The lass at the National Trust campsite gave me one of her digestive biscuits, explained that the long-term forecast was for another 20 days of rain and advised me to camp on a “high bit”.
Later, after struggling to get any pegs in the ground, me and Lucky were tucked into our tent and cruising into snooze-mode with the help of a light libation or two when noises were detected above the sound of the rain slashing on the flysheet, which indicated that Peter, Gill and Paddy had arrived and were erecting their tabernacles on some stony ground nearby – judging by all the hammering noises.
I wandered over to greet whilst Lucky refused to leave his sleeping bag and stayed put.
A bit later, in the bar of the Old Dungeon Gill, Masey and Pepper the collie turned up – Masey having got himself a bed in the hotel. You would think that this was a wise move, and it would have been had they not locked him out that night and forced him to spend the night in his car, being unable to rouse anybody to let him in. (This has certain safety concerns if you think about it for a bit – I meantersay, what if you wanted to inform the management that their roof was on fire… or something….?)
It rained most of the night, forming a serious puddle in the entrance to my tent and in other places around the site. Paddy determined to go and scoff goulash in Keswick. Masey was up for a walk though, despite the weather, so we saddled up the pooches and headed off up Lingmoor Fell.
Lingmoor Fell has three baggable tops and I’d only done two of them – Side Pike and the summit and I’d never been to Oakhowe Crag, a little outlying top just next to Lingmoor Tarn. Lucky, Pepper and Masey hadn’t been to any of these places.
As we climbed the fell the weather brightened up and we were soon at the top of Side Pike. A steep descent was achieved by the other three, but the slippery rock scared my slick boots (must get some new boots) and I had to climb back up and use the proper path. This was followed by a short Fat Man’s Agony or squeeze through a thin gap between a big boulder and the rockface and this is where it started chucking it down again.
Lunch was taken in the shelter of a wall and my group shelter and Masey provided hot chocolate from his jetboil, which was nice. The driving rain put me right off going for Oakhowe Crag and we just headed for the summit where it was stupidly wet and windy.
We returned to the ODG via the path beside Blea Water and dripped all over their nice floor whilst allowing them to sell us some beer.
Paddy, Gill and Peter had had a nice and relatively dry time in Keswick and a second ODG session was enjoyed. And then it rained all night again.
Most of my stuff is very wet and Lucky is suspicious when I get his lead that he’s going to be forced to get cold and wet again. He’s not realised yet that he’s bagged another Wainwright – that’s 15 altogether. It’s a start, though, innit?
Not too many pics cos it was raining, see?