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Travel to Cumbria and Beyond

One Bright Day

One Bright Day

With only the odd calm day sandwiched between storms I was amazed when one actually coincided with a day I was free to ‘head for the hills’.

So with even the promise of even a glimmer of sunshine,  Bow Fell, Esk and Rossett would complete my Langdale valley Wainwrights.

Typically Lakeland and far from sunshine, the grey missle was sinking low from the hills when we parked at the old Dungeon Ghyll.

 

Ever hopeful we set off up towards the Bund, our faith rewarded as the clouds began to clear and the soft glow of winter sunshine washed over the trail a head.

sun

Mild weather has meant more slush and mud than snow but the higher slopes were covered and as we crossed Earing Crag patches of white dotted the fell and the Langdale Pikes etched with imposing grandeur across the valley.

Langdales

Langdale Pikes

By the time we branched off to the climbers traverse snow had turned the rock strewn slopes in to a broad white slope.  The narrow track under Great Slab completely obliterated.  It was time to don the crampons!

Langdales and Windermere

I love the way snow muffles sound and enhances a sense of isolation and even though I was having to concentrate, occasionally sinking up to my thighs in snow, I just had to stop and enjoy where I was.  Take in those moments in time that won’t ever happen again.

Climbers travers

As we turned to head up the now white slope of Great Slab, nature decided to throw in a sleet shower.  Thankfully being in the lea of the hill sheltered us as the loose stuff came hurtling not only from the sky but down the slope in an icy  wave.

Bow Fell

The distinctive rocks on Bow fell were a little less harsh in their winter clothing.  Crouching down among them to avoid the wind, I tried to photograph the surrounding hills on this rare storm free day.

Helvellyn

Esk Pike still had to be tackled.  At least here the snow was solid enough that I didn’t fall though.  I realised that I was hoping for that icy crunch dreaded when skiing.

walking down from Bow Fell

As we dropped down from Esk Great End and the Scafell Pike enticed us to keep on.  But it is only February and being out in the dark made sense take over, so at Esk Hause we turned down the hill to Angle Tarn.

Ill Crag

Ill Crag

One last pull up to Rossett Pike, by now out of the snow, the final trudge down the endless Mickleden.   At least there were the lights, and beer,  of the Old Dungeon Ghyll Pub the reward.

Route

map

A few more pictures, click to enlarge

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