Day out to hike Blencathra, the double headed Lakeland peak formed of craggy Skiddaw slate. Leaving home in London at dawn, blackbirds singing in the streets. Pendolino train service to Penrith then a bus to the White Horse pub to start hiking uphill before midday.
Nice view over Scales Tarn. Picnic lunch on the summit of Blencathra (868 m.). Still blue sky and sunshine, wow what good luck! Thrilling views over the precipitous ridges over to all the Lakeland peaks, Skiddaw nearby, Great Gable and Hellvellyn as well as Derwent Water and Thirlmere far away in the haze but with flashes of snow remaining in the cold gullies on the tops.
Onwards to Knowe Crags (804 m.) then down lots to cross the Glenderaterra Beck at Derwentfolds, the approach to the wooden footbridge still washed out by this winter’s storms.
Up to Latrigg (368 m.) and finally down a direct route (fell runners’ prints in the mud) straight down to Applethwaite. A warm welcome with tea and cake in Mike’s garden, still in full sunshine and only a light wind but his Camellia tree’s flowers are already past their best. The end of a linear hike, 900 m. up and 990 m. down.
Orange sunset over Morecombe Bay and the white, nearly-full moon rising over the Pennines as another Pendolino hurtled south at up to 200 km/hr (125 mph).
OK, I didn’t get back to home in London until after 11pm but hey what a brilliant day out. Eighteeen-hour days are extreme but great to be able to do it.