Tuesday, 18 January 2022

TGO Challenge Stuff Number One

Angle Tarn Camp
I wouldn't really recommend camping at Angle Tarn most of the time, particularly in summer. It's usually a very popular spot - probably because it's quite beautiful and pretty easy to find/get to from Patterdale. . It does get really busy and what people are doing with their sewage is a worry and drinking the water might not be such a good idea. 

But, I needed somewhere for a bit of an early TGO challenge shake-down and a bit of a chill-out and, I suspected that Angle Tarn in January might be fairly quiet. It would be a first foray, for a while in humping a big pack up a hill together with some chilly nights in a serene spot. The excuse, was that this sorta thing is just the sorta thing that might be done on a TGO challenge. It's not really true, though.

LTD helps an old chap up a hill

So, a few days earlier I had submitted my Route sheet for vetting and all I had to do now was chew some fingernails to see what my vetter would say about my plans. Last year, me and JJ completed a necessarily quite easy route, for lots of reasons, all simple, but in several reasonable layers. This year, my planned route is a fairly standard low-level affair with a few rufty-tufty bits interspersed with tea rooms, but probably a bit more of a challenge than 2021. My rule for tea rooms is "never pass a tearoom" Passing a tea-room is bad form and very very unlucky.

This is not Angle Tarn, it's just a puddle on the way

This IS Angle Tarn and that's my kettle
Anyway, the plan is to do a fair bit of training before the start of the TGO challenge (in just 111 days, apparently) (If you're reading this tomorrow, it'll be 110 days and the day after tomorrow will be..... I expect you get the drift...) And Angle Tarn was the target. I expected and planned for stupidly cold January weather, but instead I got warm sunshine - provided one stayed out of the breeze, moonlit nights with only the lightest frost and a final morning of wet hill-fog. I read Just William and The Great Outdoors Magazine, drank tea and whisky, snacked and wandered about the local hillocks and drumlins with no plan at all.

Meanwhile, LTD followed me about , but, generally, in between chewsticks, sat watching the tarn and chasing off the occasional labrador.

LTD on guard

A strangely quiet Angle Tarn camp
As I put up the Akto, a fisherman visited and told me all about the fish he hadn't caught and a few hikers - not more than half a dozen, wandered past and then a lass appeared, doffed off and paddled into the tarn for a swim. She said she hoped she hadn't disturbed me and wandered off home. Apparently she swims somewhere every day. I suspect it would have been one doggy-paddle too far for me and both me and LTD stayed away from cold water, unless filling a water bag or in the case of LTD, having a drink. LTD hates water and the very last place to search if he'd disappeared would have been in the tarn.

What sort of person lives here?
During the beautiful and long starry, moonlit night, where the tent door stayed open, we were visited by a stag, or maybe two. They were close but invisible. We hunkered down before 5:00 p.m. and, pretty much stayed put till 8:30 a.m.  The sun finally lit the tent at 9:30 a.m and the first walkers didn't appear until after lunchtime. And these were very few. - Maybe less than a dozen all day, mostly with dogs and mostly heading for High Street, it would seem. I expect they all had a fab day on the hills. Me and LTD did little. apart from some brief excursions around the tarn
LTD excited about a ripple on the tarn
The last morning dawned grey and drizzly and neither of us really felt like going anywhere. Going somewhere when the morning is driech and cold is a key TGO challenge state of mind. Sometimes driech and cold, or,, even worse, wet and windy and cold, can go on for days in Scotland, so it's important to be able to foray forward on the next day's progress towards the East....

A few more walkers were encountered on the way back down to the valley. And my vetter has vetted and, apart from getting the name of a burn wrong, I'm pretty much good to go. Emma, my vetter, has pointed out several useful bits of information , including, importantly, the location of tea rooms and informal shelters and all that now remains is to stay alive, get a bit fitter, do some camping with walking involved and book some trains and stuff.

LTD still on guard.
Note that doggies are not allowed on the TGO challenge and if you need to know what TGO challenge is, look here  (click on the word "here") dhuhh..........
LTD helps an old chap back down the hill



GeoffC said...

A good lazy outing with nice pics, though not my choice for a pitch spot!.

Your puddle is I believe the diminutive Satura Crag Tarn, as named in the Nuttalls tarn book.

merrylegs said...

Ha - so you walked right past our house! I wish we'd known - we'd have put the kettle on.