Ascent - 1167 metres
Time - 8 hours 5 mins including 1 hour 50 mins stops
Which way shall we go today...
The new found Alpine etiquette (Gary is a fast learner) meant all was quiet until 7am this morning, and the buffet breakfast was excellent.
It was overcast with the peaks in cloud, but at least it was warm, calm and dry.
Would Sue2 turn up by 9 o'clock as planned? Yes! In the absence of a reliable taxi firm the nice lady at her B+B - Rainors Farm - ran her over to Wasdale by 8.45. This B+B is highly recommended.
A few metres took us down to the lakeside path, where a change to our original plan saw us turn left, past snoozing sheep and pretty rhododendrons, towards a colony of black headed gulls, and the road.
The road was quiet. Some greylag geese pottered by the shore, and a shy duck (not sure what sort) paddled away.
After 30 minutes we headed off up a bridle path, at an unlikely gradient at first, before it revealed itself to be an excellent contouring path, soon merging with the main path up Nether Beck.
The rising path past pretty waterfalls and erratics, with baaing sheep and mewing lambs, was wet with moisture. Today the high pressure cloud was persistent; we passed an excellent camping glade at 300 metres and stopped for a brew at 11 o'clock at 460 metres, just below the cloud.
The blue flowers of butterwort mingled with bright yellow tormentil beside the path.
At the col between Haycock and Scoat Fell, a cool wind drew us into warmer clothing.
Gary, Sue1 and I nipped up Haycock and played with our phones.
Then it was off to Scoat Fell for lunch behind a wall, sheltered from the SE wind.
Notchy's battered Sigg bottle sympathised with his equally battered and nearly as ancient nose.
My aging Fugitive boots were beginning to show signs of wear. Will they make it to the Alps? I wondered.
We started to see other walkers - about 10 were seen this afternoon, plus a group of 11 students.
At 2.20 we reached Wind Gap, rejoining our planned route that had gone via the screes and Wasdale Head. At last we had a sort of view - into Ennerdale.
The summit of Pillar was soon reached. Glimpses of sunshine filtered through the clouds. Soon the views opened up as the persistent clouds gave way to bright sunshine. We enjoyed a leisurely afternoon brew with fine views into Wasdale, to Burnmoor Tarn and beyond.
Views into Ennerdale, and tomorrow's route over High Crag, were excellent.
Then it was down to Black Sail Pass and the delights of a lovely descent to Black Sail Hut, with Kirk Fell's ramparts towering above us. Great views down Ennerdale (see picture at head of blog) and bobbing wheatears in the sun.
All washed down with glasses of Coniston Brewery's excellent Bluebird Bitter.