The making of a good adventure very often isn’t the final destination but is those with who you cross paths with and share life’s journey. A colleague and friend had asked me if I could take him and a couple of guys to the Lake District while they were visiting the UK on business, and so an international mini-meet was born…
Federico is an Argentinean who lives in Salt Lake City, Thiago, born in Brazil now residing in Windsor, Ont. Canada, and Kyle if a Californian who has made his home in Utah. All were hoping to see a little of “real” England on a short foray North.
Langdale had come to mind as an obvious choice, but I’ve done it too many times in the past. At this time of year it can be grossly over-crowded and I was doubtful of getting a place on the National Trust Camp Site. For me Wasdale holds special memories as it was here that some of my very first hill walking and backpacking took place around 20 years ago. Being a little more remote (from the motorway network) it’s harder to get to for a weekend retreat and a visit was very long overdue. Ashamedly I confess it was 1997 when I last visited.
With International companions at hand, it seemed the perfect excuse for a jaunt up Scafell Pike, but not before a stop off at The Eagle & Child for real English hospitality and some great food.
We take our narrow country lanes with high grass verges for granted, but for these guys it was something entirely new. Driving over Hardknott pass, my companions were spell bound by the hair raising switchback turns of what is possibly England’s steepest road and the narrow country lanes barely wide enough to accommodate a car.
Saturday dawned dry and we enjoyed a simple but satisfying breakfast before starting our trek.
The guys are fit and soon we made progress climbing upwards; heading towards “Hollow stones”, one of Alfred Wainwrights favourite places.
Soon we were on the col below Broad Stand.
…from where the summit is only a short walk…
The following morning, unfortunately just as the coffee pot boiled, the heavens opened. We bailed out to Ambleside for a late breakfast and a saunter back down the M6 to waiting hotel rooms in Birmingham, but not before a few beers in the Wasdale Head Inn – listening on the radio to Federico’s Argentina get slaughtered 0:4 by Germany in the World Cup quarter final.