” Somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the mystery why we climb”. – Greg Child
Third and final day in the Lakes, after two glorious days of sunshine the weather man predicted a day of rain! Of which I wasn’t complaining it had been raining cats and dogs back home! With a bag full of snacks and waterproofs I headed to Buttermere to do the Red Pike circular, if only I knew at the start just how wet I would have get, I would have probably still gone up!
The morning started off dry just wet underfoot from the rain in the night! Now I am not sure why, I am sure it has something to do with the kind of rock but the Lake District seems to have the slippiest rocks in the whole wide world! I had to half my pace just not to fall on my arse which I am very good at!!
The walk started in Buttermere and cut up through the forest, having different terrain and scenery really does help me get through the mental side of climbing up it makes it all seem a lot less work!
The walk up to Bleaberry Tarn was a massive surprise, from my route I could see a Tarn on the map but in real life it was the most beautiful one I had ever seen and by far my favourite. The views of Buttermere, Crummock Water, and surrounding fells, which open up once the trees are left behind, are simply magnificent.
Did I even go on a hike if I didn’t take an awkward looking picture of myself, I think not!!
The pictures really don’t do it justice, I can’t wait to return in the summer and have a little swim in it!
And just like that the mist came in, not yet rain but a grey blanket of impending wet doom!
First Wainwright of the day, Dodd
Looking across from Dodd to Red Pike
The scramble up was probably the hardest I have done to date. The gully rises steeply in front, a vertical wall – well, almost. Every foot is carefully placed, every step carried out with total focus. It wouldn’t do to fall here: the land drops away sharply to the col below. In truth, the scramble up the gully isn’t that difficult. It’s really only the last few tens of feet that require me to grab the stones on the side of the path to haul my body against gravity. Now and again I feel my feet giving with the stones, and find myself sliding backwards. However the rain had started to come down with some focus just as I had begun that last ten feet.
I had made it to the top just in time for the heavens to open, luckily the air was still warmish and the rain was vertical barely any wind what so ever.
Red Pike is a fell in the High Stile range in the western English Lake District, which separates Ennerdale from the valley of Buttermere and Crummock Water. It is 2,476 ft (755 m) high. The direct ascent of Red Pike from Buttermere is very popular and the ridge walk from Red Pike to Haystacks is regarded as one of the finest in the area, with excellent views of the Scafells, Great Gable and Pillar.
After a quick summit selfie I continue my walk to find High Stile, I used to wonder how people got lost on mountains, now I know!! I was very careful to keep checking I was in fact heading in the right direction because honestly in this weather I could have been walking anywhere.
I closed my eyes with each stop and tried to imagine how beautiful the view should have been!
Very wet on High Stile but not wet enough to stop the awkard selfies!!
Hello High Crag! I would like to point out that at this point the waterproofs were keeping me dry but I was fed up with being soaked! I literally don’t think I have ever been so wet in all my life, all I wanted was dry hands!
So on the way down, I did struggle I was 100% sick of wet slippy stones so much so that I thought I couldn’t get down safely I just honestly wanted to sit down and cry! It was the first time I ever thought that I was actually stuck up on the side of a hill. So I did the only thing that felt sane! I decided to slide down the grass on my bum! Now turns out that Lakes not only have the world’s slippest rocks but the slippest grass too! Between the wet grass and my waterproof pants, I flew down the side of the hill. I picked up so much speed that I thought I was going to fly off the side! Eventually, I managed to grab onto a rock and stop myself, how I didn’t actually shit myself I will never know, I was pretty scared actually I was terrified! Once I was able to get back on my feet I decided I was going to take my chances walking on the stones!
I managed to get down to Buttermere with 30 min to spare before the cafe closed, now if you have been to Buttermere then you know the cafe I am on about, the one with the amazing cakes!! But before cake I needed to pee, I had been walking for 6 hours without weeing because I was far to wet to pull down my pants, I was so wet and so despite for the toilet I did spend a good couple of minutes considering whether or not to wee myself after all I was so wet no one would ever know! Don’t worry I didn’t but I did consider it!