An ambitious plan

I pulled the second blanket over my sleeping bag at 3:34 am when I woke up. It was so cold that I had to cover my face as well.

But about 4 hours later we woke for a pleasant morning. The campsite was waking up, people were having breakfast and getting ready for the day. We made coffee and packed lunch and left the campsite at 9am. The morning clouds lifted and we soon followed the Cumbria Way in bright sunshine.

Our plan for the day was a bit ambitious but seemed just fine. From the Great Langdale National Trust campsite we planned to walk to Great Gable and then onto Scafell Pike via the Corridor route and then return to the campsite via Esk Pike. We enjoyed the great weather and some fine views and stopped frequently to take photos.

We choose a very steep route up to Great Gable and as we were slowly making our way up on the stony path Jacint started to worry whether we were able to fit everything into the day. As we got higher the gentle wind brought some clouds which then sat comfortably on the peak of Great Gable by the time we got to the summit. So we didn`t spend too much time admiring the views but started to descend on a different path.

The clouds had cheekily lifted from Great Gable by the time we reached the junction where the Corridor route left towards Scafell Pike. The warm sunny day was perfect for a walk, and we shared the fells with many walkers. We couldn`t get enough of the great landscape. However we faced a dilemma. It was almost 3pm and we were not sure why it had taken us so long to get there. The climb up to Great Gable was a bit tougher than we thought, or maybe we were not as fit as we used to be. We might have left the campsite a bit later than we should have. And the fact that Jacint stopped for a small chat about the weather with every second walker didn`t help.

We finished the last sandwich and biscuits and Jacint was already talking about having a huge steak for dinner. So considering all of the above, we checked the map again and tried to calculate how long it would take to follow our original plan. We had plenty of daytime hours left however the water level in our backpacks was a lot lower than it should have been. Reluctantly we decided to leave the Corridor route and Scafell Pike for another day. Instead we climbed Esk Pike from where we enjoyed the views towards Scafell Pike. We were not even half way up Esk Pike when I completely ran out of water. So I drank up the views and then I headed back to Great Langdale without water. Jacint generously let me have a few sips of his water but I still felt really thirsty. The return route to Langdale seemed longer than I remembered and it was after 6 when we reached the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hikers Bar. I asked for a pint of cold water and then we wolfed down some fish and chips before returning to the campsite. In the evening we sat under the stars sipping wine and making plans for the next day.

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