Posted by: Bruce Duncan | May 28, 2009

A long day in the hills

On Tuesday, Dad wanted to head up to Broad Stand to recce the roped section for our friends attempt at the Bob Graham round this weekend.   We are going to be helping Andy up this short tricky section, so thought it best to know what we were dealing with ahead of time, and it had been years since Dad had last been up there.  So we drove round to Wasdale head and after a fast hours run/walk we made it to the col between Scafell Pike and Scafell. The hills were pretty busy as it was half term, but no one was headed where we were.

 Dad and Maria on the way up to Mickledore

Dad and Maria on the way up to Mickledore

Trying to tie a bowline
Trying to tie a bowline
Dad climbing Broad Stand

Dad climbing Broad Stand

Dad led the way up with me belaying him, until he found some handy pegs in place to attach to, when he could then bring myself up and Maria.  Dad couldn’t quite get up a nasty ledge, which was polished and wet and slimy, with my slightly longer reach i could just make it up.  Once up we check everything out, how much rope we’d need, which anchor points we’d use and so on.  Then we headed up to the top.  The weather had been pretty good till then, the clouds above the summits and the odd bit of sunshine, but just as we got over the shoulder to thew summit plateau, the cloud blew in, so for 10mins it was onto the compass to check the route, then as soon as it came, the cloud went, and we had uninterrupted views of the lakes.

Dad and Maria on Scafell when the clouds rolled in
Dad and Maria on Scafell when the clouds rolled in
The view from the top of England, down to Keswick in the distance.
The view from the top of England, down to Keswick in the distance.
After the top we dropped down to Foxes Tarn, and Dad went back over the shoulder to Wasdale to drive home.
Maria and myself then set off to run home via Scafell Pike.  The climb was quite short to the top, and the weather was still fantastic
giving us glorious views of the whole of the Lake District.  We took in the view for a few minutes then head off back to Keswick.  We descended to Sty Head Tarn via the Corridor route, then dropped into Seathwaite, where Maria managed to fall and bump her head.  She was ok, and felt fine to carry on up the valley.
We got to Rosthwaite and we made the decision to pop over the pass to Watendlath for a more interesting run, and to get more hills in!

The bridge over the stream in Watendlath

The bridge over the stream in Watendlath

Once up the steep climb out of Rosthwaite it was pretty easy running all the way back.  The sun was out in full force now after a wee shower coming into the valley, but there was still a strong breeze keeping us nice and cool.
I was however regretting the decision to hold onto the ropes and chocks we’d taken to Broad Stand, they were getting heavier by the minute in my rucsac!

Watendlath was lovely, the sun on the wee bridge and the houses made it look idyllic.

After a short stop we carried on down the river to Ashness bridge, and then the final wee climb up to the top of Walla Crag before dropping off the hills straight back to the house.

It was a lovely run, 3hrs 20 from the top of Scafell Pike to the house, not too bad really.  All in all a 6hr day on the hill.
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