An Abandoned BGR Leg 2 Night Recce and Easter Monday on Hellvellyn
8/9 April 2012
With the BGR season fast approaching I’m trying to get back up to speed with a couple of legs, one of which is Leg 2 from Threlkeld to Dunmail Raise which will be the night section for Ian Haigh, the chap I am supporting. After agreeing to take Jake for a scramble up Striding Edge on Easter Monday I had the bright idea of going up Sunday night, and then running from Threlkeld to Hellvelyn and back once it had got dark. As we drove up the sky grew darker and the road wetter and by the time we arrived at the campsite, the monsoon season had arrived with a vengeance. We were both cold and wet by the time we had the tent up so at this point sanity took over and I decided Jake really needed to be introduced to Theakstons Old Peculiar and the chip shop in Keswick, both of which were to be had in dry and warm surroundings, rather than being left on his own for a few hours!
After a blustery night’s sleep we drove around to Glenridding, put on every piece of kit we had with us (the monsoon was still in full flow) and headed off up the track past the YMCA/YHA/etc.. Once at Red Tarn we were in the mist and a very wet and slippery scramble ensued. I tried to paint a picture of the views Jake would have seen if we weren’t in the middle of the aforementioned monsoon (which had now started to include occasional driving sleet showers), but he wasn’t convinced! At the top we paused for a nanosecond and headed off down towards Hellvellyn Lower Man.......or that’s where we should of gone....... With my head down, and not paying close attention I realised we had missed the path off to the right and were on the one down to Thirlmere so 15 minutes later we were back at the top of Hellvellyn and this time with compass out and map in hand to make 100% certain, headed off on the correct path! A good lesson for us all here when conditions are really rough, don’t just trust your knowledge, but get the compass out to provide back up.
Back in the valley Mountain Rescue had laid on a charity duck race for us and so I obligingly bought tickets for all the Bounders (you all now owe me a pound). As the ducks came paddling (sorry floating) past I realised the one in second place was 2261, which was mine (no, it wasn’t any of yours and yes I have the stubs to prove it – and yes, you still all owe me a pound). Jake at this point suggested I check my ticket to be sure but I was already chasing it down towards the finish where it came a very respectable 4th place. I was already planning which prize to secure (for us all of course) when upon checking my ticket stub, I realised mine was in fact 2281 and not 2261 (Jake at this point had that ‘I told you so’ look on his face)! 2281 had in fact gone off looking for food and was last heard shouting “where’s Fin, he always has some spare grub”
Hope to see you all at Caythorpe next weekend......