Lake District to Carlisle
Updated: Apr 24
This morning I was woken up by Ian at around 8:30 and told off for missing a lovely sunny morning. He had already set up a couple cameras to capture the morning frost on the cold ground... Good old Ian. After shaking off my sleep we started boiling some water to make some coffee. This took an exceptionally long time because the camping gas had got so cold during the night that it was almost not functioning. We drank it straight away without waiting for the sausages. Suddenly from inside the tent we heard the earth shattering scream of some military jets soaring through the mountains around us. We weren't quick enough to get it on camera but we managed to get outside just in time to see three of them fly right over our campsite. They couldn't have been more than 200m from the ground. The speed at which they passed over was awe inspiring.
Shortly after the fly over we got talking to a fellow camper who looked much more prepared than us. We didn't really have a plan for our day in the Lake District but after talking to him for a while we were suddenly on a mission to climb to the snow capped Helvellyn by the end of the day. Feeling somewhat intimidated by the mention of snow spiked boots and ice picks we headed into the local village of Glenridding to purchase some essential supplies. These consisted of an OS map of the mountain we were going to climb, four protein bars, and two freshly baked sausage rolls for our breakfast. Feeling confident we had got everything we needed, we went back to the campsite to find some rather charred sausages. We ate them anyway.
After breakfast we made a plan to meet our friendly camper Mitch at the top of the mountain for a cup of camping stove coffee and some food. The walk up was glorious, we didn't get lost once and the scenery was incredible. The snow covered mountainsides looked like mirrors when the sun hit them. The first part was hard going and we thought we had bitten off more than we could chew but as it eased off we were rewarded with some of the most beautiful views in the UK.
We reached our agreed meeting point on the summit and sat down in the wind shelter to wait for Mitch. We were suddenly interrupted by a couple of climbers who had ran over to us because someone had fallen trying to reach the summit. We ran to the edge to see what had happened. It took a while to locate the climber amongst all the snow, we saw his ice pick first, and then about 60ft below it was the climber. He was lying in the snow motionless. The climbers who had come over too us were already on the phone to the mountain rescue team. Fortunately as they were on the call the fallen climber started to move and then sit up. Ian called Mitch to see where he was and see if he had any advice. He was still on his way up, and after hearing of the fallen climber he made a beeline for him. Mitch reached the climber before the air ambulance as was able to make sure he was okay. Aside from some bruising and a sore neck the climber was miraculously unscathed, however he was still flown to Carlisle hospital to make sure there was no internal bleeding or concussion. As you can imagine we never ended up meeting Mitch at the summit and Ian and I made it back down to the campsite by sunset where we caught up with him.
After an very eventful climb we got in the car, said our goodbyes and headed for Carlisle where we were very glad to be staying inside for the night.