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Published: August 26th 2012
Today was supposed to be the best weather of the holiday weekend. Looking back, I guess the forecast wasn't wrong as the only thing we didn't have was snow.
A breakfast grapefruit, oranges, yoghurt, muesli, bacon, beans and toast was taken in beautiful sunlight. Shortly after getting in the car and driving to Loweswater, the clouds rolled in and the sun moved elsewhere. On parking, the rain was like stair rods and, with no wind, was there to stay.
The thirty minute wait in the car whilst the rain abated was made more pleasurable by the Cuban music coming from the CD. Finally, with a break in the weather, I rushed out to the boot and put on full waterproofs and my walking boots. In the driving rain, I left Fangs Brow Farm and set off along the waterlogged track towards Burnbank Fell.
In the grey morning light, the grey sheep appeared to look utterly miserable as they chewed their way through rain-soaked grass. Passing through gates, climbing slightly higher, I was hoping that the rain-soaked ground would become less waterlogged but sadly, I found myself standing in running water, several inches deep, whilst trying to determine the
easiest (and best) way up Burnbank Fell.
With the rain having dropped to a drizzle, I began to climb through the sodden grass, slipping on the muddy gradient as I made my way towards the old quarry. Sheep stared as I passed, their little faces dripping wet with the recent rain.
Finally, on the final pull up to the summit, the rain stopped and the sun came out. The wind dropped and my jacket came off. Water ran down the footpath as I headed for the summit. Burnbank Fell's summit has nothing to write home about, even its summit cairn is simply a rather chunky looking fence post. However, the sun was out and all was good.
Following the fence line, I headed to Blake Fell. Sadly, the mist rolled in and the waterlogged ground remained. Water was everywhere and it was difficult not to end up regretting leaving the snorkel back in the hotel. When the mist got to its thickest, a cold wind joined the party. This had the effect of moving the mist elsewhere but sadly resulted in the cooling effect becoming too strong. Luckily, the summit of Blake Fell is crowned by a
shelter - which really does keep one out of the wind.
After a fine dining experience comprising black coffee, bananas, Eccles Cakes and plum loaf, the wind finally died down and the eerie silence was broken only by the sound of a peanut bar being ripped open.
Renewed by the energy (and the sun), the next Wainwright target of Gavel Hill beckoned, just over a mile away to the south, over yet more waterlogged ground.
It didn't take long to reach the summit cairn and it was wonderful to see the familiar mountains around Buttermere from a new vantage point. Red Pike didn't seem so daunting from this angle though Scale Force presented its full face, water cascading from the upper plateau to end up in Crummock.
Having reached the far end of my trip, a compass bearing was required to lead me to the distance cairn and ultimately across purple heather to the end of Black Crag. Carefully descending, sheep scattered as I finally reached the old Drove Road and began the long walk back to the car.
In all, virtually every type of weather had been experienced; wind, rain, sun, mist, drizzle with
temperatures varying accordingly. However, it was the weather that makes walking a pleasure and, provided one's dressed appropriately, the weather just adds to the excitement.
3 Wainwrights, 8.5 miles and an ascent of 2376'.
Tot: 2.426s; Tpl: 0.106s; cc: 10; qc: 28; dbt: 0.0368s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb