Christmas at Black Sail
13 people attending
3 places left
Come and join leaders Danny and Peter on a pre-Christmas mountain weekend at Black Sail, England's most remote hostel! Great walking, great company and spectacular scenery awaits those who sign up.
Generations of walkers have made a grateful beeline for Ennerdale's majestically sited Black Sail "hut", a former shepherds' bothy that serves as one of the UK's most renowned youth hostels. High up in the western fells – a good couple of hours' walk (or cycle) from anywhere, and six miles from the nearest car park on Ennerdale Water – this is more hikers' refuge than backpackers' hostel. This is basic – but very welcome – accommodation in the middle of some of the most dramatic walking country in the UK, and that's just they way we like it!
Black Sail offers fantastic access to a number of nearby peaks, including Great Gable Pillar, Red Pike and Steeple. After a long day exploring the Lakes, we can go back and put our feet up in our lounge, complete with wood-burning stove.
This is a challenging mountain weekend, there are no low level or easier walk options available.
Dogs: This event is not suitable for dogs.
Photos: Provided by the YHA and used with permission.
Errr.. OutdoorLads Christmas? Yep. This event is the weekend before Christmas, and Blacksail is the YHA's most expensive hostel to book, so the date is the reason we can offer it to you at this price. There won't be the full turkey dinner, dancing and tinsel of our usual Christmas programme, however! But great mountain days are in store for you instead. In case you were wondering, you can do this event as well as our usual Christmas events if you wish, a they all take place before this event.
IMPORTANT! - Participation Statement
You MUST complete a Participation Statement in addition to booking your event space before attending an OutdoorLads event. You only need to complete this Participation Statement once, not for each event you attend.
COVID-19 – IMPORTANT, Please read the following before you sign up to this event:
- Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
- You must also immediately self-isolate and not attend the event if you or someone in your household or support bubble shows coronavirus symptoms or tests positive. You can find the NHS self-isolation guidance here.
- OutdoorLads’ Covid-19 Policy for hostel and BIG events applies to this event. On arrival, we will need to see evidence that you are fully vaccinated, or have registered a negative lateral flow test in the last 48 hours, or have Covid-19 antibodies. Evidence of this can be obtained via the NHS App in England, with equivalent schemes available in Wales and Scotland. Our full policy and more details can be found here.
What to bring
You will carrying all your gear the full 6 miles in, so think about weight, but remember that this is Winter in a proper mountain environment.
Warm clothes, gloves, hats, spare dry clothes, waterproofs and good boots will all be necessary.
Towels are not provided by the hostel, but bedding is.
A small flask for hot drinks while on the hill can be a real life-saver if the weather is poor.
Head torch is essential!
Water: bring at least two litres in a water bottle, or better still, a hydration bladder
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day Rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Waterproof bags: keep spare clothing, electronics and anything else dry even when your rucksack leaks by using Ziploc type food bags or, better still, outdoor activity waterproof bags
Boots: waterproof and breathable hiking boots with good ankle support
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters, and carry a spare, dry pair
Walking Poles: always optional, love them or hate them, but give them a try and decide for yourself
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: no jeans as they become heavy and cold in the rain, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry.
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain.
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch unless otherwise stated
Emergency equipment: the walk leader will bring any emergency equipment required for the group, but you are welcome to bring any that you have, such as additional high energy food, a survival bag, a whistle, a medical kit, a torch and something to make fire (either storm proof matches or a firelighter
Map and compass: the walk leader will have these, but if you like map reading or want to develop your skills, bring yours along
Mobile Phone: keep it in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies, and a spare battery/charger is a good idea
Food & drink
As usual, please bring a buffet item for the Friday night. Breakfast and Saturday dinner will be provided, along with breakfast for Sunday.
If you're bringing alcohol, think about the weight of your bottles, in case you end up carrying your bags all the way there.