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Report - A week in England's Mountainous Zones - Febuary 2018

b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#1
The drive goes quickly.

Usually when you head off on a journey you've been anticipating for a long time the actual travelling seems to take forever.

This didn't.

One second we're leaving the ferry, the next we're pulling through the frost bitten and mist sodden roads of the Peak District. Naked on the roadside, snow threatening above us, we change into caving gear and phone our 'call out'. This is the person who will raise the alarm should the shit hit the fan and we don't make it out on time. Half of the Isle of Wight is going out to listen to some bludclart jungle bizness in Ventnor, and we're a few hundred miles away about to descend into Masson Cavern's tight passage ways and crawl spaces.

Lead mining was a huge industry in the Peak District; the galena ore which came to earth in the rocky outcrops was soon extracted and the veins followed beneath the ground making landowners and prospectors rich in the process. Bullets for the army, flashing for roofs and glazing bars for windows, lead was a valuable commodity and t'owd man, as miners were called in this area, made the most of it.

Masson Cavern was, I believe, a 'pipe works'. The caverns were originally caves formed in the limestone which were later filled by volcanic lava leaving behind the mineral deposits. Originally extracted by pick axe the 'owd man' removed the deposits to be smelted leaving the spaces as they would have originally existed.
In later years the rock was bored and gunpowder was used to blow the rocks apart, and later still, dynamite. Masson Cavern showed the evolution of mining history, overlaid across a geological history which becomes incredibly complex and beautiful to explore.

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We crawl through a gap in the face of a quarry and into the ancient mine workings, half sliding, half falling down the slippery rift. A tight squeeze through some calcined rocks brings us into a huge gallery and we begin to explore the mine. Whilst the galena was removed many other minerals remain: huge calcite crystals, some completely clear sit in a pile, mixed with purple flurospar crystals. The colorful mineral vein continues over our heads with just the smallest glimpses of the silver blue galena ore remaining. The first chambers are covered in pick marks and as we continue deeper we discover the boreholes from gunpowder and discarded mining equipment. A few tight crawls through the spiders web of passages bring us to clear lakes and pools of calcinated cave pearls.

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Time is getting on so we leave Masson Cavern, with heavy pockets filled with minerals, and head back to the car and along a mist smoked road to our bunk barn near Castleton.

As we pull up to the barn we realise we're right next to a cement factory. A huge working cement factory. Puffing billows of smoke and steam and dust across the darkening sky. We settle down for dinner, the drinks begin to flow and ideas for the week ahead are discussed. Before we know it Nick and I have suddenly had this amazing idea to go and explore the cement factory. This huge industrial beast, at night. It's probably a bit of a stupid idea but we're drunk and it's the first day... What can go wrong right?

So off we go. Then rapidly return to change into wellies and pick up the forgotten head torch. With red lights we skirt the perimeter of the factory, keeping an eye out for cameras or movement in the night. But there is none - the site is working, the lights are on the machines are running - and there is no one around. We slide down a bank and skirt around a building, climb up some stairs to get a better view of our surroundings. A conveyor belt passes to our left, delivering aggregates from a quarry behind to the processing plant that towers above us. A series of pipes and smaller conveyors run across our right hand side and a mud strewn courtyard lays between us and the tower.

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We squat run across the courtyard and slip between some small buildings beside the tower. We look through a door to a room filled with boilers and dials. No ladder up. We pace through the sludge around the bases of equipment and find a ladder up into the heart of the tower. Climbing the dust covered rungs, over and under pipework and equipment, down steps and up steps we sneak around the factory wondering what the equipment does and snapping photos in awe of the meshing gears and tumbling machines.

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By this point I'm sobering up. I'm thinking about the parallels that run between what we are currently doing, exploring a dusty industrial machine and what we're about to do over the next few days, ascending a mountain in the Lake District.

About the nature of exploring new places, inquisitive about the history and uses of these natural and man made environments.

Both off limits to the casual visitor they may require specialised equipment, but mostly just an informed common sence. An ability to risk assess.

What we're doing is illegal, we're on some companies property, but we're here because we're interested. We won't damage or take anything, just photographs and footprints in the dust. It's illegal but there is no moral wrong here, it's the same motivation that makes me want to climb a mountain or descend a cave.

Because it's there.
 
