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.
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.|
|Looking over to Bowscale Fell.|
|Sunset beyond Skiddaw.|
|Blencathra at dusk.|
|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.|
|Blencathra and its edges.|
|Skiddaw from Blencathra.|
|Gategill Fell Top.|
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 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.