Saturday, 7 March 2015

Lake District Wild Camp 26-27/2/15

Route: Langdale-Lingmoor Fell-Pike of Blisco-Langdale.
Map of route:

My last little jaunt hadn't gone at all to plan and I wanted another trip as soon as possible.
I had a couple of limitations though, I was quite badly blistered from my previous trip so it wouldn't be some 40 kilometre epic and also there were strong winds forecast so it would also have to be fairly low level too.
After studying OL6 I eventually came up with the perfect solution..
My journey was uneventful bar the last hour when the heavens well and truly opened in typical Cumbria style!
As I set off West the sun was succeeding in its attempt the break up the gloomy clouds.
The roads showed the signs of a prolonged downpour with the worst hit areas only just passable on foot.

Redacre Gill and the Band.
I made slow progress up the steep road beside Redacre Gill, heading for Blea Tarn initially.

Looking back at the Langdale Pikes.

As I got nearer to Blea Tarn I glanced back at the Langdale Pikes and saw an approaching storm, I quickly delved into my pack and chucked my waterproofs on.
It was only a light shower so I was able to resume snapping away soon after.

Blea Tarn.

Blea Tarn's outflow was also showing the signs of significant rainfall, the footbridge just managing to keep itself above the torrent hurrying beneath.
After a careful crossing I made my way back to the road.

Blea Tarn footbridge getting swamped!
An icy storm hits the Langdale Pikes.
I soon veered off the road and started my ascent of Lingmoor Fell, the strong Westerly wind blowing me completely off course at times.

My slow ascent of Lingmoor Fell was worth it. I had the Langdale Pikes to the North, Crinkle Crags to the West and the Tilberthwaite Fells to the Southwest!

Looking to the Tilberthwaite fells.
As I crossed over the ladder stile I followed the fence Northeast which would lead me to Brown How (the summit of Lingmoor Fell).
I placed my pack down beside a large patch of snow and made the mini scramble to the summit, taking in the panorama of the fine Fells all around.

The Langdale Pikes and Lingmoor Tarn.
I left the summit and headed in the direction of Lingmoor Tarn with the intention of camping somewhere near it, little did I know the area surrounding it would be so boggy.
Collecting water was tricky as there was no way of getting near the tarns banks without completely sinking.
Skirting around it I found a small outflow which provided the best opportunity to fill my reservoir while staying dry.

Lingmoor Tarn.
Knowing a camp here was impossible I set off the short journey for the North edge. It did take a little bit of time to find a level spot but it was worth it, the wind wasn't as bad as expected which was a bonus.

The Langdale Valley looking superb in early evening light.
I soon had the tent up and decided to pitch facing the wind purely for the views it provided. As I'd not bothered with any lunch I had a couple of boil in the bag meals washed down with a coffee.

Not a bad view from the tent.

As the sun got lower I raced to the top of a nearby knoll to get a better view. Unfortunately I saw no sunset but the definition of the cloud was amazing.
An unexpected (and short) hail storm sent me scurrying back down from my vantage point to my tent.

Just before sunset under some amazing cloud.
Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell looking stunning.

Despite a quick glimpse of Orion, the sky was far too cloudy for any decent star shots and I reluctantly headed indoors for an early night.
My alarm woke me at half past six and a quick peer out revealed no sunrise.
I had no solid plan for the second day and decided on a Pike of Blisco ascent would keep me occupied and not be too extreme.
After a half eaten breakfast I packed up and headed West, picking up the path from Lingmoor Tarn.
As Side Pike came into view I realised I'd made a schoolboy error (rendering a few pics unusable).
I'd left the ISO at 1600 from attempting some nightfall shots of the Langdale Pikes and after much cursing I continued on my way.

Side Pike.
When I reached the fence of Side Pike I followed it back down to the road.

As I rejoined the road I had a quick stop for water and a fig bar as I wouldn't be eating again till my next camp.

Quick refreshment break next to Side Pike.
I followed the road for a short while and veered off to find the path up the Pike of Blisco.

The path would take me Southwest beside Redacre Gill and wasn't too draining.

I passed a couple who were having a quick cuppa and we had a brief chat before I continued on my way.

Looking back from my Pike of Blisco ascent.
The route got a bit more technical from about 500m and slowed my pace considerably. I passed a large group of gents who were heading where I'd come from.

Pike of Blisco.
Four jets flew overhead one by one but remained hidden because of the low cloud.
As I only had a short rocky scramble to the summit I placed my pack down, convinced I'd find it very quickly and be on my way.
Reaching the summit took me longer than I thought. Thanks to the low cloud there wasn't much a view from the top and I gave the cairn a quick tap, keen to get out of the exposed and biting Westerly wind.

View from the Pike of Blisco summit.
I descended to roughly where I thought my pack was, nothing. I descended further and traversed back and forth, still nothing.
I carried on searching but couldn't help but think the worst. My car keys, waterproofs, food and pretty much everything else was with my pack. Daylight was against me too. I spent the best part of an hour searching. I was tired and had pretty much given up hope when I stepped up onto a bit of higher ground and found it right in front of me. Relieved wasn't the word, I slung the pack on and began descending, stuffing my face with a couple of fig bars for a much needed energy boost.

Langdale Pikes amongst moody clouds.
I'd managed to lose the path in my haste of descending but I could see from the position of other peaks that I was heading where I wanted to go. I was surprised just how quickly I'd covered ground.

Looking East to my previous night's stay.
Eventually I found the main path and immediately took a minor detour to find a decent place to pitch. I soon found a fairly well drained level spot with a stream nearby. I pitched the tent solidly as my location was quite exposed, then went to grab some water.

Wildcamping heaven!
Tent pitched facing Lingmoor Fell.
Water collected for my nights stay.
After getting everything organised I filtered the water and fired up the Jetboil. I was extremely relieved to have my camp sorted.

How the rain was holding off I'll never know, the clouds looked like they were about to burst any second. I tucked in to a meal for two with gusto.
Some time later just after I'd made myself a hot chocolate it began to rain lightly, it was a cosy feeling as I was all tucked up in my sleeping bag.
An hour or so later the light rain had turned into a full on downpour and strong gusts of wind were frequent, giving the tent a heave every now and again.
As it hit midnight I still couldn't sleep so I decided to put my ear buds in as a last ditch effort to nod off.

Wild Country Sololite after a huge downpour the previous night.
I woke up to quite a grim morning, mist hung in the air and the ground was absolutely sodden. I had a minimal breakfast washed down with a coffee while I contemplated what a cracking little tent this is.

It was raining very lightly and the wind had eased so packing up wasn't too much of a pain. I walked downhill and connected with the main path.

The waterproofs soon came off and I noticed the drainage gullies across the paths were now flowing, they were dry as a bone yesterday!

New and bright Rab Aeon T.
Redacre Gill and Wrynose Fell.
I stopped to let a couple of 'locals' lazily stroll on by. Careful footing was needed near the bottom of the path as small streams were flowing from everywhere.

I rejoined the road I'd traveled up two days ago and once past Wall End was surprised that the barely crossable bit had disappeared completely.

A 'local' taking in his fine surroundings!
The remaining journey back to the car was uneventful and it seemed pretty quiet for a Saturday.

Post camp meal at Wainrights.
I pondered on my trip over lunch. It had almost gone exactly to plan, a perfect little trip with some nice and varied conditions, thankfully my innocent mistake didn't ruin it :)