A couple of days ago I decided on an evening ascent of Wansfell Pike. This is walkable from our house, so very convenient. The weather had been poor all day, with a band of heavy rain lasting until around 4pm! I left home about 6pm and took a route via Stock Ghyll Falls, which is a beautiful place. Then up onto the slopes of Wansfell for the steep but short ascent to the summit. As I reached the top, light was fading and the lights of Ambleside became prominent. The clouds had parted and were now making dramatic shapes as some draped over the surrounding mountains.
Home in time for a later supper and a lovely tired, but satisfied feeling. Fantastic to be out on the Lakeland mountains.
And for this morning, it's early start time with Phil & Pippa from Tunbridge Wells. They were interested in a sunrise walk whilst holidaying in the Lakes. We put a plan together, decided on Helvellyn and set the alarm for very early o'clock!!
We met at 4.30am in Ambleside and drove up to Swirls on the Western side of Helvellyn. We were enjoying a cup of tea on the summit by 6.50am and had the place completely to ourselves, wonderful. The summit shelter provided a much needed barrier from the strong winds whilst we rested a while. Views had been really quite good on the walk up, with a few 'torch off' moments to enjoy our surroundings and gain a better perspective of the mountain terrain. Views from the summit were less impressive as by now we were in thick cloud. But this adds its own charm, giving an air of mystery.
We took in Lower Man, then skipped over Whiteside and Raise before beginning our descent proper via Sticks Pass. After following the valley path passing Fisher Place Ghyll, we emerged at the Kings Head Inn, Thirlspot. And yes they were open and serving freshly brewed tea, lovely. It was about 10am, sitting in the pub drinking a brew, I couldn't think of a better way to finish a walk on the Lakeland fells.
Thanks very much to Pippa & Phil