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]

Friday, 30 December 2011

Patterdale Day 1

Wednesday 28 December

Our long-held plan was to be in Scotland this week, playing in the snow on some hills. A few weeks back I looked for, and found, a suitable campsite, but held off booking it as such was the snowiness of Scotland at the time that I didn't want to book if snowy roads were going to prevent us getting there.

In a complete about-turn in the weather, winter suddenly receded and Christmas day saw a record temperature of 15 degrees recorded in Aberdeen. Desperately we scoured the forecasts for some hope of a return to winter, but all we found were reports of positive temperatures on the summits and webcams showing only patchy snow. Acknowledging that our ice axes were going to remain in the cupboard a while longer we looked for somewhere to go closer to home; it didn't seem worth the fuel to travel so far in the absence of snow. We'll save that fuel for a snatched weekend in February.

And so, here we are in Patterdale, chosen as it offered the most un-bagged Wainwrights accessible directly from the campsite.

We wasted no time in our bagging. Colin had been settled on his pitch for all of half an hour (during which time a quick lunch was grabbed) before we set out with just 3 hours of daylight remaining.

Our jaunt wasn't a long one. High Hartsopp Dodd was attacked head-on (which didn't feel as steep as it looked - a good thing as it looks thigh-burningly steep), and then, having ascended into the cloud, the wind was battled on our way over to Little Hart Crag. The wind made us stagger before Scandale Pass was reached, but finally our route became sheltered again and down below the cloud we dropped.

The light was dulling by the time we climbed back into Colin. The wind was rising too. Colin is being buffetted and we can only hope that the wind will blow itself out overnight. There are more hills to be climbed on the morrow.

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

1 comment:

  1. Patterdale - a wonderful place, even in the wind and rain of a lakeland winter.

    Last time I was on Red Screes it was frosty and the icy rain was freezing to my head - I had a lovely time.

    I'd guess Patterdale in winter is even better when you have a Colin to go back to. Please don't misconstrue that! ;-)

    Its nice to keep up with the hills from the comfort of my sofa - thanks for posting these reports.