Monday, March 09, 2009

Absolutely saturated!

I knew it was a bad omen that Gav had finally decided to get some waterproof trousers as it meant that we WOULD be needing them. That said, I don't think either of us were prepared for just how MUCH water the clouds would be throwing at us! 5 hours of solid sideways rain and hail was too much for even my poncy re-proofed gear...

Gav with Scoat fell and Pillar and our retreat route down Windy Gap behind him, along the stream.

Looking up at Looking Stead and the top of Pillar, obscured in cloud. Hard hail and high winds here...

Friday saw us hightailing it up to Jen's house for a comfy night in Shef, before heading out at the crack of 6 the next morning destined for Wast Water and our route from Wasdale Head up Mosedale and the Black Sail pass, before turning left up Pillar. As there were just the two of us we used this as a good exercise to nail the distance over time Nav that I'd been trying to get my head around for complete whiteouts. We used Naismith's rule as a starting point and found our calculations to be spot on. This was good as we then needed these new found skills on the higher part of the hill and it was exciting to be so accurate with both comps and time.

Not much shelter at the shelter on Pillar...

The weather really was quite bad and the wind was on the limit of what I found comfortable (same for Gav!), but we assessed conditions at Looking Stead and decided that we would proceed with caution and retreat if we felt things were getting a bit heavy! The path up Pillar from here is good, with little object danger and the winds seemed to have dropped a bit from the funnel at Looking Stead, so we were set and into very thick rainy cloud! After hitting the shelter, we navved out and headed for Scoat Fell, via Windy Gap. Coming down here was more hairy than either of us liked as the snow conditions were appallingly soft with the mild weather. We made the call at this point that enough was enough and headed down the scree path of Wind Gap, back to the Mosedale valley.

The new tent finally got an airing and is absolutely bombproof and rather comfy...

After making a sizeable puddle on the pub floor, we went staright to the campsite shower block and slowly became human again! The tent went up and food was cooked whilst the rain and high winds continued outside. Pub, crossword, chat to people, Bed. Nice warm sleeping bag!

Theres nothing quite like a full English followed by cake! Yes that is a mug with a karabiner attached...


We had a bit of a leisurely morning as the winds had got worse over night and decided to drive up to Windermere, have a bit of a shop and head back to Shef, where we caught the last of the amazing light and went for a bit of a walk at the Popular End and did some boots on bouldering. Spot on.


On a sad note, it was so wet that both my phone and the little digital camera which has taken so many of the shots on this site, bought it! Time for a canon Powershot G10! I ca dream...

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