TGO - final shakedown.
The aged P being in relatively good health at the mo’ and other calls on the estate being relatively minor, it was possible for a swift rally of the troops for a pre Challenge backpack in the Lakes to shake down the kit and ensure that the limbs were up to the task ahead.
Thursday evening saw us in the Old Dungeon Ghyll for supper and a few beers. The 'us' being me, Alan Sloman, Andrew Walker, David Wilkinson, Shirley Worral and Piglet the Border Terrier.
After packing up the tents, Friday morning saw us stagger back from the camp site to the Old Dungeon Ghyll for coffee and a strengthening of resolve. By 11.00 our resolve was sufficiently strengthened to actually set off. Up Mickleden and Stakes Pass, swinging round Langdale Combe and on to Angle Tarn. There we bumped into another couple of challengers honing their skills and fitness, the ‘legendary’ Terry Leyland and first timer, Jane Hilder.
Onward and upward through mist, drizzle and increasingly poor visibility, we skirted Allen Crags to arrive at High House Tarn – a wonderful wild camp site that we have used a couple of times before (see here and here). A tip about water – being quite high (about 2200ft) there are no streams, but short exploration NE will usually find a little clear spring if rain has fallen recently. If in doubt, fill up beforehand.
A word here about dawgs. Even little dawgs like Piglet are natural thieves, and exploring my open tent the wee porky terrier found and scoffed the entire packet of pancakes that I had brought for my breakfasts. Caveat ambulor.
Saturday saw an improvement in the weather, and as we struck out over Allen Crags superb views of Scafell, Bowfell and Derwent Water came and went through boiling shreds of cloud and sunshine. A truly wonderful sight. Off we went down past Sprinkling Tarn and inevitably down the horrible path to Wasdale and the Inn, where a restorative lunch and a couple of pints fortified us for the ascent of Black Sail Pass. At the summit we swung east along the little path that sort of comes and goes below Kirkfell Crags and the up to camp just beyond Beckhead Tarn, on the col between Kirk Fell and Great Gable. What a spot! The views are just stunning and the full moon and stars made for a memorable night, if a cold one. Fortunately the whisky supplies had held out and we slept like babes as the temperature dropped to zero.
|The view of Wastwater from our camp site|
After that the remaining clouds disappeared for a really sunlit blue sky day, with the Lakeland scenery at its best as we trudged over Esk Hause and down the old coffin path by Rosset Gill to Mickleden and back for a well earned bear at the ODG before setting off for home.
Ascent: 2105m - 6900ft
Distance: 33.2km – 20.6miles
All thoroughly enjoyable and, remarkably, no significant aches and pains either. I might just be ready for the TGO Challenge after all.
p.s For some proper pictures, taken by a proper photographer, pop over to Alan's Blog