My first camp with the MK scouts was a a great weekend. We started out on Friday evening and built a giant shelter that we built the kitchen in. The leaders all camped up in site 3, a lot quieter and relaxing.
The first night was nice and warm I slept well but getting out of bed at 7am was hard.
Saturday bought a full day of activities and rain and I helped out a lot with the cooking. It was great working with other leaders that worked hard and made things happen.
In the evening the explorers built a camp fire in the big camp fire circle. The other groups on site joined us and the explorers led the singing and sketches. It was great to see so many groups joining in.
Tristian and myself booked a two day trip away to the peak district. We camped at fieldhead camp site in edale which was a real treat to return back to this great campsite.
Tristian took his 6 man tent which housed the two of us nicely. It was nice to have a bit of room. After talking the Heather I am keen to get a similar size tent and to go away for a couple of weeks camping.
I would love a nice trip away camping either in the lake district or peak district.
We when for a long walk on the second day up to Kinder low across to Kinder downfall and then back to Edale. It was great to relax and walk at our own pace.
Hopefully I will be back in the Peak District soon.
We drove down to the new forrest, our first camping trip with Dax. We hoped that he would love being outdoors all weekend.
We got there for 4pm and set up the giant 5 man tent for the three of us. For dinner we had a great BBQ with meat from the butchers and a couple of bottles frome cider.
We all slept well on the Airbed, for once a great nights sleep. At it was Sunday we when for sunday lunch at a local pub. Heather loved it that just over the road was loads of New forrest ponies.
We took Dax over to meet them, he was friendly towards the pony and got on well with them.
Today’s start was a early one, I was up showered and fed by 8.30am. I then had the short journey to honester slate mine. We got kitted up with the normal harness, and lanyards.
The course took up the side of fleetwith pike, to reach the top. It started out easy, but it got a lot harder quicker to the pint where it was a slight overhang. There were steel rods inserted in the rock to hold on to, which made it very easy to climb up and across.
In the middle we had the zip line, which we all took turns in flying across. Then we all carried on up to the top, reaching the end of the route. we then had a gradual walk to the top. After photos, we strolled back down to the mine.
After that I when in to town for the usual supplies, on returning to the camp site, I decided to go for a decent walk. I chose a route that took me round to Red Pike, then over to High Stile.
I decided to take my smaller bag with a little less kit as the weather was fine. Starting off I strolled along but soon hit scale beck where I headed up hill, This easy stroll soon turned out to be a full on climb.
Crossing the heather covered fields was easy going, and seemed too easy. Then hitting Lingcomb Edge, where it got a lot harder. The final half mile up to Red pike, seemed to be a final test to ensure that you are 100% you want to get to the top.
At the top the view was amazing, to the west you could see the sea, the horizon was full of mountains that with the help of my map, I could all name. A quick swigg of water and then on to the next peak.
Between Red Pike and High Stile was one big boulder field, with the odd rusty fence post that lead the way. There is only a 50 meter height difference between the two but most of the difference was gained by scrambeling on all fours. Just before getting to the top, I heard the sound of a helechoptor in the distance, as soon as I turned there was a Rescue hellecoptor right over the top of me and flew down if to Buttermere valley. I thought that was the last I would see of the bright yellow sea king.
I carry on walking towards High Stile, I then heard the hellecoptor again and it was even closer. I walked over to the far edge of the crag and the yellow seaking was there again, I then picked a seat to see what it was up to. It was flying round the edge of haystacks across the vally and then back down the side of High Stile. It did 4/5 loops. It was astounding to see a helecoptor from above. I was about 50 meters higher that it, and I was very close to the crags. (the photo does not do justice to how close I was). it kept hovering over the same part of the crag but it was not lowering or lifting.
I assumed it was a training session ane carried on walking. The route I chose took me to the end of High stile and down the end in to the valley below. As I got lower the fly overs carried on, I then saw them raising a stretcher from the crag to the helicopter and then it made its way off leaving the valley in silence once again. In total the sea king must of spent 30/40 min flying around. For that time I felt secure that if I fell then I would be only a couple of arm waves from rescue.
Normal walking resumed and I soon made my way back into the valley. The footpath then took me parallel to the lake and down into the woods. The bleak heather lands soon gave way to a lush green woodland, with streams running across the path. It was a great ending to a great & action packed walk.
Awoke later today, “sod it” I thought, “what is the rush?” well I had no reason so had a lie in. Still nothing compared to a lie in at home. I made a little breakfast from the sausages & bacon that I got yesterday together with a couple of eggs. It was really tasty but in the process turned my frying pan black with the burning oil.
After a shower, I tried to scrub it clean but had to admit failure when the scouring pad became the same colour.
