Monday, 26 March 2012

The Wast Weekend Pt 1

Huge excitement in our household this weekend as we dusted off Delores for her first proper trip of the year - 2 nights in Wast Water. Well not exactly *in* it but parked very near to the edge of it. We made it to the site just before darkness and the first thing we noticed was the gentle(!) hum of the industrial generator powering the site. Wasdale Head has been without mains power since before Christmas so this is a necessary evil if you want things like lights or food. We're actually very self sufficient on Delores but it seemed churlish to insist they switch it off on our account.

Sca Fell from Burnmoor Tarn
With my legs & backside still suffering slightly from last Saturday's mini adventure we planned a rather more laid back approach to the fells so on Saturday we set about Illgill Head and Whin Rigg. Obviously the first thing we did was add in a detour via Burnmoor Tarn - a pleasingly large tarn nestled between Sca Fell and Illgill Head. It's an injury inducing route as there are spectacular views in every direction so looking down to see where you're treading comes rather low on the list of things to do. Having tripped and stumbled our way to the tarn we next headed for Illgill Head and I'm pretty sure Illgill is an old Norse word which roughly translates as "fake summit". I don't think I've ever climbed a fell that contained more dashed hopes of tea and biscuits than this one. "We'll have a brew when we get there" was quickly becoming "we'll have dinner & a movie if we ever make it". Eventually we made it and, without wishing to give too much away about tomorrow's encounter with Yewbarrow, I'd say the only thing better than climbing Yewbarrow is sitting atop Illgill Head on a fine sunny Saturday scoffing tea & sarnies and looking at Yewbarrow as it looms large at the head of the lake.

Wast Water from Illgill Head
Eventually we pootled off to Whin Rigg, a stroll along the length of Wast Water which is much easier than tackling the screes at the base. Not that we didn't enjoy the screes but you certainly couldn't describe them as a stroll. Beyond the end of Whin Rigg the path drops away sharply to the right for a bit of a "bum plummet" to the shoreline. We refilled the flasks with stream water replacing the apple & blackcurrant squash with eau de sheep pee - a cheeky little number with a subtle woolly bouquet.

Following the path around the woodland we revisited "Britain's Favourite View" - one of the few popular survey results I'd wholeheartedly agree with. We passed a very pleasant half hour or so on the beach topping up our fuel reserves with a carefully balanced nutritional pack of essential sugars and proteins - or peanut M&Ms as they're usually called.

Reaching the bottom of the bag far too quickly we headed back along the easy side of the lake passing right by the foot of Yewbarrow. It's an imposing fell with "come hither" flanks which no right thinking hike could ignore.

Britain's Favourite View
The thrum of the generator told us we were nearing home. I'd not slept well the previous night having woken regularly from a fitful sleep convinced a tractor convention was taking place nearby so tonight I was taking no chances; I prescribed myself 3 beers and a pillow over the head and slept through till dawn. So was Yewbarrow going to live up to expectations?