|Still smiling, camped below Scafell in Upper Eskdale in the English Lake District|
Lord Elpus and The Stringpuller invite you to attend their annual Pre-Walk Daunder.
If you wish to come please gather with the other Daunderers at the Wasdale Head Inn in the magnificent English Lake District by 7.00pm on Thursday 19 April 2018.
Be there or be square.
PS No fit bastards unless they are both Mad and Bad.
PPS No ultralight gear allowed.
And so it was that I gained the last coveted place on the most sought after backpacking event of the year. The famous annual Pre-Walk Daunder, a limb and gear shake up before a lesser backpacking event known as the TGO Challenge. And I wasn't even going on the Challenge this year.
|Billy No Mates camped at Wasdale Head Inn awaiting the arrival of the others|
|Looking back to Kirk Fell, Great Gable and Scafell|
As we were getting ready to leave the pub the others arrived. By now, being in full Daunder mode and mood we decided not to wait for them and left to find our camp spot, which was two or three killy o'metres further on, involving a 250 metre height gain to get us over the hill. Not much in the scheme of things but we'd now been on the go for over eight hours. I was glad to be on the move again. I was done in and more than ready for a brew, food and sleep.
|Andy and Robin on Whin Rigg|
|Looking towards Water Crag. On Friday night we camped near the sheepfold just visible in the centre of the photograph|
|A man on a mission. Andy on the lookout for a decent spot to pitch|
|Safely pitched for the night|
|Lunch at the Woolpack Inn, Eskdale|
|Camped on Saturday night in Upper Eskdale, opposite Cam Spout Crags on Scafell|
|Judith on the 'causeway'|
|Robin just below Esk Hause, with Judith emerging from the cloud in the background|
|Descending through the clag from Esk Hause to Sprinkling Tarn|
Rain showers had been hitting us since our camp spot. As we got higher the clag came down, the wind became quite wild and the rain close to torrential for a while. Andy hared on ahead. Judith was happy to potter on behind. Robin and I followed Andy, albeit at my much slower pace. No more photographs were taken after Esk Hause. The weather was just too awful to bother. But awful in that satisfying way - after two days of superb sunshine the rain and wind felt right. They added to the experience and, perversely, to the enjoyment. Robin and I headed past Sprinkling Tarn to Sty Head and then down the superbly situated path to Wasdale Head. And we did not talk about gear once. No. Not once. Honest. When we got down the Inn was open. And it was good.
As always my thanks to all my fellow Daunderers for their excellent company, and for Phil for planning everything, including a route which could not be bettered. Except where we chose not to follow it.
|Pouting for the Camera|
Al, Phil, Robin, Mick, Andy, Judith and Fellbound
Photo courtesy of TGO Challenge Legend Alan Sloman