Almost Adventure-less

Not a particularly ‘extreme’ weekend … night navigation, dinner, and eBay … weird or what!

Night Navigation
Laetitia’s ML assessment is fast approaching so we took advantage of perhaps the last day (and night) of summer weather and spent Friday night trying to get lost on Loughrigg Fell above Ambleside … we failed … again! However, we did see a massive female deer (we assume it was female as it didn’t have any antlers and the rut must be nearly upon us?). What a beautiful creature, nearly as big as a pony and yet far more graceful. Sorry, we couldn’t get close enough to get a photo, the flash on our compact camera didn’t have the range and all I got was blackness.

Laetitia using a vague path as a handrail on they way to some minuscule tarn somewhere on Loughrigg Fell.

Australian Dinner Guests
On Saturday we had to spend most of the day tidying the house ready for our evening guests – all the way from Australia!

Steph is back in the UK from Canberra catching up with old friends. So to mark the occasion we held a small dinner party for Steph, Paul, Ian, Anna, Laetitia, and me. We ate one of Laetitia’s famous slow-roasted belly pork dishes followed by Eton Mess, and some fancy hand made chocolates brought along by Anna.

Steph was looking great and on top form – it was hard to see any change at all despite it being, I think, four years since we were all last together. Anna & Ian are super trim these days from all the running they are doing (obviously amazing, from a climbing point of view, for the power-to-weight ratio but maybe not so good for the head?). We even talked about Richard & Rachel’s fell-running adventures, assuring ourselves that they will ‘walk’ the Bob Graham Round next year given good weather and a date with maximum hours of daylight… Lets hope they do and then go on to take up what is more likely to be an actual challenge for them – the UTMB. Surely that is their game-plan with the Bob Graham being a qualifying event for the UTMB?

Sorry no pictures of the dinner! 😳 Pretty inexcusable really, not only to miss the chance to snap the ‘gang’ but, compounding the error, no pictures of the desert (‘cake’) or chocolates either! 😮

Steph will be back on an aeroplane back to Australia by the time this article gets posted. Shame, it was great to have the old gang together again if only for one day… 🙁

And what of Sunday? Well, after Steph and Paul had left us heading home to Barnsley, I continued my recent eBay campaign. I’ve evn got my blue badge…

I’m having none of that…
And finally, I’m having none of this lack of pictures of Eton Mess, so here’s one I prepared elsewhere… 😉

eton mess

Mountain Leader Training

While Pete is occupied at the BMC International Meet in Cornwall I’ve been keeping myself busy with a Mountain Leader Training course in Wasdale. I’d been thinking about doing the course for a while, but never got around to doing anything about it. I eventually booked at the last minute with Carol Emmons and I quickly registered with MLTE (Mountain Leader Training England) to get my Log Book.

The course follows a set syllabus which concentrates on navigation, rope work, group leadership, incident management, weather forecasting, conservation and access, route planning, and river crossing. It also includes a two day expedition with a wild camp above 600m.

Carol runs her MLT course out of the Wasdale YHA with the help of Richard Sagar. It’s been years since I’ve stopped in a YHA and I was quite impressed. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a youth. You also don’t need a sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner. Pillows and quilts with fresh cotton bed linen is standard now.

There were 10 of us in total on the course, 8 men and 2 women, with all sorts of backgrounds and all ages. The youngest was 22, the oldest 62. We all got on really well and had such a laugh. I’m sure we shouldn’t have laughed quite so much, jokes were flying around all day, and night, while we wandered around the hills looking for the tiniest of reentrants, edges of outcrops, or miniscule tarns.

Luckily for us the weather was pretty good most of the time. We had a little rain, a little snow, quite a lot of wind, but also some lovely sunshine, and starry nights which meant for freezing cold nights.

The wild camp was a great success up at Scoat Tarn. Thanks go to Richard and Rachel for lending me their super light tent and therma rest, and recommendation of Ainsley’s couscous with porcini and sausage – yum yum. The night navigation was great fun. Two hours of micro navigation went really quickly and we all found the marks. Poor Young Dave managed to walk into a bog, which made us all laugh even more.

The river crossing was kept for the last day. There wasn’t a great deal of water to play with, so we just practiced the techniques in a shallow stream. I did get into the stream after I’d taken the photos, honest.

An excellent week of fun.

Here are some pictures from the week…