Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Langdale in the sunshine

This couple weren't even staying on the campsite!!

The last time I camped in Langdale about 4 months ago, I think the remnants of Hurricane Herbert had focused its final effort at flattening the crinkles out of the crags. We had hail, rain and 60mph winds and were forced to retreat when only about 100 yards from Crinkle Crags when one of our group was lifted off the floor.

Having seen the post for an early September meet I bravely / foolishly (delete as you wish) thought ‘lets get everyone back together' and ask the families this time. Luckily the weather fairies decided it was our turn for the sparkledust and delivered possibly the best weekend of the summer.

Having not stepped backwards quick enough during the volunteering for jobs, I’d managed to book the Group Field at Langdale. I kid you not, within 2 minutes of booking some smart Alec I know did the ‘ooooooo you don’t want to do that, it floods you know’. So armed with flippers and a snorkel I arrived early at the site having booked a day off in the sunshine. Tents up by 1pm I figured I really should wait for folk to arrive rather than marching up the nearest hill. I was in the prone position laying in the sunshine listening to The Bhundu Boys with a can of cider by my side as team leader Radder turned up.

Friday turned into a lovely to meet people afternoon with plenty of looking at the hills and chatting to Stella.

With 100% predictability the afternoon morphed into the evening and suddenly we were sat in the ODG and well into the swing of things by the time Robbo and Wendy arrived. Never one to be daunted by a task, Robbo took on the challenge of catching up with the rest of us. Jim arrived even later having erected his 4ft square wendy house to sleep in! Top marks went to Ray who appeared early the following morning bright as the sunshine on the hillsides and ready to walk by 9am. Bottom marks to Radders who was less than 100% on Saturday morning.

Ray, Jim and Karin marched off in search of Scafell or as far as they could go in the heat whilst I awaited more friends and family. Radders snored.

Vicki, Tom and John took the option of joining the party team to the top of Pavey Ark with Robbo, Wendy , my family,various pals and a dog. Radders snored

11.30am sharp and over to Stickle Barn, although it was open, we managed to get everyone past the door and upward. The first section of the climb was stifling due to the late summer sun combined with the lack of breeze in the Ghyll. It took Ossie (Tim’s dog) to show us the benefits of cold water, suitably soaked in cold water everyones mood improved and we made our way laughing up to Stickle Tarn.

After a fairly swift lunch the group split into two

The Jack’s Rake – we’ve never done it before, but our bloke ego’s know nothing better group

and the

Round the side route – we’re women and it ends up in the same place 'why on earth would you do anything else' group

Except for Tim who went to the assistance of the helpless women …….JOKE.... he’d been before so offered to lead the group.

There was a modicum of huffing and puffing up Jack’s Rake, ok it’s a bit steep in a couple of sections but on a dry and windless day like today it’s a brilliant scramble and fairly low risk.

We all made it too the top, I think John had a 3 course meal on the way up but eventually popped his head out and on to the summit. Don't you just love it when summits are hogged by noisy groups taking loads of photographs.

The group then made its way across the tops and then down the valley, while various sad people (mainly me and Robbo) went Wainwright bagging).

Pam was showing the breathtaking view to the children

An hour later there were lots of novices with tired limbs in the pub, but to a woman / man all really chuffed with the days accomplishment.

Only one thing to do now……freshen up and back to the ODG to meet more friends.

Oh except the showers weren’t working! Don’t worry we decided to sit outside the pub so as not to offend the locals.