Sat 22nd Jun - Sun 23rd Jun, 2013

Lakes - The Three Mosedales

Virginia Castick

Members: Virginia Castick, John Castick, Dave Wylie, Graham Harkness, Sue Harkness


We all arrived at various times on Friday to Buttermere and stunning clear views.  Dave whizzed round several hills covering over 12 miles as a warm up for Saturday. I swam (no surprise there then) and everyone else lazed about in the glorious sunshine.

Graham had got us all in at the FRCC hut at Buttermere.  (The campsite plan was thus ditched – it was called ’Inglenook’ – says it all really.)  At the hut we had exclusive use of Birkness Cottage. Thank you FRCC, this gave us a comfy base from which to manage the walk.  Due to injury Graham was unable to walk but volunteered to drive Dave to the start at Cockley Beck.  The weather on Saturday could not have been more different than the evening before; wind, clag, cool temperatures and intermittent rain showers.  At 9.40am, on his own, Dave set off up Mosedale 1, across Great Moss and up Cam Spout to Mickledore.  He found the wind testing at Mickledore, blowing in his face going up and coming down.  I was waiting at Wasdale having been given a lift round from John.  Dave and I had a dry but windy walk up Mosedale 2, over Black Sail Pass and down to Black Sail Youth Hostel.  Meanwhile Sue had walked over Scarth Gap from Buttermere to meet us at Black Sail.  We three then went up to Scarth Gap by which time it was 3.30pm.  Sue and Dave then set off upwards into the mist  to the High Stile ridge where the conditions looked vile.  Intermittent mobile communications had given our support team a rough idea of what was going on to this point.

I descended to Buttermere and back to the hut but not without interest.  I met a group of Ladies cracking open a bottle of Pink Champagne to celebrate a birthday.  I was offered, and naturally accepted, a proper wineglass of bubbly.  This cheered my descent no end.  Back at the hut John, Graham and I sat about drinking tea and continued our entertainment of watching 2 resident red squirrels and 2 woodpeckers outside the window.  Eventually we felt it was time to go to Loweswater village to meet the walkers at the finish at the end of Mosedale 3.  Fortunately Sue managed to get a text through to John’s car phone as we sat in the car park to say she and Dave had split in the mist near the top of Red Pike and she was descending to Buttermere.  Many shenanigans later, Sue was collected at The Fish in Buttermere and Dave was met by me striding down Mosedale 3.  By now it was 7.40 pm.  After 10 hours almost non-stop walking his final steps led to the bar of the Kirkstile Inn and a welcome pint.

Apparently on the ridge Sue and Dave, although only about 20 metres apart and somewhere near Red Pike, lost sight of each other in appalling conditions – extreme wind and swirling mist. After a brief look for each other, each made the sensible decision to find their own way onwards. Dave continued with the route after finding a boulder to shelter behind to put on his overtrousers.  He said the wind was so bad briefly, he was nearly blown over.  After a check of her map Sue headed down to the safety of the path by Bleaberry Tarn.

This was deemed to be a great route of 18.5 miles and over  6000ft of ascent, making a long but very satisfying day.  It’s a shame not more club members took this opportunity to do a properly supported linear walk through the heart of the Lake District, with great accommodation thrown in.

The weather on Sunday was awful again so sitting about in a smug glow drinking more tea was the order of the day.  We finally roused ourselves to walk down to the cafe in Buttermere village for tea and scones.

Thanks to those who came and thank you to those who volunteered to drive.  Without their support, the meet could not have run.

Dave Wylie has set the benchmark for a KMC classic walk.  A great meet in a great location with good friends. What could be better.


Virginia Castick

Meet Promo:

This looked a nice line on a map and could be done in one day by the fit amongst you.

Start at Cockley Beck and go north up the first Mosedale into upper Eskdale. Ascend Cam spout and cross Mickledore to descend to Wasdale Head. Next Mosedale will take you up to Black Sail Pass and down to Black Sail YH. Had enough yet? No, right up to Scarth Gap and NW along the High Stile Ridge to drop past Scale Force and the final Mosedale down to Loweswater Village. Phew, I’m tired just writing about it. Distance approximately 19 miles and height gain 8,000feet.

This will be a fully supported walk, taking you to the start meeting at Wasdale and maybe Black Sail and collecting at the finish. Actual logistics will depend on who comes and who will drive. Actual base not yet decided but probably camping somewhere on Saturday night after the walk.

This could be done as a 2 day walk stopping at Black Sail half way where tents could be taken up for you.

Let me know if you are interested and we can work out details


Virginia Castick

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