Another early start, leaving just after 8am, to make the best of the days weather. Stepping outside for the first time there was already rain in the air – not enough for a jacket but just enough to keep jacket in hand.
I suspected I was the first one on the path again this morning, but with the guys I met yesterday missing out a stop overnight at Grasmere it would not be long before someone caught me up.
I made it quickly past Eagle Crag and up to the bottom of Lining Crag when the rain became a bit more substantial.
Looking back to Borrowdale the view was getting misty and a group of 3 walkers were indeed catching me up. I was please about this, while the cloud had lifted slightly off the top of the Crag I suspected today was not a good day to be walking alone over the top.
I enjoyed the climb up Lining Crag, following a stream for some of the way and then a purpose built staircase made it a bit easier. The route was marked out by small cairns, they were easy to spot from the top but much harder to see coming up!
I made it to the top of the Crag in good time, and as I took one last look down the valley from the top the other walkers had just started their ascent.
Spotting the first large cairn I decided to make my way slowly over to it and wait to be caught up with – while trying to get as much shelter from the wind and rain as possible. As I suspected 2 of the guys were the chaps I met in Ennerdale. The 4 of us decided it would be best to stick together (thankfully) as the cloud was rolling over the top of the ridge from Grasmere. At least I had some proven map skills from yesterday – I just hoped they were up to it in the mist today.
The Wythburn Trap was not easy to negotiate, the cairns seemed a little random, the cloud and rain were both heavy, and it was very wet underfoot. I had wanted to follow the ridge down but there was no point with the weather worsening. So guided by a small break in the cloud we made out the post and style that marked the path down through the valley and followed the way as quickly as possible should our way be obscured by another bank of cloud.
We descended fast, ears popping, until we got out of the worst of the weather. Somewhere there was a large waterfall, it could be heard but not seen through the mist. Lower down the valley the path got easier and the cloud was breaking slightly above us. The ridge was still shrouded but below the young fronds of bracken glowed bright green in swathes across the side of the fells.
Coming passed Helm Crag the cloud had lifted slightly but not enough for me to warrant back tracking up the path I might have been coming down if I had done the ridge route. Another time perhaps.
We were quickly into Grasmere village, and a few cups of tea later my compatriots were off to Patterdale. I suppose I could have pushed on today, but if so I am not sure I would have had time to meander along the ridge – as I would have liked to do if the weather had been better. I was happy with my decision to fit in an extra stop in Grasmere for the night – time for postcards, gingerbread and a rest.
Emergency rations: none
Blisters: still one
Aching bits: just a slight twinge in each leg but have not ceased up as before
More photos (from all the days of walking) can be found in the photo gallery.