Wild & Remote Mountain Weekend
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Join us on a rare opportunity to experince this part-walking weekend/part-expedition, deep in the Lake District. Walking to our accomodation and sleeping in this beautiful valley provides a genuine sense of wilderness and a true mountaineering atmosphere.
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 is rarely available for exclusive booking, so we are lucky to have this opportunity to stay there as a group.
We're a small group and will plan to do a high level walk together on the Saturday. 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. Note that there is no vehicle access to this hostel and you will need to walk 6 miles in from the nearest car park, but that is part of the charm. We will meet as a group and walk in together - more details to follow nearer the time.
Dogs: by agreement with YHA for additional charge. Please bear in mind possible harsh winter conditions and discuss with the leader if you would like to bring a dog.
Photos: Provided by the YHA and used with permission.
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What to bring
You may end up 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!
Mountain Walks Kit List:
Hand sanitiser and a face covering: whilst we are living with Covid-19, please bring your own to events to help keep everyone safe
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. Breakfasts and Saturday dinner will be provided.
If you're bringing alcohol, think about the weight of your bottles.