So, I am blogging historically now as the weather is so awful I haven’t been out for weeks.
Some nights really stay with you and this was one of them. It was 30th April 2015. And yes, I was on my favourite mountain, Wetherlam. I had half expected to have to pack up and retreat but I picked a winner!
I had parked in my usual spot in the Coppermines Valley. The forecast was hit and miss but I was optimistic…..The air was cool and clear and I inhaled deeply as I set off, energised by the fresh air and space around me. The wind was fresh but not too gusty. I headed to Hole Rake stopping on the way to fill my water carrier which I would filter later.
It was later in the afternoon as I had got away from work early, I had plenty of time and daylight to get up high. The rocks in the path are al so familiar now! I love mentally picking them out.. What an oddity I am!! Soon I was nearing the path junction which heads up the broad back of the mountain. There really is a huge amount of camp and bivvy spots on Wetherlam. I spy them out on the way up but am always so keen to get as high as possible I will probably never venture to them!
I crossed Red Gill Head Moss and onto Lower Hows. The wind was a little stronger than earlier but the sky was blue, it was sunny and the air was incredibly clear! Perfect….. Apart from the black skies over Blencathra… I knew by the wind direction I was going to ‘get it’!! I decided on a pitch on the west side of Hen Tor to try to get a little bit if protection. I hurriedly set about getting the tent up. Knowing how ro get your tent up quickly is always a bonus! Soon I was under the protection of the Halcyon. It is a smashing little tent. The sky darkened outside and the wind whipped up instantaneously. Then the hail started.. It was raging outside amd I worried for the tent.. It staunchly stood its ground and yet again kept me protected. Half an hour and it was all over. I had busied myself with some Uncle Bens rice with pepperami and Dolmio sauce whilst I was tent bound!!! Very good it was too..
I popped my head out and apart from a covering of hail it was back to bright skies. I had a wander around and a quick forecast check and decided it would be safe to move to a more exposed position with better views. Soon I was re-pitched. I had managed to drag/carry the tent intact for the short distance to my chosen spot. Soon I was all set up again.. I had a perfect view. The wind had dropped and the evening was drawing in. The golden hour came and it was one of the finest. It was promising to be chilly for nearly May!..
It’s not difficult to get great pictures when the weather is this good. I was mindful of the temperatures dropping as my fingers started to nip. Speaking of nip…. Singleton time
As the sun dipped i sat in awe of the sheer beauty and peace that enveloped me. It had turned out to be a perfect night… Clear sky and no wind. The frost crystals formed on the grass around me mirrored by the stars appearing above me. I wish now that I’d had the bivvy but I was cautious before I set off and knew I had made the right choice. Anyway, the tent doors pin right back so it’s almost the same!
The moon was out and the Milky Way was visible. Absolute bliss. I lay half out of my bag and snuggled in to my Fitzroy staring at the sky. Satellites came and went and I was blessed with several shooting stars… I woke to a frosty 4am scene. I had fallen asleep. My nose was cold!!! I adjusted my bag and pulled my buff up and fell back to sleep until the sunrise woke me.
The warmth was weak but welcome and it was time to enjoy the morning show. The changing light on the mountains is just the finest thing to watch.
I had no hurry to leave so I lay dozing in my bag whilst the Jetboil did its work, I filtered the water I had taken from a pool a little was off and soon I was warming my hands round my Sea To Summit mug. It was simply bliss…(I keep my Sawyer in a plastic bag in my inside pocket or inside my bag to stop it freezing).
A few more pictures and I would pack up and head down to the Meadowdore for a proper coffee and maybe a second breakfast!!!