Everyone else wanted an unstructured but easy day, probably involving Cat Bells, and I've been up there countless times, so I stuck to Plan A and enjoyed the 20 km round shown in the previous posting.
After a huge breakfast it was hard work up the thrutchy route by the Lodore Falls, but the path soon levels out and leaves the unfolding view of Derwent Water to meander through glades of wood sorrel, gently up to Watendlath (pictured).
A pot of tea went down well before I continued on this fine day up to Great Crag, a Wainwright I don't think I've visited before.
The Watendlath chaffinches, sparrows and robins were active as ever, almost taking food from your hand. A plump wood pigeon acted as an effective hoover.
Geese and pied wagtails were busying themselves as I passed on the way to Great Crag's twin summits, and a spot for tomorrow's wild camp revealed itself about 30 metres from the planned location.
It's a rough path to Dock Tarn, and rough, pathless ground from there to Blea Tarn, from the vicinity of which a short haul took me up to my second summit of the day, Watendlath Fell. Time for some lunch.
I'd met a few people, mainly couples enjoying quiet paths - this area is less frequented than Cat Bells, where others in our party encountered masses of folk.
There was hardly anyone else, though, on the broad ridge that I followed over the summits of Shivery Knott, Middle Crag, High Tove, High Seat, and Bleaberry Fell. There were good views ahead to Skiddaw and Blencathra, and all around to countless other Fells.
This route could on occasion be a bit boggy (the haul up to High Seat could perhaps be likened to that up Buckden Pike), but after recent dry weather it was fine today, with a little care. Wheatears and meadow pipits recorded my progress, and a buzzard made brief appearances all afternoon.
Beyond Bleaberry Fell a recently constructed 'yellow brick road' snakes down towards Walla Crag. More people were around now, but Walla Crag was otherwise deserted for a while as I sat there admiring the view across Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake.
I gave up on trying to get an internet connection and headed down to Ashness Bridge before returning to Mary Mount along the shore path. Goldcrests were chirping merrily near Ashness Bridge, and dog violets and garlic mustard were in full bloom.
Today's walk was 20 km, with 950 metres ascent (though my new Garmin Gadget indicates more, having recorded my random meanderings rather than the straight line drawn on the map), taking 6.75 hours.
A fine day out (including 5 Wainwrights and 8 Birketts). The new boots rubbed a bit, but should be ok for tomorrow's backpack.
Better start packing! But first I'll enjoy the lovely evening from our bay window overlooking Derwent Water.
As for the others - some went around the lake, some went up Cat Bells, and some went up Castle Crag for an encore.
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