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 3

Thursday 29 December

It was a dark and stormy night and the rain came down in torrents. Well, actually, the wind finally let up a bit, but the rain most certainly came down.

Seven o'clock came and lying listening to the rain falling I decided that we may as well give it a while to stop so a lie-in was had. The same decision was made at 8am, 9am and 10am (that I was reading a very gripping book may have had an influence, on top of the continued rain).

Finally (with our planned long walk long-abandonned) we had to conclude that if we didn't make a move we wouldn't even be having a short walk, so at 11.30 off we set.
We didn't pick the easiest ascent route to get up Dove Crag. In fact, given the plethora of paths that litter the fells, we probably picked one of the harder going options, as we slogged pathlessly onto the ridge. The ascent and distance was hard won ("good training!" we said), moreover, as in the latter stages we were being lashed painfully by hail and trudging through inches-deep wet snow.

A chat was had with two chaps out doing the Fairfield Horseshoe, when we finally reached the ridge-path. No progress could be made at that point anyway, as we all stood braced against a gust of wind.

On the top of Dove Crag we had a lie down, simply because we couldn't stand. And when we did ajudge it safe to get back to our feet again Mick scurried off almost bent double to make headway, whilst I got blown over. Harrumph!

With another blow-down on our way along the ridge our hopes of getting up Hart Crag were abandonned. Being up there in that weather was madness. We started our descent as soon as we could...

...but Hart Crag was so close and it seemed such a shame not to even attempt it and with the squall having passed through the wind did seem to have dropped a bit. Back up to the ridge we climbed, dithered a little more as to whether our next move was the sensible one, and then we almost ran up to the top, from where we could see the next squall approaching.

With just a quick glance around and a shouted comment about the incredible view the top offers, down we scurried again, glad when we got into the lee of the hill.

Not that things then became easy. The next squall brought snow rather than hail and by then we were making our way down a steep (semi-snow covered) stone staircase where now and again the wind would also find us. I did manage to get below the snow-line in one piece, before next finding myself sprawling on the ground. I'm really not prone to falling over; this was becoming a record day for me, and not in a good way!

Once down the tricky section we soon rejoined our outward route and our thoughts turned to hot drinks and lunch. It was gone 3pm and lunch hadn't yet been taken.

Again, the light was dimming by the time we got back. A good day, we declared (having long forgotten my hunger-induced maudlin rant on the final, slippery, snow-covered bit of the ascent).

Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange


  1. "We had a lie down, simply because we couldn't stand" LOL!!!

  2. I shall pour myself another glass of red in front of the fire, warming to the fact that someone else is doing all the outdoorsy stuff on our behalf.

    Cheers Gayle & Mick!

  3. It sounded very cold and windy, glad something made me happy that I was at work!
    Bet you were glad of "Colin", very handy. We have a motorhome called "Suzie" (long story)and a smart car called "LuLu" cause the car number plate ends in AWC!!

  4. Ops - Anonymous should have said
    Best wishes
    Carol (and you are non the wiser as you dont know me anyway)

  5. Pleased to see you are making good use of Colin. If it's any comfort it's been a bit inclement in Timperley as well. But I did manage an outing yesterday - just to keep AS entertained, I suppose. Had better write it up sometime...
    Have a great New Year.

  6. Louise - It was quite funny even at the time (except when my mind wandered to the thought of 'what if this isn't just a prolonged gust?').

    Alan - Pleased to be of service!

    Carol - Always nice to know who is commenting even if we don't know you other than by name. I used to have a Smart car, but it didn't have a name. In fact, the last vehicle of mine that had a name was my first car, which quickly became known amongst my friends as 'The Heap'...

    Martin - Come on! Get up to date with that Blogging!

  7. Patience, my dear. We only have one computer between us, and JJ has had us out in the pub all day (well, for the 4 hours whilst it was raining...)
    Have fun...