Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday: Ennerdale to Honister

Miles Traveled: 14
Beer Consumed: Hesket Newmarket Brewery - Hay Stacks

Wow. Another interesting day in the Lake District. I decided to try my luck at Red Pike (755m). To be fair I took my sweet time getting up there, I figured it was a light day and I did not want to get to the Youth Hostel too early (they 'open' at 5pm). Anyways, by the time I got to the summit the clouds had rolled in and you could barely see a thing! All I can say is if there are two things you MUST bring on your trip to the lakes: its raingear and a compass. And when I say compass I do not mean your iPhone. Although that is perfectly lovely for most occasions, relying on a piece of electrical equipment when stuck on a mountain is a very dangerous thing. Especially when it is that same device you want to use to call Mountain Rescue when you are properly lost and its dark and you do not want to die.

I say this because I ran into two girls while bumbling around towards High Stile (807m, highest summit on C2C) who were using their iPhone as a GPS (read: no real map) and compass. They looked drenched and completely unprepared for the inclement weather. Useful tip-- going up in the mountains it will always be colder at the tip than at the bottom.... jackets are helpful. I was nervous for them when I pointed them in the right direction and off they disappeared into the mist-- and then it started to hail and I had to focus on my own problems.

It is scary being in a cloud. Its even scarier when you run the risk of being blown over the side or breaking an ankle and you do not know if anyone is around. I have my whistle, and as I found out it is rare to not come across someone in the area I am in.

On my ridge walk I also ticked off High Crag (755m) and Hay Stacks (597m), the latter being in near one of Wainwrights favorite places, Innominate Tarn. This is subsequently where his ashes were scattered by his late widow.

The Honister Youth Hostel is pretty nice, situated near the Honister Slate Mine, which even has a via ferrata route to tackle if you are up to it! Right now it is pretty quiet, which is nice when you have had a decent day of walking. Again, like Ennerdale, the food and hospitality are excellent!

My feet and legs feel pretty good, and with an easy day tomorrow (scraping 10 miles) I think I will be ready for Helvellyn in a few days. I would be lying if I said I am not curious to taste this famous gingerbread in Grasmere tomorrow!

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