Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking
Our plan was to do the section of the Bob Graham round from Wasdale Head to Honister. A hut to hut day out across some of the best peaks in the lakes. Up Yewbarrow, around the Mosedale horseshoe, across Kirkfell and Great Gable to Honister Hause. That was plan A.
Weather wasn’t good, cloudy across the tops and a threat of rain. It’s hard going up Yewbarrow, a steep hard climb. We took our times, enjoying the change in pace while we scrambled through Dropping Crag to the exposure of Great Door which was an airless drop below us. By now we were well into the cloud, so followed the boggy track up to the summit. This was my 142nd Wainwright fell top.
Despite the Bob Graham Round special Harvey Map making it an imperative to avoid Stirrup Crag on the way down, we failed to notice this important piece of advice. So 30 enjoyable minutes were added to our day as we climbed down the very wet rock. By now we were about an hour behind schedule and things were not looking good for completing Plan A. Clouds had started to turn to showers as we headed up Red Pike, the decision when to put on waterproofs delayed as long as possible, I do hate waterproof trousers. Turning around the top of Mosedale Head, the wind came into our faces and it was now time to fully Goretex up.
There was no way all of us were now going to complete the journey over Great Gable to Honister, so the Steve and Rob set off at a fast pace, heading to Black Sail pass where decisions on the optimum way could be taken. This was Plan B, skirting below Kirk Fell to pick up the low-level path to the hostel.
Nas and I cut our pace to conserve remaining energy. We steadily followed the others into the mist stopping a couple of times to restore fuel levels with Mars Bars and bananas. It was late, very wet and we were on the edge of getting very cold as we arrived at Black Sail pass, so we dropped down to Wasdale Head and the car. This was our Plan C, a good escape route. As it happens we arrived at the car at the same time Steve and Rob made it to the hostel, but were faced with a long drive. If you were to travel between two places 5 miles apart, you wouldn’t expect a 50 mile, 90-minute drive. Still, snug and dry in the car, it was the right place to enjoy the delights of West Cumbria; Sellafield, Egremont and Cleator Moor. It is actually quite a depressing place, redeemed by the superb countryside on its doorstep.
At Honister Hostel it was still raining heavily, so we filled the drying room with gear and sat down to the best meal I have ever had in a Youth Hostel.
Looking back, we had done the Mosedale Horseshoe, which is quite a tough proposition on the best of days. The day had thrown some rough weather at us and we had tackled the surprisingly gnarly Yewbarrow.