Friday, September 1

Lakes District - Trip report in a nutshell -Day 2

Leaving the morning's view behind I contoured around Dale Head, leaving the summit for another visit. Honister Quarry works was deserted as I made my way up the tramway, and across to Brandreth. Stopping for a quick snack it was around here the day turned sour, and my comment of the previous day started to haunt me.
I made my way around Green Gable aiming to catch the path up from Black Sail YHA and onto Windy Gap. In the intermittent rain, and poor visibility I somehow ended up on the far side of Great Gable.

With rain now more persistant, and thick cloud removing any chance of spotting landmarks I eventually had a long scramble up to the top of Gable.

Not the ideal route carrying a 30lb pack.

A quick stop to snap the Climber's Memorial, and take a compass bearing before setting off back down to the gap.

This turned out to be one steep descent, almost scree for much of the way down to StyHead Tarn. Up until now I'd only seen a couple of people, but from here on for the rest of the day I was never alone for long. Walkers in all sorts of weird garb appearing and disappearing in the mist.

Finally I reached my intended rest spot for that day, Sprinkling Tarn, only to find a number of tents already in situ. As I made a tour of the tarn trying to find a flattish dry spot with some wind protection more people arrived and I finally pitched for the night.
The main track past the tarn was busy until late in the day, but despite that I found a couple of places out of the wind and rain, with one spot, jealously guarded for the future, which offered a valley view back towards Keswick which I'd left the previous morning.
It was also the only spot that had a mobile phone signal so I could check in with home that I was safe, sound, and still on the route as laid out before I left on my trip.

I'll leave further thoughts on Sprinkling Tarn for a later post, but suffice to say I've never shared a wildcamping spot with 11 tents before, and it's the first wildcamp that I've ever felt the need to boil my water, after I heard the splash of the hardy swimmer in the tarn that evening!

I read recently the Trail magazine took water samples from the stream feeding below the tarn and found it of poor quality. I can understand why. Nice spot though if you're prepared to experiment with locations.

All in all a busy day - with over 1,600 metres of ascent and 1,200 descent.

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Ah! the joys of wildcamping :)
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