Monday, 4 May 2015

The Best of the Lakeland 3000s – 02 May

The title doesn’t refer to the weather but rather to a version of the route which, albeit an incomplete circuit, avoids the road sections – at least, that was the plan. After an early breakfast in the Salving House a small FRCC group set off for Scafell via the Corridor Route and the West Wall Traverse.

20150502_001_lakes3000s-1-EditSteak Breakfast almost done



20150502_002_lakes3000s-2-Edit-2Base Brown catching the morning sun

20150502_003_lakes3000s-4-EditSty Head Tarn with Lingmell and the Scafells beyond


The fells provided welcome shelter from the bitter wind as we made our way below Scafell Pike to the foot of Lord’s Rake where the clock went back a season or more. Pauline’s blog “Out & About” has some photos in the West Wall Traverse. From there we emerged into winter on Sca Fell and, without lingering, descended to Foxes Tarn.

20150502_004_lakes3000s-9-EditScafell Pike with Sca Fell beyond

20150502_005_lakes3000s-10-EditSca Fell

From Scafell Pike to Esk Hause, Stake Pass and Greenup Edge to Steel End car park where Helen was waiting for us with food and warm drinks. Here Pauline withdrew and four of us prepared for Helvellyn. The plan had been to avoid the road sections and the long drag down Borrowdale had been avoided by starting from Seathwaite and finishing in Keswick while the road to Keswick would be avoided by traversing the Dodds, according to the plan. The weather, however, determined that wasn’t to be. Almost immediately after meeting Nicky Spinks, below Rossett Pike on an OCT recce, the rain showers more or less joined together to provide much more constant rain which would be falling as snow higher up, and it was.

The decision to come off Helvellyn to Thirlspot was the right one despite it leaving the road to Keswick as the only option. Helen & Pauline met us here and Gerard decided that was enough excitement for one day so Julian, Phil and I set off along the road to prepare from Skiddaw. After a final support stop in Keswick we started the fourth of the “4 Threes”. Little could have prepared us for the fell top conditions that weren’t even hinted at as we passed through the last gate before the summit. The rain, after reverting to showers, was falling as snow or hail and being driven, in sub-zero temperatures, by a 40-50 mph ferocious wind. The cold was so intense I watched ice forming on my gloves and walking poles. As soon as the summit was reached we turned and descended to Keswick where Helen, Pauline and Gerard were waiting for us.

Thanks to Helen for the road support, to Phil for organising the Meet, to Julian and Gerard for the company and to Pauline, of course, but especially for the photos in the West Wall Traverse.

A proper day out!

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