A glorious morning and I'm out of the house by 08:00. I've swapped the trail shoes for the mountaineering boots and as I head up Raise Beck from Dunmail Raise Ive got the ice axe fastened to the back of the sack and hidden under the lid my crampons. Overkill?
I am heading past Grisedale Tarn and down to the entrance to Ruthwaite Cove. I remember now why I decided last time never to do that again. It's a long way and you have to descend 500 Knee jarring feet into Grisedale.
The view ahead spurs me on and I decide not to stop for tea until I reach the tarn.
From Hard Tarn I head NE to pick up the ridge onto Nethermost Pike. Now Ive done this twice before.Once on hands and knees in summer when a gale was threatening to drop me into Nethermost Cove and once in winter with crampons and good conditions. What could go wrong?
As the ground steepens I realise Im sliding down in the knee deep unconsolidated snow. I look down from a little refuge above a boulder and realise theres a long drop below me now and I probably could not reverse what Id just come up. Gingerly I open the sack and ever so carefully get the crampons on.
There's 30 feet of steep snow above with a lip through to some boulders. The crampons bite into something and even the narrow alpine like ridge (above) dont cause any problems.
It's just a stroll along to Dollywaggon Pike taking photos as I go.
Heading south west from Dollywaggon I descend the little gill that brings you out onto Willie Wife Moor and the path off Reggle Knott. This is a much better descent rout than the eroded and often icy path down Raise Beck.