Friday, 21 August 2009

Here Comes The Rain

All happy in the rain at the bottom

Pitching by the river had afforded just the right level of white background noise to eradicate errant snores and excitable children – the noise of them, as opposed to the drowning of the brats.

Beat on the Brat - Pre Punk!

Yet another inconsequential tangent – but SLF released a brilliant tune on their first album called White Noise. They managed to include the words Paddy, spud thick mick, nigger and paki into 3 verses all in the cause of anti racism and good on em for it too. Needless to say everyone except John Peel missed the irony and it was promptly banned from all radio stations this side of JoBerg.

White Noise Anniversary Tour Version - he's twice the man he used to be!

Oh yes back to base camp, everyone was up bright an early to see a swansong performance of ‘cook and go’ which was only slightly dampened by the rain and the lack of buns for the bacon! Still the butty van on site came to the rescue.

Shad did his usual one look at the grey skies and slunk off back to Stoke. Just for once this may have proven a correct decision as a slight drizzle was soon to turn into an all out deluge.

Why have 1 coat when you can buy 6 off ebay (don’t get me started on tents and houses) and so Craig is resplendent in his huge Rab jacket which looks like it absorbing the clouds one at a time. The plan is to climb Angle Tarn Beck up to Angle Tarn and then pick off a few Wainwrights in a circular route back to the car. The climb is at toughest a grade one scramble and provided you avoid the water then probably just a steep hill.

There was a moment halfway up when Craig give me the ‘you bastard’ look before saying ,’just for future reference this is too much climbing’. Ok it was quite steep but it certainly wasn’t dangerous and I think perhaps a combination of reduced incline and improved fitness may result in a huge outbreak of happiness. We’ll find something in the middle for Edinburgh.

A good distance between me and 'the look'

Halfway up the waterfall I spotted an otter bounding up the opposite bank which is a first for me, Beechy and Craig due to strategic positioning further down the hill managed to watch the beast shooting back down the waterfalls probably just for fun as there can’t have been any large fish in the beck. Up and up we went in the pouring rain… was pretty heavy by now but at least it was warm.

Angle Tarn itself is a really beautiful place even in dodgy conditions with its three small islands set across its midrift. We decided to stick to plan and head south into the wind and the rain………………30 yards later we called this as a stupid idea and headed north with the rain at our backs. One slight detour for me to go hill ticking up Angle Tarn Crags, (which was bloody mental as the wind must have gained 30mph in about 30 metres of height) which I virtually had to clamber on all fours to reach and we started heading downwards.

It was a pleasant enough descent with two noteworthy moments

We were boo’ed by a group of thirtysomethings from a path above us which they thought was hilarious, until I started chucking rocks back at them! And then the best bit

Two fairly young walkers passed us and then stopped Craig to ask directions, nothing personal mate but I’m pretty sure you weren’t carrying a map and had little knowledge of the localle. At the point they asked ‘which is the best path to get to Helvellyn’ I think I would have taken their dinner money off them and sent them home. Wrong mountain range, wrong direction and just wrong except as everyone commented, his girlfriend was very pretty.

We made it back along a gorgeous and flat track to the car just as the rain abated. Still its always fun being on the hills with your mates even if the weather is crap. I’m going to test a variation of this theory with my family in a few weeks time.