A Weekend by Ullswater

The weekend was spent out on the fells. A small part of my job involves being out and about, supervising young people as they develop skills in navigation, camp-craft and teamwork. Last year it snowed on the Saturday, making the journey from Helton to Loadpot Hill pretty grim. This year, it was cold, with temperatures set to drop below zero come nightfall. However, in the morning it was bright with big clouds passing by quickly. I was waiting at a path junction near the route up to the summit of Loadpot, I made myself comfortable (these things can take a while) from time to time I closed my eyes and listened to the Meadow Pipits who after fluttering around for a while were happy that I wasn’t a threat and resumed their business of calling and foraging for insects. 


After a while and with my duty completed, it was time to move on. I met up with Ed and headed over Loadpot summit, stopping for a trig point selfie as it is the 80th birthday of the OS trig point AKA triangulation stations that were used until 1962 as a way of allowing surveyors to be able to map from point to point by measuring angles between the reference points of the pillars. Apparently there are 6000 that remain and are still maintained by OS.


After reviewing the progress of a few groups we enjoyed a pleasing descent down past Lord’s Seat to the Cockpit where we caught up with the remaining groups. From here Ed continued on and I jogged down to Auterstone Wood where I pitched up next to a nice big rock and counted through the final groups.

During the night I woke up and went outside at around 2am, the moon was so bright, there was no need for a headtorch. It would have been a perfect night to be out on the fells although it was bitterly cold. If it was just Ed and I, I would be waking him up and we’d we heading out for a jog.  

Day two started off cold, it was snowing. I was wearing everything I had to hand, leggings, waterproof over trousers, a merino layer, Inov-8 Primaloft, a down jacket and my waterproof, plus gloves (and ski-gloves) and a polar buff. As I tracked the groups from the back, very little running took place. It was a much easier day and I was happy to leisurely stoll along past Barton Church, across the fields to Celleron and back to Askham.



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