After a mad dash after work and a call to Penrith Morrisons I park the car outside my mam and dads at 20:15. That'll give me just over an hours daylight to reach Borrowdale, climb the Whinfell ridge and get the tent up. Borrowdale is a side valley going right in the above picture just below the snowy fell.
I got the tent up at 22:00. I carry 4 litres of water up from the beck and get the tent in the lea of a wall.
I brew coffee in the morning and the snow is already melting.
Daylight and I'm glad of that wall as the wind is strong. I aim to walk along the ridge in the left of the picture and come back down the valley. There's a couple of things I want to see. If you look at Whinfell Beacon from the south there is a wood very near the top. Wainwright reckons this was planted to provide wood for the beacon. I'm on a mission to check it out. There's the mystery of the pink rock. I used to fish this valley 40 yrs ago and remember seeing pink rocks in the beck that weren't Shap Granite and certainly not the silurian mud stones of the local geology.
The wood is beautiful, the trees old and twisted. Someone went to a lot of trouble as there is the remains of a drystone wall all the way around. The trees are not regenerating as sheep are in there now.
How long ago where beacons used ? Are these trees that old? They are only a short walk from the summit.
Back on the ridge I look back at the way I've come. I'd camped just to the left of the far radar aerial.
Eventually I reach the A6 and do a sharp right back down the valley.
Not far from here is where we once had a youth club barbecue. One of the lads pulled a big salmon out of the beck and took it home for his mam.
When I sit by the beck for lunch I look for the pink stones. They are visible in the photo above.
I hadn't imagined it, but the mystery remains they are dark pink but dont have the big crystals of the Shap Granite. They are heavy and very tough to break. More research needed.
It's just a question of heading over the ridge to Roundthwaite and then on to Tebay.
Just for a change it looks like rain in Tebay. I can see my mam and dad's house from here.
Lune valley and Howgills behind.
Coming down to Roundthwaite with Tebay behind. Just the motorway and railway to get through.
I can remember before this was built.
Further on there are fences where there never used to be and the little streams where the sticklebacks were are gone. There used to be ponds near the river with newts in, no sign. There were reads next to the bridge with water rats, just grass and trees now.
The street above used to have a cake shop and cafe, a post office, a coop, an electrical shop and a drapery and I knew everybody's name.
Mind you they do have street lights now and indoor toilets.