The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Day 2 in the Lakes

Sunday saw something of a slow start to the day.

Having switched campsites by 9am we were soon heading out with our sights set on the Langdale Pikes.

However, walking down the road in the rain (Husband was a little bit too pleased to be out walking in the rain again, but he’s a bit strange like that; he likes running in the rain too), I realised that I had forgotten to pick up any lunch for myself. What more of an excuse does one need to pop into the Sticklebarn for second breakfast?

When we finally got ourselves out onto the hillside, after greasy food was eaten and tea drunk, it was under the still falling rain, but the day was warm so waterproofs were soon dispensed with.

Being mid-morning on a Sunday, solitude was not to be had. Despite the rain, the stone staircase that leads up to Stickle Tarn was a veritable motorway, and so it remained the whole way up to the tarn, which is where we made a swift change to our route plan.

The change wasn't caused by the number of people around; rather it was because (for reasons unknown) the original plan omitted Pavey Ark. We rectified the omission and I was pleased that once we made our way from the popular point of the tarn and up Pavey Ark, we were finally by ourselves.

The solitude didn’t last long. By the time we reached the top there were so many people crammed onto the highest point that we decided not to add our sweaty bodies to the jam, so made do with a bit of ‘oohing’ at the view from a few paces away before heading on over to Harrison Stickle.

We probably didn’t take the most direct route to get there, but it was pleasant all the same. After stopping for a chocolate break on the top (more ‘oohing’ at the views – the cloud was happily very high, notwithstanding the rain) it was time to head on over to Pike of Stickle (again, taking an odd route choice, but this time mainly because I was paying no attention at all as we wandered away from the summit).

My recollection of Pike of Stickle is that it was infested with midges, so our time there was a) limited and b) spent slapping myself around the face. Even the rain that started falling on us every time we reached a summit didn’t deter these pesky midges.

A short while later, with Loft Crag under our belts, we had the option of making the day longer by circling back over towards High Raise to descend via Stake Pass (in retrospect, that may have been the best plan) or just calling a day early and heading straight back down.

We saw the heavy rain heading towards us, considered that we would be better saving ourselves for the next couple of days backpacking and headed on down.

The path that we took down was just as rocky (in the same stone-staircase sort of way) as was the path up, but perhaps a little steeper. Alas, the nature of the path soon disclosed that the pulled ligaments in Husband’s knee (the ones that he originally pulled back in March and then aggravated again in May) are still not fully healed. By the time we reached the valley Husband was hobbling notably, and my right knee was feeling the strain too (hindsight: Stake Pass would have been gentler).

We could only hope that after a night’s rest they would be sufficiently recovered for our trip over to Wasdale on the Monday, although we did acknowledge that we may have to omit the planned detour up Scafell Pike on the way.

To be continued…


  1. Hi Gayle

    Just found your blog (thanks to John Hee)


    I thoroughly look forward to following your progress.

    All the very, very best


  2. Thank you Alan.

    That's my first real comment, and from such an accomplished Blogger!

    If I can manage even a fraction of your quality and dedication to blogging on our LEJOG next year, then I shall be pleased.