Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Scaling the heights

As our holiday progressed, so the weather became unreliable.  We followed Pike o'Blisco with a gentle stroll around Loughrigg Tarn, down the valley and a visit to Grasmere, the village.

The next day, the forecast continuing to be uncertain, we walked over Hunting Stile Crag to Grasmere, the lake, passing these very ancient sheds on the way.

Obviously, one would use a large slate as a wall.

The view looks over to Dunmail Raise, the road over which has just reopened after months of repairs to damage caused by last winter's floods. 

As we came down to the lake, we heard a tremendous honking of geese.  The fields were full of Canada geese grazing with their goslings.

The next day, we decided on a walk up the Langdale valley and set off from the cottage with that intention.  All the tops were still shrouded in mist but, as we walked further, this cleared.

The previous day our friends had climbed the Langdale Pikes, and the weather had brightened for them. We decided to make the ascent ourselves.

The path we took was steep, but had benefitted from extensive work, with imported boulders creating rough steps all the way.  It was like climbing an enormous staircase, with just a little scrambling where the natural rock had to be crossed.

We reached the top and sat down to eat lunch, just under the improbable summit of Pike o'Stickle.

Then the rain started.

We made a quick tour of all but one of the Wainwright tops accessible from the plateau, but then the mist began to filter in and we decided to descend before visibility was threatened.  Rounding the corner of Pavey Ark, we saw a path marked by huge cairns and made our way down to the tarn.

Well, I say "path" - what I mean is a gully filled with enormous boulders, fortunately stable, over which we lowered ourselves, often resorting to that technique favoured by toddlers of sitting down and using the bottom as a fifth point of contact.   The rain got heavier.

By the time we reached Stickle Barn, we were in a condition best described as "drowned rat."  Several times I wrung the water out of my gloves.   We got the bus back to our base.

It was a memorable day.


Susan Smith said...

Very memorable and one you won't forget for a number of reasons, but how lovely are those views. They'll certainly live on in your memory forever. Take care.

knitski said...

Sounds like wonderful challenging weather, but such a great time being out exploring. Such beauty every where . . . It doesn't look like there are other people around at this time.