Member Written Event Account:
Friday afternoon and all packed up, I set off up the M62 to join the M6 car park as the traffic snaked up to the Lake District. I was aiming to reach Great langdale well before dark to pitch the tent and make ready. On arrival I found a small group of tents huddled at the edge of the field, some of which were the Lancashire Caving and Climbing Club, or maybe new recruits to ODL, but was welcomed by a fellow ODL-er, Roger. With the usual good humour and team spirit of Outdoorlads, my tent was pitched and the kettle on for a cuppa. By about 7 as the sun faded and the cool mist began to close in more and more lads arrived and errected an array of tents, some pop-up, some complicated with living room areas and bedroom suites. As someone pointed out, there is no need to be uncomfortable when car-camping.
As night fell, the guys who had already arrived wandered up to the nearby pub for a substantial dinner with good ale, made new friends and re acquainted with old ones. By 10pm, as per the joining instructions the group met up at the Sticklebarn Inn to decide what we would be doing on Saturday. “Erhh a walk somewhere” seemed to be the consensus. Someone mentioned Bowfell and most agreed, some were more interested in getting to the bar for last orders and was happy for someone else to make a decision. With only 17 in the group it was decided to go as one group and agreed to set off around ten the following morning.
Saturday morning after a surprisingly good sleep I woke to find the campsite had grown in the night and everyone who was expected had finally arrived. After a varied breakfast, some cooked a full on English of Bacon, eggs, beans with Porridge and tea, some ate croissants with fresh coffee and some munched on a museli bar. However, just after 10, as planned, everyone sent off for the main weekend event of a “Big walk up a bloody big hill”.
With several map holders , supported by friendly navigators and led by Slim Tall Mike [hello Mike] we walked up from the campsite towards Stool End and the climb up The Band. Despite the cool looking weather and promise of a chilly NE wind, it was warm walking up the steap climb and not before long stops were made to remove layers of clothing and freshen up with water and snacks. After several “lunch” stops along the way, we were approaching Bow Fell itself and were walking in the low cloud. At the top the views were limited though the passing fell runners seemed to cause a little excitement in some quarters. With Roger striding ahead and Mike supporting from the rear, [or was he just happy to be following Andy Seamy?] the line of ODL-ers meandered down towards Hanging Knotts and views over Angle Tarn. With only a slight disagreement of the route as the group conferred on which path to take in the mist and trying to understand Roger’s version of left and right, we took the easy but scenic route down and around Angle Tarn at the foot of Tongue Head. The mist was clearing and the views opened up over Scarfell and the Gables. We turned towards Rossett Pike and the Cumbrian Way and followed the route through Rossett Gill back down towards Great Langdale. Again, after several “Lunch” stops we all made it to the pub for a well earned beer/cider/fizzy pop of choice.
After a day walking on the fells, getting to know each other, the group seemed in good humour and decamped back to the site for supper arrangements. Some were happy to eat at the Pub, some came with pre-prepared BBQs and some cooked a full on dinner that Nigella may have been pleased with. So as I, being a camp cook, discussed the merits of portable toasters and the use of different stoves as a meal was prepared of pan seared sausage in an apple, red wine and herb sauce served with home prepared ratatouille and mash. [How camp is that?!] After eating more than enough I joined the remainder of the campers at the Sticklebarn for a few more beers and some lively entertainment. There was also a singer who did a few good turns. We all rounded off the evening with group effort of “American Pie” accompanied by the Singer.
After a slightly later night than maybe planned and some supersonic levels of snoring from one tent it was a more blearey eyed group that gathered for breakfast. However Mike gathered us all together and led us all out on a gentle walk up Wall End towards Blee Tarn and Little Langdale. Being Sunday and after setting the high standards of snack breaks the day before, we soon stopped for a “lunch break”. We rested on the edge of a grassy bank overlooking a tumbling stream, took in the sunshine and pondered the world. Following the path along the foot of Linggmoor Fell into Little Langale, we made it to the Pub for a real lunch stop, causing a sudden rush on Aberdeen Angus Burgers and the Barmaid to flirt with a certain man with a Panda. The whole day went at a good leisurely pace and we made it back round the other side of Blee Tarn in time for us all to de-camp and join the convoy heading out of the Lake District back home.
Despite being only a relatively small group with a wide age range, some Newbies and some familiar faces, the weekend was a great mix of good humour, comradeship and I certainly enjoyed the time. The Langdale Valley is one of the most stunning scenic places in England with some excellent walking. Thank you to Mike for hosting the camp, to Outdoorlads for enabling the event to take place and especially to all the ODL-ers who made it such a great weekend. See you next time :)
written by Adam (adamtraveller)