After setting off at silly o' clock I arrived in Nether Wasdale just after 7am to a slightly overcast sky with the wind hustling the clouds along at a decent pace.
I clicked my head torch on and set off along the road in the direction of Wastwater.
Instead of going straight into the ascent I decided to take a quick stroll around Low Wood at the end of Wastwater for some photo's.
|Looking over Wastwater towards Yewbarrow.|
I stopped to collect some water from the River Irt (Wastwater's outflow) as I wasn't sure if I'd pass any sources on my climb up to Whin Rigg.
I headed Southeast to the path that ran beside Greathall Gill.
The going was quite steep and the ground was quite solid, luckily not too icy so it provided secure footing.
As I got onto the main path I stopped for a quick brew, the initial climb had been thirsty work!
The only interruption was the occasional bang from the Eskmeals range.
I hadn't seen a single person yet, but I expected that would soon change as I headed along the ridge.
|Cairn leading to Whin Rigg.|
|View down the Great Gully.|
The snow was ankle deep in places and there was a nice fresh breeze blowing.
|Looking towards Illgill Head.|
After a quick detour to photograph a frozen pool I continued on my way with a slight uphill gradient ahead of me.
|Looking back to Whin Rigg.|
|Yewbarrow, Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Lingmell.|
The sun made a brief appearance as I was tucking into my ravioli in tomato sauce!
|Lunch stop with superb views.|
A party of 6 or 7 people far below were making there way towards Burnmoor Tarn, I hoped they weren't intending to stay the night.
As I got nearer it became apparent that I couldn't pitch anywhere near here.
I filled up my reservoir at a fast flowing stream and headed Northeast and after a tiring 2km search I finally found a raised area well away from the main path that was ideal for my nights stop.
|Burnmoor Tarn with Burnmoor Lodge directly behind.|
|Force 10 Ion 2 with Burnmoor Tarn in the background.|
|The view out to Yewbarrow.|
I awoke to a much brighter day with frequent sunny outbursts, for some reason it took ages to break camp.
|Morning sunlight on Illgill Head.|
I headed directly for Sca Fell, the path had a gentle initial gradient and conditions were ideal.
|Ice cold and super fresh!|
|Illgill Head from my ascent of Sca Fell.|
As I got ever closer to the top, the ground became much steeper and very rocky, the ice axe had begun earning its keep!
|Getting close to the summit of Sca Fell.|
|Low cloud closing in while descending Sca Fell.|
The sun and clouds were creating a special scene in front on me and I picked up the pace.
|Fantastic lighting effect behind Burnmoor Tarn.|
My initial plan was to pitch up somewhere near the end of Illgill Head but the ground yet again proved to be too waterlogged and in fairly close proximity to the path.
I descended further with my only remaining option being to pitch on the shore of Wastwater (or somewhere close nearby).
The orange sky hinted at a missed sunset opportunity and I plodded on.
As I walked by the rocky shore of Wastwater I noticed some litter had been washed up, after some cursing I picked it up, only to notice it was full and still sealed!
|Kirk Fell and Great Gable over Wastwater.|
As I rounded the corner of my last opportunity to pitch, the sun was setting beautifully over Wastwater (I should have checked my watch before writing it off earlier!).
I couldn't believe my luck! I slung the pack off and began shooting and switching lenses like my life depended on it!
After my sunset photo binge it was time to tackle the pitching of the tent.
It wasn't easy as I had minimal space, the ground was strewn with half buried rocks, the pegs would only insert 1/4 of the way and it was on a bit of a slope.
|Ion 2 pitched on very rough ground.|
The sky was overcast and I headed indoors for an evening meal with some Skittles for afters!
|My litter picking reward!|
Cloud was patchy and stars twinkled through the gaps, I was out there for a good 45 minutes before retreating back inside the tent.
|Wastwater in darkness.|
I slept well and woke early to the pattering of light rain on the flysheet.
The weather had closed in as forecast and I made my way Southwest along the Wastwater shoreline.
Even though I only had 3km to cover, the journey was soul destroying.
The slippery rocks and giant boulders meant safe progress had to be made at a snail's pace, Yewbarrow and Middle Fell seemed to take a lifetime to pass on the opposite shore.
As I neared the end of the shore, the rain started and soon enough a torrent was soon falling from up above.
My waterproofs were cinched up and I happily left the sapping scree behind as I made my way slowly towards Easthwaite.
The last couple of kilometres were a struggle and I finally began to home in on The Strands Inn.
After a quick change I headed inside to dry off in front of the log fire and for some much needed hot food and refreshment!
Hopefully my next trip won't be so long away as I've got a lot of things on my to-do list :)