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Friday, 2 November 2018

A weekend at Black Sail


Black Sail Youth Hostel


We were celebrating a 60th birthday. It's good to hang out with youngsters. And the chosen venue was this wonderful - and extremely comfortable - youth hostel in Ennerdale, in the English Lake District. We had two full days for walking, and near-perfect conditions: that is, no rain (a Lakeland speciality) and plenty of sun (a Lakeland rarity). Day 1, we climbed past the hostel to the ridge (ahead) which ended in a very steep climb on a rocky track that took us top the declivity in the middle of the photo.
 
It may not look so far from the bottom, but when you make the top and look back, yes, it's quite impressive. And you can  just about make out the hostel, beside the stream.
From the ridge we headed south, over a small rise and then west into Wasdale. Our objective was to get down to the stream, follow it round into the valley and get around the back of the mountain you see at the far end of the shot. 
 
 
 
Starting the descent into Wasdale


By the time we had got to the water, and found a sunny spot, it was time to eat the packed lunch provided by the hostel. We found a delightful place to sit: warm, sheltered from the breeze, with a convenient pool where we bathed our feet.
 
Lunchtime

 
 
From there we faced another steep climb, first into this wonderful natural bowl...
 
 
 
 


...and then swinging right to climb to the ridge, and the welcome sight of the hostel, about a thousand feet below :
 
The hostel from the ridge to the south, courtesy of the zoom lens
 

On the Sunday, we had to make our way back to where the car was parked, about six miles down the valley track. Rather than take what was really a rather easy, if pretty, walk, we chose the more challenging route, over three successive peaks: High Crags, High Style and Red Pike.
 
On the way to High Crags. The temperature was about 3 C, the wind gusted at Force 6-7, and we frequently found ice under our feet
 
 


Between the crags we had fabulous views down to Buttermere



It was an exhilarating walk, only tarnished by the inevitable descent: some 2500 feet before we finally hit the road that would take us back to the car. 

Down down, down - and pretty hard on the knees. But note the glorious view of the distant sea.


Back to real life now, but only briefly. Tomorrow morning we fly to Cologne and await the premiere of Das Sherlock  Musical on Wednesday (it's at the Urania Theatre). I'll be interested to see what the composer and lyricist (not to mention the cast and translator) have done with my original script.
 

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