Location Location

31May09

Well I think that going on holiday counts as an “important project” anyway.

We took the camper van (and tent for non-adults) to the Lake District. It was unwise to arrive at the site on Sunday, when everyone else had arrived on Saturday. The only pitch left was ominously close to the stream and had characteristic swamp plants poking up amongst the grass. But what the hell, it was fine and dry when we arrived and there weren’t any other spaces anyway.

The Lake District has changed since I last went walking there 17 years ago. The paths are more eroded. All the mountains are steeper and probably higher. And the sun was shining.

We stood on top of Scafell and looked across at Scafell Pike.

“Are you sure it will only take forty minutes?” Asked Mrs R. “It looks quite a long way down and up again.”

With my superior mountaineering experience I assured my trusting family that we would be there in jiffy…

An hour and a half later we slogged up the shaley, dusty gravel towards the summit, my reputation in tatters.

The next day it rained. We learnt that if a campsite looks like a bog, it is a bog. Even when there is an electric hook up. The van sank into the mire so we took a steam train to the coast.

Somewhere on the Cumbrian Coastal Path the signposts disappeared. Fortunately I had my handy GPS gadget and a map. And a compass. Using all three I was able to pinpoint our position to within a few feet. We were lost.

“The path should be just down here,” I said, leading the intrepid party into the dark trees. We squelched down through the damp undergrowth and mud to a wall topped with barbed wire. “Just over here,” I said scrambling up the mossy stones and peering down over a loose crag.

We walked back the way we had come. I am surprised that the ordnance survey are so slapdash. Clearly they have not checked the detail.



4 Responses to “Location Location”

  1. 1 Fiona

    Glad you got back in one piece. Here in Aviva land we are celebrating because we are now one big happy family – with very yellow backgrounds on our desktops !

  2. 2 alexoutside

    Hi Fiona – good news! Those yellow backgrounds will make all the difference. 🙂

  3. 3 Graham

    Alex
    Pleased you managed to get back ok.

    The last time I scrambled up Scarfell Pike was 6 years ago on my 40th birthday, with me were 2 German and 3 Dutch friends. I had promised the Dutch people I’d take them to the highest point in England as they had taken me to Vaalserberg which is the highest point in Holland at 322m (1059ft) Although I’d been up scarfell pike twice before both times it was dark, part of the 3 peak challenge and so all I got to see was teh backside of the chap in front of me. We now await a chance and invatation to go to Germany to climb Zugspitze at 2962m (9718ft) the highest point in Germany. The spooky thing is each of these 3 peaks are about 2/3 bigger than the next.
    Vaalserberg 322m
    Scarfell Pike 978m
    Zugspitze 2962m

  4. Funnily enough i happen to be heading up to the lakes next weekend. I shall watch out for bogs (but we’ll be arriving on friday)…


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