Tuesday, June 10, 2014

6/3/14 Day 138 Camping at Red Tarn beneath Hellvellyn

Our gear is sorted into a necessary pile and excessive weight pile including but not limited to; dresses, makeup, my pink wig, dirty laundry and most of our clothing for the hike through the Lakes we have planned today. It is 11:00 by the time we are actually passing through the doorway waving bye to Amanda & Alan, hoping to hitchhike to Glenridding where we can begin the trailhead to Hellvellyn, England's second tallest mountain. 90 minutes later we have managed to get rides for the majority of the 40 plus miles of pass linking to the village. Walking to the tourist center we encounter a man who runs an owl sanctuary and is teaching the community about these majestic birds on Tuesdays throughout the summer. He even lets me hold a few of them while e playing to us that one of their ears is higher up so they can listen and pinpoint around objects! Stunning creatures, and surprisingly calm, two of them are still little owlets, only 5 & 8 weeks old! Nearly two in the afternoon now it is time to start our ascent, we follow what we think is the path for more than an hour, continually staring at the elevation lines on the map that Amanda and Alan leant us, waiting for them to make sense before we finally find our way onto the trail, our 11 kilo backpacks continually reminding us that we are not yet to our campsite for the evening. We finally arrive to Red Tarn where we can set up our trusty little Marmot tent before we finish the Ascent up the jagged rocks, scree and cliffs of Swirral ridge. Arriving to the top and feeling on top of the world couldn't seem better in the late afternoon sunshine. Walking along the lake on the descent line of striding edge it is hard to forget what a beautiful world and journey this is. We spent the rest of the sunny evening sitting by the lake entranced by the view and the delicious local cider we picked up!

8 week old little owlet!

Taking the long way around, unintentionally, nice hills anyways

Our first view of Ullswater, the lake beside Glenridding
Meticulously built stone walls dividing property lines

Our tent at happily pitched at Red Tarn looking out to Hellvellyn
These sheep are amazing, they are Herdwicks, they are known for not straying for their property and are almost entirely contained in the Western Lakes District. Also they are born black with adorable little white masks and eventually fade to grey as adults. 
Almost to the top

Looking down from Swirral edge
For being such a steep climb up the backside is just a gentle consistent decline

Rewarding ourselves with a Kendal Mint Cake for a hike well done
I love Herdwick lambs!
The most glorious of days to summit Hellvellyn, looking down over Red Tarn where our tent is waiting for us!
And here is Striding Edge where we descended from

The next morning then sun has been replaced by a quickly encompassing fog layer, followed closely by a lot of rain

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