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b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#2
The snoring stagardly stops as we individually roll out of bed. We'd lucked out really and ended up with the equivalent of 6 single, pvc coated mattresses EACH to dump our sleeping bags across. Nick and I tried to shake the cement dust from our night time excursion out of ourselves as the others put porridge on the hob. This barn had an abseil tower we could use so dodging the snowy spells we set up some ropes and practiced ascending and descending them for a couple of hours. Today's plan was to continue the rest of the way to the Lake District with a stop at an abandoned paper mill we were hoping to take a look around.

The drive through the snowy pass was beautiful, curving around hills and under viaducts until we reached the outer edges of the Peak. Manchester's Sunday Strollers were out in force as we pulled into a parking spot beneath the reservoir. A quick scout on google maps gave us the beta we needed to know and we were off to find 'Ellie the lost dog' in the centre of the paper mills.

Past the mill workers cottages and down a footpath along the side. Over a fence and through the woods. Half on deer tracks, half in the swamp. We climbed up the side of a ditch to see the mill buildings.

We searched for ages trying to find a way in. There's usually a way. Something we'd missed. Crawled up to rooftops. Tried all the doors. Thought outside the box. This one was sealed and we weren't going to break anything. Like 'Ellie the dog', this one had got away.

We'd given up and were heading out when the security guard, who must have just finished his biscuit and re read The Sun for the third time that day, waddled out of his hut.

'I'm gonna have to get you lads to wait here whilst I call 101 and find out what to do with you'

He was friendly enough so we said fair enough as he pulls out his phone and dials. He's on hold. 2 minutes later he's still on hold. 5 minutes later hes still on hold.

'We'll give you our details but we're not gonna wait around here forever!'

'Fair enough' he says.

After scribbling on a bit of paper, John Doe, Ally Law, Harry Gallagher and Stefan Wells leave the security guard, still on hold, to go and search for 'Ellie the dog' in the car park.

And off we drive, an hour up the M6 to the hills of the Lake District. Seemingly sorted into some kind of ascending order.
 
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b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#3
We'd planned a week, well 8 days, because of the weather. The point of the trip, the main attraction, was a mountain called Helvellyn in winter conditions. And we wanted it in the BEST weather possible. I'd been reading fell top assessors reports, checking long term weather and calculating snowfall and consolidation for weeks. It just so happened that Monday, our first day in the lakes was looking the best. Fresh snow was due to fall the next day and the avalanche risk of wind slabbed snow and cornices on the consolidated hard snow was set to increase. The summits were free of cloud and we were set for a perfect day in the hills. -5°C wind chill -13°C.

We stopped in Ambleside to hire crampons and axes. How you forget to bring an ice axe on a winter climbing trip I don't know, but the one essential item had been forgotten by two of our party! Unfortunately they had none to hire so a rushed and expensive trip around town was necessary - you can't go onto the hills without the equipment you need to get yourself down safely.

We settled into Low Bridge End Farm well. We chopped our kindling and lit the fire, ate tinned haggis and Smash. Chatted with Phillip our bunkmate about plans and adventures. We drank some ales and packed our kit for the next day.

A crisp and frosty morning, more porridge and a beautiful drive around the lakes powered us to a village at the foot of Striding Edge, Glenridding.

Our planned route was a little different to the standard. Nevermost Pike sat to the south of Helvellyn and we were going to climb its black pyramid before traversing the col to Helvellyn's peak. From there we would descend Striding Edge thereby missing the climbers who had used it in the morning to ascend and have the ridges pretty much to ourselves.

We walked over a fell and up a valley, passing conifer plantations and fording a small river. From here the climb started and as we reached the snowline we practiced ice axe arrests; how to stop yourself falling on steep icy ground.

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The ground became more technical as we climbed higher, the buttress of Nevermost ridge rearing its crag ahead of us. We strapped on crampons as the ground became icy and began the hands on scramble up to the peak.

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It was more of a challenge than we expected, but just the right amount of challenge- one or two difficult moves brought us to the exposed ridgeline. We stopped for a snack on the crest, birds circling below us in Nevermost Cove and took in the view. We could see and hear the line of climbers on Striding Edge a kilometer to our north but we had seen just one solitary dog walker on our way over the fell, valley and ridge.

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We reached the summit cairn of Nevermost Pike and, giving the cornices, the overhanging build up of snow on the downwind side, a wide birth traversed the plateau to a busy Helvellyn summit.

