Some pictures from two backpacking trips, taken two months apart, and under very different conditions.
Back in mid-March I headed up to the Lake District to try to catch the very last of the winter conditions. With impeccable timing I managed to choose the weekend that the “Beast from the East II” blew-in and caused a fair amount of difficulty. My route started at Ravenglass, proceeded over Muncaster Fell to Eskdale Green, then up Miterdale to Burnmoor Tarn before descending to Wasdale. Then the next day, over Sty Head to finish as Rosthwaite, and then home.
Conditions were by no means full-on winter, and the snow cover was fairly modest; but it was extremely cold, with icy sleet and snow blowing in on a strong westerly wind. Crampons and goggles were frequently needed, but I didn’t use my ice axe. This wasn’t a long or ambitious walk but it was sufficient given the conditions (and limited daylight).
Here’s your author nearing Burnmoor Tarn, and looking grumpy after about half an hour of being sandblasted by high-speed wind-blow spindrift:
And here’s the icy conditions at Sty Head the next day:
The tarn was almost completely frozen over, and crampons were essential right down to the valley floor.
The full gallery is here.
Two months later I made the journey up to Mull with the intention of walking up the island, and then along the Ardnamurchan peninsula. The weather was very different: very hot and bright with little breeze. Finding water was often a problem, and by the time I got to Ardnamurchan I was content to just head over to the other side of the peninsula for the night and return the next day.
The full gallery for this trip is here.
I’d like to get up to Scotland again before the year is out – especially as we’re not having our usual family holiday there this year. And I’ve also got some ideas for a weekend Forest of Bowland to Howgills walk, and a couple of days in the northern Cumbrian fells (preferably in late Autumn). And next year some trips earlier in the winter – probably in mid-January. This has been a promising start though.