Another weekend get together with old friends. Another top weekend at Church Stile campsite in Nether Wasdale. And once again the kids went to compete in the Nether Wasdale Sports, with some wonderful adults who ‘took one for the team’, whilst the rest of us escaped for a beano.
It was overcast, but surprisingly warm and a bit sticky as we started up the Nether Beck valley. I was soon well behind, as per usual, but one thing that can be relied upon in this group is frequent stops for brews, snacks, chatting and general lazing around.
As I often do, I took the opportunity to ‘plod on by’ as Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach never quite put it. This is a cracking walk in to the hills, and I just kept plodding, pausing frequently to take photos of the beck, admire Haycock dominating the view ahead and watch the antics of the wheatears and meadow pipits which were numerous on the hillsides.
I often thought I heard stonechats and when I spotted a pair bobbing about on some rocks not too far from the path, I felt relaxed about taking a longer break to try to photograph them, since I was still ahead of the peloton.
From the head of the valley we took the very faint path off to the right, heading toward Scoat Tarn.
This cloven boulder is close to Scoat Tarn.
Scoat Tarn has a special place in my affections. We camped here on a couple of our May bank holiday weekend backpacking trips, many moons ago, when showers and comfortable sleeping arrangements etc weren’t considered essential for a weekend away.
From Scoat Tarn we took different lines, all making for the summit of Scoat Fell. The others were all gradually overhauling me now.
I chose to go well over to the left, giving some bouldery scrambling (of sorts) and nice views of Haycock again.
It was a bit of a surprise to arrive on Scoat Fell in a strengthening, and fairly cold, wind. The weather seemed to be closing in.
We were quickly over Red Pike and then began a long descent down the west side of Over Beck
The following day was pretty wet and eventually we decided to try the coast and spent the afternoon in Seascale. Our trip was notable for two reasons. Firstly, the wonderful Mawson’s Ice-Cream Parlour in the Bailey Ground Hotel, where they were very patient with our large, soggy party. I can’t attest to the homemade ice-cream personally, although I gather that it was very good, and A who often misses out due to problems with dairy produce, was very chuffed to have a choice of sorbets. I had the crayfish salad which was just the ticket. Secondly, we did a bit of windswept beach–combing and we found, well B found (his eyes are very sharp), several Sea Potato shells (like a sea urchin) and also a number of exoskeletons of the rather curiously shaped masked crab.
I thought I took some photos, but if I did, I can’t work out where they are now. Humph.
There are more photos, and an alternative take on events, in Andy’s post here.