My initial plan was to walk up Red Screes, so I had tactically car camped nearby late Saturday night with the hope of an early start and cloudless summits. As I woke early and popped my head out of the window I was miffed to see that I was in a cloud itself, and no summits or even the road could be seen. I decided to grab a couple more hours sleep with the hope that the fog would lift.
My map. Where was my map?
Having riffled through the car and bag numerous times it soon began to dawn on me that the map was not in the car. If it wasn’t in the car, it was more than likely still at home in the place I had last had it before I left early on Saturday. But I am sure I packed it, almost positive even. Nope, it’s definitely not here.
So that was it, the Red Screes plan was abandoned and so was my mountain walk by the looks of it.
As I began to put my bag back in the car I noticed a map peeking out from under a scarf on the passenger seat.
It was OS map OL5, the north eastern territory, which had been left in the car from the last time I was up in the Lakes a few weeks before.
A quick look at the map and the back-up plan was settled – head north and attempt Blencathra as I was familiar with the route, it’s got a car park at the bottom and takes about 3.5hrs give or take.
Onwards I went until I the mountain came into view, featuring a heavy shroud of cloud on the tops but clear flanks that intermittently lit up to a golden autumnal hue as the sun tried its best to break through. I drove passed the White Horse Inn and continued on the narrow road to the car park, pleased to see that though it was bust I managed to get the last spot. I got out, threw on my rucksack and started out on the path under blue sky and accompanied by the sun that had managed to make it through.
Up and up I went before shortly arriving at the saddle where I was met with snow patches here and there and a small glimpses of a snowy Atkinson Pike as the cloud blew across it. Continuing on the path I was soon surrounded by the fells which featured a smattering of snow on their flanks!
Oh, and the map that I had left at home? I found it tucked away under the driver’s seat when I got home……