03/02/2018 – 05/02/2018
Written by: Russell & Nadia
Our hike begins! We started off with the infamous Catbells, as a warm up hike, to begin the momentum of the weekend.
The day began with sunshine and drizzle mixed together, creating a nice effect for our steady start.The first struggle of the day, contained a semi vertical climb, to the ridge and then a more steady walk, across towards the changing weather. Once, we furthered towards lunchtime, we came across snowier weather. Many within the group, had to re-dress and put on warmer clothes than started, yet were not discouraged, to take a lunch break by a snow covered rock. Then continued along, until we reached the descend, taking quite a steep route down and causing some with brand new walking shoes, to slide down a few stages.
The rest of the walk, carried on in a straight line, among old ruins and a stream, taking the group into the land of the mud, where many had to spread out to avoid it. The evening, was accompanied by a trip to the shops and the pub, along with food and a movie on TV.
The group left in convoy heading out with ice axes, supplies and a blue sky. A steep ascent in sunshine soon had layers being removed and sunglasses put on.
Arriving at a suitably scenic gearing up spot, crampons were put on, which for some members was a novel experience. Then a slow and exhilarating scramble was enjoyed along Striding Edge, possibly the best ridgeline in the Lakes, particularly in snow. Progress was slow due to inexperience and sensible assessment of the conditions.
Snow that was knee deep in places and runners in shorts, t shirts and no crampons kept all amused. Then a picnic at the summit and plenty of photos with clear views between the fast moving clouds. Descending down Swirral Edge was quick and every bit as enjoyable as the ascent. Then the group divided into three different routes (snow, less snow and no snow) back to the car. Observing an adventurer skiing down had many of us wishing for our own skis to descend with.
The third day, was in similar fashion to the second. The group started with crampons in their bags and sticks at the ready. We walked up in a similar area, that we had ended upon the previous day. Then cut across, walking down a slippery, curvy line around a mountain and up towards the ascent. The next stage of the hike, had an unpredictable weather change, causing a few, to put on their crampons too early and then take them off again, until we came to a suitable spot to gear up. The walk along the ridge of the the mountain, had some tricky encounters for those who were less experienced, yet proved to be enjoyable.
Next, was a lunch break in an exposed, windswept spot with an amazing view, which was explored by the group, since we could see the hike from the previous day. Later, came the slightly leisurely descend, bringing us back to our cars and the the long ride home.