A trip to the Lakes, late summer

27/8/83 Wasdale Screes 

Route: A walk along the Wasdale screes 

The four of us arrived in Wasdale after a lengthy drive engineered to avoid driving over Wrynose and Hard Knott. We had a pub lunch in the King George VI in Eskdale Green. Following this, the original idea of a quick flash up Scafell disappeared into the low clouds. It was, after all, already two-ish. So we decided to stretch our legs by a walk out over the Wasdale Screes. I had seen those impressive slopes before, but not my companions, whose first sight of them will have been as we motored in along the shore of Wastwater.  So, after a lengthy walk-in we arrived at the first scree, and relaxed. We threw stones into the lake. I pulled a muscle in my neck doing this. An upsetting experience in which I was convinced blood was pouring from my ear.  We spotted someone’s old Thermos flask, and stoned it to destruction from a distance. Thence, back to the car, and onto the Youth Hostel in Eskdale, where there were many Germans. We had a good night’s drinking in the Burnmoor, then in the King George VI, and finally in the Woolpack – all within walking distance of one another.  

8/8/83 A walk in the Langdales

Route: Three Shires Stone – Adam-a-cove – Crinkle Crag – Shelter Crag – Three Tarns – Bow Fell – Esk Pike – Angle Tarn – Rossett Gill –Mickleden – ODG – Red Tarn and back to the Three Shires Stone. Party: Myself, the Mackervoy brothers, T.Nicholls 

Notwithstanding having spent ninety minutes yesterday avoiding Hard Knott, Roo took the car over Hard Knott and Wrynose this morning without difficulty though it does call for aggressive driving. Parking at the Three Shires Stone we hared off, much faster than the same trip some weeks ago. Cloud deck was around 3000’. Clear air. Good views into Oxendale and Langdale, and Skiddaw was visible, as was Coniston Old Man, and the Scafell massif. Helvellyn, Windermere, the power station on the coast – all visible. At one point a couple asked us if we could identify one small tarn, and we considered it to be Devoke Water.  

My condition at the end of the London run [the Ventures had recently run by relay, from Derby to Gilwell Park) had been good. I considered it gone now. T was fittest. We slipped off Bow Fell to Esk Pike, then down screes to Angle Tarn, a beautiful location where we took lunch. [Roo and I and others had camped here in Easter ‘81 when were barely 16, having walked in with expedition bags, all the way from the train station in Windermere. Including climbing Rossett Gill in early evening when already exhausted. I remember that walk still. 27/12/20] 

Thence up to the lip of the descent of Rossett Gill – dreadful, steep, unpleasant in either direction. Once at the head of Mickleden we almost used up all our drinks, and then slogged along to the Old Dungeon Ghyll. At the ODG, we bought soft drinks and obtained fresh water. We also saw a newspaper and so learned of the Rams’ disastrous 5-nil defeat against Chelsea. Then we split: the two Tims went along Great Langdale to Chapel Gate, whilst Roo and I slogged up Oxendale non-stop up Brown Gill to Red Tarn, and thence back to the Three Shires Stone and the car.  Down into little Langdale, where we caused a bottleneck at the junction while talking to a guy in a Volvo about where he might camp. We sent him over into the Duddon valley. We ourselves went to Chapel Stile to pick up the two Tims, and thence into Coniston to stay at the Holly How Youth Hostel. The entire weekend cost £13.25.