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A REVIEW FROM PETE IN THE LAKE DISTRICT

The English Lake District, renowned for stunning beauty, Steep fells and rain.

The down side of living in the north of England is rain, damp, humid weather that gets into the fabric of everything, especially clothing and footwear, I’ve been using the Sprayway Cerberus fleece and Zeus GTX jacket for some months now great kit, well thought out designs, especially Hoods and pockets, out of the way of  harness’s and hip belts. The Oboz Yellowstone II  ive been using for over a year now, even in winter with flexi crampons or micro spikes, great comfort, grip and dry tootsies.

Weather on the fells can change on a hair, so I always choose outdoor clothing that’s reliable, durable, packable I travel light.

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Now and then I’m surprised when the Meteorological Office get their predictions wrong, and wrong for the better… yipee!!!

Thursday 17th march was one of those days, when spring had finally sprung, a morning of mist and clear blue skies, the car journey was over in the twinkle of an eye and there we all are transported to a little village near Keswick called Braithwaite.

Finding car parking for Chris Plod’s large car can be fraught, but a kind gentleman pointed out a space at the rear of a little local chapel, a bargain and toll free.

We planned this months escape some weeks ago, it’s been giving me some sleepless nights as I’ve been suffering from a painful achy left knee that feels weak and painful on descents, stairs in particular.

I dug the trekking poles out of the gear cupboard, it’s been a while, I’ve had a love hate relationship with this particular form of outdoor kit for years, often finding them more of a pain in the ****.. than the pain we’re trying to alleviate

What a beautiful day, warm dry and  pleasant, Tilley and Chris Plod look happy, and have a skip in their step, funny what a sunny dry day can do! spring, hath sprung.

The chosen route takes us on a steady climb, and a small rest stop, before a sharp incline  to our first summit, Grisedale Pike. The sun was warm it’s been a while since I just wore a base layer, time for a quick nibble and water, especially for Tilley the Hill Hound she certainly romps about when she’s off the lead!!!  then travel on to our main objective Hopegill Head.

Funny I only remarked how the dreaded trekking poles had been a help and my knee was holding up okay, we donned our caps that sun was hot for those guys who are folliclly challenged!

At last we made it to the summit of Hopegill Head, mid afternoon, the temperature dropping a little, some mist out towards the Irish see, The Isle of Man clearly visible and the strange phenomenon of the Helm Bar and cloud formation over Cross Fell the highest point in the Pennine chain, one inhospitable place in winter, I know I’ve been there with Plod and T-Dog.

A considerable time was spent up here kicking back, relaxing, filtering water from a grotty pool, taking photos, admiring the 130 meter drop of Hobcarton Crag on the NE side of this tiny summit, and preventing our canine companion from eating our dwindling rations.

The trip down was the part of the journey I wasn’t relishing, but hey despite a few twinges the knee was still holding it’s own, and them trekking poles ain’t so bad after all.

Plenty of fast running water to filter so cold it gave me brain freeze, My mate Chris Plod is still dubious about water filtration, horses for courses I’d sooner save the weight of carrying 3+ Litres  of water about.

The late afternoon sunshine is now behind us dipping below the Fell tops as we descend, chilly around the fingers and ears time to pop the Cerberus fleece layer on, gloves and a hat, a few midges about too,  before you know it, it’s all over and we’re back at the car… Verdict, from him 10/10.. the Dog too tired to vote!!! my thoughts Hmmmm what a beautiful life.

Cheers Pete.

01.04.16

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