Our next big plan is pretty down to earth compared to living in the van, and climbing around in Europe for a year. This next plan still involves climbing, but is also a house hunting trip. Were not literally looking at houses yet, but we are looking at each area with a wider perspective. Hoping to find a place to settle down.
Out first location was the Lake District, somewhere I’ve been before, but it has been a long while. I think the only time both Jess and I have been was when we drove by, and popped up Giants Crawl on the way back from a trip to Scotland.
This time we planned a longer trip for a week or so. We set off knowing that the weather would be an issue, mid week rain was all but guaranteed, but we hoped to sneak in some climbing around this.
After our long drive up from Brighton we planned on getting straight into it, on a little roadside crag, the route was a popular one called Little Chamonix. Unfortunately, even though the weather was fine the parking was not. It was a sunny day in the Lakes and there was no where to park the van, we would have been lucky to find a space if we had a scooter. So we gave up and eventually found somewhere to park.
Our opening impression had not been great, the only wild camp we could find was on the Honister Pass. It was exposed but it was quiet and no one bothered us. It was lovely to be trapped in the mountains though!
The next day was a bit wet, so we headed into Keswick town for some essentials. I needed a new compass as my bezel had leaked, plus a map of the area might help.
We only set off to get these bits, but in the end decided to take a walk around the Lake. The plan was not to do the whole thing, but in typical fashion we ended up walking the whole way round. The only problem was we had no water or food, so I got an ear full for not being prepared, and then once we’d pretty much walked the whole thing we had a small lunch at a Manor house place on the water. It was nice and expensive, but that’s the price you pay (literally) for not packing a lunch!
So day one was wet but after a five hour walk we were done for the day! We parked overnight at the same location as we had still to find anywhere else!
The next day we were up early-ish and set off up the hills for a route called Corvus. One of the best Diffs in the lakes. As we had not climbed for a long time, and the fact I have a really bad back ATM, added to the fact every time I strain even slightly my hernia pops, we planned on only climbing easy routes. Jess would be leading for safety reasons, as when any of the above go, I’m on my arse in a second!
We hiked in and ahead of us we saw a group starting the route and thought great, by the time we get there we will be able to start… as it turned out they were still at the start when we got there and still at the start when the next group arrived. They said they were climbing a different route that crossed ours on the face, so we let them go. A bit of a white lie on their part, as though they took the direct route, the first pitch was pretty much the same. So we waited even longer. I’m not sure how long we waited before we got on the face, but it took the piss!
The first pitch was not only polished but soaking wet. This whole experience was not the re-start to my climbing I wanted. To be fair as we chipped away at the first couple of pitches the climbing got better.
The stand out pitch was a traverse that was very short, very photogenic and over too soon. If the whole route was as good as these five metres of so it would have been amazing.
Once we were finished, we were harassed by midges and searched for some protection to eat our lunch. We then followed the ridge down. All in all it was a nice day in the hills. I was not enthused but none the less we planned to press on. Although the weather has other ideas.
We left the Lakes for a couple of days to meet up with an old Army mate that I haven’t seen in years! We drank a few too many and suffered the next day before heading back to the hills hoping for the weather to break after two days solid rain.