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From Helvellyn we waited for the last of Striding Edge's climbers to ascend the final slope and watched a jet screech down the valley at the same level as us. It hit me for a second that it's not the mountains which are formed but the valleys, by the galcial ice carving through a rock plateau. The mountains are just what remains of an original tundra.

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The climb down was exposed and icy. Without crampons we wouldn't have been able to do it, front points bit into frozen steps over the exposed drop and ice axes assisted our decent. This was the real fun.

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The ridge begins with a sheer drop either side. I'm sticking to the peak of the ridge, the sharded arête where I can and avoiding the lower path. Hands on and exposed this is the best mountain day I have ever had. A semi frozen Red Tarn lays in the cove below to our left. Nevermost ridge to our right. Ahead the white pinnacles of Striding Edge are silhouetted against a moody sky.

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We continue on and I wish it could go on forever, but like our drive here, it was gone in a flash.

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A traipse through Hole in the Wall and a long walk, back past the snowline and down into Glenridding brings us to a half of ale in the Travellers Rest and a drive back to Ambleside to drop off hired kit.

And a well deserved pie in the pub.
 
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b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#4
Now then, Tuesday. This is where it gets interesting! I'll let you know what our plans were first I guess...

Bothies are shelters in remote parts of mountainous areas where walkers and climbers can shelter for the night from the weather. Some are just a small hut, some are larger buildings. All would have fallen to ruin but with the landowners agreement walkers have done up the huts as simple places to stay. Most are managed by the MBA or Mountain Bothies Association. You can buy a book which lists them all and the profits go towards their upkeep.

After visiting a Scottish Bothy last year we'd decided to stay in one and Mosedale Cottage was it. In a remote valley to the east of Hawswater Reservoir the cottage is sat with a few conifer trees and a stream running past it. It was going to be the perfect day.

The sky had DUMPED. And I mean DUMPED. loads of snow just deposited itself on our doorstep.

I went for a walk in the morning whilst the others were getting ready. Chatted to the farmer, admired the view, saw some waterfalls. We set off towards Hawswater on the icy roads. The car was handling fine, it was well loaded with bags and people but dealt with the conditions well. We're getting closer and I miss a turn on the sat nav. Go down a snowy road. Coming calmly over the crest of a hill it begins to slide and there's no stopping her now. I'm pumping the break and steering away - doing the right things. But when it's sliding it's sliding. A car doesn't have an ice axe. Next time it will have crampons.

We ended up on top of a verge just off the road. A fence post had gone through the radiator and damaged the bumper and front end. We were all ok, and that, of course, was the main thing.

A few cigarettes. A few sandwiches. A bit of a chat. Nick asks if he can vlog it. Of Course!

Nick and Nick head down to the farm to find the farmer who's fence I have just sideswiped. It's not looking too bad, nor is the car considering. I've never been in an accident before and am trying to double guess if i'm in shock or not. I make a few phone calls and things start happening. The guy from the AA is on his way. A lad from the farm pops up to assess the damage. The Nick's return and Messr Stotestbury asks if he can fly his drone around. HELL YEAH. But it won't connect.

The huge bag, which had been a Trumpeque wall between the backseat passengers containing the drone, was a white elephant. And like an elephant, it couldn't fly.

The AA man arrives and my head is spinning with ideas of asking the farmer to oik it out with a tractor etc etc. He calmly sets up a winch and by the power of pulleys and levers gets the car off the verge and onto the truck.

If you ever want a job done proper ask a Northerner to do it I tell thee.

It's starting to sink in that this might not be such a simple fix and a call to the insurers confirms this. They write her off over the phone. It'll be in your account within 3 days. Do you want a lift home?

I'm thinking about this..

Do I Want A Lift Home?

No I Fucking Do Not.

We go to a garage with the recovery driver and empty the car. Nick and Matt wait with the kit whilst Nick and I go shopping.

1 hour later I am the proud owner of a Lilac Subaru Forester. She's a 4x4 with tyres designed for snow. She's high millage but a proper workhorse. We name her Ellie.

So yea, we were going to Mosedale Cottage wern't we?

We pile into Ellie and set off again. Its getting dark but we're not going to let a silly little thing like a car crash get in the way of our bothying plans.

Ellie cruises into the carpark at the foot of Haweswater reservoir like a dream. And I feel like i've just stepped out of a dream. And into another one.

The walk in towards the cottage is Incredible. The snow has been whipped into crazy sand dune like shapes. Illuminated by just our torches in the biting wind it's like stepping onto Martian soil.

