I'm a bloody nightmare in hotel rooms because I like it to be dark when I sleep, yes i know that's why we were given eyelids but it's just not enough. Curtains made out of that edible but horrid flying saucer sugar paper are not acceptable....even if they were filled with sherbet. On second thoughts..... And gaps under doors letting in a gazzillion watts of overbearing brightness need filling(I used a coat), and don't get me started on the assortment of red blobs on TV's phones, radios etc. Anyway with an assortment of books, blinds, leaflet holders and coats I eventually dimmed the room to something approaching sunset and drifted off to sleep.
Drifting turned out to be precisely what the overnight snowfall had done and in our executive motors we had bugger all chance of even making the hotel driveway. Exec cars are great for hanging suits in and playing music, that's about all, in winter get a smaller one that actually goes up an incline better than a 1870's locomotive.
Early breakfast and rerouted, Craig announced that today he was taking the cooking pot and we would be fending for ourselves on the Fells. Looks like robin soup could be on the menu after all and I was definitely leading today as yesterdays beans were in full effect. We headed out of the hotel and passed the playground where Craig used to hog the swings from his sister and promptly turned 180 degrees the wrong direction.......deja vu or just bloody useless ( we were actually using GPS at the time!!). Correcting our error we sneaked sheepishly passed the back of the hotel and the strode proudly on towards Latrigg. As we approached the foot of the fell and the forest a signpost showed the beasties within......get in 'wild boar' that had to be tasty.
We climbed Latrigg as Peter had declared a few days earlier 'you could push a pram up there' NOT in this snow and ice you couldn't mate! Still the climb through the snow was worth it as we were rewarded with unexpectedly great views of Keswick. Unexpected because it's not that high a fell (206 on the Wainwrights list ......I would guess...that was a bit geeky). We soon realised that this wasn't the top and headed upwards, well I did. Craig got a straight red for this dive.
From the top we planned a low level route to Dodd and circle back to Keswick later....but not before a hunters lunch. We watched in envy as a Landrover drove easily up a very icy steep hill. Maybe a second hand white one for my next hunting trip.
At the foot of Dodd fell I was a bit surprised to see a distinct lack of forestation, how the blinking heck are you supposed to read maps when they just remove a forest every 30 years!!. Not to worry if in doubt head straight up and we did and then we double backed a bit and then we found a great forest. Bound to be live stuff in here.
The path got smaller and darker and the trees shed a fine rainfall as the sound of us PLODDING on the earth shook them slightly, spooky but fun. Eventually we found the track I'd planned to be on.....honest and headed through the trees and via one last shortcut up to the top via the very clear forest trail.
Again some great views and then the wind picked up and it started to snow again.
There was no chance of a rapid descent off the north side as it was too steep and slippy, Craig suggested we head down a little and find shelter for lunch. Must have bagged some rabbits earlier. And indeed he had, sort of. Out came the bags of finest somethingorother maybe rabbit maybe soilent green. I really didn't mind though as after a thorough heating a bit of warm food was a winner for me.
Stomachs a little filled we headed down and cut through forests (and backtracked one......yes I 'knew' they were our footprints from earlier) and then just took the steep route to the bottom. This was the view looking back at Dodd (on the left) with Skiddaw in the background.
Anyway across the fields and along the river, we arrived back in Keswick just as dusk arrived.
Pretty bloody perfect, except I now had a need for real meat.
We were saved later that evening with an enormous portion of World Famous Cow Pie in the George Pub. Maybe one more pint and off to sleep! we were meeting Peter in the morning to take on Barf and I didn't want that to arrive too early.