When – 8 May 2013
Where – Patterdale to Shap
Distance – 16 miles
Walking with – Annette
Home for the night – New Ing Lodge
Weather – Seriously high winds at the tops. Heavy rain. Sunshine at the end.
The rain started at around the same time as we did today, and accompanied us all the way up to the 784m high Kidsty Pike. By the time we’d walked past Patterdale Common, Angle Tarn, and Satura Crag we were completely drenched. Anyone who says there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing, has probably never walked in proper rain and wind, up hill, for hours.
Just after The Knott we turned NE to start heading to the high point of the day, Kidsty Pike. And a couple of minutes later the following things happened: visibility suddenly dropped to around 3m and gales force winds hit us – turning the already heavy rain into horizontal pellets of pain that were aimed right at our heads. It was, in truth, quite scary up there. Although once we were down and the rain had stopped, and we’d started to dry out a little, it began to turn into an exhilarating story. Isn’t it always the way!
As we started the descent, cold and soaking wet, we stopped for a minute to grab an extra layer of clothing – and I realised that my bag’s waterproof cover had been ripped off by the wind. Oh dear…
It was a huge relief to spot Haweswater Reservoir through the mist, and the rain stopped around the same time we got to its shores. We were too cold to stop to eat (which was why we managed the walk in just seven hours) but had a ‘walking lunch’ as we tramped along the pretty length of our last Lake District destination.
We bumped into a lovely couple from Rugby, Laura and Andy (although I bet his real name is Steve) by the dam at the end and walked much of the end of the walk with them, through the gentle countryside between Burnbanks and the ruins of Shap Abbey (‘Henry VIII woz ere’ graffiti not in written evidence but nevertheless his guys had gone forth and dissolved it in the late 1530s). A final push on through pretty rolling farm land and we arrived at New Ing Lodge, where the friendly young owners are making a huge effort and nothing seems like too much trouble – do stay with them if you’re down this way!
Heading to The Crown for some of the best food – & definitely the best value – of the trip, we walked in to be greeted by cheers from the large number of our walking buddies we’ve made over the past five days, who had stopped in at the end of their walks to have a restorative pint or three. War stories of Kidsty Pike were swapped and next destinations shared. It was a good end to what had been, at times, a bit of a challenging day!
Photos, from top to bottom – the view looking back over from The Knott, Haweswater Reservoir, the ruins of Shap Abbey