Don't Be A Statistic
27th March 2013
care," said Margaret as I left the house. "I
don't want you to be a statistic."
was prompted by an article in the Westmorland
"The Lake District fells death toll sparks warning from mountain rescuers".
I certainly didn't want to be that sort of statistic
either, so I had first checked the forecast. Having
read about the possible chill factor (feeling like -17°C)
arising from the easterly wind, plus the likelihood
of snow, I phoned Bryan in the hope that he was sufficiently
recovered from lurgi to venture forth and lead us. Sadly,
he was still unwell but he did give me a pep talk.
target was not extreme, nor was it trivial. The
intention was to start from Grasmere, go up the nose
of Tarn Crag, then drop down to Codale Tarn, further
down to Easedale Tarn and finally descend to the Wordsworth
Hotel. This destination being chosen because the
£10 car parking fee is refundable at the bar.
Much better than SLDC's £8 with no added
benefits (other than keeping down our Council Tax bill,
the prospect of such cold, I was taking precautions.
Normally, I forget to open my handwarmers until
I need them which is, of course, too late as they take
about 29 minutes to warm up. Today, I opened them
as we set off. Only, not for the first time, one
of them immediately burst open, leeching nasty black
chemicals over my hand.
job, Karrimor. Fortunately I also had a packet
of Mycoals and they worked fine.
Milk Gill with Tarn Crag behind
day was duller than hoped for, with some
wafts of light snow blowing around, but
not viciously cold.
set off along the Coast to Coast route,
passing on the way a sign saying "Not
for cars" which I know is untrue as
I remember taking my old Morris Minor up
that rocky trail to my school's camping
barn. I have often wondered why the
suspension was subsequently suspect.
only vehicle there today was a LandRover.
we started to climb there was soon snow underfoot and
crampons were installed. John and I were using Kahtoola
Microspikes about which I have raved previously. Martin,
on the other hand, had bought some Pogu Spikes which
at first glance look identical but closer examination
showed subtle differences, including an additional Velcro
strap. It would be interesting (to me at least)
to see which performed better.
route we chose was, in parts, challenging; about as
steep as I find comfortable. Once on the top, however,
the nature of the problem changed to snow drifts, some
of which were quite deep and all of which were energy
weather started to close in so Martin suggested
we took shelter and had lunch.
made a comment about Tony time. For some
reason I thought it was 11:30 and said that
it was too early for him. It was only
later that I realised my mental clock was
an hour early. Tony would definitely
have been complaining.
flurry cleared and it turned into quite
a nice day, mostly without the strong cold
winds that we had feared. In fact
I was starting to get snow blindness so
I put on my goggles (Bryan would have despaired).
didn't help with the terrain but I enjoyed
a much brighter afternoon than the others
through the orange visor!
and Fairfield well snow covered in the distance
pioneered a route down to Codale Tarn in virgin snow,
then discovered some frozen inverted footprints. Not
as distinct as those seen on BB1310
but intriguing none the less.
path down to Easedale Tarn had signs of use but
was challenging in places, especially for anyone without
Tarn, Fairfield behind
the tarn,we started to meet people tthen many more as
we descended beyond.
descent to Easedale Tarn
you do this?
descending Sour Milk Gill, we witnessed a most unusual
sight. A young lady was taking off her clothes.
A group of people stood around here so naturally
we joined them. She slipped on her swimming cossie
and jumped into a rock pool where the water could only
be a fraction above freezing. I though she might be
doing it for charity or for a wager but no. Apparently
this is something she just enjoys doing. Whether
her milk turned sour I wouldn't know. Or whether
her name was Gill.
lion and the lamb and the lion and the lamb
little further down we had a second stop and discussed
crampon experience. My take on the matter is that
there is no real difference in performance. The
Kahtoolas are a little easier to fit as they don't have
the Velcro s trap but the quid pro quo is that the Pogu
Spikes hold their position better whereas the Kahtoolas
have a tendency to slip out of position somewhat. Given
that they are around the same price but you get a carrier
bag thrown in with the Pogus, I think they are probably
just about the better value. But if you have a
spare plastic bag in the house (and who hasn't?) that
advantage is minimal.
we reached Grasmere and the Wordsworth. Misquoting
the renowned phrase, we had counted ourselves all out
and counted us all back in.
same can also be applied to the time in the bar except
that "out" and "in" should be reversed.
terms of the only statistic acceptable to Margaret:
27th March 2013
Mark Of Zorro
am please to report that Bryan seems to
have no lasting damage from his encounter
with Zorro on BB1311.
was not the reason for his absence yesterday.
As hinted above, he had a dose of the
lurgi which is a shame as the conditions
were the sort he really relishes.
tells me that he is fast recovering and
hopes to make up for lost opportunities
tomorrow, above the snowline in Kentmere.
28th March 2013
27th March 2013
climbed in feet:
(Anquet / Harveys)
Tarn, Easedale Tarn
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1312
discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
have been gleaned from many sources although mostly
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