strongest, but it allowed me to let home know that I was in one piece. I then walked around, while dinner was cooking, and took in the beautiful sunset.

Sunset from pitch

Fading light looking at pitch near Great End
It was a cold but very still night. I woke a few times in the night expecting there to be some wind, nothing, it was so still. I had to put some extra layers on at around 4. I got out at one point and saw millions of stars, perfect. I wish I could have taken a snap shot but my camera shows a black sky. My alarm woke me at 6.15a.m. and I immediatley unzipped the tent door expecting mist which is what I usually see in the morning..................

I ran out of the tent and was not dissapointed, I was delighted and amazed, sights I have only seen in photographs. The real thing was amazing.

Dawn over tent

Cloud inversion over Helvelyn Range

Cloud inversion looking at Bowfell

Sunrise 6.57a.m.
Sunrise over tent
Breakfast on the go

Cloud inversion by Lingmell

Cloud inversion beside Bowfell
 I then had my breakfast and packed up and began to walk down towards Esk Hause. Down to Sprinkling Tarn. The temperature became a lot warmer and I was now down to a baselayer. Sprinklig Tarn was magnificent and I had to stop and take it all in.

Looking down to Sprinkling Tarn from Esk Hause

Clouds rolling over Glamara from Sprinkling Tarn
I then noticed that clouds were coming towards me. So I then walked over towards Styhead Tarn. Before I got to Styhead Tarn I was surrounded in mist. I hoped that this was not going to rise and spoil the view. I met people on the way up and they were in thick coats, it must have been cold in the valley bottom. I walked to Aaron Slack and headed up there. I was still in the mist and focusing on walking was hard work. So much hard work I did not notice that I walked out of the mist. I turned around and had a beautiful view across to Seathwaite fell.

Once at the top at Windy Gap I took the decision to head up to Green Gable and have a bite to eat. I was not sure where to go that night so I sat and viewed the map. I was drawn to going to Haystacks. So I headed off towards Grey Knotts to then go to Haystacks.

Haystacks from Windy Gap

Scafell range from Green Gable

 I allmost got to the disused quarry and Dubbs Hut but decided that I would like to stop the night at Sprinkling Tarn. Strange to head all the way back, but it paid off in the end. As I walked back the mist was coming and going making it feel hot and cold.

I returned to Green Gable and Windy Gap at the right time. As I walked accross passed Styhead Tarn the  sunshine was out and it was really warm. As I walked up the climb towards Sprinkling Tarn I looked around to see a menacing cloud passing through Windy Gap. I knew it was heading in my direction.

Mist over Great Gable and Windy Gap

First view on Great End

Pitch beside Sprinkling Tarn

Great Gable and Green Gable reflection in Sprinkling Tarn

I then packed up and headed off down Grains Gill to the car. Once back at Seathwaite Farm the temperature was 1 degree, brrrr. On the way a walker climbing up asked if I was that fit that I had been up and down, no I am not that fit. I am looking forward to the next one though, not until after Easter unfortunatley. 



  1. Very nice photos and to get views like that is always special. Nice high wild camp as well. Hard to beat that.

  2. Cheers Martin, it was certainly unbeatable.


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