Sunday, 16 March 2014

Head Above the Clouds

“Inversion, inversion in inversion” I chirped as I bounced up and down on the bed at 6:30am.  You really have to pity Steve at times.  Grabbing some clobber I decided that, for a change, we’d nip up Hampsfell as we’d not seen an inversion over the bay before.  Steve wasn’t so sure, but then he’s never been much of a morning person.

Hampsfell Hospice

I bounced up the fell, full of the joys of spring, but the bounces got slower and further apart as I neared the top and realised we needed to be considerably higher.  Steve emerged from the mist with a face that said he perhaps occasionally missed the quiet and rather more predictable life he enjoyed before he met me.

Bribing him with coffee and the promise of pies from Higginson’s we switched to plan B – head back to the car and aim for Red Screes.

There were no breaks at all in the mist along the A590 and we began to have our doubts but, as we neared the top of Kirkstone Pass the cloud began to thin and out we popped.  We parked up in bright sunshine and began our hike up the fell.  Red Screes is a straightforward hike with steps most of the way and a bit of a scramble towards the top.  By now my early energy levels had dropped and Steve disappeared off ahead to get some shots from the summit.

I caught him up at a small rocky outcrop around Snarker Moss where we set about the coffee and a couple of Scotch Eggs and sat back to take in the views.  I’m a huge fan of trashy “end of the world” disaster movies and sitting above the clouds with just the peaks of the other fells around us reminded me of the scene at the end of “2012” where the sea has covered the globe leaving only the highest peaks in the clear.

We had no other big plans for the day so rather than race around we decided to sit back in the sunshine and watch the clouds as they ebbed and flowed in the valleys below.  The fells were deserted and the only other sound was a skylark singing away as it flew high above us.  The fells are usually such a high energy place so it was lovely to just relax for a few hours up there and take in the views;  I’ll admit I had a quick snooze before we decided it was lunch time and polished off a couple more pies.

By now the inversion had dissipated and the breeze had picked up so we began to make our way back to the car.  We passed several other hikers along the way and part of me felt sorry for them for missing the best part of the day but, if I’m honest, another part was secretly glad we’d had the fells to ourselves for so long.

It was still far too nice a day for rushing around so we paused for a well earned pint and a bowl of chips in the wonderful Kirkstone Pass Inn before finally heading home.  It may not have been the first inversion we’d seen and possibly not even the best, but it was certainly the most relaxing and one we’ll remember for a long time to come.

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