I recently took a look through my Wildcamp Gallery, which I started back in 2013 as a visual record I could look back on. The idea was to post one photograph for each wild camp done, and watch it build up over time. As the number of camps grew, the idea was that every time I dipped into the page, I’d rediscover some wonderful memories that had blurred together. And so it has proved.
This is the second in a short series looking back at some of those camps. The first dealt with all things “lakey”: tarns, lakes, llyns and lochs. Now I turn my attention to summits.
In many ways, a summit camp is the ultimate: a promise of grand views, increased opportunity to see a stunning sunset and/or sunrise, and maybe even the chance of an inversion in the valleys below. It’s also more likely to be undisturbed, once the crowds have descended to the pubs, B&Bs and campsites in the valleys below.
In my view, a good summit camp is hard to beat. Yes, it’s possible to have amazing camps at more sheltered and equally scenic spots, but the summit offers more chance to be “on top of the world” and distant.
Of course, summits are more exposed, which is why most of what follows is in nice weather. As last time, they’re in chronological order rather than in any order of “bestness”.
Best Summit Camps
Camp 26 – Caudale Moor
It took 2 years of wild camping before I had a really top notch summit camp. This was in March 2014. I’d seen off a friend in Paterdale and climbed up Hartsop Dodd, one of the steepest and most unrelenting climbs I think I’ve ever done. Moreover, I was carrying all the water for camp as I didn’t expect to find any up there.
Lovely evening sun warmed the tent as I relaxed after the rigours of the climb. The next morning a stunning orange backdrop to the silhouette of Thornthwaite Beacon started the new day.
Camp 45 – Lingmell
Just over a year later in April 2015.
Just one of those high camps with great views of the world below and of neighbouring summits.
Camp 54 – High Raise
I don’t think this one needs much in the way of words. So if you want the words they’re here.
Camp 67 – Garn Gron
At the end of a hard day’s walking, climbing from the Doethie Valley, crossing a load of boggy ground and then a slog up this hill. A stunning sunset and equally fine sunrise. The best camp of the Cambrian Way project so far.
Camp 73 – Bowfell
This was just great at the end of a trip that was a bit of a mixed bag. Turned up a bit early and just lazed on the spot waiting for people to disappear. This would probably have been my best ever summit camp, were it not for…..
Camp 82 – Green Gable
This one is so good it gets several photos. I don’t think it needs a lot of words. Every camp on this trip was a high one, and all were good.
I know I said I wasn’t going to put them in order of “bestness”, but It’s safe to say this one is the best wild camp of any kind I’ve ever had so far.
Camp 155 – Fan y Big
2019’s finest camp, this was perfect apart from hordes of flying ants: views, sunset, sunrise and inversion. The previous night on Fan Fawr was pretty good too, but looks shabby in comparison to this one.
So there you have it: my best summit/high camps. Next time we’ll be looking at the best winter, forest and coastal camps.