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" Water Aid 6 Peak Challenge 2012 "
Date & start time: Saturday 7th July 2012, 12 noon start. ( NY 234 122 )
Location of Start : The Seathwaite Farm camp site, Borrowdale, Cumbria, Uk.
Places visited : Stockley Bridge, Grains Gill, Esk Hause, Calf Cove and back.
Walk details : 6.85 mls, 2500 ft of ascent, 8 hours including stopped time.
Highest point : Plateau above Calf Cove, 2840 ft. - 873 m.
Walked with : Harry and Bethan, five colleagues, fifty participants and hundreds of others.
Weather : Fine and dry but clouding over and rain moving in for the last hour.
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
The Uk has been rather damp recently but many places in the world are suffering the opposite,
a lack of good, clean water. This year again eleven teams try for a 6 Peaks Event and raise money for the Water Aid Charity
Our support team are here to help them in a small way, up and back on their climb of the third peak of their long weekend.
The six peaks chosen are the highest in each region of Britain and Ireland . . . target time 72 hours.
Snaefell (Isle of Man) Snowdon (Wales) Scafell Pike (England) Ben Nevis (Scotland) Slieve Donard (N Ireland) Carrauntoohil (S Ireland).
A lunchtime start for us on this event so I'm passing the Buttermere Pines in the daylight this time.
Four days ago the weatherman forecasted three inches of rain today but fortunately they've revised their expectations
and it is a fine day in prospect but with the possibility of a thundery shower later on.
- - - o o o - - -
Sign in . . . and start out onto the mountain ahead of the teams is always a good idea.
I collect my team sheet and radio so I can keep in touch.
Walk this way . . .
I'm surprised it doesn't mention Wasdale or Scafell Pike.
Up through the farm.
Those climbing Base Brown or Green Gable from here need to go through the first gate on the right.
I've yet to see this open or hear any reports about it.
Jake certainly isn't making the most of the passing trade.
It is dry today but extremely humid . . . the dogs are enjoying their first cooling 'dip'.
Stockley Bridge looks like it has been here for centuries.
In fact this rebuilt bridge dates from the 1980's when the old one was washed away in a major flood.
If you look carefully in the left hand picture you can see one of the dogs crossing through the stream rather than by the bridge.
Anyone would think it was a flimsy Himalayan rope bridge from the efforts they made trying to avoid using it.
Just the last climb and we'll be at the head of the Gill and will have a full view of Great End Crags.
Karen pitches a small tent as a shelter, should she need it while she marshalling.
She's got a nice view across to Great Gable, Green Gable
and the scree path of Aaron Slack leading up to Windy Gap, the dip between the two distant summits.
Right . . . Scafell has a reputation for sponsored climbs
and this cheerful crew from Manchester are raising money for the RNLI
Full marks for effort.
Esk Hause and a view of Esk Pike.
The weather today has pulled out all the stops and whilst not over sunny, the views are superb.
The Langdale Pikes seen over the Esk Hause path.
Looking further left past Allen Crags and back the way we have come.
That's Derwent Water and Skiddaw in the distance.
Plenty of people about, including one of many teams competing in the Saunders Mountain Marathon this weekend.
The cross-shelter in Calf Cove, similar to the one on Esk Hause and for that matter, Helvellyn summit.
My guess is that they were pony shelters built during Victorian times when visitors were helped to the summit on horse back.
This was as far as the horses would travel . . . the rest they would have to do themselves.
This is about as far as we go today too.
Time to set out our shelter as we'll be here for a while, checking the teams through.
As we keep tabs on the eleven teams, quite a lot of other people were passing to and from the Pike too.
Sometimes it was difficult to tell one from the other.
No doubting this party of seventeen as we haven't got a group that big in the event.
It turns out it is a guide-led walk on the fells . . . and the guides Nick and Gill were from More than Mountains
The name's familiar . . . Nick was the leader who took our daughter and her friends rock climbing two weeks go.
- - - o o o - - -
While I was "in-between teams" I had chance to take in the views.
Bethan, however was looking at Great Gable.
Down below us the small tarn on Lambfoot Dub.
Taking a wider look the head of the Wasdale Valley.
The skyline broadens to include the Pillar group and Kirk Fell.
Still dry but that cloud is looking a little more ominous.
There's a little cloud starting to drift over the Pike but the other fells are clear.
Down below us is the path leading away along the "Corridor Route" and up to Lingmell Coll.
Harry has found a red ball to play with to pass the time.
By the end of the day we will probably have seen well over 500 people all intent on walking England's highest fell.
This gentleman was celebrating his eightieth birthday with a walk on the fells . . .
. . . and he was accompanied by a large group of his extended family.
The eleven teams have all started at different times and some are already going back as others are still on the way up.
We keep a check but everyone is going well today.
This is the last team up . . . Amaretto.
They are making good time despite being the last team onto the mountain.
[ The time must be 5.22pm based on the time sheet above ]
Their climb to the distant summit will be shrouded in mist for most of the way . . .
Just follow the cairns and say hello to the folk that are on the way back.
That cloud base is dropping but before it does we get a fine sunny view of Esk Pike, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags.
This non-event group are led by another local mountain guide, this time from the Lake District Walker service.
One last view of the sun before the weather finally turned.
- - - o o o - - -
With Amaretto and all the other teams safely back and on the way down the mountain
it was time to pack up and follow them down.
Unfortunately the rain arrived just an hour too soon so we had a wet walk off the fell.
Cloud and rain alter the view from Esk Hause across to Allen Crags.
Hold your cursor over the picture to remind yourself of the earlier time !
The top of Grains Gill . . . looking down into the misty chasm !
White Bridge once again as we make our way back to Seathwaite . . . where we signed off at the end of the day.
All the teams were safely back and were already on their way north to climb the highest peak of their six . . . Ben Nevis.
- - - o o o - - -
On the way home I drove over the pass at Honister and drop down into the Buttermere Valley.
Suddenly the rain stopped and the sun was shining.
I had two very damp dogs in the back of the car . . . but it has been fine all day for Ann in Loweswater.
Well there you go !!!
- - - Post script - - -
Modern technology is such that each team is carrying a Gps transmitter system and can be tracked on the 'net throughout their 72 hour trip.
If you are viewing this while the event is live, check out the team positions here
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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a glass of clean water in the tap whenever we want . . . others are not so fortunate.
Previous walk - 4th July 2012 A Misty Loweswater Evening
A previous time up here - Saturday 4th July 2009 Water Aid 6 Peaks Challenge 2009
Next walk - 9th July 2012 Ennerdale Round the Lake