Deepdale daunder part 1

The side trip to deliver our daughter to Manchester University meant that I didn’t arrive at the car park at the end of Haweswater until early evening. The car park was virtually empty. After changing my clothes, I locked the car and walked the short distance to The Rigg.

I’ve camped here several times before, both in the wood and and a couple of places just outside the wood. The weather was quite still and muggy, which meant there were a few insects about. With this in mind, I decided to camp in a more exposed spot to catch what little breeze there was, to combat the flying beasties.

At the junction of the path which leads over Long Stile, there’s a patch of relatively level ground with close cropped grass. It was then I discovered that I’d packed the wrong inner tent. However, I managed to rig the Duomid inner under the Trailstar.

DSC01997Camp at The Rigg

I had to walk down to Riggindale Beck to get some water. As a consequence, it was quite late before I was able to eat dinner. As it got dark, I climbed into my sleeping bag. Despite the drooping fabric of the inner compromising my sleeping space, I managed to get a reasonable night’s sleep.

DSC02002Kidsty Howes and Kidsty Pike

It was a very mild night and the day dawned fair. There was some cloud and hazy sunshine with a bit of a breeze. It looked good for walking. In my mind, I had several options for getting to Deepdale. I decided to take a relatively easy option and head over Kidsty Pike, and then to Deepdale. This would give me a bit of time to to play about with the Duomid inner, to give it a better pitch.

DSC02014Haweswater and Riggindale

I wandered down to Riggindale and crossed the bridge over Riggindale Beck. Then I started the climb up to Kidsty Howes. The weather was quite warm, making it sweaty work. Fortunately, higher up, there was a pleasant breeze. The sunshine was hazy, making it poor for photography.

DSC02017Route up Kidsty Pike

My lack of fitness made for slow progress, but it was a pleasant climb with good views back to Haweswater.  At the summit of Kidsty Pike, I was joined by a Raven grubbing around for morsels.

DSC02023The raven

On the way down to the Straights of Riggindale, I met a couple who were doing the C2C. We had a little chat and I recommended they take a small detour to see the waterfalls at Measand End.

DSC02027Path between The Knott and Rest Dodd

Over the next mile or so, I met a lot of walkers, many of whom appeared to be doing the C2C. Instead of carrying on to Angle Tarn Pikes, I decided to seek out a bit of solitude and descend to Hayeswater.

DSC02028Hayeswater

As I descended the slope, I was surprised to see that the small dam and footbridge had been demolished.

DSC02030No dam or footbridge

P3160097March 2008, the dam and footbridge

 I didn’t mind the dam being demolished but I can’t see the reason for the footbridge being removed. I decided that this would be a pleasant spot for lunch. It was pleasantly warm in the sunshine, with a light breeze to keep the insects at bay. After lunch I found a place to cross the gill using some rocks as stepping stones.

DSC02037Hayeswater Gill

I followed the track down to below Prison Crag. I then crossed Hayeswater Gill for a second time and took the high level traverse above Hartsop. This was a delightful walk, particularly through the woodland just beyond Hartsop.

DSC02047Woodland walk

Passing a waterfall, I reached the lane that leads to Bridgend. I ambled along in the warm sunshine.

DSC02053 Waterfall below Lingy Crag

Just before I turned off to Bridgend I met a group of walkers sitting down for a rest. After a short walk through a field of sheep, I crossed the A592 and then up the lane to Lane Head.

DSC02055Across Patterdale to Deepdale

Turning south, I followed the track to Wall End and then into Deepdale proper.

DSC02060Wall End and Deepdale

DSC02061Deepdale with Fairfield in the distance

 Although Deepdale is not a very long valley, it does have a quality of wildness that it shares with upper Eskdale and Langstrath. Once out of site of Wall End, it feels very remote.

DSC02064Deepdale and Greenhow End

In the distance was the impressive bulk of Greenhow End and the scooped out out cirque of Link Cove. I was aiming for a loop in the the beck amongst the drumlins before the waterfalls near the end of Deepdale. I’d seen this site four years ago and it looked a good place to camp. In fact, it’s about the only decent place to camp in Deepdale.

DSC02065Camping  spot below Link Cove

I was beginning to get a bit nervous that my memory was at fault, but, at last I spotted a patch of green in the bend of the beck. I bushwhacked through some ferns and then a steep slope before reaching my target.

DSC02075An almost perfect spot

As usual, the ground was not as flat as it appeared from a distance. There were also some thistles that needed to be removed before I could pitch. However, it was a beautiful and impressive spot. It had been well worth the effort.

DSC02078Arcadia

All around were reminders of the last glaciation. Humpbacked drumlins, large boulder erratics, exposed glacial till and above me the lip of the cirque that is Link Cove. In spite of only being two miles from the A592 in Patterdale, I could have been in the middle of nowhere.

DSC02082Amongst the drumlins

Although weather was still mild and there was only a gentle breeze, there weren’t many insects to bother me. All in all, it was a lovely place to camp.

