It’s been over a year since I’ve visited the Cumbrian fells. My last trip – for the other half’s 40th birthday – was a wonderful week of friends, campfires, canoes, great food and liberal imbibing.
During that trip I managed to squeeze in a couple of classic Lakeland walks – the Coldedale Round and Blencathra via Sharp Edge – although the card on my camera corrupted so those excursions didn’t make the pages of this blog sadly.
Last week we returned. A number of motivational factors aligned: we needed an escape, we had a new tent to ‘test’ and the forecast looked OK. I booked the Friday off work and we trundled up the M6 amid seemingly endless road works to Keswick.
Our destination was the campsite at Braithwaite (although we generally prefer a ‘wilder’ camping experience, the loos are top notch). Our home was a Vango Force 10 Mk5 Classic – a voyage into the ‘Old Skool’. More thoughts on this venerable shelter in a later post.
The clear highlight of the weekend was Saturday’s walk in stunning conditions, though. We’d planned to tackle the Coledale Round again, but compacted snow and ice on some slopes forced a rethink given our lack of walking spikes or crampons. Half an hour kicking steps for my walking partner to follow might have been a contributory factor too.
We consoled ourselves skipping along the ridge of Scar Crags and Causey Pike before scrambling and bum shunting off its rocky knuckle of a summit. A relatively gentle descent delivered us back at camp.
It was sublime.