Following the previous trip to the ‘lakes’ in October 2021, there were many mountains that Chris and I wanted to re-visit, and as the weather for the previous week had been almost tropical, we were mildly excited to be possibly visiting the beautiful National Park to get some sunshine, along with the spectacular scenery.
How wrong we were, one week out the weather forecast looked like snow all week and as the visit date got ever closer, it started to shift towards rain, with some fleeting chances of sunshine. Moreover, the temperature looked like it was going to be closer to 5 degrees, rather than the ‘heady’ 17 degrees that we had been experiencing of late.
Day I – The Old Man (men) of Coniston
After a steady drive to Coniston, it was soon to become clear that this day was going to be a little ‘cooler’ than we thought. No problems though, we quickly ‘layered up’ and set off to scale the ‘Old Man’ to hit the summit.
Heading up we passed several inquisitive ‘Erdys’ along the way and were soon (ish) at the Trig point on the top.
Perhaps the best way to describe the temperature, along with the accompanying wind chill, would probably be ‘Baltic’. It was certainly not a day for sitting and admiring, and despite numerous layers, Chris was feeling it!
Compulsory pictures done for the blog and we were off, perhaps the quickest we had moved all day!!!
The final episode for the day was being confronted by the world’s biggest plate of fish and chips, much needed after the events of the day!
Day 2 – The Lords Rake, Scafell
After the previous days Arctic conditions, Thursday looked a little more promising. We took a last check of the Mountain Weather forecast and set off towards Wasdale head, adjacent to the incredibly picturesque Wast water.
As we descended the long, narrow road into Wasdale, it was noted that the day was also going to be more than a little ‘chilly’, more layers please!!
We took the footpath up alongside Lingmell Gill, up to Brown Tongue heading towards Mickledore where we got our first siting of the ‘lords rake’!
After the last few days of icy and snowy conditions, the self-preservation button ‘tripped’, and I called the choice of route and instead we scrambled onto Mickledore and chose to take pictures of the ‘Lords rake’, it could wait, there will be better days where the ‘risk’ is substantially reduced.
Passing the Mountain Rescue post, we pressed on, up and over Scafell Pike and beat a hasty retreat down the route that we had ascended. The only disappointment of the day was the weather, the reality was somewhat different to the forecast with the culmination of the descent seeing us getting absolutely ‘battered’ by hailstones for about 15 minutes!
Another great day out, the key point being is that sometimes you must plan for eventualities and ensure your back up plan, or escape routes, are viable. The weather in this part of the world can make a significant difference to your potential well-being if you do not take the appropriate precautions prior to setting out!
Day 3 – The Fairfield Round
Today was going to be a fun day out, during the evening I had contacted a friend who was also heading to the lakes for the day. We decided to ‘join forces’ so at 10:30 we all met up at the main car park in Ambleside to get underway.
Before setting off though, it was important to introduce both Craig & Emma to the best sausage rolls in the world, courtesy of the ‘Apple pie’ in Ambleside. Lunch now sorted we were off!
What a fantastic day out, this route takes in some 8 Wainwrights, the highest being Fairfield at 873M, it’s a long one covering just over 11 miles, and 1,112 metres of ascent which took us exactly 7 hours to amble around (I wonder if that’s why it’s called ‘Ambleside’)?
- Low Pike – 508m
- High Pike – 656m
- Dove Crag – 792m
- Hart Crag – 822m
- Fairfield – 873m
- Great Rigg – 766m
- Heron Pike – 612m
- Nab Scar – 440m
We were blessed with a range of stunning views throughout the day, which also had its moments where the windchill reminded us of its presence, but that did not hamper a day of laughs, stunning views, and a little Navigation training throughout the day.
And of course, to cap it all the joys of the fantastic sausage rolls!
Martin & Chris
Lake District National Park 2022