Wild Swimming - Langdale Lido Meet
Sat 21st Jul - Sun 22nd Jul, 2018
Members: Michelle Harvie, Christine Beeston, Oi Ding Koy, Dave Shotton, Kate Harvey, Laura Collier, Graham Harkness, Mark Ashley, Kirsten Mundt, John Castick, Virginia Castick.
We all arrived at Baysbrown campsite in Chapel Stile at various times on Friday except for Graham who chose to live in solitary Splendour at Raw Head. The campsite is much better than I thought it would be, lots of space laid back, and more than adequate facilities.
The exceptional weather over recent weeks made it a disappointment when the cloud was low as we set off on Saturday for Easdale Tarn. Straight up the hillside through damp thick bracken was a testing start but the boggy bits were dry and we soon saw the tarn over the ridge, not without some discussion as to the best line to approach it. Surprisingly there were few people about and the 7 of us who had set out all got in, even Graham. Cossies were the order of the day and even Mark’s luminous orange shorts didn’t put us off. Michelle and Dave swam all the way across and we all stayed in for at least 15 minutes. Michelle and Kirsten did suffer from the dreaded ‘White Finger’ but otherwise we hardly felt cold. A short steep walk led to the delightful Codale Tarn. This is hidden from the main path and is a little gem of tranquility amongst the mountains. We all went in again except Graham who was on photo duty. By now the weather was brightening up and it was an easy walk over to Stickle Tarn. We were hoping to meet the cafe team of Ding, Laura and Kate and right on schedule they turned up. Another lovely swim in comparatively warm water saw all bar Ding and Graham having a long swim. A long descent down to the New Dungeon Ghyll was rewarded by the obvious refreshments. Well done Ding for making it to the tarn, her first real mountain outing for a year. Back at the campsite John was waiting with tea and a washing line for all our wet stuff. The uphill walking was proving too tough for him this weekend.
Sunday was better weather but not too scorching so the A team parked at Blea Tarn and set off up Pike O Blisco. What a lot of false summits but we were rewarded with a lovely view and the sight of our next tarn, Red Tarn. As we dropped down to the tarn the mist swirled round but undeterred we got changed at the tarn then wondered how to get in and out. It is a small shallow tarn that proved to be very organic in nature. The meet Leader tried to launch in off a small rock to avoid putting her feet in the skudge just below the surface. There were various cries of ‘ugh!’ ‘Yuck’ and more graphic expleteives as we swam about trying to avoid the weeds touching our knees. We didn’t stay in long and we all had a lovely layer of organic matter on ourselves afterwards. An easy walk down to three shires stone, a short walk down the road then a lovely path brought us to our final swim at Blea Tarn. Ding, Kate, Laura and John were already there . Ding had a swim too. What a great recovery for her.
The tarns were between 17 and 21 degrees, Blea tarn being the warmest. Michelle reckoned she swam about a km over the 2 days and 5 tarns and we walked 13 miles. We all had a fantastic weekend, good campsite, good tarns, good weather and good company.
Camping will be at BaysBrown Farm at Chapel Stile. A fairly basic site but cheaper than NT site and no need to book in advance. There are showers.
The walk on Saturday will be from the site to Easewell Tarn then Codale Tarn then Stickle Tarn. An easy stroll down Stickle Ghyll leads directly to the pub... Swimming is not compulsory but highly recommended. We might let you go climbing on Sunday but there are many more tarns within easy reach.