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Monday, 20 April 2009

PreWalkDaunder 2009

The pictures tell the story. Words will just clutter it up. But you shall have some anyway, 'cos it's my blog and I can, see?

It was a route chosen for it's social characteristics - ie a pub where we gathered, a pub after the first day's walking, a wild camp after the second day and a pub for the parting of ways on the third day.

Fragrant Sue left us after the gathering at the Old Dungeon Ghyll to head off to far saner endeavours for her training while we hoisted packs to head off out of Langdale up Stakes Pass. And a fine pass it is too. Nothing too strenuous - after all, we don't want to go scaring the horses, do we?

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Gerry kept count of the time spent walking and the time spent lazing about in the sunshine. We are proud to report that the time spent loafing was just about double the time spent straining against rucksack harnesses. In our book, that's about right for a Daunder. Staff Sergeant Maria van der Flught would have been proud of us.

There are one or two 'laws' on a Daunder, or on any of my walks for that matter: Never pass by a pub and never pass by a tea shop. At Stonethwaite we just happened to bump into a lovely little inn, so four Dutiful Daunderers kept the end up and nipped in for a quick pint to slake the thirst and also managed to bag the last table in the restaurant for that evening. A real result. Of course we had to break the bad news to the remaining thirsty Daunderers that they had missed this golden opportunity by speeding onwards!

The next morning we strode off manfully (after His Holiness the Incredibly Irreverend Dave had nipped off early to try and avoid his campsite fees, but was caught for his sins by a charming lady in yellow wellies, to minister unto his flock back in Scotland) up Borrowdale to find.... a tea shop!

The Dutiful amongst our flock patronised the excellent establishment, whilst the 'Thirsty Three' carried on up the fell-side. We all inevitably bumped into each other again, but after lashings of sticky toffee pudding with ice-cream and coffees and cokes. Lovely!

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The above photo shows then all smiling, when in fact we were all gasping for breath as we had just entered the 'death zone' on the way up to Sprinkling Tarn. This Daundering is hard work, you know!

The next photo is one of Croydon calling into his Mission Control saying it 'was the first time he had had a signal...'

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So we hauled our sorry, useless carcasses over Allen Crags and down to High House Tarn; a quite splendid wild-camping spot as you can see, with mountains all about you.

IMG_1553  Looking towards Bow Fell  

Here it is again, as I like the place a lot, so you get two pictures of it.

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This next one is Great Gable, Windy Gap and Green Gable as the sun had slunk off for the day.

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Ice all over the tents again this morning but I had slept rather well on my gorgeous, sumptuously comfortable NeoAir, only perturbed by very weird dreams of Andy Howell and the House of Lords. I must take more water with the whisky.

On the odd occasion during the night when it was necessary to take a few steps away from Wanda Warmlite, I noticed that the tarn was full of starlight and looked up to see the Milky Way stretching away to infinity above our shelters. Quite magical. It should be noted that today the walking part of the day almost made it to the giddy heights of the loafing part. Phew - that was close!

Then it was a simple matter of strolling back to Langdale. We found a tremendous smudge of a path down Black Crags on the eastern side of Rossett Pike and thence found our way to the ODG once more for a shandy and making our ways homeward.

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9 comments:

  1. Did the lack of Welsh enhance your enjoyment?

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  2. The Lakes at their best there Alan. Nice wildcamp there as well.

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  3. Robin: My complete and utter failure to master the Mother Tongue has always been a disappointment to me.

    Perhaps an evening class or three at the local technical college will prepare me for my next trip west to the land that my parents fondly call 'home'?

    Aye Martin, The Lakes are always at their best. The thing is, see, look you, (ooh careful! Slipping into the Mother Tongue there!) they need a bit of rain now and again or otherwise there wouldn't be any lakes, would there? Bach, boyo...

    Andy: Be very afraid. It was ghastly.

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  4. Interestingly Alan very kindly did the food shop for me, and what did I have for my breakfasts?....Welsh Cakes!!

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  5. You've got me going Al. Last night I had a very vivid dream about the Challenge. It was all about getting into a mess because of poor planning, being stranded with no viable route, missing the ferry across Loch Ness and so on.

    Then I woke up and realised all of these are a distinct possibility!

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  6. For the last few years the planning and route selection for the Challenge have been admirably undertaken by Lord Elpus. It's just the execution of the route that's the problem - he will insistbon planning these routes that pass hostelries. That's where it all seems to go wrong...

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  7. "That's where it all seems to go wrong..."Au contraire - those are the bits that go blissfully right!

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  8. Phil, planning time is never wasted ...

    ... now I must tell myself that!

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