Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lovely Lakes

Post should be below Sun and celebrity

Being a Bank Holiday Daryl and I (Gem) took an extra day off work and headed up to the Lake District, with a nice Thursday evening stopover in Manchester with Jez and Gemma.

We made an early start Friday morning and we had the tent pitched in Chapel Hill Farm campsite in Borrowdale and were ready for walking by 11am.

Friday’s mission was Blencathra, via Sharp Edge. We parked the car in a lay-by on the A66 near a hamlet called Scales and slogged up a steady incline round the eastern side of Blencathra. After about an hour and a half we crossed Scales Beck and arrived at Scales Tarn, which was a beautiful turquoise colour and seemed to glisten even with the grey cloudy sky. This is where we got the first real look at the Grade 1 scramble ahead of us. Sharp Edge is a relatively easy scramble and gets most of its grade 1 from the exposure rather than the difficulty. I found certain points quite unnerving and had to slide along some bits on my bum. Getting to the top was well worth it as the views of Skiddaw, and the lakes of Ullswater and Derwent. It was also possible to see Scotland across the Solway Firth.

Sharp Edge from a distance

Sharp Edge - Gem

Daryl at Scale Beck

We were woken Saturday by the early morning call of the farmer coming round to collect the camping money. After a hearty breakfast of bacon and egg sandwiches we embarked on our route. This walk was my ideal type of route: flat to start; 90% of height gained by scrambling; awesome views; and a nice steady stroll back down. The approach from the campsite was down through Seathwaite into the Langstrath valley up to Cam Crag. It was a nice gentle walk in a valley, through green hills and sharp rocky crags, giving way to the amazing rocky views of Stickle Pike and the Scafell group. Finding the route up Cam Crag was a challenge, but we eventually made a decision and chose the correct route. The start was the hardest part with an exposed climb around an overhang, the rest of the route was in several sections up broken buttresses and was technical, but not too hard – in all good fun.

Cam Crag - Gem

Daryl topping out on Cam Crag

At the top of Cam Crag we carried on up to the top of Glaramara, crossing many boggy rivers and ending with a simple little scramble to the top. This was really worth doing as you could see so many of the main Lake District peaks – the Langdales, the Scafell group, Great Gable, Green Gable, Pillar, Skiddaw and probably many others that I just don’t know. The descent from Glaramara was a long tourist track and as we were nearing the bottom Daryl wanted to find the pub in Seatoller, which even though is marked on the OS map doesn’t exist as such, it is a lunchtime cafĂ© that serves alcohol, therefore was shut. It was quite a depressing walk back to the campsite from there as it started to rain!

Looking towards the Langdales

Sunday, I wasn’t feeling too great as the fact I was suffering from a kidney infection had caught up with me after 2 days of activity. We decided to visit as many outdoor shops as we could so explored Cockermouth (this is so the place we are going to live when we move to the Lakes) and Keswick. We decided to head home Sunday night to miss the traffic(!) but had a lovely meal in the Kirkstone Pass Inn, after a slightly scary near death experience.

General conclusion of the weekend – absolutely awesome as per every weekend in the Lakes!

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