Gromit, it’s the wrong inner tent!

wrong trousers

Having delivered our daughter to university with about ten tons of belongings, I arrived at Haweswater a bit later than I had hoped. No matter, the weather was fine and I was looking forward to a couple of days ambling around the fells and some good places to camp.

It only took about fifteen minutes to reach The Rigg, where I’ve camped before. Because there was very little breeze and there were insects about, I decided to camp just off the footpath in a relatively open location.

I took out the Trailstar, the peg bag and then what I thought was my OookStar. As I took the OookStar out of the bag, it dawned on me that this wasn’t the OookStar, it was my OookWorks Duomid nest. I’D BROUGHT THE WRONG INNER!

Stunned at my stupidity, I considered the options. At worst, I could use it as a groundsheet. However, with the number of insect buzzing around, this didn’t seem very attractive.

I could try using the inner, except that it was designed for the taller Duomid and would sag badly. How could I make it shorter? What about tying a knot in the material at the apex? Miraculously, this reduced the height enough for a rough pitch. OK, not great but good enough to tide me over.

DSC01996First night pitch

The height was a bit restricted and the fabric touched my head and my feet when I lay down, but it was good enough for an OK night’s sleep. The next day, as I walked, I thought about how I might improve my bodge.

If I tied the knot a bit higher, then it would improve the headroom, but I needed to find a way of securing the apex of the inner at a lower height to tension the walls more effectively. Why not use a bit of cord from my repair kit to make a new loop secured under the knot in the inner tent?

DSC02092Hey presto! It instantly lowered the apex of the inner, so the walls tensioned properly. I used another bit of cord to pull the apex of the inner towards the trekking pole supporting the Trailstar.

DSC02070What a difference! It almost looked as though the Duomid inner was made for the Trailstar.

DSC02068

DSC02073I was now getting the hang  of this, so on the third night, I did an even better job.

DSC02159

DSC02160So, what could have been a disaster, with a bit of ingenuity, turned out to be a minor triumph of tweakery!

Operation Deepdale

P1010535Next week I have to drive up to Manchester to take our daughter to University. This gives me an opportunity to snatch a couple of days in the Lake District. With limited time, I’ve decided to base my trip on camping at a beautiful place I found in Deepdale on a trip in 2010.

After a difficult summer, I’m looking forward to a stroll in the hills. I’ve got some new(ish) bits and pieces to try out as well. It’s too early to tell what the weather will be like. I’m not intending to have very long days, but it would be nice if it stays fine :-)

As Tucas Arazas Curtain

IMG_1028.JPG (2)Exciting news. Marco at As Tucas has made my Trailstar door a catalogue product. He’s named it the Arazas Curtain. It can be used with other tarps as well. It’s quite humbling to see one of your ideas make it to production. It’s a shame cuben is so expensive in Europe, but I think it’s a worthwhile addition to the Trailstar for very little weight penalty. Good luck with it, Marco.

Disclosure: I have no formal or financial relationship with As Tucas and do not benefit from the sales of any products.

F10 Nitro Lite 200 inner tent vent cover mod

DSC00398The F10 Nitro Lite 200 is a good tent but it has a few design flaws. I’ve addressed these with a number of mods, a summary of which you can find here. The last remaining feature to be modified is the mesh vent at the rear of the inner tent.

There are two reasons for wanting to have a removable cover for the vent. Firstly, there is a possibility (admittedly remote) that rain or spin drift might get blown through the vent in the flysheet and through the mesh vent on the inner. Secondly, in cold windy conditions, it would be handy to be able to cut the draught from the vent to make the inner warmer.

As it was (still) raining today, I decided to have a tent modding session and make a vent cover for the inner mesh vent. I had a spare piece of lightweight nylon fabric, which I cut to the shape of the vent, but oversized. I didn’t bother to hem it.

IMG_1141Next I added snap fasteners around the edge of the mesh vent. This was quite fiddly as I had to reach inside the inner. I used some clothes pegs to gather the material.

IMG_1144Next I added the the snap fasteners to the vent cover. I did the first two with black thread, before remembering I had some orange thread. I couldn’t be bothered to unpick my work, so I left them alone. No one is going to see the vent cover anyway. I used the orange thread for the remaining fasteners to make it look neater (!)

IMG_1145I’m quite pleased with it. I’ve not been able to pitch the tent today as the ground is wet, but I’ll try it out tomorrow if the ground has dried out.

I now feel confident that the Nitro Lite 200 is fully primed against the elements and that there are now no areas of vulnerability. All in all, quite a satisfying afternoon of work.

Dullsville

DSC01654

Since The TGO Challenge in May, life has been massively frustrating. Family health problems (not me) have prevented me from doing any backpacking. Hence, things have been quiet on this blog. I had planned to go to Dartmoor this week, but it’s not happening.

I’m hoping that I will be able to combine getting out for a couple of days with taking our daughter to University. Ironically, the weather this summer has been the best for a long time. Hey, ho! At least I’ve got a lot of pictures to look at from previous trips.

another backpacking blog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 373 other followers