My wife can often be heard saying "oh we do love in a beautiful place"... and I can't disagree with her at all. Cumbria is indeed a wonderful place to live. Last week I had the good fortune to go on a 20km hike and overnight "wild camp" through my work. It was seen as a team building and training excercise, but to me, it was just an excuse to get out into the fells at the expense of my employers, thanks guys!
We hiked out from Underscar car park at the back of Latrigg and headed north into the "back o' Skidda", probably the last real wilderness in the Lake District. The hike took us up and over Lonscale Crags (a scary scramble over volcanic rocks with a near vertical 500m drop to our left) where we met our guide for the night Barry Howard of Hunter Outdoor Training. From there it was down into the Mosedale Valley where we set up camp. The site we chose was an area of open moorland bisected by a former miners track - now part of the Cumbrian Way. We divided into two groups, pitching our tents either side of the track, and made use of a fresh water spring and the the river Caldew around 100m from our camp. It was absolute heaven! In 24 hrs we only saw another 3 people pass along the track and the silence was only broken by the sounds of grouse, inquistive sheep and a heron fishing for food in the river... (and about 2million midges!)
|The view from Lonscale Crags looking back towards Keswick|
|Lookin ahead into the Caldew Valley and Mosedale|
|Our idyllic pitch, nobody around for miles except us and the wildlife|
|By 8am next morning the surrounding fells had disappeared into the mist!|
By midnight though, the rain started to come down (at least it cleared the midges away) and by early morning we were surrounded by a low lying mist too, with visibility down to less than 100m. The hike back to Keswick was damp and muddy, but by the time we descended back down to Underscar, the sun was shining and the steam was rising from our kit as well as the road. What a great way to spend 24 hours in the Lakes, no wonder I love living here.