Wednesday 22 October 2008

Trip Report - Wast Water Fells Part Deux

Start: Yewbarrow

Finish: Wasdale Head Inn

At the time that pitch looked flat and inviting but upon reflection is was neither of those things! We both slept pretty badly and the blustery wind didn't help much. The Seedhouse SL2 stood up to it perfectly though and I was satisfied how robust it's turning out to be. The home-made footprint does exactly what I'd hoped and was hassle free to fit since I'd rigged it to connect to the tent poles in the same way the inner tent is designed to.

We woke around 7.30 and we realised we ought to get moving. The weather was closing in again and we decided to grab breakfast on the move and pack away before the rain kicked in. This had the additional benefit that Paul wouldn't have time to stick anything to his Jetboil, for now at least!

My moody 'sore-knee' face on Yewbarrow

As we moved along the backbone of Yewbarrow heading southwest to the summit cairn, I noticed my right knee was delivering the first twinges of impact damage to the cartilage. I often get this after sustained rocky descents and I was surprised it had come on so soon. We continued on to a ledge on south-west before the track just seems to fall away into slippery rock and scree. By this time I could barely bend my knee and it was becoming clear this wasn't just a passing episode. We stopped for a brew and a chocolate bar as a late breakfast whilst I let the pain killers kick in.

Paul's moody 'Marcus has a sore knee' face

As far as hills go Yewbarrow has something for everyone. The ascents from south west and north east have something for everyone, and the views from anywhere along the summit plateau give some of the best paparazzi shots of the Lake District's more famous celebs: Scafell Pike, Great Gable, Kirk Fell, Seatallan, Red Pike, and on good day even Fleetwith Pike.

View over Wast Water with Great How in the distance

The painkillers made a world of difference but I felt every step down and scree slide as we came down from Yewbarrow. Needless to say my knee wasn't happy by the time we rejoined the lower tracks and as I looked back up to YewBarrow I could see why!

Looking up to Yewbarrow from Dropping Crag

We followed the path which leads to the road alongside Wast Water and at Wasdale Head's National Trust Campsite it was decision time. The plan for today had been to get into Wasdale Head and then spend a few hours at the Inn for lunch and a few pints, before making our way up Lingmell via Brackenclose for the pitch around Lingmell Crags ready for the early Scafell Pike assault the following morning. With all this in mind I didn't feel it wise to attempt this with my dodgy knee and my injured hand. We undertook what we now refer to as realtime, dynamic route-management (also known as a change of plan) and opted for the: "camp at NT campsite and spend day in pub" option!

It was a touch annoying for me as I'd really wanted this to be a true 3 day backpack and everything bar my injured body was going extraordinarily well. The pack was comfy, my new trail shoes had kep my feet blister-free and dry, all the new gear had performed flawlessly and we were on track for a great finish. In hindsight I know I did the right thing and the way I see it its an incentive to go back and finish the remainder of the route soon. As it turned out we still had a great time but beware the power of a few too many pints of Wasd'ale

Paul after a few too many Wasd'Ales

I'll post detailed reviews of the new gear in due course but for now I hope you enjoy the report.


baz carter said...

Let's see. You ride a bike right? I bet you push off on your right leg...

Marcus said...

Hi Baz,

Yep, I think I do, why?

I had a feeling I might be overcompensating on my right side because of the injury to my left hand??

baz carter said...

I've been suffering with my right knee as well and I think it's bike related. Got a physio appt tomorrow so I'll see what they say.

Martin Rye said...

Part deux to read as well. More photos as well. You are spoiling us Marcus. Any way keep at it and get along to the meet up arranged in Cambridge by Darren over at White Spider - if you can that is.

Marcus said...

Hi Baz, let me know what the physio said if you get chance? I'd be interested to hear what they think.

Martin - thanks again for the positive comments, it all helps.
I fancy the meet in Cambridge in November but wasn't really sure what the dealio is with invites etc...

Martin Rye said...

Your invited. See you there.

baz carter said...

I'm thinking of putting my head around the door...