I must say that I was very pleased about receiving an invite to the Sloman/Lambert annual pre-TGO Daunder. There’ll be more about daundering on Alan Sloman’s blog imminently, I should have thought – so in the meantime (unless he posts before I finish writing this) – here’s my take on this interesting event.
First of all, let me say that daundering a la Sloman/Lambert is not a quick affair. None of this “fast and light” nonsense, no.
This is a slow cooker of a walk. A fine casserole. A savoured stew. It is
We met at the NT campsite in Langdale and paid for a couple of days parking and, after initial celebrations in the pub, we left bright and early the next morning… for a relaxed coffee at the ODG.
The Daunderers were (in no special order) – Me, Alan Sloman, Phil Lambert, Humphrey Weightman, Shirley Worrall and Piglet, Gerry Harber, John Jocys and Peter Shepherd – all ready for a pre-TGO Challenge walk.
Eventually somebody decided that we really orta walk, so we ambled up Mickleden for a rest at the foot of Stake Pass.
Some brief but brutal upwardsness followed till we found a nice spot near the top of Stake Pass for lunch. This took a while.
A bit later, we sallied slowly over the remaining drumlins and descended steeply to Langstrath for a bit of a lie down by the river. Some sheep rushed past. The fools.
It was still Friday when we arrived at Stonethwaite campsite in time for tea. A visit to the pub was enjoyed. Some serious damage was done to the contents of some whisky supplies afterwards. A veil will be drawn discretely over a brief spell of harmless violence that happened next.
On Saturday, we attempted to get more coffee at Stonethwaite but they were too busy for profits, so we crossed the river and made a brief and vicious assault on an unfeasibly steep path up to Dock Tarn. A rest was had en route, but Dock tarn itself was found to be unsuitable for an extended stay, so we bog-trotted over to a small but friendly crag at the far end of some heather where eating and snoozing could be enjoyed at length. Several decisions were put off to await a full consensus. There was lassitude.
Further physically taxing plodding was done to the top of Ullscarf and subsequently to the top of High Raise – the Daunder High Point. Only a few rests were had. Our average time crept dangerously close to breaking the 1 mph limit at one point, but we managed to control ourselves with some dignity. On High Raise,we allowed ourselves a brief episode of celebration and used the time to work out how to get to Codale Tarn. This, we eventually located and found to be already occupied by campers, so we found spots under the crags of Belles Knott, just by the beck. There was a fine view of Grasmere. People generally slept well. The forecast was for 22 degrees the next day and the sun would be beating down from early in the day into our Eastwards-facing corrie.
Sometime in the early hours, something was beating down on to my tent. It wasn’t the sun. It was wet, in fact. And mizzly and drizzly and so it continued for a while. Another fine Met Office forecast.
We plunged uphill and over the ridge to Stickle tarn and steeply down a badly engineered path to Langdale. Three of the eight daunderers came to grief on the path. Blood was shed. There were bruises. The path is a mess. The stones are tilted and slippery.
But eventually we found ourselves back in the tender care of the Old Dungeon Gill. Lunch was had. We went home.
Eight daunderers and Piglet the dog covered about 19 miles and a lorra lorra uphill and had a grand time. Thanks to Alan and Phil for the organisation and the ethos and, most of all for the invite. Our average speed was a bit less than 1 mph. More time was spent not walking than walking. This takes some skill.
Late edit: Alan's version of this jaunt is now posted here http://alansloman.blogspot.com/2010/04/delicious-daundering.html