Wednesday, 9 January 2013

*This* is why we do it.


Some days just don't pan out as you'd expect.  This morning we had our plans; take car to garage to get handbrake fixed (when they sold it to us they didn't warn us it only worked on the flat and not on hills, bit of a problem around here), then proceed to an undisclosed location to track Herdy's latest adventure, then home for tea.
Not a promising start.

What happened was this; took car to garage, handbrake "fixed", proceeded to undisclosed location (45 mins from Kendal) and parked, only to discover smoke pouring from our rear wheel.  Call garage and inform them we'll be returning but not before we've had a bite to eat.  Sit in car and enjoy sarnies smiling a cheery "hello" to passers by and try to look as if we always eat our lunch in a car surrounded by clouds of acrid smoke.  Return to garage where they "refix" the handbrake.  No smoke but car now pulls alarmingly to the left - if you're attending my course tomorrow please excuse the smell.
En route up Kirkstone Pass

By now it's gone 2pm and we are ITCHING to get above what we now know is an inversion (thanks to Paul @prb43 Byrne).  We impatiently wait for car to be fixed and, realising the Herdy plan is out of the window, we scour our brains for an alternative location which will lift us above the clouds as quickly as possible.  Kirkstone Pass is settled upon and as soon as car "fixed" we're off.

As we wound our way up we weren't 100% sure we'd be high enough but, sure enough, as we approached the Kirkstone Inn we popped out of the clouds.  Well, almost, Steve has the best pics of this moment so I'll be posting those at a later date when he's done tinkering with them.

At the time we parked up the car park was still in the mist, just, so we slung our kit on our back and near sprinted up to Red Screes.  45 mins from the car park to the trig point - a new record for us.  But the views were utterly stunning!

Beautiful Icebow at the top of the clouds.


Our route to the summit.


A little higher...

We headed out to Raven Crag and started rapidly depleting our camera batteries.  Everywhere we looked the views got better and better and, as the sun set they got prettier still.


Batteries spent and light fading fast we headed back down to the car park.  Oddly the screes seemed to be a lot more "screey" on the way down than on the way up, but we made it back to the car just before "head torch o'clock".



The last time we visited Red Screes I wrote a piece where I facetiously asked "Why do we do it?".   On that occasion, after blundering around Red Scees in the mist, I quoted one of my favourite explorers George Mallory who said we do it "Because it's there".  On this occasion I'd like to elaborate on that; not only do we do it "because it's there", sometimes we do it because, when we get there, we can see this.