June 22 – Approached today with a little trepidation. We are looking at a 14 mile day with a whopping big climb in the middle, to Grey Knott, part of the Haystacks range, I think. There are lots of mountains, crags, fells and hills in this area of the Lake District National Park, so it’s hard to know which one you’re climbing. Luckily we have another sunny day.
Because our B&B is on the north side of town, we walked on the north shore of the Ennerdale Water, and got to see Bowness Knot, where the locals say that a young Bill Clinton proposed to a young Hillary many years ago. A pretty place.
After walking the shoreline for several pleasant miles, the Water became the Liza River, and we started to gain some elevation. We’re using two different guidebooks for this hike, and they both cautioned that today was a climb where many people get lost. We looked for the Black Sail Youth Hostel, which was far beyond the middle of nowhere, then searched for an almost invisible path that followed a stream bed. There are NO markers to guide us. We got it right on the second try!
Now, remember how yesterday’s climb was an easy up and a difficult descent? Today was an absolutely impossible climb, that took us so high that I got nauseated looking down. So steep! Pictures just do not convey, nor can I adequately describe, how high up we were. This was the path up with no discernible trail – scrabbling up rocks and more rocks!
Once we got to the notch, I was able to look forward without getting dizzy. The most horrific climb of my life. It felt like we were on the moon. When we got to the top, there was no breathtaking vista to see, only more mountains all around.
The descent was gentle by comparison, but was comprised of uneven rocks all the way. Still no trail, but our instructions said to walk from cairn to cairn. No fun for my poor ankle, which was screaming for relief by this point. Hello, Uber?
Here’s the Ennerdale Water that we walked along this morning, way down below.
More uneven rocks, all the way down.
Happy to say that we eventually made our way back to terra firma, and I’m now snuggled in at Seatoller House, with my ankle elevated and ibuprofen close by.
Tonight we have a set communal dinner with the other residents of this B&B. Should be fun!