With a few days free and the arrival of the Force 10 MTN 2 tent, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a flying visit to the Lakes. The weather was forecast as you’d expect for early April, patchy sunshine with showers and wind. The perfect conditions in order to trial Force 10’s new mountain spec tent.
With the van loaded, a handful of Status Quo CD’s and the local supermarkets reduced buns we were heading north for two days to ‘see what happens’. On our arrival in the Lakes in the early hours of the morning, we were greeted with horizontal rain and high winds. Sleep was difficult due to the last minute sleeping arrangements in the van. Two air beds do not fit side by side in a short wheel base 800 special!
Breakfast was a somewhat more leisurely and civilised affair in the National Trust Car Park in Buttermere; croissants, coffee and orange juice. There was a vague plan in place; it involved walking from Buttermere to Red Pike via Bleaberry Tarn and then following our noses south east along the High Stile and High Crag ridge to Scarth Gap for lunch.
We met a local gentleman on Red Pike whose company was welcomed as we trudged through soggy cloud following well worn paths and old fence lines. As we came down from High Crag over the Seat we dropped out of the cloud and met by beautiful views of Haystacks and the Gable range.
The staple diet of Jelly Babies and Soreen was for lunch before we hopped over Haystacks. The emphasis of the two days certainly wasn’t distance or speed as between us we were carrying enough food for a week on the hill!
We discussed the options from Haystacks, one plan was to walk over to Great Gable and Scafell Pike and camp by Angle Tarn, however the changeable weather and the long walk out in the morning steered us in the direction of Honister Pass and Dale Head.
The view from Dubs Bottom through Warnscale bottom to Buttermere confirmed the route choice; we also had the chance to walk around the disused Dubs Quarry.
From Honister Slate Mine we strolled up Dale Head and along Hindscarth Edge. We chose to camp below Hindscarth Crags by Far Tongue Gill. The campsite was really beautiful and as a reward for enduring mixed weather for most of the day the clouds broke and we were bathed in sunshine. From the campsite we had a lovely view of Red Crag and Miners Crag on western aspect of High Spy.
Dinner was superb. A four course meal was started with dried meats and mature cheese, the main meal and dessert from Trek and Eat and Travellunch respectively certainly fill a hole after a day on the hill and the deluxe triple chocolate cookies with coffee helped us to enjoy a peaceful evening discussing our accommodation for the night.
The walk out in the morning along Littledale Edge took us to a path junction near Robinson where we followed Hassnesshow Beck down in to Buttermere. The path alongside Hassnesshow Beck certainly isn’t for the clumsy or faint hearted as at times it was four points of contact on greasy rocks, however safely down we mooched in to Aviemore for brunch before heading south with Quiet Riot for company!