Friday 21st May
I woke just before 6 am. Thinking that the sun was about to rise, I opened the tent door. I was greeted with the amazing sight of a band of mist drifting over the tarn, while the sun lit the crags of Hanging Knots in a yellow glow. The mist swirled around and then enveloped the tarn, blocking out the sun.
Mist drifting over Angle Tarn
It had been a very still night and the ground and tent were wet with dew. Pleasingly, the condensation inside the fly was quite modest, but the outside was very wet.
The mist thickens
I lay with the tent door open, transfixed by the swirling mist. I had an early breakfast and waited for the mist to clear. However, the wind dropped and the mist thickened. It became apparent that the mist wasn’t going to lift quickly, so I packed my gear inside the tent. I took the rucksack outside, propped it against a boulder, wiped down the tent and packed it.
The sun trying to break through
Before leaving, I tried the GPS on the iPhone (there was no mobile signal). To my delight it worked, getting a fix almost immediately. I have the National Parks on 1:50,000 mapping app on the iPhone and it showed that I was at Angle Tarn. This was enormously helpful as I made my way along the north western side of Rosset Pike down to Stake Pass. Visibility was mostly quite poor and the path disappeared for much of the time. However, a combination of compass and iPhone saw me safely navigate my way to Stake Pass. The ground was quite wet, so I used my lightweight gaiters, thankful that I had packed them at the last moment.
Hill fog clearing over Bowfell
At Stake Pass, the hill fog began to break up. I spent 15 minute sat beside the path watching the cloud disintegrate in front of Bowfell. It was another magical experience. I weighed up the options of heading back down to Langstrath or going on to Langdale Pikes and Codale Tarn. As the weather was improving, I chose the latter.
Martcrag Moor and Pike of Stickle
The sun was now quite hot and the climb up Martcrag Moor to Pike of Stickle was rather sweaty. Just before the Pike, I got a phone signal at last and some texts from home. I decided to reply to them and have lunch. I toyed with the idea of climbing the Pike, but decided not to. I didn’t want to leave my pack and it looked awkward to climb with a pack. I also decided to give Harrison Stickle a miss.
Pike of Stickle
After lunch, I crossed the moor to Thurnacar Knott, plagued by crane flies until I reached the summit. I walked towards High Raise but turned east before the summit, taking the path to Sergeant Man. Sergeant Man looks like a mini Pike of Stickle. At the summit, I met a couple of people and a dog. The view toward Stickle Tarn and Langdale was marvellous.
From Sergeant Man, I descended along Blea Rigg, before taking the Easedale Tarn path down into the valley. The path down to the gill that flows into Easedale was steep and rocky, so I took my time and was careful where I put my feet. I wanted to avoid twisting my ankle as I did last time I was in the Lakes. On reaching the gill I took the path that branches off to Codale Tarn.
Codale Tarn (left) and Easedale Tarn
Codale Tarn is wonderfully secluded with crags to the west and glacial moraine to the east. I scouted round for a pitch and found three possible places. I decided to pitch on the northern side of the stream that drains the tarn, as it was more open to the breeze to keep the insects at bay.
Even though it had been another short day in terms of distance, I felt quite tired and it was hard to get motivated to do my chores. The sun and pleasant breeze induced a feeling of lethargy. Nevertheless, I had a wash in the tarn, rinsed out a base layer and pegged it on the tent to dry.
After dinner, the wind suddenly freshened and changed direction so I repaired to the tent. After a couple of hours, just as suddenly, the wind dropped, leaving the surface of the tarn like a mirror. This was yet another lovely place to camp.