To my great surprise, the Lakeland farm that constitutes our BnB in the far Western Lake District lies well clear of the intimidating horseshoe of cliffs around Wasdale, yet is within a few miles, and has high-speed internet. Not all places we stay may have this facility to allow me to share our journey, but for the two days we are are here, let me take advantage:
We left the successful Snowdon team behind us yesterday and despite the bad news that Emma Donlon has indeed broken two toes (joining one of the top Welshmen on the fracture list, he broke his ankle on the ascent!), I predict most people are still buzzing after the trip. I will attempt to get descent times up later. (with only three hospitalisations, the race organisers considered it “a good day”. We agree).
After dining on steak and ale pie accompanied by the local “Red Scree” beer (a fell runners beverage if ever there was one), Aoife and I headed to the mouth of Wasdale and parked at the estuary at the mouth of Greendale. The silent Wastwater, England’s deepest lakes, was a glory to behold especially with the pure drops of Whin Rigg and Illgill Head towering behind. A small trail is meant to run at the foot of these fells but from our vantage point water seemed to join sheer cliff with no place for man to walk or wander.
Our main objective for today’s excursion, the Scafell Massiff, was hidden from view by the slopes of Lingmell but we could see Yewbarrow clearly on our left. Bob Grahamers say that there is no easy way out of Wasdale and you can see why – Yewbarrow (628m), one of the nominated peaks, has no easy flanks and should be a real test on our second day. Straight ahead of us, like a perfect pyramid bathed in sunshine, we could see another main objective for the next two days – Great Gable (899m).
Let the adventure begin…