Saturday 31 December 2011
As I mentioned, our fourth night wasn’t spent in Patterdale, as it turns out that it’s necessary to book well in advance if you want a hard-standing on a campsite around New Year. A bit of phoning around did eventually find us somewhere to spend the night, just south of Keswick, and once we were all pitched up, a look at the map told us that our final walk for 2011 was going to be a quick trip up Seat Sandal. It was the obvious choice for a quick outing, given that we’ve already been up all of the hills around it.
Unsurprisingly, given the preceding four days, we weren’t greeted by a blue-skied morning when we first peeked outside. Undeterred by the greyness and low cloud, by half past nine we were parked up at Dunmail Raise and our pre-departure faff had commenced. Somehow it turned into a mega-faff and by the time we were ready rain was falling.
It was but a shower, and a quarter of an hour later not only had it passed, but we had ascended above the first layer of cloud and into a clear pocket. Things were looking up!
Bit grey. Lots of water around.
Of course, it couldn’t last. By the time we got to the top it was raining in earnest and we were well and truly in the cloud again, but the walk to get there had been an easy and pleasant one alongside the rushing burn.
On another day we would have made a circuit by walking down the spur towards Grasmere, but given that we couldn’t see anything anyway there seemed to be little benefit in doing that. We simply performed an about turn and back down we went.
The rain didn’t let up the whole way down, so once again it was two soggy people who stripped off raingear on returning to Colin. His shower room is a handy place to dump wet stuff, and we had plenty of it.
So, five days walking, seven Wainwrights visited, five rainy days and two windy days. Can’t complain really. It was all good fun in spite of the wetness, and the law of averages would suggest that we were overdue a wet and windy December trip to the Lakes.
Our holiday wasn’t entirely over. On the way home we popped by to see Conrad, with whom we enjoyed lunch and swapping of plans for the upcoming year. Then we spent a ridiculous number of hours trying to get home (a lengthy process due to a closure on the M6 which involved the passage of an hour and a half during which time we progressed a paltry two miles south). We made it home in good time to see in the New Year with a bottle of something appropriate.
New Year already! Must be time to publish my annual graphs describing last year’s walking statistics, mustn’t it?