So it was then off to the rather smart little pub at Dockray for a refresher before heading off into the hills. Well, not exactly hills to start with - the lovely little old coach road that passes from Dockray to Keswick. An excellent bimble to warm the old bodies and to play with straps on the rucksacks to get them bedded in. The weather was glorious - warm and sunny in the middle of February!
The old coach road.
Then it was off up the very boggy right of way (no real path) alongside Mosedale Beck to take us up to Calfhow Pike and Little Dodd, where the views up to Helvellyn were wonderful.
The Helvellyn Range
Although it was only mid afternoon, we had the hilltops to ourselves as everyone else was making their way down to their B&B's and hotels, whilst we, on the other hand, were preparing for a highly irregular wildcamp up in the hills.
The walking was wonderful on top, with short grassy turf and a bitterly cold wind with wintery slanting sunlight. (It did however amaze me at how unfit I felt struggling on the uphill bits!) We picked up Watson's Dodd and Stybarrow Dodd on our route south.
As the sun was sinking, the view to the south west was wonderful with Scafell and Great Gable prominant. By now it was getting very cold, so hoods and gloves were called for before making our way down to Sticks Pass, just below the ski-tow, to pop the tents up at the first available site on Sticks Gill (East). There aren't many available pitches here and so we made ready for a very cold night, with the clouds clearing for a star strewn sky.