Saturday, 24 October 2015

Lake District Wild Camp 2/10/15

I parked up at Mungrisdale just before 2pm and set off towards pastures new. This was my first visit to the northern Fells and I'd packed enough supplies for a comfortable two nights; I say comfortable as I'd brought the Force 10 Ion 2 with me.
I chose a slightly more direct route up Souther Fell which meant battling a tough incline and despite being October it was like a summers day!

I began to regret not collecting water lower down, I was starting to struggle and my body temperature was all over the place. I thought back and my only drink had been a coffee quite a few hours ago.

When I made it to the top of Souther Fell I was greeted by numerous little pools which could be used as a last resort (as the water would need boiling). Instantly I felt better and began to make my descent, my eyes finally locking on to the River Glenderamackin far below.

I decided to take no more chances and aborted my route up Scales Fell, instead dropping down to take on much needed water.
The gurgling little stream was absolute heaven and I glugged until my head started to feel numb!

I plodded onward up a gentle ascent passing the last of the days walkers heading back down to civilisation.

Sharp Edge.

As the sun sank over Blencathra the valley began to feel a little cold and dewy. I dropped down to a nearby stream and collected water for my first nights stay.

Once out of the valley I was greeted by warm evening sunshine. After a final stop for a couple of cups of water I walked the short remaining journey to the summit of Bannerdale Crags.

After a filling tea with some bread and wine, I took a short stroll to find a decent spot to camp.
Amongst the tussocky grass were a couple of lovely yet small short-grassed areas which were nice and flat, perfect!

Evening meal on Bannerdale Crags.
Inversions were everywhere, I'd seen them from afar before but never right beneath me!

Looking over to Bowscale Fell.
As the sun dropped behind Skiddaw there was an incredible feeling of calm and peace. The colours were stunning; delicate pastels with fine mist which added to the beauty of it all. It's hard to put into words how special an evening it was.

Sunset beyond Skiddaw.
Blencathra at dusk.
I listened to music for an hour before peering out at 10pm. I could see the Milky Way quite easily and decided to head out for some photographs.

Milky Way between Blencathra's saddle.

I'd been out a couple of hours and the Moon was beginning to rise from the North East so I decided to call it a night.
I hardly slept and was less than impressed when my alarm woke me at 06:30. I begrudgingly got out of my toasty sleeping bag.
My mood soon changed as I took in the beautiful dawn sky, there were vibrant orange shades over to the east and delicate pinks over to the west.

Force 10 Ion 2 at dawn.
Sunrise from Bannerdale Crags.
After watching the sunrise I headed back inside for a coffee, I felt like going back to bed but it was getting light and I needed to pack up and vacate this amazing place.

Blencathra and its edges.
Blencathra was my next stop and looked huge (even though I was just below the 700m mark!). Progress was slow up Blencathra's steep path and all but the highest peaks were hidden by a white sea of cloud.

Skiddaw from Blencathra.
Gategill Fell Top.
I reached Blencathra's summit quite early and in solitude but it soon became busy with people arriving from the various different routes to the summit.
I sat down and tucked in to a fig bar whilst watching the cloud below occasionally creep up onto Blencathra's saddle.
After a quick sip of water I slung my pack on and set off back the way I'd came.

Water was my main priority as yesterday's stocks were nearly depleted. I chose to pass the pool on Blencathra's saddle in favour of some running water I'd passed yesterday.

Memorial with Skiddaw behind.
I made a misty descent off Blencathra and found a clear stream very close to the path. I had lunch nearby and went back to top up my reservoir, it was a warm day and I didn't want to run out of water.

I made my northeast across some boggy ground which required a keen eye to avoid sinking. Heavy mist drifted across the hillside making progress a bit more of a challenge, I could hear voices behind me but they remained hidden by the mist.
After a quick tap of the summit I walked a short distance away and plonked my kit down. It was now early afternoon and I had a couple of cups of squash whilst mulling my plans over. An hour or so later and I was still deciding what to do! The mist was still rolling in and showed no signs of lifting so I made the tough decision to leave the mountain and head back to the car.

I kept a storming pace down the rough path all the way to Mungrisdale. As much I hate to lose a night's wildcamping, the first night had been complete and utter perfection so the trip had been well worth it.

River Glenderamackin.
Hopefully the next time I'm in the Lakes I'll be treated to some cool winter conditions, there's nothing better than the Lake District in winter :)

Friday, 9 October 2015

Lake District Wild Camp 10-11/6/15

A big apology for this one as it took place back in June! I've been debating whether or not to cover it over these past months as it was my first two night wildcamp which wasn't solo (therefore being much harder to write). I've finally decided to show some of images from it instead. I had a lot of uncertainty leading up to the trip but it was a great success and something I'd definitely do again with the right person. Enjoy the photographs :)