A few more Wainwrights to tick off following the weekend’s trip to the lakes. My good fortune with the weather finally came to an end, both of this years LDP's have been completed in the glorious sun, likewise all my other walks, but I have seen some weather in the last 3 days. Three days of rain and gale force winds, with Monday experiencing the effect of Hurricane Katia. Never walked in a hurricane before! According to the spreadsheet, 154 now completed, with 60 remaining, most of these being the lower fells, so I expect a few more to be completed in my pursuit to regain my mountain legs.
The weekend's most challenging fell, (ignoring the weather) was Little Mell Fell, the first fell of the second day. Ascent of this fell from The Hause (south), where I’d parked was probably the most direct fell that I’ve walked to date. Straight up, with rain free views as well. Trouble started on the descent, rather than return the same direction I’d decided to descend to the north, following a path (ha ha) in Wainwrights pictorial guide. There was no path in the initial descent, but worse was to come. After squeezing between barbed wire and a fence to access the path, the path then became a challenge of water logged ground, trees, undergrowth and severe overgrowth, stiles which did not work (rotten), and lots of obstacles. Reaching the road at the end was most welcome.
Monday, the third day saw me finally meeting up with Graham, who was now on the remaining week of his challenge, climbing all 214 fells in a year. Since hearing about his challenge, we'd planned to met and summit some together. However, holidays, injuries and other obstacles had conspired to stop us. With time running out, Monday was the last opportunity. On arranging the walk, little was we to know that there would be the remains of a hurricane to once again conspire against us.
Meeting at Hartsop, in the blustery driving rain, we set off to attempt a climb onto Gray Crag. At only 200m the wind was sufficient to blow us off our feet. Not a good omen. Continually battling against the wind, with often stops to brace ourselves against the blusts, it soon became apparent that no summit would be reached that day. The summit walk was aborted after reaching the crest of the hill. With no shelter from the constant high wind which was able to blow us over if we raised ourselves from a crouched position we decided it was not safe to go any future.
At this point, the wind removed my pro shell cap, clear from my head and sent it flying over the hill. Lost into the beck and onto Brotherswater, I thought. To make something of the day we decided to take the relative shelter of the mountain and head up the path for Hayeswater Reservoir. After ten of so minutes on the path, out of no-where sitting in a dip on the path lay my cap. How it did not make its way further down the hillside I’ll never know.