Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Its funny what the high point of a day can be!

We left Hutton moor end c&c site at 7.45 with the brooding blencathra towering above us in low cloud! So sticking with the just do it attitude we crossed some farm land and headed up the nearest shoulder of blencathra called scales fell ,now this is damn steep ! With full backpacking gear on its ###+*** hard! Progress became walk 10meters then rest ! And so on, this is how we went up to 450meters above sea level then things leveled out a bit (I should say no rain yet! ) with cloud billowing up and back over the cliff to our left visibility was poor, bit very moody! As we approached the top with the terrifying sharp edge visible to our left the cloud rose above the peak for the first time showing the last sharp ascent had actually started! To our right a chap was actually taking on sharp edge and behind us another chap was following us up ,first to the cloudy summit we flopped onto the rocks for a snack just in time for the chap following to take our pic! :)
Then we headed to foul crag and downhill on munrigsdale common to the cloven stone where a path lead us to the remote yha hostel below Skidaw ,here we met a recently married couple walking the cumbria way for they're honey moon!
From the yha its straight up sale how (a hill! ) once again back to the ten meters and stop approach! Then onto the ridge approach up to skidaw the cloud had dropped again and visibly was nill but the final approach to the summit is pretty easy, getting off is another story !
The rout down was over scree jagged slate type scree and since the path was lost in the cloud it was down to luck! If that's what you can call it, this scree was at least 60 degrees from horizontal so slipping down hill we eventually found  longside edge our route now this ridge was amazing the views so grand, on a clear day you couldn't want for a better view! Roll on that day!
The three kilometres down long side edge took quite some time but very good walking ,then back to reality for a quick push along the a591 to a campsite near bassenthwaite ,entering we meet a fella called Tony who gave us the great news that the local pub the Sun inn served food and was dog friendly! :)
A good meal and few pints later I was chatting to Tony again, mentioning we're heading past conniston he remarked that he knows a girl runs a pub nearby in Torver which also allows camping! Perfect! This chap is the highlight of the day, its only when your out doing this kind of thing that you really see the value of what you get given!

A day of delights!

Well that was a cold night! Definitely below zero Alfie's water had frozen!
First glance out the tent at 5.45 and we were still in the clouds! But by the time breakfast had been cooked and eaten a magnificent view of the easterly ranges greeted us with far off blencathra a just a distant smudge through the haze!
Setting off along high street again we climb over loadpot Hill the last ascent on this range ,no more than a Hill but tired legs told different! Downhill all the way from here to pooley bridge a delightful 8k with Ulls water to our left. entering the village the first stop was for a fry up the first proper meal in two and a half days! Lovely!
A stop for provisions then out of the village and immediately over a conical hill (a mere pimple it had looked from above! ) now through farmland to Dacre with its castle (will have to visit another day! ) and through more fields to Penruddock visiting my first pub of the walk for a beer and sandwiches, road waking east from here to trout beck where the Roman camps marked on the map were barely visible. ..not worth a picture sadly, carrying on along the road blencathra dominates the horizon and our rout up is visible so too is sharp edge. ...no no no never going up that, looks terrifying! (Right hand side of picture).
Now with an early finish (just after four ) we can rest up a bit and charge gadgetry for tomorrow.