I learnt a lot from the Lake District walk, much of which I will attempt to impart to readers over the next few blog entries covering this particular trip.
A lot of new kit was being used for the first time too, some of which were critical items, like the rucksack and stove. I was hoping that these would perform as well, if not better than the kit that they replaced.
As it turned out, the new items of kit pretty much exceeded my expectations. I will do some proper reviews on these new additions that will hopefully give readers a better insight into real field use.
This walk was planned as 3 days plus 1. The idea being that the forth day would be a relatively low distance day of around 10 km, again to provide slack into the schedule to make sure I made it to the train station on time. The primary aim of the walk was to climb England’s highest Mountain called Sca Fell Pike. As such, all of the planning was put together with this goal in mind.
The plan starts from Ravenglass and ultimately finishes there too. Circular routes are fun, especially when one starts to pick up on signs of familiar countryside on the way back.
The full four day walk of 64.3 km, 3360 mtrs Ascent and 3198 mtrs Descent. Red is planned blue is actual.
Even with a chunk cut out to the East (I’ll explain on day 3’s entry) the distance walked is still greater than the Ordinance Survey’s Map planner’s calculated distance of 61.46 km.
This is a little worrying and once again highlights potential issues with their route planning software. I might have to look into alternative planners…
The full elevation profile for the entire walk. One of the hilliest to date.
The peaks in the middle are Sca Fell on the left and Sca Fell Pike on the right – the highest peaks in England!
What the graph doesn’t show is the sheer steepness of some of the climbs and descents and the fact that many of them were over loose scree and boulders, making for tough going, especially in the heat!
Day 1 ran like clockwork. All my travel connections worked on time and my field navigation scored a first with no navigational errors made! Highly unusual for me!
In fact, navigation errors will form the basis of another blog post that I have been itching to do for a while. I want to cover my personal top 10 of navigational errors, complete with in depth GPS analysis in the hope that others will be able to learn from my mistakes.
As usual I will let a handful of photos from my Facebook journal tell the story!
Day 1’s route of 19.9 km with 1164 mtrs ascent and 770 mtrs descent. It took me from Ravenglass to Burnmoor Tarn. Navigationally, day 1 was text book! Red is planned and blue is actual.
I get off the train at Ravenglass and leave the station, which takes me to a scenic beach scene. The temptation to just hang around here was immense! 🙂
Here I’m headed over Muncaster Fell. Although near the start of the journey, I’m already getting glimpses of the Lake District’s famous mountains!
As I get toward the end of Muncaster Fell, the Mountains make their presence known. I absolutely adored the country side. Even from this level, there was a lot of natural beauty to see!
Sometimes I feel like….. I’m being watched!
I leave Muncaster Fell behind me. At this point my route takes me through a Narrow Gauge steam railway station called ‘The Green’. I can hear steam whistles and tantalising sounds of steam trains, but have yet to spot one!
On my way Northward I see this rather charming farm house. It even has it’s own little internal bridge linking the buildings together!
I start my climb up the Miterdale Forest. The weather is exceedingly hot and humid, which makes for a very sweaty climb!
On my way up through the forest I’m surprised by the appearance of this seat – completely in the middle of nowhere! It is dedicated to a Mr. Neil Cannon. This seems like the perfect opportunity for a snack break!
The view from Mr Cannon’s seat as I sit down munching some food and contemplating the universe!
The lower slopes of the Miterdale Forest are fine, but as I reach the top I see a huge area of the forest has been logged! Based on this and what I have seen in Snowdonia and other places, I seriously think the Forestry Commission should change their name to Forestry Decommission….
I clear the forest and make it to the top of the ridge line at Irton Fell. To the North on the ridge is my first serious hill of the trip called Whin Rigg at 535 mtrs elevation. The views from here are just stunning.
I make it to the Cairn at the top of Whin Rigg – this is the awesome view to the South!
A panoramic from the top of Whin Rigg. Whilst these photos capture some of the essence of the beautiful scenery, one really has to be there to fully appreciate it in all its depth and detail.
Down below I get some great views of Wast Water!
The trail I’m following cuts quite close to the edge, but makes for great views down below.
A quick self photo whilst walking the ridge-line by Wast Water!
*Max Zoom On* Down below I spot a bunch of people camped by Wast Water with either a fire or barbecue going! It looks the perfect place for such activities!
As I move further Northward on the ridge-line I come across the two tarns near Bell Cragg. My initial plan was to camp here, but knowing I had two mountain climbs to do the following day, I decide to push on to Burnmoor Tarn to place me at the bottom of Sca Fell ready for my first climb.
I now start my descent off of the ridge-line from Illgill Head to Burnmoor Tarn which can be seen in the far distance. My intent is to camp on the shores of that tarn ready for the climb up Sca Fell the following morning!
I get to Burnmoor Tarn and pitch the tent. There are a fair few flying insects around, so I leave the inner tent closed. This is the first pitch I have made with the Akto without its footprint, hence the new-look grass vestibule! In the foreground I get the new Jetboil Sol system ready to cook up my first meal.
Once more I have gone for the Mountain House Chilli – which is just awesome!
As the sun sets the rapidly cooling temperatures cause the Tarn to produce water vapour clouds which made an entrancing sight! It’s views like this that day walkers never get to see!
Day 1’s camp spot right by Burnmoor Tarn!