Cloud bagging on Skiddaw

The forecast was rather good, and so me and Lorna decided to make the most of it and head up to Keswick to do Skiddaw. We both hadn’t been up there in quite a while and it was short enough to be a good test for how my hip is doing.

All the way up the M6, the sun was out, and the Howgills in particular looked quite stunning in the early morning light. I was optimistic we were going to have a lovely sunny day out on the fells, however upon turning off onto the A66 my optimism slowly faded, as there bathed in pretty much the only clouds in the sky was Keswick and it’s surrounding mountains. As we’d driven so far our only choice was to go for it and hope it cleared up!

The summit of Skiddaw

The summit of Skiddaw

We parked at the Latrigg car park and headed up the “tourist” route, a route I haven’t been up for over ten years now. We were into the cloud pretty much straight away, and that cloud stayed with us all the way over Little Man and onto the summit itself. There was a small break when we were traversing across to Sale How, and this gave lovely views of Blencathra. By the summit of Lonscale Fell, however, we were back in the cloud again.

Blencathra from Skiddaw

Blencathra from Skiddaw

It was still great to be out in the fells again though, and we both had a fun day practising a bit of nav and bagging a few new Nuttalls (Sale How and Lonscale Fell) for me.

A run around Langdale

Time for more Welsh 1000m Peaks training! I did this run on 29 May 2012.

I thought I’d better try and squeeze another long fell run in before the Welsh 1000m Peaks race, and being car-less meant I was limited to where public transport could get me. Fortunately, the Lakes has a good (but expensive) public transport network and it’s relatively easy to get from Lancaster to Ambleside, albeit with a rather early start. I caught the 7am train to Windermere and then the bus to Ambleside and finally the Old Dungeon Ghyll. I dropped my bags off at the National Trust (who were more than happy to look after them for the day) and set off on my run.

From the Stickle Barn car park, I headed up to Stickle Tarn and then east onto Martcrag Moor. I took a direct (pathless) route across the moor to the Stake Pass and then the runner’s trod up Rosset Pike, finally joining the main path just before Angle Tarn. From here, I went on to Esk Hause and then up Scafell Pike via Great End and Broad Crag.

The run started in heavy cloud cover, but by the time I got off Scafell Pike it had started to clear. There was a surprising amount of people up on the hills for a midweek day, and a worrying number with very little gear or no gear with them.

Scafell Pike

A cloudy summit of Scafell Pike

I next went over Esk Pike and Bow Fell. My plan had been to top up my water bottle from the stream in Ore Gap (between Esk Pike and Bow Fell), but with all the dry weather recently, it had completely dried up. After Bow Fell I was forced to drop down a few hundred metres before I found a small trickle in Buscoe Sike – not ideal but I didn’t have much choice! I tried to pick out the racing line under the scrambly ridge of Crinkle Crags, in practice for the Langdale Horseshoe in October, and I managed to stick to it pretty much perfectly. It fortunately took me over Rest Gill, which was flowing quite fast, and so I replaced the dodgy water I’d acquired previously. The final hill was Pike o’ Blisco and it was the first one that I had to myself. I spent a good 15 minutes sitting around on the summit, taking in the glorious views and sun.

Pike of Blisco

Summit of the Pike of Blisco – lovely and sunny!

Back down in Langdale, I had about an hour to wait until my bus and so had a pint of shandy in the Stickle Barn whilst drying out and watching the world go by – lovely!

Langdale

Back down in Langdale