Monday, 14 April 2014

Back to the Lakes

With couple of days off from work last week I jumped at the opportunity to nip to the Lake District for a camp and a bit of a wander.

Having just about decided what gear I'd be taking on the TGO Challenge I packed it all up (with a couple of changes/exceptions) and early Thursday morning made my way over to the Western Fells via the recently re-opened B5289. I love this area of the Lake District, it's the area I've visited the most and for me the saying 'West is best' seems to ring true. 

I got parked up and left the car just before 8, it wasn't raining but it was pretty hazy and the low cloud came and went as I made my way up Base Brown and on to Green Gable where I had a breakfast stop.

Hazy breakfast stop atop Green Gable

Fed and watered it was onwards to Great Gable crossing Windy Gap and making my way to the summit from its Eastern flank. Arriving at the top I was soon joined by another chap who'd come from spending the night camped at Styhead Tarn, we got chatting and he said it'd been a blustery night with his tent getting flattened part way through the night, I hope he managed to sort some kind of repair as he was planning to be out for another 4 nights. After a quick chin wag I made my way to the Westmorland Cairn to take in the views however due to the low cloud there wasn't much to be seen. 

Windy Gap living up to its name

Nice to see the memorial back in place on Great Gable

From here I decended to Styhead and joined the Corridor Route to make my way up Scafell Pike, reaching the summit by about 12:30 ish. It was nice to have the summit to myself even if only briefly. After a few minutes of reaching the top I was soon joined by a number of people from all directions. It's the first time I've seen Prayer flags up here and whilst I do quite like the look and idea behind them I can't help but think it's just littering the hill top and if lots of people started to leave them the hills would soon become a bit of a mess. Anyway...

Prayer flags on Scafell Pike summit

I only hung around long enough to take a few photo's before making my way towards Broad Crag and on to Great End. From here it was down towards Esk Hause via a water stop and then on to camp. I'd originally planned to camp a little higher but I wasn't 100% sure what the weather was planning so descended to find somewhere a little more sheltered. 

Spotted an Akto nicely tucked away on my way to camp

It didn't take long to find a nice flat spot and get the Cuben DuoMid pitched, with some light drizzle starting just after I got pitched. After a brew I took a wander round the Tarn and took a few photo's before returning to camp and getting the rest of my sleeping stuff out ready for the night ahead. I had a nice short doze whilst laying back taking in the views before waking up and having another brew and then a hot meal before climbing in for the night.

Camp for the night

It was my first night out with my new Marmot sleeping bag and it was a mild night, I'd have probably been better with my lighter ME top bag but I was keen to get a few nights in the Marmot before taking it on the TGO in May. The Marmot feels superb and appears to be very warm for its 655g weight, first impression are good :-)

Wider view of camp

I had a good sleep, waking a couple of times for no real reason and soon nodding off back to sleep each time. I think there was light rain for most of the night and the odd gust of wind but nothing to bother the DuoMid. Needing to get home to make a start on my never ending list of DIY jobs, day two started with a quick breakfast before taking the short wander back to the car via Grains Gill. The cloud was down and there were no views to be had so I didn't feel like I was missing out too much by heading straight home. 

All in all a good couple of days, it was good to be out again and to stretch the legs over a few hills :-)


7 minutes of your life you'll never get back

Route Profile for day 1

Day 1 Route


  1. Nice wild camp and that can become a busy place to camp. Ace photos and I do like Cuben kit :)

    1. Thanks MArtin, yeah it's a busy little spot but nice all the same. The Duomid is my first cuben shelter and it's a beauty. Cuben's not for every shelter design but when it works it works well

  2. Nice one Matt, I like that route, might have to borrow it one weekend

    Tidy job on the vid mate

    1. Cheers Shewie, yeah it's not a bad little route, wanted to get some ups in so thought I'd do both Great Gable and the Pike.

      Thanks re the video, still all new to me but enjoying having a play :-)

  3. Nice pictures there Matt, have you done away with the Trailstar? Was the lure of Cuben fibre too much?

    1. Never! How dare you even suggest such a thing ;-)

      The Trailstar will be back out to play this weekend, don't want her getting jealous

    2. I had mine out in the Peaks this weekend, it drizzled and blew a bit but my son & I were nice and comfortable inside. Already planning the next trip, hopefully to mid Wales.