An Unexpected Visit to Wetherlam.

An Unexpected Visit to Wetherlam.

I’d sat at home most of the day watching the forecast whilst doing a few DIY jobs around the house and I was in need of getting out. It looked promising after the ‘showers’ cleared off! I was heading for the usual area as the weather was questionable and I thought about if I had to bail out! As I drove to Ambleside the rain got heavier and I started to lose hope! I approached the turn off for Langdale and decided to head that way.. Pike ‘O’ Blisco maybe? As I drove down the valley the rain really started to come down and I wondered if I’d be heading home soon. I carried on and it was bouncing. The cloud shrouded The Band and the Crinkles.. As I approached the valley end I decided to keep driving. Soon I was heading over the top to Little Langdale..The rain still fell heavily and started to form a small stream down the edge of the road. I felt despondent. I knew eventually I would come out at the Coniston junction so I kept driving. The sky eventually started to brighten but it was short lived.. I decided to ring Ste for a good weather moan! I ranted at him about the weather and he had a moan about work and by the time that was done it was brightening up again. I had no waterproofs with me so it had to be dry if I was to set off!! I went to the shop in Coniston and bought some cake to cheer me up for later! I had packed some chocolate for later too  I drove up the Coppermine’s valley and parked near the YHA-I had decided Wetherlam…As you all know I love Wetherlam despite the walk in being a little long. I got out of the car and it was bloody freezing!!!! It’s July I thought!!!! I packed my synthetic as well as my down as I knew it was going to be a cold night….It was good job I did. The wind picked up as I started the long haul up. At least there would be no midges!! Every cloud  Soon I was at the top of Steel Edge- I had really got my head down on the way up. Luckily I had packed the bivvy bag not the tent as it would have been a noisy night otherwise.. The ground was saturated at the summit and I went straight for my favourite flat rock. It was almost too exposed to the wind for it but I managed to tuck in under the overhanging side… It was questionable at first whether or not I would be comfortable but I didn’t have a lot of options – It was really windy and cold with it. I started to wonder if I would be cold with my lightweight bag.. It felt more like autumn…

My perch for the night.
My perch for the night.
My view.
My view.

I put my down jacket on and went for a wander around, my eyes watered in the cold wind and tears streamed down my face!! July! Really!!!!! I headed back to my perch and got the Jetboil fired up ready to do dinner and a hot drink. Soon I was tucking in and my food instantly warmed me (LWWF Chicken Tikka).

Dinner!
Dinner!
Stunning clouds.
Stunning clouds.
Amazing skies.
Amazing skies.
Suns rays.
Suns rays.

It felt quiet for July. I had seen nobody on the way up – no evening runners or stragglers coming off the hill. Still, they had probably checked the forecast.. I decided to look at the Met Office update myself. 4 Degrees feeling like 1 in the wind……Great. To be honest I didn’t mind. I was well kitted up and had my hat and gloves. When I lay down on my bag I felt well protected and it looked like the weather was ringing true and it would be a clear night. After my food I poured my wine and headed back to the summit with my camera to watch the sunset.

Feeling the chill..
Feeling the chill..
Wine and chocolate :-)
Wine and chocolate 🙂

This time last year I was up here in a strappy top and skort. How the seasons change. My fingers felt cold as I took my photos and I put my hood up. I knew I wouldn’t be out for long. The sunset was like Mordor.. It was pretty and at times ominous and foreboding. Not what I was hoping for or expecting but it was beautiful nonetheless and I was in my element.

Ooooooh!
Ooooooh!
Peachy sky!
Peachy sky!
Mordor Sky.
Mordor Sky.
Chilly but happy!
Chilly but happy!

I headed back to my perch and decided that it was time to settle down. The sky was clearing and I felt like the ‘1 degree’ was a reality now. Brrrrrrrr! I finished my wine and got the Jetboil fired up for a final warm drink. Then it was teeth and wash time!!!!! Soon I was snuggled up. I’d had my pain killers and my perch was really quite comfortable..I can’t say I wasn’t surprised. I thought it was going to awful – it looked it. The wind was cold on my face but I felt warm. I kept my down jacket on and my hat and hood. The lights started to come on in the valley below as it felt darker than usual with the heavy clouds at sunset over the sea. The stars appeared and comforted me as I drifted in and out of sleep. I am lucky.. Despite my constant pain….I make the most of things..

Before I knew it the sun was blinding me.. I’d slept straight through sunrise as usual..Standard!

Sunrise from my bag!
Sunrise from my bag!
Breakfast time
Breakfast time
Set up.
Set up.
Clouds!
Clouds!

I was in no rush today as I was heading down to meet my friend to go straight back out on the hill for my day off. I lay around in the sunshine stretching my aching back and legs and stared at the blue sky. The clouds swirled atmospherically around the summit as I brewed up and prepared my porridge. It was lovely. I stayed for ages before making contact with Jude. Soon it was that time again and I started to pack up. Most of my kit had dried out as it was all pretty wet with dew first thing. Soon I was making my way back down. Funnily in 2 hours I would be heading back up Wetherlam by Steel Edge!! It’s a good job I love this mountain 

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