20 March 2013
The real walk started today. On the way up the hill, we said goodbye to my favourite Ulls Water.
Our aim was to walk from Patterdale to Grasmere. Wainwright walked this route the other way round on his Coast to Coast walk. It sounds so easy in his book. I nearly didn’t survive. The snow kept piling up. I was breathless when we reached Ruthwaite Lodge. About the scenery “that grows more beautiful every step of the way along the valley”, I have to confess I didn’t see much because it was behind my back and I had to mind where I put my feet for every step!
We saw an odd sign sticking out on a rock in a distance but didn’t go closer to explore. Now I know it’s called “Brothers Parting”, it was the place where Wordsworth said a last farewell to his brother John. His verses are inscribed on the rock. See what I have missed! All because I didn’t read Wainwright’s book in advance! I blamed the snow as well.
The path has been completely buried in the snow by this point. We struggled in knee deep snow, almost got blinded seeing snow everywhere for too long.
We finally saw Grisedale Tarn. It was partially frozen. It was a crossing point of a few paths. We met/saw people from all sides of the lake. There were three brave men going towards Helvellyn, two ladies over took us and went ahead of us towards Grasmere, a man with a dog at the opposite side of the lake and a couple of little black dots moving down toward Grisedale Tarn at the far side.
Grisedale Tarn at the first sight.
Me at 1,800 feet. Still smiling there.
Half frozen lake. The black shape on the left is the group of brave men having their packed lunch before they…
My phone (with network 3) had lost 3G signal since the night before at Patterdale. On the top of the hill, I suddenly felt it vibrating in my pocket. I received loads of emails, WeChat messages, all sorts of notifications. I was never able to answer questions such as: what was the most crazy thing you did. Now I can say, I was playing The Sims, sending messages and replying emails on top of a snowy freezing mountain.
We saw Grasmere in the distance and eventually landed safely on dry ground.
Accommodation: Victorian style YHA Grasmere.
The reception had four clocks on the wall: New York, Paris, Tokyo and Grasmere.
We had a private room with a bunk bed. Light and airy. Many shower rooms and toilets available. Shower rooms were modern and warm. I had to wave to the sensor every now and then to wake it up when it decided to save energy. Toilets were clean and tidy.
Cultural observation: always smile and say hello to walkers you meet on the mountains and in the small villages. But it’s not required in bigger towns like Windermere. Fascinating!
All photos by Andy.
If anyone wondering where my photos are, they are not developed yet, still in my supersampler!