It's hard work and we're loaded up. As well as food, sleeping bags, roll mats, and booze we have a bag of coal and some fire logs split between us. And did I mention booze? Cos we had lots of that. This was Withnail and I land after all.

After climbing the col we descend into a boggy valley. The bogs were frozen but there was no path. We took a compass bearing and headed off at 60°. After an hour the GPS was telling us we were on top of it and eventually we find the white building. In the white snow. In the black night.

We wrap our potatoes in tin foil, we melt snow to make hot chocolate, we drink brandy, we drink ale, the ice begins to melt from the inside of the bothy windows. Mosedale Cottage has 6 rooms, a large living room with 2 leather sofas and a woodburner. Set off from the main room are 2 pantrys and behind are 2 bedrooms. One has a wooden platform for sleeping on. The accommodation is basic but this is free and in the middle of nowhere. There's an outdoor privy but it's nailed shut with a sign that reads

'TOILET CLOSED. PLEASE USE BOTHY SPADE'

We settle in for the night. Matt strings up his hammock and we eat our potatoes with tuna and cheese. We read the bothy guestbook and on Saturday there was a 21st birthday party here. They have left half a bottle of tequila which we decide it is a great idea to drink.

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As Nick and Matt settle down to sweet snores in the -5° heat Nick and I finish off that bottle of tequila. And the brandy. And some rum.

We have another Amazing idea. We should climb a mountain! We're sober enough to remember the essentials so have packed a bag with emergency kit, torches, cameras and of course rum. We head off on a NIGHT HIKE. Proudly proclaiming this to the empty valley around us. We stomp across the frozen bog, cross two streams, trek up, and up, and up, and up, and up, and up and up. And a bit more up. Untill we reach the top.

We're well wrapped up but it's still cold. The buttons on my camera are starting to freeze solid. It's crazy but it's cool! A very weird day has happened and right now it's coming to an end on top of a mountain.

We head down, snapping photos of the clear night sky. There is no light pollution. There are only stars.

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Eventually we are banging the snow from our boots and shoveling coal onto the fire. There is more ice on the window in the bedroom now. It is cold. Wrapped up in every layer I have plus a sleeping bag I doze off to the calming sound of snoring in a stone bothy in the arse end of nowhere. It is cold.

The next day we're up and awake, the fire is going again and we're toasting sandwiches and take it in turns to use the bothy spade. We'd arrived in the dark and now it was a stunningly sunny day. the sunlight bouncing off the snow and the cottage. Apertures are set to their max and sunglasses are on.

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Matt signs the bothy book and we set off towards Swindale on our circular route back. The path is marked by a lone dogs footprints in the snow, there and back. He must know the path well and have been for a morning walk on his own. Dropping down into the valley we pass amazing waterfalls, with frozen foam balls and icicles dripping from their edges. We fill our water bottles and marvel at the scene. We've not seen anyone. Just paw prints.

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Heading down into Swindale valley we take a break and realise we are getting tired fast. The cold night has taken our energy and it's a struggle to climb back up the Old Corpse road.

We pass a farm and look at the sheep with their curved horns. Nick slips and lands on his arse. It's quite funny but we don't laugh too much.

The Old Corpse Road was used to carry bodies from Mardale to the burial ground at Shap. As we climb birds circle and call their strange coos at our level.

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Lacking energy we reach the tundra of Swaldale common and then descend again to Haweswater reservoir and Ellie.

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b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#5
So Thursday, we were all feeling a bit tired.

And it was to be expected.

It was forecast to be the worst weather day of the trip so we'd gone ahead and booked Honister Via Ferrata. I don't usually like the guided thing but I've never done a Via Ferrata, or Iron Way, before.

Iron bars are set into the rock as ladders and a cable runs along side you on to which you clip your duel karabeners. These are then attached to a harness via 'cows tails'. The idea is that if you do fall you wont fall far and some ripping tape in the system will absorb the shock of a fall.

The drive through the Honister pass was STUNNNG. We were moving bunkbarns tonight to a different place so the car was fully loaded. As we're pulling around a corner and up a hill a tractor comes into view. He's going too fast and skids. I'm putting Ellie into reverse gear as he jack knifes, bucket down, towards us.

Somehow he stops.

Luckily there's no snow here. Maybe tractors do have ice axes anyway.

Car related madness number 2 (and i'm glad to say the final one) out of the way.

