This was the trip that instigated my lightweight backpacking epiphany back in 2010. I was over-ambitious and under-prepared and should have known better. Even so, we were lucky with the weather and the Lakes were as beautiful (and busy) as ever. As I mentioned elsewhere this was a trip I was greatly looking forward to. Living in Lincolnshire 3 and a half hours drive or £120+ train fare away from the Lakes, which I consider to be the nearest ‘true’ mountains to where I live, might not seem like far but finding the time and money aint easy. I hadn’t been any farther afield than the Peak District in years. My mate Marcus was at work the morning of the departure and we didn’t set off until late afternoon so as a result it was getting dark before I parked up in Buttermere. We quickly pitched Marc’s Shangri-La 3 and went for a quick pint before cracking out the stoves. The air was clean and fresh and despite feeling tired i felt excited anticipation for the following 2 days. There was a frost that night but as usual i slept like a baby, being a hot sleeper and having my big old Snugpak Xtreme Sleeper sleeping bag, which I have since retired. It weighs over 2kg and the pack size is almost twice that of the Vango Ultralite that I replaced it with.
High Stile from Sykes Farm campsite on our first morning. We got up fairly early and quickly ate and packed before setting off.
Buttermere Lake, Fleetwith Pike and Dale Head from the path above Burtness Wood.
Red Pike, our first top of the day. Figures on the ridge put the scale into perspective.
The final stretch of Red Pike was a bit of a slippery struggle for me with my heavy pack, my legs heavy and the footing atrocious on the steep eroded chute leading to the summit.
Me after reaching Red Pike’s summit. I believe i took this for Trail Magazine’s Face of Exhaustion but never sent it off. Despite feeling cream-crackered I don’t believe I looked exhausted. More like I’ve a Sour Gobstopper in my mouth!
The view northwest from Red Pike to the Solway Firth and Galloway, Scotland. Well worth the effort as it always is…atleast when there are views like this to be had.
Ennerdale Fell, Ennerdale Water and the Isle of Man just visible on the horizon.
Buttermere village where we started the day (in the centre of the shot), seen from Chapel Crags with Bleaberry Tarn in the foreground 700ft below us.
Chapel Crags and High Stile.
High Crag from Seat. It was shortly after scrambling down from High Crag that I’d physically and mentally had enough and we decided to find somewhere to pitch up for the night.
Our pitch on Seat with the late evening sun setting on Haystacks.
Grasmoor and Crag Hill.
Green Gable and Great Gable.
Cloud cloaking High Crag in the morning.
The early morning light softening the ridge of Fleetwith Pike.
Comb Beck, waterfalls and High Stile.
Footbridge over Sour Milk Gill.