Saturday, October 14, 2017

Wainwrights Coast to Coast 2013

St Bees 13 May 2013
Me and my mate decided we would do the coast to coast walk before we got any older and the task of organising it was pretty much left to me.
I had heard there was a company that would carry a suitcase for you and i decided to use the Sherpa Van Project..Their website allows you to choose the accommodation you want in each of your stops and they book it all for you..We decided to stay in the same places Wainwright stayed in with an extra day in Richmond in case we needed a rest..Sherpa charged us 200 pounds each for booking and transport.

The next thing I had to decide was what to take with me..I'm not a gear buff and  the only thing I bought special was a dry bag and 16 pairs of cheap Karrimor socks from ebay at a pound a pair.The rest of my gear is what I wear when out walking in the lakes..This includes wetlegs,jacket,fleece,long johns,leather walking boots and a pair of walking sticks.All this was either worn or stuffed in my MacPac 40 litrre sack.

In my suitcase I had enough clothing to dress an army along every conceivable lotion potion and patent medicine you can think of..The only one I ended up using was sun cream factor 15..

One thing that everyone worrys about is "will I get lost"? I'm not brill at navigating so I took the Harvey Coast to Coast maps, my compass, a guide book and my Iphone with Viewranger with a GPX route loaded..

Last look at the Irish sea before we set off.

The first bit of the walk goes up the cliffs toward the light house.On the way you pas the RSPB bird cliffs where you will see Guillemots Cormorants and Fulmars soaring over the cliffs to their nests..Once you reach the light house you turn inland..
We had our packed lunch at Moor Row.We sat on a bench along side the disused rail lines with an elderly lady who had lived there since she was a 'Lal Lass'.
If you reach Cleator then your navigating is holding up and you then get to climb your first hill Dent,If your not hill fit then you will be found out here and when you get to the top you can have a bit of a rest and admire the view of Sellafield nuclear plant..Building a place like Seallfield on the west coast was a bit daft but fortunately its never gone up in smoke more than once..Turn round and look East and you will see the distant hills of the lake district and soon after leaving Dent you will be in Ennerdale where we spent our first night..

This is the view from our digs in Ennerdale..

By this time you will have most likely have walked on paths you never knew existed and probably the walk down Ennerdale will be new to you too..
After a good nights sleep you will be ready for another days walking and if you got a packed lunch its simply a case of saying thanks to your hosts for the night..
As you start down the side of Ennerdale water you will experience the closeness of the surrounding hills and if its all new to you then theres hours of fun to be had guessing the  name of the hills from looking at the map..

We reckoned there was  Brandreth,Green Gable,Pillar and Steeple in this pic..
When you get the end of Ennerdale water you come to Black Sail hut..Its a good place to stop and devour your packed lunch and look all experienced like with your compass around your neck..

We met a guy here that had carried his mountain bike all the way from the Honnister Pass with the hope of cycling up Black Sail Pass!! He asked me if it was possible and I said I never saw anyone do it and he said well theres a first time for everything and set off looking ever so keen..
As you leave Black Sail hut be careful of your route as lots of folk go wrong here..The correct way is to head up the stream (Loft Beck) which is on your left heading North East after 600 metres..The path starts on the left of the stream and then crosses over to the righthand side after about 400 metres..
At the bottom of this stream we met our mountain biking friend studying his map and after a brief hello he said would we mind if he joined us.I think he was what is known as temporally confused as to his where abouts..The path up Loft Beck is quite steep and the poor guy carrying his bike was knackered when we got  to the top..
If you've done right you will come to a barbed wire fence with a  Stile crossing over it and on a fine day you should be able to glimpse Innominate Tarn where Mr Wainwright's ashes are scattered..
By now our mountain bike friend was flat out on the ground but thanked us for setting him on the right path..

Innominate Tarn just over my Right shoulder!! Honest!..

From here the way takes you down to Honnister mine and then downhill all the way to Seatoller where we spent our second night..
             Seatoller may as well be on the dark side of the moon as far as mobile signals go and you will have to do without the internet for a night..
We ate at the Scafell Hotel which was full of other walkers and were served by the only gay in the village.
As we walked back to the digs we crossed a chain assisted  rocky bit by the side of the river..