Wind Rain and Mist
Boots and kit just about dried out I was ready to hike up this my last AW Eastern. Planned a week or so ago when the weather forecast was actually not too bad. It was only the night before when I had realised how wet, how windy, how low the cloud was going to be.
So bad, that I had a text at 7.30 telling me Anne was arriving early in the hope that we might miss the worst of the weather. I think we did.
Setting off from the car park. It was fine.
It wasn’t raining.
There was a bit of a breeze blowing in the tops of the trees as we climbed up through the woodland on the lower slopes. Even when it did start blowing we found a sheltered spot to admire the hills across the valley. The few gaps in the clouds shone on Angle Tarn and Brock Crags.
But then it started. A bit more blowy. We were not too far from the AW in question when we met two guys heading our way. They were coming back. Too windy to go on. Well, it wasn’t that bad. We could turn round if it got worse.
Way down to Dovedale
Hartsop though lulls you in to a false sense of security. The way down Dovedale looks remarkably close. It really was not that far till we tipped down the valley, was it?
Hartsop above How
Of course it was, it is. The ridge is only about a quarter of the way round, with Hart Crag, Dove Crag and another 200m ascent to be negotiated before losing height. And wind. And rain. And mist.
The wind wrapped itself around us. Blowing everything vaguely loose over our shoulders and into our faces. Buffeting us about in a living MWIS forecast, with rain turning into staccato punches.
Crossing to Hart Crag, the change in direction gave us some shelter as mist fell over us. We resorted to the GPS. Technology is reassuring and far more easy than the flapping map and compass ( of which we had two I hasten to add). We made it safely to the cairns leading down from Dove Crag but there was little to see until we were beneath the Priest Hole cave.
There was, smug, joyous satisfaction of meeting equally drenched individuals on their way up! They must have been totally mad, who would think of taking to the hills on a day like that?
The staircase down was negotiate with equal joy. Sod the rain. We were out of the wind and we could see. GPS returned to a pocket and we laughed. A little manic perhaps.
We even stopped and ate our lunch.
The white water was magnificent. A dramatic increase since I walked up to the Priest Hole cave a few weeks ago.
Walking along the side of Brotherswater we felt we were on a Sunday afternoon stroll and agreed, between ourselves, that may be a walk round a lake would have been a more sensible option.
But we made it; and the hot chocolate with rum at the Kirkstone Pass Inn comes almost as highly recommended as a hot bath!
Map and book