Chasing a Dream by Warren

Chasing a Dream by Warren

So it’s been 4 or 5 weeks since the round and I think barring my Hip I felt pretty good and maybe was a little bit arrogant about how fast I had recovered. mmmm
Then I attempted some decent sessions, the buried fatigue came out and I realised just how long it was going to take to recover properly. So now I’m just managing my hip and trying to do some sessions and lots of low zone long mountain days.

So, I fancied the Abraham’s Tea around, I had a couple of days off off work and I thought why not.. Solo days in the hills are very therapeutic for me and my crazy unbalanced brain as I find all the noise and all the “stuff” goes quiet and I can live in the moment in the hills.

So for anyone who hasn’t heard about it, it’s a 30 mile route with approx 4000m taking in Catbells, Robinson, High Stile, Red Pike, Hopegill Head, Eel Crag, Sail, Causey Pike, Rowling End & Barrow. You can do any route but it’s a pretty obvious line between the peaks. The plan was to just plod out the whole 30mile steady eddy in a day and then do something light the day after.. details and track HERE

So after arriving at the YHA In Keswick, I checked the forecast again and it had been ok all week but it had totally changed... Rain, 30-40mph wind and low mist! Fabulous
So I set off 7am from the cafe, having not done any of these summits before and navigating myself with a map it was set to be a good day, the weather In the morning was ok and the view back to Keswick off the summit of Catbells was lovely and it’s a really nice climb to the summit. Pretty easy Nav from there taking a descent off and into a valley and a long trail then and then there was some road which seems to drag a bit but that’s just me.....

Back into a nice valley and heading towards the climb for Robinson, a bit finicky and couldn’t really see an obvious trod so I just went straight up and the moment I got above a few hundred metres, it came and it pissed it down in fine fashion! I could see the swirling mist up on the first Col where I would be bearing right to go the summit. I know the moment I popped up I was gonna get hammered.... I did! It was lifting me off my feet at times it was a howling wind and sideways rain when all you can hear is young hood flapping against your face! Fabulous!
Summit of Robinson, no view didn’t even stop just tapped the Cairn and kept moving and followed the trod around and just looking to get off the summit and drop into lake to get out of the wind.... Again not an obvious descent and I kind of missed it a bit and ended up a few hundred metres down the road when I got the bottom.

Hit the lake, and it’s a plod around the side and then back to climbing again upto High Stile, 807m it’s a big mountain and I was looking up at it and it was Black like something out of a film and it looked nasty up there...... I’ve no idea of the terrain just what the map told me so I knew it was a steep climb, craggy at the top and then a run around the ridge to Red Pike and down.... simples!

What a great climb upto High Stile, my type of climb steep grass and then some little scrambles which I’m sure you might not have to do but I could see naff all.... so once I lost the trod I was just attacking the summit.

The rain is bouncing, I can hear the wind whistling again, when I popped over it was horrific the rain and wind combined was absolutely smashing me to pieces, I’m in the right gear well too half as I clearly has my shorts on as getting my waterproof trousers is really a last resort as I hate wearing them....


(Just to clarify I’m not a wolly, I’m carrying spares clothes top to bottom in my bag)


The Nav on the top wasn’t that easy, it was just fog out totally so I’m just keeping the ridge on my right and working around after the summit and spotting the odd cairn, I’m running compass out NW, until I hit the next summit so I can’t really go wrong.
Summit appears, no view, total anti climax after such a big climb but that’s life in the hills....
One note, I’m really liking the feel of the northern fells in comparison to the recent week before exploring around Helvellyn and Fairfield for the first time where the paths were like motorways.....

The decent off Red Pike.... on a summers day probably very nice... Today no! Slippiest rocks ever and it was rocky steps all the way down into Buttermere and it took a lifetime and the rain and wind was just eating away at me and my positivity started to wain a little especially being out solo with no banter or chat......

Dropped Into Buttermere....

A cafe appears, a sign outside come and get warm, vegan cakes SOLD.....
I go in to warm up, I knew the moment I sat down that was it I would convince myself it’s ok to do it over two days and just enjoy it...... 2 Oat Lattes later and a piece of vegan flapjack the decision was made..... Bus back to Keswick!

So, I went back to the Hostel, showered and went for a walk around Keswick. Had a coffee In the Abraham Tea Round Cafe and chatted with the guys about the horrendous weather....... hahaha if only they knew how shite weather just follows me around.

So Day2...

Up early and grabbed a coffee at the hostel, packed some bars and got myself on the bus back to the cafe at Buttermere where I whimped out and began!
Around the corner and straight into a big climb.... Whiteless Pike the first summit then passing through the Whiteless Edge.. Sounds like an exposed ridge but it wasn’t but In all honesty it was a total white out, mega winds again and rain, not quite as severe but generally shite! But a great climb and a great run this section I’m sure it’s really beautiful lol
Now, here is where things went off.....I’m navigating with the map and I’m aiming for Sand Hill, I go across a junction and all of a sudden I’m on a ridge and I shouldn’t be on a ridge.....
Otto.....


On a clear day this would be obvious, when your running through wet cotton wool not so much.....
Check the compass I’m running NE, Ridge to my right and I’ve hit a summit yep I’ve missed a turn and I’m at Crag Hill meaning I’ve chopped a section out...
I can back track, I could or attack the summit but looking at the map from where I am the route up Eel Crag looks craggy and rocky and I’m solo..... I’m also soaked
On a sunny day I’d of gone back, today I just cracked on and headed for Causey Pike a really nice run across the tops and I had to move to stay warm as the weather just wasn’t relenting at all....


Then..... the sky’s cleared as I dropped down a little lower and the run over the tops to Rowling End was lovely and now I’d got a view finally... still chucking down but some scenery was a welcomed boost.


Seems most go out and back here, I tried to be smart and try a different line by going off and curling around the bottom...
Note to self look at the contours before making that decision I lost about 250m of height and ended up climbing back again towards a track before going over Barrow the last summit.... Also a fabulous run and a great decent down into Braithwaite.


Then 2 miles road back into Keswick...... unavoidable


Coming back into Keswick you run towards Moot Hall, I had a few thoughts in my mind then but we will save those for another day!
It’s a fantastic round, it only did i not do it all in one day, I split if over two and missed a section out on the second day but hey ho solo days In the hills are still great....
I’ll be back to try and do a fast time some time soon.

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