The forecast was for rain.
We made our way into the Langdale valley. I was pleased to see the hills had been swallowed up by a huge dark grey blob of nothingness and it was heading our way. “Oooh – perfect!” I exclaimed. Wet weather navigation practice, here we come.
Strangely for a Saturday, we easily found a parking space in the National Trust car park at the ODG. But then, perhaps it wasn’t so strange considering the amount of rain that was fast approaching. We got kitted out and started to head up towards Oxendale. Within minutes we were hit by the grey blob. We leaned into the wind and boldly marched on.
Ten minutes later, the blob changed its course and much to my annoyance it rushed up Mickleden and continued up and over Stake Pass and on to its favorite spot in Borrowdale – to maintain the reputation of being the wettest place in the country.
Oh well, if I couldn’t do wet weather navigation, then more micro navigation was required… this time using the 1:50k map.
We continued up Oxendale, over Bow Fell and Esk Pike and down to Esk Hause, all the while navigating to tiny ring contours, spurs and reentrants. At Esk Hause we made the decision not to wait til dark, and instead we got the 1:25k maps out and started even more micro navigation: a tuft of grass here, a teeny weeny puddle in the middle of a marsh there, a pebble on a spur, and so on. Needless to say it was getting dark by the time we decided to head down, oh, and it had started raining again, but I was tired and hungry and just wanted to get back.
A quick march down Rossett Gill and Mickleden and I was knackered.