Ascent - 1028 metres
Time - 8 hours 40 mins including 2 hours 20 mins stops
All I have time for here is mention of the following plaque in honour of
"Chris Brasher, 1928 - 2003.
Olympic athlete, mountaineer, journalist, businessman and philanthropist.
A lifetime of love and support for outdoor sport and the world's wild places.
A benefactor to the YHA and outdoor activity in the Lakes.
Spent his last night hostelling, with friends, at Black Sail on 29 June 2002 - 'a disgraceful episode at which we devoured 14 different curries and consumed nine bottles of good Australian wine.'"
Much more could be said about Chris Brasher, and perhaps about 'Mad Pete', the creator of all those curries. Our closest connection on the day seemed to be Lucy's dad, who apparently relates a tale of exhaustion in trying to keep up with the ageing Brasher on a hill walk.
Notchy snores. So it was ironic that Mark (aka Hebden) kept him awake last night.
'It wasn't me!' Notchy asserted.
'It was both of you' retorted Gary.
I kept quiet. I had heard nothing. Had it been me all the time?
We waved goodbye and headed off through clouds of midges in search of Wainwright's final resting place, Innominate Tarn on Haystacks. This was for Sue2's benefit. She limped along, the previous few days having taken their toll.
A backpacker who had spent the night at Blackbeck Tarn - an excellent choice - joined us on the descent, with intermittent views down to Scarth Gap and Buttermere. A brew in the mist at Scarth Gap exhausted our tea bag supply.
Sue2 decided to rest her sore heel and headed directly to the fleshpots for lunch.
The rest of us headed slowly and quietly up the well made (recent) path to High Crag, where we chatted for a while about nick names, and 'Little and Large' (aka Tim and Kate) in particular. Bizarrely, a text message arrived from T + K - I didn't know they had the number!
Still in thick mist, we ambled along the ridge to High Stile for lunch, passing a few folk - we saw about 20 'on the hill' today. Whilst there the sky began to clear, bringing glimpses of fine views and impressive crags, and resolving any debate about our direction of onward travel.
Fleetwith Pike from High Stile
Onwards we went, passing above Bleaberry Tarn, where many years ago I unsuspectingly camped near to a stranger who turned out to be a nudist (scary at the time!).
A startlingly ineffective fence led to our final summit of the day, Red Pike.
As we descended from there the remaining clouds dispersed and sun tan cream was daubed. We have a green variety that turns us briefly into Incredible Hulks as it is applied.
It was a fine rocky path beside the clear waters of Scale Beck that led us down past the single blue flowers of abundant butterwort to the tall thin line of water that is Scale Force.
Sue disappeared for some time up a rock face to the upper falls.
'For a skinny dip?'
'No, just for photos this time'.
It was now a lovely hot summer's day and the rowan (please tell me if I'm wrong) was in full bloom.
The view down Crummock WaterA family with a papoose heralded our return to civilisation before we entered the bustling village of Buttermere, where no tea bags are sold.
However, the 'Dairy Tea Rooms at Buttermere Ayrshires' did provide an excellent cream tea, enjoyed outside with the masses, and accompanied by the olfactory delights of Ayrshire manure.
After this Excellent Cream Tea we wandered along the pretty shore path to Dalegarth.
We checked in and found our 5th member of the party, somewhat traumatised as her shower had almost caught fire and she had needed to run, almost naked, for help.
'I didn't even have time to put any make-up on' she reported.
A few glasses of wine at the Fish Hotel soon sorted her out.
The bar meal was good value at £8 a head, and the 20 minute walk back to Dalegarth in the dusk (see pictures) was most pleasant.
Here's today's route.
And here's the view from the top of Haystacks, with Buttermere and Crummock Water, taken by Lucy Fryer the previous afternoon when it wasn't in cloud.
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