Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Lakes Weekend - Day One

I'd never been to the Lakes before but I had high expectations for our weekend trip on 3rd to 5th september. It was actually much better than I had expected! Everything worked out just right. Keswick, our choice as a base (with its numerous watering holes), the weather, our choice of routes and the simply awesomely awesome scenery. Yes, I was rather impressed. I'll break the trip report into 3 days.

First up on Friday, following the delightful 5 hour drive from South Wales with Chopper and Nicholls, was a short afternoon walk up Blencathra (or Saddleback as it is also known). We met Dave (who had travelled from London in his trusty Toyota picnic!) at the campsite in Keswick and quickly put the tents up before the short drive to Scales on the A66 where the walk started. The weather was dry and sunny, but hazy, so this lent itself to a traverse of Sharp Edge, one of the famous knifeedge ridges in the Lakes. The initial path is quite steep and a bit bland until you gain altitude and Blencathra's summit pops into view.

The route was obvious in the clear conditions and a map was hardly needed. After dropping down to Scales Tarn, we paused for a few minutes then got straight on with the best bit of the day.

The exposure was nowhere near as bad as I expected and the ridge is fairly short, but it is fun and makes for good photo opportunies.



Dave and I
The rock was quite polished and you could see why it would be much trickier in wet or wintry conditions. But the four of us flew across without any problems. The best bit for me is the steep scramble up at the end.

We scrambled up and found a near deserted plateau and then stopped for a lunch break on the summit. The views were very hazy due to the conditions which was a shame. We decided upon Doddick Fell as adescent route and not Halls Fell Ridge. We regretted this later when we read the route options in Trail Magazine...they reckoned upon Halls Fell Ridge as being a great choice for a descent. Anyway, the walk was very enjoyable indeed and made for an excellent first route in the Lakes for all of us.
Sharp Edge
Day 2 and 3 to follow.

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