Monday, January 28, 2008

The Langdales and Gales!

After the annoyance with m car last weekend, I was full of enthusiasm to get back up to the Lakes this weekend and have a go at another wild camp with the intention of doing a two day circuit around the Langdale valley. My route would start on Friday night, going up the path to Stickle Tarn from the Dungeon Gill Hotel in the dark, camping and then setting off up Jack's Rake, over the Langdales and north to High Raise, before heading back towards Angle Tarn where I'd camp, but not before popping up to Glaramara and back. Sunday I intended on closing the loop, going round Bow Fell, coming down via the White Stones path. Well, that was the plan, and after a careful pack on Thursday night, I just managed to get everything in my day bag, which weighed 1 3/4 stone!

I got up to Langdale about 8:20 and drove around for about 40 mins, trying to find either a quiet spot to the side of the road or get in touch with Steffi for our National Trust membership number, as I didn't have £12 cash for the two days parking. The situation sorted itself when on my return to the Old Dungeon Gill Hotel, I saw the sign that said you can pay them to park in their carpark and the nice lady at reception said 'oh don't worry, you can just park there for free', result!

So off I toddled and got up to Stickle Tarn about 10pm, where I spent ages trying to find a sheltered spot (it was absolutely howling) that wasn't already occupied by six sheep, but I got there in the end and pitched, inserted earplugs and regretted not having a hip flask.

DSCF1801Saturday morning dawns bright and cheery. Not.

Up at 6:30, it was now raining and good fun trying to pack the tent away. I got into another sheltered spot and made some coffee behind a rock whilst checking out Jack's Rake, but came to the conclusion that it was just too windy to attempt on my own, so I headed to the more sheltered Easy Gully and got almost flattened on reaching the summit!

I went quickly over to Harrison Stickle and the wind was getting stronger, if anything, then down crossing the stream to Loft Crag, I got blown off the stepping stones and got a boot full of water. Nice.



DSCF1807En route back down to the DGH it looked much more civilised.

Climbing up to Pike of Stickle, I reckon that the forecast of 85mph+ gusts was correct as it was impossible to stand up and very dangerous and I was hanging onto rocks! My roll mat which was lashed to my bag and had been acting like a sail, was blown off at some point.

After trying to locate the start of the path to High Raise, I realised that a full day off this combined with my already wet boot was going to make life very uncomfortable, so I did the only sensible thing and headed back down, missioning it home for 6pm!

The video clip below was taken on the sheltered side of Loft crags. You get the picture. I was shouting....

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