We pass and wave at the driver unsure how we are still alive, and continue past the 20%, then 25% signs. Even in the drizzle the view is imposing and I'm loving the drive snaking through the valley.

We all arrive and get chatting to our guide, Sean. I'm interested in the mine and we talk about how it's reopened and how much slate is coming out. We take a bus up the pass to the mine, walk through and out onto the mountain side. I know its public access land and I could have walked up here at night and done it for free but it's a bad weather day and its nice to not have to think all the time.

Off on the Via Feratta we go, the Iron bars dug into the industrial hillside and epoxied into slate. It's the most unethical climbing experience with brave steps across under-hanging slabs and waterfalls of grey it's not too challenging but keeps your mind in gear clipping in the right way and making sure the gate is locked on the karabener. We're soon past the difficult parts and onto the Burma Bridge. A wire bridge strung across a gully with a tyroleen above to keep you safe. I'm fine on rock and I'm fine with heights so wouldn't think this is a problem but as soon as you're on it and you start to move, you brick it. Everythings moving, small steps move the bridge less, but then it'll take longer to get across. Big steps make it shake like mad. You take one and need to have a second to calm your nerves. I'm wondering if its just me who's body is telling me that this isn't right. Near the end I'm gaining confidence and shout, "I'm gonna bounce ok?" a shaky voice comes back immediately saying no and i'm glad it's not just me. I don't have to bounce.

We're back on rock and taking on the white buttress, flecked with granite, in the pissing rain. I pull out a camera and take a few shots, the only ones of the day.

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We climb up a cargo net and finish the Via Feratta. It was a good fun, a good way to spend a rainy day and as we scramble through a waterfall and down a scree slope we get talking to Sean about other things to do.. And he tells us a secret.

Paying for Via Feratta really did pay off.

There's a secret bothy, by the side of a lake, in the woods near a car park. If you get there early enough you can have it for the weekend. There's a tiny fireplace and just enough room for 4.

Anyway we have somewhere to stay tonight and we're soaking wet so we head to Catbells farm to get setup. Catbells is nice, but its pretty cold. It's not like the last place and we're not so comfy. We cook a chilli (homemade from cans of chilli and bags of rice) and drink. Nick and I have ANOTHER Amazing idea. We're going on a NIGHT HIKE. Today's sodden climbing obviously wasn't extreme enough for us so off we trot to conquer Catbells.

The guide says it's a nice family day out hill.

So just right for a rummed up Ben and Nick.

We start on the paths, following them on the map. But then we spot a short cut. Just a sheep track but it'll save us 5 mins. Sliding one foot down the muddy hill for every 2 feet we crawl up it we eventually rejoin the path. And then start scrambling around up the rocky crags of Catbells. Nick's so pissed he thinks there are 5 of us up here. I just smile and nod.

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Somehow we make it to the top. Take some terrible photos and head back down a much, much easier way.

And off we go to snore some more.
 

b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#6
So what are we on now, Friday? We wake up to the pissing rainlight and pack our caving kit. It's actually turning into quite a nice day. I'm beginning to thaw out over coffee and a fire and we set off for Coniston Copper Mine.

I'm not gonna lie, alot has happened over the last few days and not much can match it. It may start to get tamer from this point onward but i'll try to keep it a bit interesting.

In the Tudor times Queen Elizebeth flipped her nut. We were about to be at war with France and we needed cannons. She brought miners over from Germany to dig dirty great holes in the ground and extract the copper ore, chalcopyrite, to smelt with other metals to make Bronze.

For her Cannons.

Coniston was one of the main areas for copper ore and underground mining on a larger scale developed from then on.

There are a few trips you can do within Coniston copper mines but with the kit and experience we had only Hospital and Grey Cragg levels, plus a few smaller adits were on the cards.

We drove to Coniston and changed in the road. Naked in the road again. It would make a great youtube tag line. A few people passed and laughed saying it would be wet up there.

It was a beautiful day but the wind was bitterly cold as we walked up the hill towards Coppermines Valley. The 1981 guidebook i'd bought from Amazon was signed by the author 'I hope you don't get lost in any of these holes!'.

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The first adit, or horizontal entrance, in the book was Coutney's Cross Cut. We kitted up and entered, inside the first entrance to the right was a sump where water would have been drained away. It was blocked and had flooded. A recently dead sheep lay floating on the freezing water we were currently knee deep in. It wasn't the best start.

