24th May 2012
Wow!! Scorching hot weather hits the UK. No time to lose, the tent is packed and a destination selected. Church Stile Campsite at Nether Wasdale is a fantastic place to pitch a tent, walking opprortunities abound in this, the quieter side of the Lake District. Simon Baldwin is with me and we aim to have a good time.....
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....
The Hoad, Ulverston
The campsite has no shop and the nearest one is probably five miles away in Gosforth, so we call in at Booth's in Ulverston for supplies. Booth's are soon to open a store in Barrowford and I'll be their first customer: an Eccles Cake, Birkett's Bread (that may not reach E.Lancs) and two minted lamb burgers, thank you!
Planning A Route
The author has news: the optician has prescribed spectacles for reading, so Simon lends me his. I ask Simon to read the map and identify Buckbarrow from our current position. More work is needed here - it's that big rocky thing behind him. Walk start time of 16:35hrs.
Buckbarrow is a mountain, right? It looks like a mountain, it has crags and it needs climbing, it's a mountain. End of. We will climb to the right of the deepest gill, Gill Beck. A fine example of tautology, if one was needed.
Blimey! Looking back during one of the numerous stops for a breather. Tosh Tarn is partly in view, the forested bump further away is Latterbarrow.
A cloud is building over to the east, maybe somewhere near Langdale or Ambleside.
We decide to take our evening meal on the front edge of Buckbarrow. The "Wainwright" summit is just out of sight to the left of the photo. Further away is a cairn on Glade How, a hinterland of higher ground between Buckbarrow and Seatallan.
The cloud is building behind our view of The Scafells.
We heard a couple of rumbles of thunder and a feint rainbow appeared on the northern edge. The cloud barely moved and as the evening progressed, it slowly disintegrated, spread out and all but disappeared. The cloud rose to disturb an aircraft condensation trail, indicating a height somewhere close to 30,000ft.
We decided to carry our disposable barbeque, burgers, buns and beers up to the best seat in the house. Find me a better place to sit and eat an evening meal! OK, it may not meet with everyone's approval, but the tray is on a rock and absolutely everything that wasn't eaten returned with us to the campsite. I would have been concerned about spoiling other folks' enjoyment of the fell, but there was nobody about.
Is May the best month of the year? The bright greens, the hope for the summer, the flowers of spring, the cup final, the Eurovision, the Bank Holidays (usually), the switching off of the central heating.....
Ah well, we've been sat here for an hour and twenty minutes sorting out all sorts of local and global issues. It's time to find the summit of this mountain.
Buckbarrow Summit 1410ft asl (ish)
Joss Naylor's Cairn
I don't usually find the time and space to commend a fellrunner. But Joss Naylor is not just a fellrunner, he is a legend, a superhuman, the "King of the Fells". I hope to pass him one day on the fells, shake his hand, take a photo? Cairns are often works of art, maybe there are too many of them, the human influence on our landscape is all around.
To Greendale Tarn
We head for Greendale Tarn, Middle Fell is on our minds, but it is getting a bit late.
We choose not to head up Middle Fell, it's eight o'clock and it will take something like an hour and a half to get to the campsite from here.
Mill pondish, but too far away for us to take the "Britain's Greatest View" photo, someone else will have done the honours.
Looking up to the Scafells, the spent thundercloud has all but gone, just a bit of cloud left, which will have all gone by tomorrow morning. If Simon and I appear to be wearing similar footwear; we are. He forgot his boots and so I lent him my older pair of Brashers.
Walkers: Simon Baldwin and Me.
Time taken: 3hrs 45mins over a distance of about 6.5 miles, including our teatime on the felltop.
Route: Church Stile campsite, fields to Gill Beck, Buckbarrow, Joss Naylor's Cairn, Greendale Tarn, Greendale Gill, Roan Wood, fields to Murt, Nether Wasdale and back to the campsite.
Weather and Conditions: Hot and Sunny.
Greetings Count: Two walkers on the way to the mountain, but no one else on the rest of the walk.
Richard's Refreshment Review: We had a few pints of beer The Strands Inn, Nether Wasdale. They brew their own beer and landlord, Mark, is happy to offer samples of the ales prior to purchase.
The Condensation Collision
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2012 ©