Richard and I went up to the Lakes on Saturday hoping to summit a few more peaks. The weather forecast said light rain, but we ignored it. The wet weather provided the perfect opportunity to test out the new 15 l OMM rucksack which I had received earlier in the week from the Product Director of OMM (one good reason to go to work BBQs!)
We arrived in Borrowdale at about 1120 to find that it did indeed stand up to its reputation as being the wettest place in Britain. After a small amount of faff, we set off into the cloud.
We traversed around a few large hills in the mist before summiting Scafell Pike. We descended into Mickeldore and attempted to find the shortcut along a climbers path which apparently leads to Foxes Tarn. Visibility was only tens of metres and so we didn’t find it, instead we ended up descending to the large gulley below the tarn and ascending back up Scafell from there. This gulley was quite exciting because of the vast quantities of water flowing down it. After reaching the top, we stayed for a couple of milliseconds and then ran straight down the northwest side of the mountain to Wasdale. After a quarter of a slightly bashed up quiche each, we ascended Yewbarrow, which is really steep and then onto Red Pike, which took forever. We ticked off Scoat Fell and Steeple and then continued onto Pillar. We still couldn’t see anything through the fog! At this point, it was getting rather late in the day, so instead of continuing up Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Green Gable as planned, we opted for a lower level route to allow us to get back to the car before 2030. It was a fairly big day out and my legs were pretty tired from previous adventures – especially as running across wet Lake District rock is really quite slippy at times. I was glad to get back to the car after 33 km in the hills.
We hurried off, put the tent up at Grange campsite and then 3 minutes later we were back in the car on our way to the curry house in Keswick. I’ve never been particularly impressed with this eating establishment, but at 2130, we weren’t really in the mood for searching out a pub that was still serving food.
As for the bag…. I am a great fan of OMM gear and this bag lived up to my expectations. My overall opinion of OMM rucksacks is that they are amazingly lightweight, hardwearing, perfect for the intended purpose and well designed. If you are serious about mountain running, you probably own one already. This bag is intended for day use (or super super light mountain marathon use) and has a large compartment and a smaller pocket on the top. Importantly, it has the same waist belt pockets as the 32 l, which are essential for storing jelly babies, cereal bars, compass and camera. The bag is stylish with a zip closure in place of the drawcord on the 32 l version. We particularly liked the colour, which brightened up this very wet July day.
I tried out this bag as a comparison to the 32 l rucksack to see whether the shorter back length worked out better for me. I think it did feel better than the 32 l version, however I do believe that it makes my bum look rather large. Perhaps OMM could consider this when they bring out the next version!
For anyone who really cares, here’s the route we took. It was too bad the cloud didn’t lift all day so we didn’t see any views. Remarkably, from Wasdale Head to Styhead Tarn we didn’t see a single other person!