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Blom-Cathra

By Phil on 2015.02.03 In Lake District

Last weekend my Danish Fjällräven Polar friend Peter Blom Jensen came to visit while he is working down south for two weeks, with the plan to head to the Lake District to do a hike and a few beers.

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Due to the weather warnings leading up to the weekend, we decided to leave it until the last minute before deciding on whether to head over to the Lakes or not. We woke up early on Saturday morning to check the weather forecast and road conditions before agreeing that everything seemed ok and headed over. My initial plan was to take Peter up Scafell Pike, but due to time constraints and mountain weather forecast of very strong winds, I decided we would do Blencathra instead, seeing as it’s one of the first great hills you get to when travelling over from the North East.

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When we arrived at the car park at the foot of Blencathra we were greeted with clear blue skies and sunshine as we looked up at the snow-capped summit of Blencathra. Luckily I had done this walk only a few months ago, so I was confident we wouldn’t get lost, though you never know, so I took a map just in case. (Though as I write this I just realised I didn’t actually have a compass with me. Ah well, one key item out of two isn’t bad)

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As we started our ascent we could see some people coming down on the other side on skis. This was the first time I had ever seen a skier or snowboarder while in the Lakes and the conditions could not have been better.

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As we continued towards Scales Tarn the snow was starting to get very deep, up to waist height in parts, just how I like it. It was perfect for snowboarding, which we witnessed first-hand when a young lad came flying down from Scales Tarn towards us, cutting his way through the fresh powder.

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We finally arrived at a very frozen Scales Tarn for a spot of lunch, where I pointed out the notorious Sharp Edge to Peter, though there was no way I was going to attempt such a route in such conditions, especially as Peter had promised his wife that he would come home safely.

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We met two guys Stuart (from Adventure In Mind) and Steven who had also decided to have a break at Scales Tarn and who had also decided to avoid the Sharp Edge route, as we watched three people attempting it and who were very close to the top.

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As we headed off up towards the summit of Blencathra I suggested it was time to put our crampons on. My favourite part of winter mountaineering! Though I had made the schoolboy error of leaving my ice axe in my car, luckily I had my walking poles which we used instead. Peter was quite excited at the thought of using crampons for the very first time and it was perfect conditions for someone experiencing walking with them for the first time.

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The final ascent towards the summit wasn’t the easiest due to the very strong winds but made for some great photo opportunities of snow drifts and other amazing views.

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We finally made it to the summit of Blencathra where we were greeted with even more stunning views, though due to the strong winds, we quickly took some photos before heading back down in an attempt to get out of the wind, however the wind seemed to stay with us for quite some time as we headed down and it was so strong that it actually blew my snow goggles out of my jacket pocket and off the summit never to be seen again. Peter tried his hardest to run after them as they travelled quickly across the ground before disappearing over the edge, even Usain Bolt wouldn’t have been able to stop them in such strong winds.

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We arrived back at the car before heading over to Ambleside for some well-deserved beers, food and live music.

It was great meeting up with Peter (a.k.a. Doc) again and so pleased I got to show him the beauty of the Lakes District and to do Blencathra in near perfect winter conditions as well. I hope it won’t be too long before we meet up again. In the meantime I wonder who my next Fjällräven Polar visitor will be!

PS: If anyone sees a sheep in the Blencathra area wearing a pair of Julbo snow goggles, then please let me know as they will be mine!

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Welcome

Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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