Saturday, 1 May 2010

Back Where It All Began – Day 3

DAY 3 Sunday 7 March 2010

Once again, I woke at various points throughout the night feeling cold. There was a light but persistent breeze and with the fly so high off the ground it was finding its way in and swirling around inside the tent. Perhaps this is one of the downfalls of the Scarp and hopefully Henry will soon have a replacement fly for the Scarp 2 as he has already with the Scarp 1. Not to let it get the better of me I just donned the down vest, had a Double Decker and went back to sleep!

I woke again just before 7 and decided I’d make a brew before getting out of the sleeping bag. There were considerable amounts of ice both inside and out on the flysheet but the instant gratification experienced when looking at the view from my bed distracted from the cold.

View_from_tent Sunrise on Mellbreak from the tent

Once again pre-heating the fuel made lighting the stove easier and 10 minutes later we were dozing with hot cups of tea and some breakfast bars. Looking east the sun was just about to make an appearance over Great Round How and we eagerly awaited the soothing warmth that would soon engulf the cold, damp tent.

sunrise_pitch The sun just touching the tent as we sat above the tarn soaking up the rays.

Though we wanted to de-pitch early (we were close to the path) it was hard not to want to just take it all in. We wondered around the tarn and sat on the tall rocky outcrop trying to capture some of the suns warming rays as early as possible! sunrise_blackbeck Sunrise creeps up on Blackbeck Tarn

The sky was clear and the tops were bathed in the early morning glow – It was going to be another stunning day.

catalogue_pose Paul and his catalogue pose – he is available for photoshoots all over the UK and abroad, just tel: 07……..

Finally realising that we’d left it long enough, we headed back down pack away the tent. By the now the sun had made it to the frozen surface of the tarn and deep cracking sounds began to echo around the natural basin of rock.

snow_formation In no time at all the tent was down, our bags were packed and we were saying goodbye to another great pitch. Picking up the path Paul spoke of his ‘need’ for an inversion but Buttermere wasn’t playing host today. At the slate bothy we decided we would pick up the dismantled tramway directly over to the Honister Slate Mine as opposed to venturing up onto Fleetwith Pike as was the original plan. The track was buried in snow and as it rises to the crest, looking back we could see an inversion just licking over the edge of Looking Steed – Paul was well and truly gutted!

missed_inversion An inversion teases Paul as we move west to the Honister Slate Mine.

The views all around were incredible and it was a shame to be leaving on such a perfect day. The old tramway is a very direct route across the fell and this was all happening a bit too quickly. The track is well trodden and the snow compacted and icy with the sun bouncing off it to burn my retinas. Up ahead, Paul’s pace slowed until he just stopped and looked bag with maniacal grin on his face. At first I just put this down to wind but as I approached it was clear what was going on.

disused_tramway Paul slows up ahead, seemingly frozen as I approached along the dismantled tramway……

The view opened out and whilst Borrowdale wasn’t full with  a swirling, milky inversion, the likes of Thirlmere and Grasmere were and we just stood there taking it all in as the sun beamed down on our wind-burnt skin. The Gods were playing with Paul but he didn’t care – it was close enough for him and I got a real sense he was going home all the happier for it.

helvellyn_inversion2 The stunning winter landscape ahead at the peak of the tramway.

We could see for miles, with Helvellyn prominent on the horizon, and seemed to show the inversion just who was boss.

helvellyn_inversion Hellvellyn above the inversion as it dominates Thirlmere.

The trip was drawing to a close as we dropped steeply down to the slate mine just as groups of people began to approach from the opposite direction. We’d timed it perfectly to claim the morning in the mountains to ourselves and there was nothing left to do but, save for Paul to tame an obligatory stone lion of course…..

animal_cruelty Paul shows his true modelling prowess – now available to work with animals!

3 comments:

Martin Rye said...

A low flysheet might help but the truth is cold air just seems to soak in no matter what. The hills look so good in the cold clean air and the photos have me dreaming of my next trip.

James Boulter said...

I just love those moments when you wake up to a perfect morning with clear blue skies and the sun just about to hit the tent and warm it up. Those skies look amazing.

Maz said...

Me too - the snow adds something to it, too. One thing I found helps (not so much with ice of course) - and this may just be me displaying my OCD again, but I wipe the condensation off with a pack towel, wringing as I go. If the sun's out, no need to do that, but you don't always get that luck! Better than carrying half a litre of condensation/dew on your tent...