The meet began 24 hours before most weekend away meets and
by Thursday evening people were gathering in the bar of the
Wasdale Head Inn. There were current and past CMC members
and Smith family members. It was raining and overcast –
typical Lake District weather – but the forecast was good
for the next day.
As forecast, the weather on Friday was excellent: warm and
sunny, little wind, and good visibility. All the tops were
clear. A party of 16 headed up the Shoulder route (southwest
ridge) of Lingmell. There were attractive views over
Wastwater on the ascent. At the top we had a coffee break.
This was Andy & Rosy’s 213rd Wainwright since retirement;
just one more to do: Scafell Pike. We dropped down to
Lingmell Col where we joined the busy tourist route coming
up from Brown Tongue. A ‘tedious half-hour’ (according to Mr
W) brought us to the top of the Pike. The highest point in
England was predictably crowded but we squeezed our way onto
the summit platform and popped our champagne corks to enjoy
a glass of bubbly in celebration of completion of the
Wainwrights and Andy’s 70th birthday. A quieter spot was
found nearby for a picnic lunch which included Rosy’s yummy
homemade ginger cake and a pork pie with a candle on it!
Eventually it was time to leave and we dropped down to Broad
Crag col, and then down the somewhat unpleasant scree gully
to reach the Corridor Route to Sty Head. Before reaching the
latter, we left the path and descended to join the old
bridleway down to Wasdale Head (except for a splinter group
of four who continued over Great Gable). On the way, four of
the party enjoyed a dip in the Emerald Pool below the
confluence of Piers Gill and Lingmell Beck. It had been a
great day out in the mountains. That evening 21 of us sat
down for a celebration dinner in the historic dining room of
the Wasdale Head Inn (the ‘birthplace of British climbing’),
surrounded by old photos of tweed-clad and nailed-boot-shod
climbers with hemp ropes tackling local and Alpine routes.
Afterwards the birthday cake was cut and consumed while we
enjoyed reminiscing about past days out in the hills.
After a wild night (wind, thunder, and heavy rain), Saturday
dawned wet with with the cloud down on the tops. Some of
the campers packed up and headed for home. The rest of us
split into different groups: some for low level walks and
others heading higher. A group of 10 walked to Overbeck
Bridge and climbed Yewbarrow. We were in cloud at the top as
we ate our lunch. Then it was down to Dore Head over Stirrup
Crag, which involved some mild scrambling. From the saddle,
three dropped down into Mosedale. The cloud was lifting off
the tops by now and the rest of us had a pleasant walk down
Overbeck back to the road. The weather had improved so much
that we could see the scene of yesterday’s achievement: the
top of Scafell Pike.
On Sunday, people headed off to different destinations,
mostly homeward. On the way a party of 6 of us walked from
Bigert Mire (above Ulpha) to the top of Whitfell, and were
rewarded by good views: a panorama of the high Lakeland
fells to the north; a view over Walney Island and Morecambe
Bay to the south. From here, two continued on a ridge walk
and four returned the same way.
Many thanks to everyone who has sent me some of their
photos. There are some great pictures there. I have put a
selection into a Picasa Web album which you can find here.
Andy and Rosy completing their final Wainwright – Scafell Pike – on Andy’s 70th birthday
T shirt weather – looking towards Sty Head Tarn
Andy cutting the cake