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Published: September 2nd 2012
I was in two minds whether to venture into the mountains this morning. The mountain forecast indicated low cloud, persistent rain, chance of thunder, cold and free cream cakes on the summits. Over breakfast, I was pleased to see that the rains had come overnight and the morning was warm. I was also pleased to see the mountain tops from my table. I was disappointed to realise that there would be no free cream cakes on the summits as I'd made it up.
Even so, I was still dubious about embarking on a walking trip with such a forecast and so, I drove to Martindale and opted to climb Hallin Fell first - only an ascent of 525' and almost a mile. From the summit I'd be able to check the proposed route for the day and see whether the cloud base was as low as forecast. On reaching the summit, it was plain that the cloud base was above the summits but it was also clear that the wind was rather strong. Cloud was coming along but being blown from the tops at speed - my decision therefore, was to continue.
With the first Wainwright of the day
complete, I moved the car to the base of Beda Fell and began the long climb. It began to rain, so I got out the waterproofs. The rain stopped, so I packed away the waterproofs. It began to rain again, so the waterproofs came out and then the rain stopped. This continued three or four times, each time it being too wet not to have protection but, with no rain, too warm to wear something.
Finally, Beda Head was reached and, finding shelter from the wind, my first cup of coffee of the walk was taken.
Continuing across to the Angletarn Pikes, I came across a group of 15 to 20 youngsters who had been camping on the summit. Their guide told me that the rain overnight had been very heavy, whipped up by a very strong wind - even though they'd been sheltered on the summit. It didn't bode well for the rest of the walk.
Nevertheless, I'd enough equipment and supplies in my rucksack to stay overnight, though I knew it wouldn't be necessary.
Two miles after leaving Beda Fell, I climbed to the (south) summit of Angletarn Pikes and shortly after, to the
The descent past Angle Tarn was accompanied by the roll of distant thunder and the beginnings of a cold wind. The summit of Rest Dodd appeared through the low cloud, shelter from the wind and rain being provided by the meagre cairn. There was no shelter from the thunder although my snack was interrupted by the sound of a helicopter. Peering through the cloud, excepting to see Mountain Rescue, I was relieved to view a private machine making its way through into Patterdale.
The ascent to The Knott was made in a strong and cold westerly, coffee being taken in the shelter of a, well, wind shelter!
Rampsgill Head followed shortly after although, in the mist, great care was needed to ensure I didn't go too far near the edge.
Two more Wainwrights were to follow with Kidsty Pike being particularly difficult to reach given the lack of visibility, the strength of the wind and the fact there was a very long drop hidden in the mist. Finally, High Raise was reached after which, the sun appeared and the wind died down.
The five mile walk back to Martindale in the sunshine was
a great opportunity for my gear to dry out - a fitting end to a few days walking in the hills.
9 Wainwrights, 14 miles and a total ascent of 3742'. Nice!!
Tot: 2.443s; Tpl: 0.058s; cc: 12; qc: 31; dbt: 0.0297s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb