I’ve just glanced at the calendar. Out of the next 64 days, I’ll be at home for 12 of them, and after that it’s 50/50 for three months. So after lots of ‘day trips’, the tent – last used in September on the Peebles to Moffat trip, has been dusted off and chucked into the Go-Lite Quest rucksack.
Whilst the Peebles to Moffat squad regroups for its totter back to Peebles, I’ll be enjoying a couple of nights of luxury at Mary Mount (J’s birthday celebration). It’ll be ‘mobile blogging’ for a while, so I’m adding a few maps now, so that you can follow our progress, or even join us on the backpack.
Here’s a possible route for tomorrow (Saturday):
20 km, with 950 metres ascent, and just the second time I’ll have worn the HI-TEC Rainer boots that HI-TEC sent to me after their trail shoes wore out. They are determined not to give up on their efforts to get me to review something that I can conclude is ‘durable’. We’ll see!
That day walk will be covered by the first mobile posting.
Then Sue will head off home and I’ll be joined by ‘Poor Michael’ my companion on this year’s TGO Challenge (he now even signs his emails ‘Poor Mike’!) for five days in the wilds of the Lake District.
Here’s our plan for Day 1 (Sunday), starting from Mary Mount around 4 pm. If we can’t find anywhere to camp at point 5, we may stumble on to Blea Tarn, but you may observe from the previous day’s route that I have ‘a cunning plan’.
We’ll be carrying a good 16 kilos (each!) at this point, so speed won’t be great.
Day 2 is a tough one and will test us, and our gear. I’m hoping the new boots will be ok, but trainers have been packed just in case, rather than the normal Crocs. We’ll be doing 21 km with 1500 metres of ascent. Feel free to join us!
Day 3 (Tuesday) sees us going there and back to Glaramara before striking camp and heading to the top of England, before descending the Corridor Route and thrutching up Great Gable, from where we would like to enjoy views like the header picture taken last month.
It’s just 18 km, with 1400 metres ascent, culminating near Blackbeck Tarn, an excellent place for a wild camp.
Day 4 has the bonus of lunch in the fleshpots of Buttermere, before the long ascent of Robinson. But by now we should have eaten our way through around 3 kilos of food, and used up most of our gas and consumables, so with only around 12 kg on our backs we should be romping up the hills. If we are not shattered from the previous two days!
It’s 17 km with 1700 metres of ascent, with what I hope will be a good ‘pitch’, at Dale Head Tarn.
Thursday sees us returning to Mary Mount by lunch time – probably too smelly to venture inside! – via a pleasing romp over Cat Bells and alongside Derwent Water. 11 km with 400 metres ascent.
Do feel free to join us if you can – my phone will be on, and there is intermittent reception over most of this route. It should be a great way to start the backpacking season for those of us who tend to take a ‘winter break’. As you can see, short cuts are possible on each day – we hope to do the planned route, but we’ll see how it goes.
The trip after that will be rather a contrast, and will feature bicycles.
On a completely different subject, Gillian Price (author of guide books for walking in Italy) was in touch yesterday, delighted that the swifts have arrived in Venice (ours will be at least another month) and happy to tell us about a new Cicerone Guide - Trekking in the Alps.
She asserts - the authors are ‘all terribly proud of it and hope it inspires lots of people to go trekking’.
If you fancy going a little further afield, the 20 routes described in this book are all mouth-watering in their own way. A number of them are hutting trips and can be done with just a small day sack, whereas others cover more remote areas where there are still mountain huts but wild camping may be possible.
Inspirational? Quite possibly. It’ll probably soon be added to our library.
Have a great weekend, everyone, and good luck to those on the Moffat to Peebles extravaganza.