Winter-walking around Ullswater – Part 2

Posted by @ 10:02 pm on Friday 30th January, 2009.
Categories: Great Escapes, YHA

Saturday night was a warm night in the hostel, I would have been colder sleeping in the car. In the morning we found out that the warden had remembered to turn on the heating. Fantastic.

Sunday’s breakfast was yet another downer - it seems that the standard YHA breakfast still no longer features bacon. It does, however, feature an even sloppier yellow mulch that is still reputed to be scrambled egg. It still wasn’t. It was even worse shite. Fan-bloody-tastic.

We changed, packed and checked out. The singleton hill for the morning was chosen - Great Mell Fell.

We parked up to the south-east of the fell, and I got ready to go forth. It's a one-hour-up-and-down hill, so I went off armed with minimal gear (the camera). Ella was feeling a bit delicate (no doubt due to the lack of bacon), so she stayed in the car and iPodded while I plodded.

The day was such a contrast to the previous one - flat light, much wetness, not so much snow underfoot.

I tackled the wooded lee-slope head-on, in an effort to gain height fast to beat the incoming bad weather. It was a mad thing to do, as the slope was wet/muddy/icy/mossy/covered with wet leaves, and the slope averaged 40 degrees, so there was much slippage and even more swearing. Step-kicking was the only way to conquer the terrain and maintain any semblance of dignity, so it was a good job that I'd elected to wear the Scarpa Freney Pros, which edge well and so are excellent for such stuff.

Some minutes later I emerged from the calm of the trees into a biting head-wind laced with hailstones. I took refuge under the roots of a fallen tree while the worst of the flying ice passed by, then I hooded up and made a break for the top just a few hundred metres away.

As predicted, the views eastwards and northwards were good, with the Pennines visible under fairly blue skies, but in all other directions the land was beneath overbearing cloud or obscured by airborne wetness, as per the following pic:

(click the pic for more bigness and a lightbox-type thingy.)

The top of Great Mell Fell

I left the top just as another hailstorm hit and a party of Sunday Ramblers arrived - I was in no mood to stand chatting while being eroded by the weather. I stopped just twice on the way back to the car - once to get a rushed photo of Little Mell Fell...

Little Mell Fell

and once to get a snapshot of this unfortunate ex-fellwanderer:

There's no "i" in sheep


Back at the car Ella was safe and well, so we set off for home. More feckwits were encountered on the M6 and the A5, but that's a story for another day.

So, another weekend of fun was over. Two more Wainwrights visited, Ella reintroduced to the delights of winter-walking, and a resolution to check the breakfast menu before booking the next stay in a hostel.

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2 Responses to “Winter-walking around Ullswater – Part 2”

  1. Scott says:

    Here - I hope you phoned a vet when you got back to civilisation. It might only have been stunned.

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