The day was warm when I set off from home for the long drive to Wasdale. I had promised myself Pillar for a long time and still wasn’t sure I’d do it-it would be a hot day and a long walk in. My back wasn’t great that day but I new the sunset would be a good one so i connitted. My best friend Jude had offered to walk in with me as far as Red pike area as she hadn’t been to the stone chair on the west summit.
I got to Broughton and stopped as i needed to get us a pies-sustenance! Poor admin became a reality as I realised my wallet was at home…not the best start. I started to frantically try to ring Jude as I needed to buy some food for dinner tonight..If she didn’t have hers my camp was off! Luckily and much to my relief she called back after 5 mins and she had cash! Winner!. We met at Gosforth and got some food and us amd my dinner for the bivvy!
Jude followed in convoy to Overbeck Bridge car park where we agreed we would set off from. It was warm! We ate our pies and applied our sun block. Jude offered to carry some extra water for me..top friend!
We set off and looked up at the steep unrelenting pull up Yewbarrow. I chuntered about horse flies and ticks and Jude giggled at my moanings! We were soon at the stile and taking the traverse path across to Dore Head; we had already agreed not to do Yewbarrow..thank god! The path evens out now and we enjoyed the next section, chatting, reuniting lambs with their mums-one on one side of the wall and one on the other!!! I had already started to notice large amounts of cow muck here and there…I ain’t fond of cows! As we reached a poiunt where we had a good objective my worst nightmare was confirmed…A herd of 20 large black cows, calf’s and the biggest bull you ever saw! (Jude was none to thrilled either!!!!). Of course, they were right over the path…. We made quite a detour to avoid them and whilst they would probably have done absolutley nothing I wasn’t taking any chances!!! We huffed, puffed and moaned as we battled through the tussocks and bog untill we were at a ‘safe’ distance! We approached Dore Head feeling hot and sweaty-it was great to be out in the sun though..It felt like summer had come at last.
We stopped to take in the view and do a few pictures. The view was breath taking and the fells fairly quiet. We watched a group trying to get up the scramble on the nose of Yewbarrow..they were having a bit of an epic!! Eventually they commiited and all managed..even their little dog..I wasn’t sure how they’d cope at the other end!
Afetr a watering and feeding we continued up the lovely path to the summit of Red Pike. It was blissful. The breeze was keeping the midges at bay and I hadn’t been ‘clegged’ yet! All was well with the world.. We approached the plateau and dumped out packs whilst we went to check out the stone seat. We sat on the throne taking pics and soaking up the sun.
Jude wanted to continue so we headed to the main summit and looked at the stunning rock scenery Red Pike has to offer. My pack was starting to feel heavy and I was looking longingly at Pillar wondering if I could get there! My back was paining me even more. We chatted about how far Jude wanted to go and checked the map for her descent via Scoat Tarn. She still wasn’t done and we were having such a laugh she continued with me all the way to Black Crag. I had noticed the midges were starting to group as the day drew on-we hadn’t set off till 1 ish! As we sorted my water etc I was getting eaten…grrrrr. I was frantically trying to eat all Jude’s food whilst slapping my arms and legs. More repellent needed!
It was time for Jude to head off. We said our goodbyes and went off in our different directions. Shame she couldn’t have stayed..
The descent to Windgap Cove is loose and a little unpleasant underfoot but shortlived luckily, and the pull up Pillar is also unpleasant but shortlived!!! Soon the path plateaued and I was nearing the summit. I ran into 2 chaps who informed me of the fact I wasn’t to be alone… I was gutted!! They informed me I had been beaten to it by another man with his bivvy bag! They joked that he was sharpening his axe when they left him!!! Ha Ha! We had a little more banter and then I carried on, only 5 minutes from the summit…and my bivvy companion………….
As I arrived I noticed someone in the far shelter. I made my way over and said hello. We had a chat and agreed there was loads of room for both of us without feeling we were crowding eachother. I did offer to drop down as he was there first!
I picked a spot looking over the Scafells and Clive (we had introduced ourselves) was overlooking Ennerdale. We couldn’t see eachother at all.
The evening was drawing in and I thought about Jude and how far she had got….My thoughts soon turned to food though.. It was dinnertime. Dolmio Bolognase and rice tonight! Follwed by Eccles Cakes and wine! Soon the Jetboil was fired up and I could almost taste my dinner! It had been a long walk in! As soon as I was done I went to find a spot to sit in the sun and take some photo’s.
I had a little 3G so posted a couple of pics and messaged Jude. It was heaven. The views were stunning and all the fells were turning pink. I walked to the summit and Clive and I chatted as we watched the sunset over Criffel. I took some pictures of him and watched the last of the sun dip. We wished eachother a pleasant sleep and went off in ouer different directions. Time for a hot chocolate before bed.
I went through my usual bedtime routine…teeth, face and hands, moisturise, wee! Soon I was tucked up in my bag staring at the sky. I don’t actually think it got dark. The stars were faint againt a light sky and my finally thought was how funny the sheep sounded wandering around pulling at the grass!
I woke through the night and the sky was getting lighter-I fell immediately back to sleep.. I awoke to bright sunshine. The breeze was cooler and fresher today. I got the jetboil on and made coffee. My new Sea to Summit is fantastic for anyone looking to get one. Super comfy. They do sound like they will be noisy but really aren’t! The new Mountain Equipment Borealis is also brilliant. I love the zip system on it.Smashing bits of kit!
Clive wandered over. He was packed and came to say goodbye to his ‘neighbour’! It was only 6.20am. I was going nowhere for a while. I hot his email to send on the pics and wished him a good day. What a nice fella.
I started to look towards the long walk out and decided it was probably time to head off. I had already decided i would take the same route back as it was the fastest and my back wasn’t up to the other way over Kirk Fell.
I organised my kit and looked around at the summit and the surrouding fells. What a spot. Bivvy perfection!
Soon I was carefully descending from the summit; its super steep and loose so I was glad to be at the cove. I took the Bobby G traverse path round Black Crag and soon was heading back towards Red Pike. It was perfect walking weather.
I was mindful that I had the cows to contend with again soon! Ugh. No Jude to shield me this time! Ha Ha..
They were all there again-all over the path-So yet again I made long detour through the bog to avoid them!
Soon I was at the car. It was intact! Thank God!! I was sad to be leving but the weather was due to turn and the high cirrus cloud was forming telling of an incoming front. Time for home. I’ll definately be back here soon!
A few extra pics!