Sunday, 10 July 2011

The Martindale Round.

My mate Stef and I went to the Lake District so he could tick off a few more Wainwrights from his diminishing list.

We met up by the church just past the Howtown Hotel on the east of Ullswater late Friday, just as Stef had knocked off Hallin Fell. It started to rain. Warm fine rain...Having decided to travel light, wearing shorts,  I reasoned if it stopped raining I would dry out soon rather than wearing hot and sweaty waterproofs.... it didn't stop raining.

We bashed up the 'path' through the bracken for 1.5m past Brownthwaite Crag to get up high for our first nights camp at Gowk Hill.... [memo.. don't wear shorts in the wet when going through bracken paths; nettles grow in amongst them, your calves get stung and yer boots and socks get wet....doh.]
Thankfully the rain stopped, there was a fast flowing beck for fresh water, and apart from a few midgies we had a pleasant night and telling a few yarns and I extolled the virtues of Sudocrem.

Day 2

No rush today, weather getting better and after brekkie we walked up onto High Street over Red Crag and over to High Raise. Great views and finally a nice bit of rock under the boots rather than mud, grass and bog.

self portrait..

High Raise

We could have gone up Kidsty Pike but 'been there done that' so pushed on, popping up onto the Knott with great views over Hayeswater, then down towards Satura Crag and our camp at Angle Tarn.

On the way I spent an hour snoozing in the sun, occasionally passing the time of day with the people making their way down to Patterdale or Hartsop whilst Stef sweated his way up and down Rest Dodd to bag another WR.

Looking down to Hartsop

Stef photographing small things with a big thing.

I had not been to Angle Tarn before and it is a superb wild camp site. Great views, good level places to pitch up, and after wolfing down my evening meal we sat and watched the water, Stef spotting the trout in the tarn, and telling some very entertaining fishing stories, whilst a few geese and their young patrolled the banks.

Angle Tarn from above

View from Camp Blug

Towards Camp Clarke...

The sun went down and the moon came out and it was just so peaceful...tired... zzzzz......

Early the following morning Stef saw some of the red deer from the deer forest in Bannerdale up on the ridge behind us, however I missed out as my tent faced in a different direction and I didn't see any the next day either.

It got quite chilly around 3am and I only got to sleep well after putting on my insulated jacket, fleece leggings and socks because I had left my lovely down sleeping bag in Wales and was using a ME Ultralight synthetic bag... Ultralight=Coldatnight... especially when camping by water in a valley.
Stef snored happily away in his Lifeventure down bag.

Day 3

Up early, packs a lot lighter now we went straight up the slope from Angle Tarn to Heckbeck Head [...feckin' love that name...] Stef going on across Beda Fell to knock off some more WR’s whilst I descended down Martindale Common to walk the road back to the car.

Looking south to Bannerdale.

About an hour later Stef was hollering down to me whilst  making his way down the bracken[ugh]path from Raven Crag. We walked the last km back to the cars where I produced the best moment of the entire trip....not Sudocrem but..........

Cold... really, really cold Becks Blue beer fresh from the coolie box that Go Outdoors sent to me to review.
Unbelievable. The car had been in the hot July sun for 2 days, There was still ice in the frozen bottles of water and lovely lovely cold beer and sandwiches.
And as it was non alcoholic we could have a few and drive home safely! Brilliant!

It was a great trip, only 11miles [not counting the ups and downs], we're not mountain marathon men, we stop frequently to take in the views, get our breath back, take pictures have a laugh and a chat with other walkers and on occasion a quick snooze!


BG! said...

Cheers for a great weekend, Mike. That cold beer was the box-deluxe.

Why is it that you have so many pics of me in dodgy poses and situations?

Point of Order:
I said that I'd seen Red Deer, not Reindeer. I reckon you need new batteries in your hearing-aid :-)

Dr Blug said...

You are naturally photogenic Stef
red deer rain deer reindeer blue moose red crag oooh I'm all confused, sorry..