Sunday, 2 December 2018

December in t'Lakes

I've been trying to get together with Pete Dixon for a camp all year. Stuff's always got in the way.

Finally we manage and I trundle up the motorway in the van, to stay at the Caravan and Motorhome Club site near Grange over Sands. It's Friday afternoon. The weather is "changeable" 😊.

Saturday morning comes around and my chauffeur, Pete arrives. It's raining. Looks well set in. We procrastinate with a brew.

But, eventually, we feel we can put it off no longer and set out for Ambleside.

Pete is one of a handful of outdoor friends I really admire. He's a very, very experienced backpacker, out camping year round. He has a wealth of knowledge but doesn't shout about it. Ask though and he'll happily share well-considered thoughts on all things to do with travelling in the hills. He also has a great sense of humour. In short  Pete's bloody good company.

He knows the Lake District better than the back of his hand, so it's no surprise that Pete drives straight to a secret parking location on the outskirts of town where we leave his fine automobile before heading out into the hills.

It's still raining.

Pete has decided Red Screes is the place to aim for on such an inclement day and we're soon plodding steadily up a broad track towards Scandale Pass.

We pause for lunch. It's still raining. Pete is convinced this is my fault.

We pass a massive group of students, looking several kinds of miserable as they head downhill. Then, hitting the pass, we strike uphill to the summit.

Pete stops to get water from a running stream, assuring me that, with my fancy purifier, I can use the small tarn near the summit.

It's still raining, but I manage another photo.

And, sure enough, there's the tarn, where I grab water. Then, only a couple of hundred metres away, we find a good pitch.

It's still raining. That fine rain, that wets you through. Once ensconced in our shelters we ain't moving.

During dinner prep I manage first, to knock over half a litre of boiling water then, second, to knock over my burning Jetboil stove. It flares before I can turn it off. Thankfully neither of these silly accidents causes any damage. But I feel daft. I should know better.

I enjoy some downloaded tv before retiring to a good night's sleep.

In the morning, just as I wake I hear movement in Pete's shelter. We communicate with shouts.

It's still raining.

By 9:30 we're both fed and packed.

It's still raining

Pete snatches this great photo. We both look like we're enjoying ourselves 😂

We trudge through the mist, downhill. And, in the fullness of time, we're back at Pete's motor, peeling off wet gear. Then, it's back to the van for a lunch of bacon butties and coffee.

It's been crappy weather
... and great fun

Thanks Pete. Here's to the next time... and maybe better weather.


  1. Impressed - going out for a wild camp in that weather! Smiling as well :)

    1. Yes. A little daft but determined to get a camp with Pete.

  2. Stirring stuff Geoff, such tenacity. Well done.


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