After Breakfast I noticed that a prime pitch closer to the stream was be vacated. So I sat in wait like a falcon waiting for it prey to become exposed. As soon as they packed up and drove out the car park. It was out with my tent pegs and dragging my inner tend down the slope to the prime location.
This pitch was great, stunning views to both the north and south, right next to the stream and flat, unlike the previous pitch that I had.
With getting this ‘better’ pitch I decided to stay another three nights till Saturday. As I am happy now with a flat pitch and I am feeling very chilled out here.
In the afternoon I drove in to Keswick to pick up some supplies also looked around the many outdoor shops. On my way back to butterdale, I popped into honister pass mine, to book the Via Ferrata course. It is a bit like the go ape courses but a lot higher and on rocks rather than trees. I have booked up for Thursday morning 9am, so I gotta be up early and there for 8.30am.
Early evening brings the normal sight around the site, people cooking dinner and then washing up. Tonight I used some fresh pasta that I bought in town, together with some four cheese sauce. It was one of the better dinners that I have made.
Just after dinner I cracked open some beers and sat down for some hard reading of my book, ‘risk’ by Dan Gardner. Even the sun came out to give the evening a bright finish.
Around 8.30pm the sun when in and the sky became overcast, with big dark clouds. The top of the hills in front have ascended in to the clouds. So I don’t think it will be long and there will be a down pour.
Tomorrow is supposed to bright and sunny in the morning with showers and thundery storms in the early evening. Depending on the weather depends on how much I do, but I have learnt that the weather here in the valley changes every ten minuet. At one of valley can be bright sun shine, and rain at the other. It is wonderful to see the difference in the two ends, clearly always better to be in the sunny end.
Was tucked up in bed by 10.30pm with my book, and soon was sleep. During the night a thunderstorm hit, but the tent held up and was then awoken by the sun at around 7.30am.
I hit the shower, which is really basic, but enough to wash with. At least the shower was warm and glad of it. The camp site here only has one shower so I was lucky to get in it the first time around.
Breakfast comprised of a mug of coffee, a bowl of porrage and a bacon roll.
I headed off early towards haystacks, it has been over towering me here in the campsite since I got here yesterday morning.
The walk started off very smoothly along side of buttermere lake. The lake is very clear, and it would be hard on a hot day to resist jumping in, as the beaches look clear and have fine slate pebbles.
Once along the lake the path headed upwards, on a unforgiving assent. the path was mainly clear but points it broke up to find a field of boulders.
Getting closer to the top the walk turned in to more of a scramble which then took me right to the top of haystacks. With no one prominent feature, it was hard to tell you had made it. Haystacks comprises of several mounds with lakes dotted in between. I took the path along the top towards the quarry and then back down the other side.
Only when half way down the other side did I see the true extent of the size of haystacks, a towering crag over the path.
The path down was much more defined and was easy to trot down. Then it took me along the lake once again this time to the east of the lake. On getting to buttermere, I decided to pop in to the ice cream shop that the owners of the campsite runs. The ice cream was a well deserved treat after a long days walking.
Set off straight after work, did well for time and managed to get right past Birmingham and to the bottom of the lake district before I stopped for a rest. I could only manage half an hour kip before I wanted to get right in the lake land.
Finding Buttermere was not hard, well there is only one single track road there. after 8 miles of single track road and driving up hills in 1st gear, Buttermere appeared.
Skyes farm took a bit of finding, in the 6 houses that buttermere is made up of. but after ringing the doorbell of the farm house. I spoke to Mr Skyes who was very nice and showed me the way to head.
The camp site is at the bottom of the national trust car park, and after getting waved in the right direction by the car park attendant. My home for the week was found.
After having to carry everything over the footbridge I pitched the tent. I did the normal 1st time on the camp site tour of the toilets, water tap and wash up. With finding the best route to the toilets in the dark, after a couple of beers navigation challenge.
The only thing separating the pay and display car park is the gate, and about £4 extra for camping. But pitching the tent with day walker walking past you, you get the feeling that they wish they were there to see the sun set and the sunrise. For £4 extra I think it will be worth it.
The car park is busy, but hopefully come 6-7ish the day walkers will leave to allow us to settle in for the night.
Not walking to day but have checked out the route up to haystacks and will do that in the morning.
Decided to take a bit of a walk and headed up to Robinson, which is just behind the camp site only 1.5 miles away, but while walking the weather got worse and worse, till I was pretty wet and turned back. By the time I got back down the weather had cheered up and the sun was back out.
Popped into the Fish Inn, for a sneaky portion of chips. and a couple of pints. as the bangers and mash dinner did not turn out to well when the rain came down!
That is a bit of a draw back being in such a small tent, when it is sunny life is good, but when it rains you have to do everything in the small tent which is cozy.