The single-track road up the valley of Mardale runs up past the dam and continues along the side of Haweswater; the road ends at the foot of Gatescarth Pass. This is an aggressively wild and desolate place. Twice I was blown over whilst at a standstill on the bike with my foot down but I couldn’t hold the bike against unexpectedly strong gusts.
Minor scratches on either side of the bike now and I have a couple of strained muscles from my attempts lifting it up before help arrived. But maybe worth it for the extreme natural beauty and the fun crossing the fords and floods. There’s a Traffic Regulation Order for the rest of the track up to Gatescarth Pass (572 m.) so a permit is needed to continue past the gate. Anyhow, this was no day to attempt the pass on my bike on my own so I turned back to the lush growth lower in the valley. Plenty of leaves, mud and washout on all the roads, which the CRF300 rides just fine.