Bow Fell had been on my radar for a while. The weather looked fine and terra Nova had sent me a Southern Cross 1 to test. Now, most of you know I’m not keen on tents! Especially if the weather is good… But, I was keen on this tent following the rep showing me it in the shop.
I arranged to meet Jude at The Stickle Barn car park as she was keen to walk in with me. The weather was hot! Luckily Jude had remembered the sun block as I’d forgotten mine… Standard! We set off from a very busy Langdale, we were both relieved to get away from the half term traffic and people. Mickledon was fairly quiet to our relief and we chatted as we passed the lambs sheltering under the wall from the warm sunshine.
The Langdale hills looked so beautiful in the sun. The birds were in good voice and I was excited about my night out. I had forgotten how heavy tents are! I moaned and whined about my pack weight!
As we crossed the bottom of Sticks Pass it was pie time! We hadn’t eaten and it was after 1 pm… I had also bought us cake from the Spar…Now, that doesn’t sounds very enticing but, the Spar on Sandylands in Kendal as the best home-made cake and pie counter in the town! We sat in the sun eating and I showed Jude how to use the Sawyer Mini. It’s perfect for hot days; the ease of being able to rehydrate at regular intervals from any watercourse is a real bonus.
Soon it was time time to shoulder the pack again and crack on. It was so hot. We moved slowly but steadily up the zig zags. I regularly moaned about feeling tired and overly warm to Jude! Soon we reached the crest and we looked to Ore Gap and a very welcome Angle Tran. Great Gable and Great End filled the view.. Just stunning. We dropped to the stepping stones and drank again before starting the flog up to the gap. It was hard going and time was knocking on. I was mindful that Jude had the long walk back whilst soon I could relax.. My thoughts soon turned to the oddness of spending a night in a tent! Me! In a tent! In this weather!!!! Still, I was curious about the product and its ease of pitch etc.
We were at Ore Gap! I was pleased… Only the gentle stroll up to the summit and finding a suitable pitch. I had a spot in mind but would have a scout about when we got higher.
Jude perched on a rock and muttered at her iPhone and memory space whilst I started the hunt. The great thing about the bivvy is that you never need to worry about space. I was on a mission! After much wandering I settled on a spot whilst Jude found a great perch that fitted the human arse perfectly!
The Terra Nova Southern Cross 1.
I pulled out the tent and miraculously it was up in 3 mins max. Easy as… I arranged my bits and looked over at Jude as she sucked in the views and fuelled up for the long walk back. It was time to say goodbye to bestie.. We had our usual hug and exchange of goodbyes and she ambled off into the evening sunshine. It was gone 6 and I was hungry. Goulash was on the menu Tonight-I hadn’t tried this one. It was nice but nothing has beaten the carbonara or wilderness stew yet!!
The evening was a beaut. Light breeze, warm sun and skylarks. Oh and herdies of course. The lambs were just lovely. I was totally content. I poured my wine and sat on Jude’s arse shaped rock. It was hard to decide which way to look as it was all breath-taking. I wandered around with camera getting pictures for terra Nova and my own album. It’s hard to take bad pictures on nights like this. It was stunning. I parked my wine and headed over on to the top of Bowfell Buttress-a route I have climbed 3 times over the years… I also scoped it out for a bivvy…Its definitely now on the to do list! I sat reminiscing topping out on previous occasions with old friends. I’ve been fortunate enough to climb a lot before my back got really bad. I have some amazing memories.
Soon I was scrambling back up the rock and back to the tent. The herdie activity had increased and I watched a lovely ewe almost rolling around to scratch her shoulders as her lamb looked on. I headed to the Bob Graham traverse path and another ewe stood her ground and let me get quite close! She was lovely!!
I spent some time with her before heading back to base. As I approached the tent I looked it over…I liked it! It was a good strong shape! I wanted to be in it in bad weather though as despite my like for it I missed my Borealis! It was now brew o clock before bed. The shadows had all but gone now and the stars were appearing. I missed the winter sky so much; the darkness is enveloping in winter and the stars are just the best sight ever. At this time of year it never seems truly dark..
Hot chocolate in hand I sat looking at the last light over the Scafells. It was a stunning evening. The views had been amazing and certainly worth all the effort. The air had a slight chill to it now, I pulled my jacket closer and put my hood up. The sheep had all settled down, I could pick out their fleecy coats between the rocks. I smiled and sighed at my surroundings. All was deathly quiet. Blissful.
It was that time now though…Teeth and squaddy wash J
Soon I was crawling into my little shelter, I pinned the door back to get a view and see the faint stars above me. It wasn’t long before I was asleep. I woke to the sun peeping over the eastern fells. I quickly got out and took a few shots before heading back to bed! Next time I woke the sun was high and the larks were singing. I reached for the trusty Jetboil and coffee sachets and fruit porridge!. The sky was lovely and the air warm and clear. It was promising to be hot. I pulled my mat out and stretched my back-it was pretty bad after the walk the day before so pain killers would be need for the descent L
I finished up breakfast and started to take the tent down. It was really easy. Only took a couple of minutes and it was packed and in my pack. Not as quick as the bivvy bag though!!
Soon I had poles in hand and was having one last look around before the walk down. I headed for the Band. I wouldn’t see anyone for a while so it’s nice to enjoy it when its quiet as its usually so busy!
The first people I saw were well down and they were climbers. Great day for a high mountain crag.
It was very warm and I was out of water now so was looking forward to getting back to the valley to rehydrate. It was a great walk off and I was soon entering Stool End farm with just a flat walk to the car at Stickle Ghyll, but not before a well-earned lemonade at The Old!