Stickle Tarn and Fickle Weather

Lake District Travel Blog

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Guess they call this a room with a view
The weather steadily worsened as the day progressed, with heavy drizzle by late morning and persisted until the evening.  The clag drifted heavily but was quite thick at times with visibility at times extremely poor.  I was however enjoying myself and took my time as I headed up first over Loughrigg Fell, dropping down towards Grasmere.  I surprised myself, because I was moving quite quickly, and gave a couple a bit more of a surprise when I caught them up and passed them carrying my “huge” pack compared to their day packs.

“Moving at quite a pace eh?” he enquired

“Just letting the pack provide the momentum”

I then wandered over Raven Crag with a fleeting view of Chapel Stile when the clag momentarily cleared.

Don't be fooled, this is the weather at is best
  Making a conscious effort to slow down, Silver Howe and Raw Pike also passed under foot.  A brief glimpse of Eagle Crag over Easdale Tarn with another short clear spell and then I was able to take a path off Blea Rigg down to Stickle Tarn and my intended campsite.  I was here relatively early, I was however grateful of this as it had ceased raining and I welcomed the opportunity to pitch my tent in the ‘dry spell’.

I was just about able to get sorted before the rain started up again, I made dinner; pasta in cheese sauce and boiled some more water for another very welcome hot chocolate.  The only downside was that the pasta had stuck to the bottom of the mug I was using to cook with, a way of saving weight.  I had to use some grit and sphagnum moss to improvise a makeshift scourer to get it out, which of course then required some rinsing.

Oh, here comes the rain again!
  I then settled down to read for awhile as the rain battered my tent.  This was to be the pattern for the night and when I eventually went to sleep it was to the sound of heavy raindrops hitting the material of my flysheet.

The next day brought more of the same, so after making up some porridge from the relative safety of my tent vestibule, I waited for an easing in the weather.  This did eventually appear and I quickly struck camp and headed up the path and into the clouds towards Pavey Ark.  I was a little surprised to see a small group of hardcore walkers already ahead of me by fifteen minutes, and they were not the only people out that day, nobody can claim we are a race of wimps anyway.

The conditions were pretty appalling and were not going to get any better as the day progressed.

See that little lump, that's where I'm off to
 I made my way to Harrison Stickle and then onto Pike of Stickle and for awhile enjoyed a bit of a weather inversion with the tops all clear and the clouds in the valley.  It was not too long though before it was totally clagged out up here too, and visibility was almost non-existent at times.

Thunacar Knott and High Raise and then onto Ullscarf most of which involved bog trotting.  This is not my favourite form of walking and reminds me why I prefer mountaineering to fell walking.  Picking my way through the plentiful pools of wetland, trying to keep my feet dry, though the parts where you have to use stepping stones can be a little more fun.  I had not seen anybody else since around noon, everybody else was probably sensible enough to head down to more comfortable surroundings.

  I was enjoying myself however despite the conditions, which was just as well, because I now had to retrace my steps as I had decided to camp at Stickle Tarn again.

This required some careful navigation, as the visibility was now really abysmal and when I eventually found a spot to pitch my tent, I was not only unable to see the tarn but any of the surrounding crags.  I also knew that I was only camped within fifty metres of the tarn.  It was especially eerie as there was another group camped quite near to me.  I could quite clearly hear them talking but despite having a quick look around in the bad weather I was not able to discover where they were located.

Dinner tonight was noodles and was followed by my now customary hot chocolate and it is rare that such a simple meal ever tastes this good.  Another night of heavy rain followed and I determined to drop into the valley tomorrow and get a little dried out in the campsite near The Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel.

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Guess they call this a room with a…
Guess they call this a room with …
Dont be fooled, this is the weath…
Don't be fooled, this is the weat…
Oh, here comes the rain again!
Oh, here comes the rain again!
See that little lump, thats where…
See that little lump, that's wher…
Can you spot where I camped last n…
Can you spot where I camped last …
Lake District
photo by: toniiixx