The morning was bright and sunny with a low mist when we prepped for our days out. Mike was going out on the water, having brought his self-built sea-kayak "Tootega". Phil would be joining him on the water. Frank was happy to accompany me on a walk from Howtown back to the hostel via Hallin Fell and Beda Head (Wainwrights that I'd not been up), so we made off to the Glenridding boat-landings to catch the first steamer to Howtown. Somehow we managed to pass the pub without going in, despite the enticing aroma of another cooked breakfast...
White Lion, Patterdale
At the landings we hit a snag - the first sailing was cancelled due to fog on the water. If we had waited for the next sailing then we'd have been short on time for the walk, so Frank suggested going up either Sheffield Pike or Birkhouse Moor (or maybe even both) instead, as he'd not been up them before. Sorted. We started the long trudge up towards YHA Helvellyn and the old mine-works, with me listening intently to Frank telling more tales of climbing and of shagging.
Very occasionally Frank stopped (walking) to draw breath, so I took advantage of such opportunities to take some pics from the zig-zag path:
Views of Catstycam +/- Frank
After taking a deliberate detour up the spoil-heaps we found a nice spot for a breather and a brew, at some old mine-workings near the dam just above the Swart Beck ravine:
The view from the top of the ravine
After a dryshod crossing and a trudge through some virgin heather on Lucy's Tongue we gained the ridge-path where the views were superb:
More views of Catstycam -/+ BG!
From there it was a gentle stroll to the summit, as demonstrated here by Frank:
Frank strolling on up towards Sheffield Pike summit
The views from the top were impressive, so the camera came out yet again. Here's a 300-degree panorama, you'll have to click it to see it in detail:
Ullswater - Hart Side Panorama
We counted many folk on Helvellyn and its satellites:
Folk on the tops and ridges
but despite getting a nice view of Ullswater, we couldn't see Mike:
Ullswater from Sheffield Pike
On the way down to Glenridding Dodd we passed a potentially-good wildcamping spot:
A quiet, sheltered place
before getting a good look at the Dodd itself:
The High Street range above Glenridding Dodd
After more talk of climbing and of shagging we reached the top of the Dodd which gave us views forwards to Patterdale and backwards to Sheffield Pike:
Patterdale and Sheffield Pike from Glenridding Dodd
The rocks of the summit-cairn are obviously volcanic in origin...
The final pic of the day was of the view over Glenridding:
Glenridding, Place Fell and the Head of Ullswater
We descended The Rake above Blaes Crag and steeled ourselves for the road-walk back to the hostel, but got side-tracked while trying to pass the Traveller's Rest pub. A cool drink, a real fire in the bar and the Six Nations on the telly were just too tempting. As we were leaving, Frank spotted Mike and Phil in the lounge, so we had to stay for another drink. Just to be sociable, of course. The delay of our departure had absolutely nothing to do with Frank detecting the presence of a fine young lady who surely must be the one-and-only Melanie Frontage.
Anyway, I digress. After the beers/leers Mike gave us a lift back to the hostel where we collaborated to produce a hearty meal for the four of us. Frank cooked a seafood pasta dish and provided some nice wine, I provided a toffee pud with custard, boil-in-the-can caramel stodge and Jaffa Cakes, and Mike brought snacks, dips and beer. Top stuff! Frank retired early in preparation for his planned Sunday activity (I bet you can't guess what that was), while the rest of us stayed up chatting until it was time to sleep.
To be continued...