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The Lang Weekend

By Phil on 2015.04.09 In Lake District

Last weekend I decided to head to the Lakes without a plan and just play it by ear and let the weather dictate. I packed all the essentials such as my Fjällräven Abisko Lightweight 2 tent, maps (and compass this time), guide books, 3 bottles of red wine, stove and some freeze dried food meals.

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The weather on the Friday wasn’t great, with light showers most of the day but was forecast to improve over the weekend, so I decided to chance it and headed over to the Langdale Nation Trust campsite. I managed to arrive at the campsite fairly early and just before the long Easter Weekend rush of people and found myself a good spot to pitch my tent.

Not Playing By the Book

When I woke the next morning the whole valley was covered in clouds with the sun trying to break through. I could see it was going to be a good clear day once I got up the fells.

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Although I had maps with me, I decided to do a route from the new Lakes Walks guide book my friend Rhiannon had bought for me. The route was Bowfell and Crinkle Crags which I could start right from the campsite. After I viewed the route, I thought it would be a better idea to end the walk closer to the nearest pub, the Old Dungeon Ghyll, so I decided to reverse the route detailed in the book. How hard could it be!

As I headed up the fells away from the campsite, the clouds soon cleared and the sun appeared with crystal clear blue skies. Spring had certainly arrived.

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My first summit of the day was the Pike of Blisco (705m). I was surprised that I was the only person doing the route I had chosen on such a stunning day, as I didn’t see another person until I reached Pike of Blisco, which seemed a perfect spot to have my lunch.

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After lunch I headed off towards Crinkle Crags (859m), where I started to see a few more people coming from the opposite direction. As I got closer to Crinkle Crags there were a few patches of snow about, though not enough to require any winter boots of crampons.

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After a short break on Crinkle Crags I headed to my next and highest summit of the day, Bowfell (902m). Again as I got closer to Bowfell there were more patches of snow and a few more people coming and going.
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When I reached the summit of Bowfell I found three guys there drinking a bottle of beer celebrating their 214th and final Wainwright summit, as they took it in turn to hold up their 214 Wainwright banner and posed for photos. You could also still see the summit of Scafell Pike and the hordes of people who had decided to ascend the highest summit in England.

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I started to descend back to Langdale and thought I had better check my map & GPS to make sure I was heading in the right direction, as due to the snow around Bowfell I couldn’t really see any distinctive path. Sure enough I had gone off my supposed route back down. So I headed back up towards Bowfell and headed towards Hanging Knotts as described in my guide book. However I had gone a little too far and ended up towards Esk Pike and at the other side of Angle Tarn. Despite my little setback in getting slightly lost, it didn’t really bother me as the sun was still shinning and made for some stunning photos around Angle Tarn. Once at the tarn it was easy to pick up the path along Rossett Gill all the way back to Langdale and the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub.

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I finally arrived at the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub dying for a nice cold pint. Arriving at the pub felt like reaching another summit. The guide book said the walk was 14km in distance and would take 6 hours and 20 minutes. Well thanks to my little detour it took me just over 8 hours and was 20km in distance. Still it was worth it and the drink soon made me forget about the extra time and distance. Despite the detour, it was a cracking walk and would certainly do it again, though next time I may play it by the book and do it in the direction described.

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The photo above of my 4 summits of the day. Can you guess which was my favourite!

Haway the Lads/When Philly Met Jilly

After my epic hike the day before, I decided on having a rest day and a bit of shopping before heading back to Langdale for Sunday lunch and a few beers at the New Dungeon Ghyll while listening to the Sunderland v Newcastle match, which Sunderland won 1-0, which was their 5th win in a row over Newcastle.

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Following Sunderland’s great result over our local rivals I decided to stay out for a few more celebratory beers and headed along the road to the Old Dungeon Ghyll pub which is a little closer to the campsite and easier to stumble back to my tent.

While there I finally met up my friend Jilly and a few of her friends and who now lives in a Tipi tent as well as running a Tipi rental business in Langdale called Base Camp Tipi. You can also read Jilly’s blog about her amazing cycling adventure where she spent two years cycling around the world, taking in five continents, though 30 countries while surviving on just £5 a day.

Jilly had just got back from doing Bowfell for the 11th time as part of her personal mission to do Bowfell 100 times via as many different routes as possible. When I asked her why do Bowfell 100 times, she told me: “Why not!” Which is a good enough answer after seeing the views from Bowfell for myself the previous day.

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Celebrating Sunderland’s victory over rivals Newcastle

Sharp Edge Take IV

Once again I woke to the valley covered in clouds, but my plan was to head away from Langdale and attempt Blencathra (868m) via Sharp Edge for the 4th time, hoping the weather was better than my previous three failed attempts.

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Luckily when I arrived at the foot of Blencathra the weather was perfect. The sun was shining, hardly a cloud to be seen, clear blue skies and no wind. It was certainly the day to give it another go.

I decided to unpack all my unnecessary gear from my rucksack, like tripod, walking poles and other gadgets, so they wouldn’t get in the way or add unnecessary weight on the scramble across Sharp Edge.

I don’t think I will ever get tired of the view of Blencathra as you head towards it. It’s a stunning sight as I quickly made my way up towards Scales Tarn. I usually stop at the tarn for lunch, but had made such good time and just wanted to get on with tackling Sharp Edge.

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The weather really was perfect for doing Sharp Edge as I scrambled my way across it behind three others, stopping occasionally to let some people past who were coming in the opposite direction. It was tricky in a couple of places where you are exposed and would certainly not want to get caught by any wind or doing it in wet slippery conditions and risk falling on either side.

I finally made it to the top and was great looking down on Sharp Edge as well as seeing Scales Tarn from the opposite side. I then carried on to the summit of Blencathra for lunch and to chill in the sun for a while before heading back down via Scales Fell.

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It was great to finally do Blencathra via Sharp Edge. I would do it again, but only in similar near perfect conditions and I will certainly never tire of doing Blencathra.

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I had a great weekend going solo with no real plans and was great to get my first camp of the year under my belt, as well as being good practice for this year’s adventures, with one confirmed and a few other in the pipeline… Bring on the next one!

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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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