Lake District Black Sail Hostel Weekend
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This event is the final two nights (Friday and Saturday) of the Lake District Fells Remote 4-Day Expedition event for which there are an additional four places for the Friday and Saturday nights. We'll be spending two nights at probably the most stunning and remote hostel in the country, so don't miss out!
This is a strenuous event and a good level of stamina and fitness is essential. We will be in remote locations and you'll need to carry everything in that you need for the weekend. Accommodation is included, but all food and drink is your own responsibility. You can either buy food and drink in the hostel, or take your own - but that will mean extra weight! Covid may have had an impact on the availability of food, so the leader will provide an update nearer the time.
So what's the plan?
The group on the 4-day expedition will be waking up at a different hostel in the Lakes near Buttermere, and walking for the day, ending up at a stunning mountainside hostel for Friday and Saturday night. You could meet the group at the Friday night hostel (but the only route in is on foot!) or make arrangements with the leader to join the group for the Friday walk as well. The leader will be in touch with you nearer the time to discuss this with you. Here's the plan:
Friday 3rd September
We have a choice of routes today, but an obvious line of summits, on the Coast to Coast route, beckons, Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag and even Wainwright's favourite, Haystacks. Eventually, we'll arrive at our fabulous home for 2 nights, Black Sail hostel. (You could always meet us here if you prefer.) This place is a gem. No road access, surrounded by mountains, at the head of Ennerdale Valley. What's also special is that Ennerdale is slowly being returned to its natural status as monoculture pine plantations are slowly being replaced by mixed woodland which is much more pleasing to the eye and supports a much greater array of wildlife. Free roaming belted Galloway cattle can be spotted gently grazing. Once we've grabbed a bed, it's settle in for an evening of food you're still carrying or buy from the hostel. Popping to the local pub is not an option tonight!
Saturday 4th September
You'll only need a day pack today. Of course, you can choose to chill at the hostel and do your own thing, but the route for today really is a treat, if you like "off the beaten track", a little bit of exposure, dramatic views and easy scrambling. You'll get close up to the famous rock climbing location of Pillar Rock, before a bit of scrambling up to the summit of Pillar. We will aim to visit Little Scoat Fell and then the aptly named Steeple from which we will descent to the Ennerdale valley floor, following the forest track for about 5km back to the hostel. And rest!
Sunday 5th September
After our final night together, we'll head off. There are options for the return, depending on where people's car or transport connections are. Options include walk over to Gatesgarth to get the bus back to Borrowdale or Keswick, a longer walk over to Honister (same bus route), or walk further still towards the Borrowdale valley. We can discuss options on our Saturday evening together.
Then it's home, tired, but hopefully very happy!
Dogs: This event is not suitable for dogs.
Photos: All photos taken by leader for use by OutdoorLads.
IMPORTANT! - Participation Statement
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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.
- This event takes place after 21 June 2021, which is currently the earliest date by which the Government hopes that we will have entered Step 4 of the Roadmap out of lockdown. At step 4, the Government hopes to have removed all legal limits on social contact.
- It is possible that Step 4 takes place at a date later than 21 June 2021 and could affect this event. We will review the situation as things change and will advise members signed up to the event if there are changes necessary to ensure compliance with restrictions in place at the time of the event.
- If the event is unable to proceed sue to Covid-19 restrictions, a replacement date will be offered, or a full refund.
- We must all remember that COVID-19 remains a part of our lives. We are going to have to keep living our lives differently to keep ourselves and others safe. We must carry on with ‘hands, face, space’. Comply with the COVID-Secure measures that remain in place. Meet outdoors when we can and keep letting fresh air in. Get tested when needed. Get vaccinated when offered. If we all continue to play our part, we will be that bit closer to a future that is more familiar.
What to bring
Bedding is provided at each venue. You should be able to hire a towel for a charge if you don't want to carry your own. Bring your own toiletries, but obviously the more you bring the heavier it'll be on our back!
Covid: bring a mask, hand gel, and lateral flow tests if you are using them.
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.
Rucksack: size is dependent on what you will want to bring (clothing etc)
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.
Map and compass: the walk leader will have these, but if you like map reading or want to develop your skills, bring yours along. All our routes will be on OS sheet OL4 (1:25,000)
Mobile Phone: keep it in a waterproof bag for use in emergencies, and a spare battery/charger is a good idea. NB Black Sail is off grid so you might not be able to charge phones up.
Food & drink
No food is included in the price. You have a choice! You can carry everything you need for four breakfasts, lunches and dinners, or you can partake in food as follows (to be confirmed nearer the time of the event!)
Black Sail - offers self-cook dinners and breakfasts, and packed lunch too. But this is a remote hostel and therefore likely to have a limited choice. There are no other options for food at this venue, other than your own!
If you have any dietary requirements, please check out the hostel website / ring them direct for information.
Make sure you're prepared for snacks throughout.