On to Hospital level and the fun begins. Wading through waist deep freezing water we make it to the first bridge. The water is well over our wellies already. But the bridge isn't over water, its over a part of the floor which has collapsed. The floor we're stood on is not actually a floor but a platform created from bits of wood jammed into a gap with loose rocks and rubble over the top.The actual depth of Coniston Copper mines, the depth at which they mined down to is around 190 fathoms. 347.472 meters below us.

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We're prepared for this with harnesses and cow's tails much like we used for the Via Feratta so cross this, and then another bridge clipping into the steel rope which runs along side.

We emerge into a network of cavities coloured by mineralisation like i have never seen before. Greens and blues from the copper sulfate, purples and yellows. At the end of a long exploration level we find a pool of what must be pure sulphuric acid... the rotten egg smell is incredible.

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We explore the rest of the mine. Or at least the parts we can without ropes and then head out.

In the cold wind we are are all freezing but we've seen enough. Horse gins where a horse would walk in circles powering ore up shafts, and track ways run out along the levels.

We head back to the car and change. We're all exhausted. Me and Nick don't even want to go on a NIGHT HIKE.

We grab fish and chips on the way back. Tonight there are another 6 people staying with us at Catbells. We get an early night so we can all be fully snoring when they arrive back from the pub.
 
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b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#7
Oh no, it's the last day! It's not supposed to be the last day but let me explain how it happened, and why it's not such a bad thing.

Now when I booked everything I didn't book any accommodation for the last night. I had a few ideas and thought sod it, something will come up.

Well it kind of did. In Sean's secret bothy. We'd actually all forgotten where it was straight after he'd told us the name of the place. We'd scoured maps, we'd phoned the company through which we had booked the Via Feratta . No one would help.

Eventually I found some 3G signal and searched the internet for it. It took ages, I'm good at finding stuff on the internet and it was harrrrrrrd. But eventually I found it. We knew it was a risk but the weather was shitty and we planned our day. We went to a swimming pool in the morning; messed around. Almost got kicked out for going down the slide head first. After that, we went to the shops and bought a huge bag of coal, some board games in a charity shop and a bottle of brandy.

Our idea was to find the secret bothy, get it warm and play board games in the shitty weather until nightfall when we would drunkenly go out on a night hike up a hill.

Well we collected supplies, drove along diverted roads and through more snow. Down weird tracks along the lake and found the car park.

We searched for a while in the woods and eventually, we found the bothy!

It was amazing.....


But......


Someone had already bagged it. Their sleeping bags were laid out and the fire was burning.

We considered other plans: staying in a youth hostel, finding a different bothy. But nothing really matched it. So we decided to leave the Lake District wanting more.

On the upside we do now know how to find that secret bothy.

And that will be the first stop on the next trip to the mountains........
 
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The Lone Ranger

Safety is paramount!
Staff member
Moderator
#8
Looks a nice stroll in the Peak and the Lake, love them both. Still lean conditions in the Lakes, but good to see you took the sensible option od ice axes and crampons. Safety after all is paramount. Top trip by the look of things :thumb
 

b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#9
Looks a nice stroll in the Peak and the Lake, love them both. Still lean conditions in the Lakes, but good to see you took the sensible option od ice axes and crampons. Safety after all is paramount. Top trip by the look of things :thumb
Yea, I wasn't really sure if i should post it here as it's not exactly UE! But wanted to plonk it somewhere online. Was my first trip to the Lakes and loved it but I think next year will be the Alps for some real winter. It seems to be lacking in recent years!
 

wormster

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#10
What a epic trip you Island boys had a good time!

Say Hi to Fred the Gardiner if you pass him!
 

Fudge

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#12
Bothies are great. What's accessibility like on the swamp one? Would wellies do or is it a major swamp?

Almost forgot, show us Ellie!
 

b3n

onehundredandthirtythree
Regular User
#13
Bothies are great. What's accessibility like on the swamp one? Would wellies do or is it a major swamp?

Almost forgot, show us Ellie!

Haha, i'll sort a photo of Ellie when I get a chance.

There are a few ways into Mosedale Cottage, to come via Gatescarth pass and up the valley is boggy, but Swindale is dryer. You can also come from Wet Sleddale which we didn't do and, despite the name might also be dry. Nothing a decent pair of boots and gaiters can't handle which ever way and the round trip is good.

mos.jpg
 
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