Saturday 30 June
I alighted from the train at Windermer to be met by the usual mix of Japanese tourists, walkers and locals milling around and getting in each others way.
The locals and I made straight for the waiting 599 bus which was about to leave due to the train being late. We took our places and the bus then sat there whilst first the walkers and then the Japanese tourists sauntered over and asked questions like “Does this bus go to Grasmere? ” despite it being perfectly obvious from the front of said bus.
I got off in Ambleside and fuelled up with fish and chips before taking the lane to Stockghyll Force where I detoured to look at the waterfall. Well supplied by run off from the fells, it crashed down. I continued up the lane and took the footpath on the right thht climbed straight up to Wansfell Pike which most people take as the summit, although it’s not but should be because it’s a much better contender than the true summit at Baystones a mile north east.
I’d made this mistake myself on my first visit in 2006, and consequently kicked myself for having done all the hard work to bag the fell and not actually done so. No such problem today. I strode out following the wall over the undulations of the hilltop. The weather realised what I was up to and reacted immediately, sending a band of rain to force a stop to put on my rucksack cover and jacket. I carried on and the weather admitted defeat for the moment.
It seemed to take ages to get to the summit over the boggy rollercoaster ground but I made it and took my first proper look at the Far East and with particular interest to my planned end point on Sour Howes and Sallows.
I cut down the fell to join the main path along Nanny Lane to Troutbeck. I was making good time and could have popped over to Troutbeck Tongue first but I decided to trust my route planning and miss it out – wisely as it turned out.
Pausing under a tree the wind took my map and blew it into the adjoining field and I ran to recover it. Map restored I continued down tk Troutbeck and worked across tbe valley to tbe caravan park where I restocked with Mars bars and Opal Fruits (sorry, I refuse to use their new name).
I climbed out of the caravan park and zigzagged up to the Garburn Road which I stayed with to Garburn Nook rather than cutting straight uphill to bag Sour Howes directly.
Across the flank of Sallows I followed the wall and then the boggy path up to the summit of Sour Howes. It ws getting late and I kept my eyes open for possible overnight pitches, finding one near the wall on a patch of dry(ish) ground sheltered from the wind. But the view was uninspiring and so I continued, retracing my steps to Sallows and an even boggier final climb to its summit.
Sallows had looked good for wild camp spot but when it came to it those out of the wind were very wet and the dry ones were in thw full force of the wind. So I carried down off the fell as tbe other side of the pass looked promising.
It was and I passed a flat sheltered spot right next to the path that had clearly been used recently. I noted it as a backup and explored the lee of nearby rock outcrops, finding one 100 metres or so further on. Not perfect but it was relatively flat and dry so I went for it.
The Scarp went up and I set off to find water. After half and hour of fruitless search I took some fast flowing water from a stream under a tussock. A bit too yellow foe my liking and I filtered it there and then to see if it improved. Not much. But there weren’t any other options so I went with it and made sure I boiled it thoroughly.
Back at the tent I got the water on to boil for some soup and then pasta, using the leftover sauce I’d made a few days before.
The cloud was rolling in and the temperature was dropping so I retired for the night.