Monday, 21 April 2014

Lake District Wild Camp 18-19/4/14

After a seemingly never ending battle with the M6 Bank Holiday traffic and a further slow meander through Windermere I eventually parked up around half past 1.
This was my first ever two night wild camp, my first time in this particular area and I'd also had a sickess bug a few days previous so I was a little apprehensive as I set off.
It was a damn fine summers day as I plodded down the country lane towards Stool End, soon enough the buildings and roads disappeared and the countryside opened up.

I crossed over Oxendale Beck and began the long unrelenting ascent beside Brown Howe, luckily there were streams running beside the path as it required frequent hydration!

Despite drinking a lot of water it wasn't enough, the climb had taken its toll and I needed some food and fast.
I headed to a small unnamed tarn next to the Great Knott, rifled through my pack and fired up the Jetboil, taking in the impressive views of the Langdale Pikes and Pike of Blisco.
It was quite an annoying lunch as it happens.. despite lots of attempts and much swearing the pack would not seal (to aid rehydration) and didn't taste that good either, still it gave me energy to continue and I was grateful for that.

I slung on the heavy pack and headed towards the Crinkle Crags, the going seemed a little easier and the views were opening up, after a short scramble I was atop the first Crag

Despite following what I thought was the path (towards Bowfell), I'd actually ventured to the North West side of the Crinkle Crags.
As it was getting on a bit and I'd found a nice flat spot with fantastic views I decided to pitch where I was and sort out my navigational error the next morning!
I didn't see a soul that evening so after watching the setting sun cast its orangey hue on the surrounding areas I turned in quite early, only to find my sleeping mat had developed a slow leak.. luckily the grass was quite thick and I slept quite well.

A quick breakfast and coffee were had before I packed up, the sun wasn't wasting any time in warming things up!
After carefully negotiating some steep rocky sections I descended and crossed over Rest Gill then made my way up and onto the path I'd lost the previous day.

After some fairly easy terrain I had a quick picture stop at the Three Tarns and continued along and up the loose rocky path to the summit of Bowfell, I spent a couple of minutes taking in the clear panorama and descended on my way towards Esk Pike.

After reaching Esk Pike I was running very low on water and as there were no streams nearby my best bet was the leftover snow up ahead so I just had to be patient.
As I neared the snow I realised the Sprinkling Tarn might be a better option (as it only required a descent) but after passing through Esk Hause I saw a small amount snow on the side of Great End so saved myself a fair old trek!
It was just past lunch time so I treated myself to some hot food as well!

As I was sitting beneath the Great End, it would have been rude not to climb it.. (I was also thinking of possibly pitching up there).
After what seemed like a short haul and passing a fair amount of snow, I reached the summit and realised pitching a tent would be a pain up here due to the rocky ground and limited open space, a shame as it offered brilliant views in every direction.
I descended back down to Esk Hause, passed the shelter and took a right which led me under the big hulk of Esk Pike.
The descent down was easy going and my intention was to pitch up somewhere near Angle Tarn.

I found a gem of a pitch fairly close to the path but completely unseen and with a fantastic view of Glaramara and surrounding area.
Angle Tarn is impressive, it reminded me of a James Bond scene! I strolled down to collect water at 3pm, noting a bright yellow tent already pitched..
Some time later I counted 9 tents pitched around Angle Tarn from my secret vantage point.
I captured some timelapse while I spent time relaxing.


At around 11pm I nipped out to take a few star shots gaping in awe at the sights above, unfortunately failing to do them any justice.
The broken sleeping mat was much more noticable tonight and getting comfy was a struggle, I eventually opted to double it up and put my empty pack underneath it, somehow managing to squeeze on top.

The descent back down took far longer than I anticipated, the broken rocky descent needing a very slow pace.

Nearing the bottom some beautiful water features were a welcome distraction from the pain my boots were now causing.

As I neared the end of my two day journey it began to rain slightly, I didn't care, my heart was set on a filling Northern lunch!
So what did I think of my first two-nighter?
Absolutely fantastic, totally knackering but worth it in every way, I can't wait to crack on with my second :)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Local 'Mini' Wild Camp 4/4/14

Due to a clear night for Friday (and a heavy rain forecast for Sunday) and not having enough time to travel to Kinder in daylight, I decided to stay local.
It was definately for the best as I also forgot to put the contents of the Jetboil back inside.. hence no hot water, so no coffee and a cold Wayfayrer evening meal!
After about 9pm (as forecast) the cloud did a runner and I was treated to a beautiful evening.
I chatted with a fellow walker on the way back to the car, all in all a great little outing :)