Monday, 26 March 2012

The Wast Weekend Pt 2

Great Gable from brekkie spot.
We lost an hour last night. Not as a result of all my watches going the same way as all my compasses, but on account of the arrival of BST. Hurrah! Light evenings are back and what better way to start than with balmy June-like temperatures. We had to be off the campsite by 11am so after a quick excursion to get in a few pics of the lake we packed up and drove down to the NT carpark at the foot of Yewbarrow where I whipped up a batch of sausage & egg sarnies to fortify us for the day. Steve was convinced we'd do a roaring trade flogging them to passing motorists but I was far too hungry to part with mine.

Without wishing to encourage reckless behaviour Yewbarrow is the sort of fell you don't really need a map for. There's one route up and another one down and on a glorious sunny Sunday it's hard to go far wrong. Whilst we'd munched our sarnies earlier we'd watched one couple get ready for their hike by donning several layers of clothes including gators and full on fleecy jackets. Not sure how far they got before they began melting but I was only in my t-shirt and lightweight trousers all day and would gladly have shed layers had decency permitted. Still better to see people being thorough I suppose.

How could you resist?
Yewbarrow's "come hither" flanks did not disappoint and we were soon picking our way up onto Bull Crag. The path is clear the whole way though there are a few scrambles involved. We took it steady and enjoyed the experience and the stunning views and at one point spotted a very clear profile of a face in the crags; the north face perhaps? It's a straightforward fell but not one for the feint hearted, the route up is strenuous but, because of its directness, not too long so we were soon on the broad grassy summit ridge with tea and sarnies fully deployed. The views all around are quite simply breathtaking with many of the Lake District's finest peaks almost within touching distance. Through the binoculars we could see ScaFell Pike was having a busy day but over on Yewbarrow we only saw about a dozen other people all day.
North Face of Yewbarrow

Our descent took us over Stirrup Crag which is by far the finest "bum plummet" to date. It's a route to challenge the mind as well as the body as you peer down rocky outcrops picking out the best route or, put another way, it could scare the bejeebers out of you so try not to look down too much. I confess I finished the descent off with a grassy slide down to Dore Head with my newly repaired trousers and still recovering bum performing wonderfully.

The hard work was now over and all that lay ahead was a very pleasant and gentle stroll along Over Beck back down to Delores. No high drama this weekend just a perfect opportunity to enjoy the fells at their very best. Steve had a cold beer whilst I settled for water as we cooled our feet in the gill and polished off another bag of M&Ms. Heaven on earth? Pretty darned close I'd say.
Aaahhhhhh...