I woke part way through the night and just couldn’t get comfortable again. My neck was really sore. As it got light, I saw the reason: my pillow had slipped off the sleeping mat. After a more comfortable hour in my sleeping bag, I decided to get up. The morning air was cool rather than cold, but I was grateful for my PHD Minimus down jacket.
Initially the sky was clear, but it quickly started to cloud over, which was disappointing. I adopted a relatively leisurely approach to breakfast and as a result I wasn’t away until 10 o’clock. The clouds were now quite thick overhead.
Just after Ruthwaite Lodge a startled stag appeared out of nowhere about 20 metres in front of me, leapt gracefully over the path and charged up the hill swerving around a sheep and disappeared over the crest of the ridge. It all happened so quickly, that I didn’t have time for a photo.
Although the path up Grisedale is a bit of a trudge, the compensation is the scenery, particularly towards Dollywagon Pike. When I reached Grisedale Tarn I decided to fill my water bottle. As I bent down I saw in the distance a man in a bright green Paramo Velez followed by a woman and a dog. Surely this couldn’t be the Sloman and Peewiglet! Nope, it was another beardy bloke in shorts and the lady had a Jack Russell terrier on a lead.
Ascending Grisedale Hause, the sun decided to make a welcome appearance. From the Hause to the top of Fairfield was a bit of a slog, with plenty of loose rock on the path. On the summit there was a surprisingly strong, biting wind. After a wander around, I decided to change my route. Originally I had planned to go to Dove Crag and then descend Dovedale. Instead I decided to go over Cofa Pike and down Deepdale, to avoid the wind.
Even though I had been to Deepdale Hause via Cofa Pike recently, I had forgotten how steep and awkward the path was. On the way down I met numerous walkers on their way up. At Deepdale Hause I turned east and descended the steep path down to the head of Deepdale. On reaching some large boulders I decided it was time to have some lunch. As I unpacked, I was passed by another walker, the only one I was to see in Deepdale.
As I ate lunch I admired the crags to the south. I didn’t hang around too long and was soon descending to a small ravine. It has been a long time since I had walked in Deepdale and it was a lot wilder than I had remembered. There were several waterfalls in the ravine, although mainly out of sight of the path.
Further down the valley, there was abundant evidence of glaciations with numerous drumlins. Amongst these and the meandering beck, I spied a flat stretch of grass, which appeared to be the only feasible place to camp in Deepdale. I shall return one day to explore, but it was too early in the afternoon to stop.
All too soon I reached Wall End and civilisation. I crossed over the main road and through some fields to the eastern side of Patterdale before turning south towards Hartsop. I’ve down this path several times recently, so I motored on, pausing only briefly to take a photo of the waterfall below Lingy Crag.
On reaching Hartsop, I turned left through the village and then up the reservoir track. In retrospect I should have taken the path on the southern side of the beck, but I continued to the Water Board building and then crossed the beck via the wooden footbridge. From here it was a short sharp climb to regain the main path.
On reaching Hayeswater, the breeze stiffened considerably. I contoured around the northern shore to a flattish piece of land caused by a debris slide (probably post glaciations). Although not completely flat it was feasible as a camp site. I hurriedly pitched the tent, collected some water and dived inside to get out of the wind. Once inside it was obvious that I had underestimated the slope, which was more across the slope than end to end. After dinner, I decide than I wouldn’t be able to sleep without rolling off my sleeping mat, so I packed everything into the rucksack and then turned the tent so it was sloping head to toe, which was much more comfortable.
As I settled down to sleep, I could hear three stags bellowing like sick sheep. A couple of hours after dusk, the wind subsided and the stags became quiet so I could drift off into sleep.