Monday, 11 February 2008

Lake District Weekend: Day 1

After an excellent night in the ODG Climbers Bar, (where all outside was claggy and cold) Lord Elpus and I staggered off to Ambleside to make a couple of purchases: Two very smart 40 litre rucsacs for the TGO Challenge. We had both been strugling with overly large jobs for quite a while, but for Lord E, this was quite a reduction in size - from his 90 litre behemoth to a tiny 40 litre sack. He was quite amazed when all his kit actually fitted inside.

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.

Phil and the Western Fells
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.
From Stybarrow Dodd looking east - ish
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.
View of Great Gable

Inroads were made into a nice flask of Highland Park and and we slept through a night of something like -3C (a guess, as most of my 4 litres water bag had frozen)


  1. Nice looking rucksack, what is it...and is it heavy?


  2. Hello John

    It's a French job - by a company called Millet (not to be confused with the English 'Millets')

    This is the 40L 'Peuterey 40' which has a very handy crampon pocket which takes your tent and sit mat quite nicely. It's not 'lightweight' as it comes in at 1900 grams (but I am cutting all sorts of stuff off soon to get that down a bit.)

    It's a very comfortable pack for loads of around 28-30lbs (the harness on my old Opsrey Atmos 50L started to give way and so was becoming increasingly uncomfortable).

    This sack is built like a sack capable of much bigger capacitites but is only quite small. My gear packs down quite small but still comes in around the 30lb mark with food for three days or so and with water, so for me it is a great compromise.

    The hip belt is really good and the harness and fit is quite adjustable for a fixed length sack.

    It was also a storming price of just £70

  3. Hi Alan,
    Just caught up with your site an am enjoying going through it.
    What did you think of the Millet Rucksack after you had completed your trip? I am thinking of buying the same one and wondered if it would be a sensible purchase.


    Mick B


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