I was clock watching all day at work as the weather was perfect. It was a Saturday and had quietened off considerably as it was the last Saturday of the holidays. I managed to leave just after 4pm as I needed to go home and pack then drive back into the Lakes!
I was home in no time and on my way back..I was sure I would’ve forgotten something as I was rushing. I had no idea where I was going to go. I looked at the fells, they all looked inviting… I decided to turn right at Ings and head over to either Yoke area or Red Screes. I decided on Red Screes as I hadn’t been up there since I was a young girl. I parked at Kirkstone Pass and headed off. It was very nippy in the wind but there was warmth in the sun. The path is steep and rocky in places but very enjoyable. I passed the last two walkers who were descending. Off to the pub no doubt!
It was a beautiful evening and I was glad I had made the effort to drive home. Merlot was happy and full at home and my friend Joanne would feed her in the morning.
I was soon nearing the summit after enjoying the fabulous rock scenery on the way up.
The trig popped into view and at last I could look for a bed and relax. I had forgotten what a pretty summit it was with its tarns and incredible views down Ullswater.
I found a suitable spot just North West of the summit and organised my stuff. A couple of walkers appeared from Scandale but only hung around briefly as it was very cold… I checked the forecast and as usual it had changed.. It was going to be overcast for a few hours until midnight it would seem. Looking at the sky it told a different story.. It was pretty clear with some clouds in the west. I hoped it wouldn’t spoil sunset..
I had a quick look on the camping forums only to find my mates Peter and Lee were on Yoke! The irony.. I keep missing Peter by one summit! I messaged him to say I’d flash him later. Bless him he was very jet lagged after his hols so said I may see Lee’s headtorch as he would be asleep soon..
I fired up the Jetboil and prepared my dinner. Bla Band Creamy Pasta with broccoli and cheese-I am working through the new recipes. I walked to the summit to eat and have a brew. Dinner was nice for a veggie offering and whilst I ate I watched as a Kestrel as it swooped and glided below me looking for a meal… Beautiful.
The sun was starting to drop and I decided to move house! I wanted to be closer to the summit. The great thing about a bivvy as it’s a really easy task! I gathered everything in my ground sheet protector, grabbed the four corners and carried it to the new spot! Easy!!
I got organised and poured my `wine. It was a magical evening. Very little wind, sunny and pleasant. I went off to explore my surroundings. I walked around the tarn. Something breached the surface but I couldn’t tell if it was frog, toad, newt or fish! Bubbles rose in few places so something was living in there!
The views were lovely. I looked to Stoneycove Pike. I am keen to go there next. (Jane and Sue were up there the following day with their lovely Labrador Amber; it looks like a great spot for a camp!).
Shadows were starting to draw on the hills and the air temperature was dropping. The sunset was a little flat at the moment but it may come good as it got lower…
I set my tripod up and cupped my wine. The colours in the sky started to change out west. A buzzard soared on the thermals and let out a beautiful cry… Perfect. And it wasn’t windy!!!! Yes!. I looked smugly toward my bed.. My pillow would never blow away again as I had made it a lanyard out of bungee cord!
As the light diminished the colours in the sunset started to intensify. It was looking pretty stunning…and it got better and better. I was in awe as I watched the contrast of the orange and red against dark foreboding clouds. It was incredible. I smiled to myself. I was lucky to live here. Every night is worth the effort but every now and then you get a sunset that brings tears to your eyes.. this was one of those nights.
I watched as the sun inched its was down until it disappeared leaving behind its last warmth and colour before the blue of night time nudged its way through. I looked to Coniston and was glad I made my choice to be here! It was shrouded in heavy cloud for now..
The first stars started to pierce the night sky and it was time to get the headtorch out. I finished my wine and fired up the Jetboil one more time. My colleague and friend Jane had given me a Bounty for my supper so I would have that with a hot chocolate before bed. It was nippy now and the light wind was harsh against bare skin. My Sea to Summit cup let enough heat through to warm my fingers as I watched the sky darken. I looked toward Yoke to see Lee’s headtorch moving around the summit.
Time for bed. I rinsed my cup and cleaned the fangs. Soon I was engulfed by the Western Mountaineering Versalite! And My New Montane Down mountain cap! My friend Aimee got it for me! It was super warm. Love it!
I laid back and gazed skyward. The stars were up in force. I tracked down Vega (mine and Marc’s star) amongst other familiar ones. The light winds caressed my cheeks. I sighed and fell into a deep sleep.. I woke with a start as a Swaledale sheep clearly had something to say at 10.30pm! I sat up and saw her having a right good bleat! Luckily, she had don me a favour as I had fallen asleep with my face exposed…again…idiot! I snuggled in again and didn’t wake till after sunrise. Whilst Peter and Lee were happily photographing I was still snoring! The morning was calm and clear. Some high clouds made for good photo’s. I brewed up and had my Bla Band Apple and Cinnamon porridge for breakfast. Time to get up I guess. Work beckoned. I felt refreshed and rested. I decided to have one more coffee as I had enough time as It was a 10am start today and I would be early anyway.
I sucked in the view. A Herdwick wandered over to the tarn and started to drink. You don’t see them drink very often so this was a treat! Soon I was rolling up my kit ready for the decent. I took my ‘LNT picture’ and headed off.
The descent was pleasant. I took my time as the path is steep in places but was still down in 30 minutes. Stunning bivvy. Perfect weather. I will definitely be back!