Some trips to the fells are so special, more so when packed full of great weather, perfect views and excellent company and I was lucky to experience one of those weekends recently.
I stayed in (the rather busy) Side Farm, in the Patterdale area, and parked up my campervan. Initially, I had loads of space, but I will never for-the-life-of-me understand why people have to park so close by. I walked up the fabulous Place Fell on the Friday evening and when I returned another van had parked within touching distance – even though there was plenty of space on the other side of them! I decided not to be grumpy and said hello. I was rebuffed. But never mind…
Later that evening, just as we were about to lose the last of the light, a car slowed and pointed to the little bit of space I’d left myself on the other side of my van. I groaned and tried to make myself look large, but my ploy to look big and intimidating didn’t work: they were determined to squeeze into that space and so, once again, I decided to ‘play nice’ – after all – if they don’t like you they could, potentially, be very noisy.
This young couple had borrowed a tent. Funnily enough, they had never tried to put one up before either! So putting one up in the dark was not a good idea, particularly if you don’t have any instructions. I stepped in to help, once again figuring, if I didn’t – they would be noisy all night! Hey ho.
Did I get any sleep for the two nights? Did I? I think you know the answer.
Saturday was wonderful though. There is nothing like a romp up the fells to dissipate the grumps. Up the Grisedale valley we walked and made our way to Ruthwaite Lodge: the climbing hut. From there we had a coffee before setting off up alongside a waterfall with the intention of reaching Hard Tarn. There is a clue in the name. Maybe it should be called Hard-to-find-Tarn. I joke…but we couldn’t find it at first, much to our amusement. There was always another summit. With no path it’s rough under foot, long grass and rocks impede the way, but was it worth it? You bet it was!
Hard Tarn is just beautiful and I look forward to wild camping there sometime. Small and pretty, it’s like an infinity pool – depending on where you sit of course! Most people don’t notice it from above, but it’s well-worth making the trip for.
From there we scrambled on up Nethermost crags and on to the ridge. It wasn’t difficult but I wouldn’t recommend it if you have vertigo.
On the way up I met a family of Herdwick sheep and was quite concerned as they were aware more people were coming up behind me. I’m very careful with sheep and try hard not to disturb them. I could see the people had had two large dogs and could also see the Herdies escape routes’ were virtually none-existent as I was already blocking one. I called down to the folk to put their dogs on a lead, lest the poor sheep fell and thankfully, they were responsible owners. Disaster averted.
When we reached the summit, it was freezing! But it was heaven. We could see every fell in Lakeland! (Am I prone to exaggeration? Perhaps. But you know what I mean – it was gorgeous!) So many greens. So many blues. You could see for miles! The breeze blasted us from every which way but I could have stayed forever. I never want to leave Lakeland.
At the end of a blissful day, a pint with friends in The Patterdale Hotel was a little compensation. Cheers!