Sunday, 31 October 2010

Coast to Coast Sept 2010 Day 2

Blackbeck Tarn Haystacks
Day 2 Ennerdale Bridge to Rosthwaite via the high-level alternative route 18.5miles

Weather- warm and sunny

We’re amazingly lucky to wake up to another bright day. We’d decided to do the alternative high level route if at all possible, because it takes you via Haystacks and Innominate Tarn, where Wainwright’s ashes were scattered.

1.5miles to Ennerdale Bridge, and then a 5mile tricky trudge around the south shore of Ennerdale Water. Next time I’d probably walk along the forest road on the north shore, because it was a difficult bit and you couldn’t enjoy the views because you had to watch every footfall. But there were spectacular views up to High Stile and Pillar, and you get a real feeling of remoteness here, that you don’t get in some parts of the Lakes.

Leaving the lakeside, we began the steep climb up to Red Pike. Towards the top, I realised that my camera must have slipped off the strap at the bottom of the hill. I wasn’t going to go back down for it, and lucky for me, the guy from Leeds who we met last night had picked it up and was following us up the hill. Phew!!

Up and down to High Crag, and a steep descent off to Haystacks and a little pause at Innominate Tarn. Wouldn’t want to do this in poor visibility. The top of Haystacks and the route off seemed very confusing and indistinct. Wainwright’s resting place is awesome, especially on such a clear, sunny day, with the surrounding mountains reflected in the dark water of the tarn.

The trouble with navigation is distances and working out how fast you’re moving. Carrying about 15pounds in weight, the answer is not very fast, about 2mph, including food, drink and navigation stops. We were consistently not a far on route as we thought we were. There are absolutely, and quite rightly no waymarkers in this section. We got very lost in Honister quarry, failing to find the Brandreth fence, Drum House and the old tramway and playing safe by trudging all the way down the road from the quarry. A miserable end to a wonderful day on the hills.

We finally arrived at our re-union with Ian, at the campsite at Chapel House farm, Borrowdale, at 1930, after walking for 10.5 hours. Absolutely spent. Ian was getting worried about us!

Very, very, very sore and blistered feet. Sore, inflamed knees. Asked Ian to get two packets of frozen peas for them!!

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