Missing tea bags and the Gixer weather bomb

Discussion in 'Trips Reports' started by Robin, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Robin

    Robin Thru Hiker

    I travelled up to the Lake District on Thursday, which seemed like good timing as I missed the strong winds of the previous night and the morning, arriving at Sykeside campsite at about 4 o'clock. There were plenty of small branches, twigs and leaves littering the road along Ullswater but it had calmed down by the time I had arrived. The plan was to to meet @paul the next day on High Street and camp somewhere around Caudale Moor, then attend the @gixer meet on High Raise on Saturday, returning to Sykeside on Sunday, returning home on Monday. I should've known better!

    I had a very nice meal of venison stew in the Brotherswater Inn, before an evening chilling to a couple of downloaded videos on my iPad in my camper van. The next day I set out for High Street at about 9 o'clock.


    I walked along the track beside Brothers Water, meeting a few sheep along the way.

    I took the track from Hartsop up to Hayeswater.


    I've been this way a few times before, so it was all familiar territory. From Hayeswater, I followed the wall up to the path that leads to The Knott.


    It wasn't really a day for photography, but there were some moody views back towards Patterdale.

    By the time I got to the Straights of Riggindale it was quite windy and surprisingly cold. I stopped to shelter behind a wall and have something to eat. After a bite, I continued up to the trig point on High Street where I had arranged to meet Paul. As I approached, I could see what looked like two tramps huddled behind the wall. It turned out to be Paul and @Munro277 having a brew. Greetings were exchanged and plans discussed. It was decided that because of the wind, the best place to camp was near to Thornthwaite Beacon where there was a convenient wall to shelter behind.

    It was going to be an early camp, but who cared?


    Peter was feeling cold so he decided to steal some body heat from Paul.

    At Thornthwaite Beacon, by the wall there were some conveniently spaced pitches. I had been warned by Peter that Paul was a loud snorer, so I pitched my Scarp a goodly distance away. We collected some water from nearby pools and decided it was too cold and windy to socialise much, so we would have a lazy afternoon in the tents. That's when I made a disatrous discovery: I had left my tea bags in the camper van. The last time I went camping without tea bags I had a monster migraine from caffeine defficiency.
    Both Paul and Peter only had coffee, which was no good to me as I don't like coffee. As it was only just before 3 o'clock, I decided to go back to Sykeside without a pack and get some tea bags. I estimated it would take about two and a half hours for the round trip. In the event it took three and a quarter hours with a ten minute break at the van for something to eat and a quick drink. Not bad for 12.5km and 800m of ascent.
    I was back at the tent just after 6:15. It was windy and cold, so it was an evening mainly in the tent. I agreed with Paul that we would assess the weather situation in the morning and if it was wet as forecast, we needn't leave for High Raise until after lunch on Saturday.
    The rain started about 5:30 in the morning, not too heavy, but suggested we might be spending the morning in the tents. Peter swung by about eight o'clock to say goodbye as he was headed home. Not long after he left, it started to rain in earnest and the wind picked up. For the next six hours or so it felt like a high pressure hose was being directed at my Scarp. The Gixer weather bomb had arrived! I can't say I was too worried as I've been in similar weather before in the Scarp and survived to tell the tale. The main thing was not to drink too much tea as it was impossible to go outside for a pee and my pee bottle had a limited capacity.
    I found I could get an intermittant signal on my phone for an updated weather forecast. It looked like it would clear by 3 o'clock. Amazingly, at 2:45 it stopped raining and the sky brightened. While the ground was waterlogged, both Paul and I had chosen our pitches well as neither were in puddles. We decided that it was a bit late to go over to High Raise to meet the others and we weren't even sure there would be anyone there so it would be better to stay put, especially as the tents were sodden. I'm afraid I didn't take any pictures. After a couple of hours the weather began to close in again with some light rain later in the evening and hill fog.
    Although the cloud cleared briefly when I got up in the middle of the night, by early morning the hill fog and light rain had returned. In a brief break I went over to Paul to let him know he needn't wait for me as I knew he had to get back to his car at Haweswater. I was under less time pressure as I was booked into Sykeside until Monday morning. Paul was away in good time, while I lingered over my packing until the rain had almost stopped before taking down the tent.
    Thornthwaite was under thick cloud but it was easy to locate the path back to High Street. Fortunately there were only a few short spells of light rain. At the Straights of Riggindale I emerged below the cloud base.


    From The Knott, the wind began to ease and I finally got some views of Patterdale.


    Beyond Hayeswater, I picked up the track to Hartsop before taking the footpath back to Brothers Water and the campsite.

    I was back to the luxury of my camper van by late morning. I spent the afternoon watching some downloaded videos on my iPad. Outside it was a mixture of sunshine and very light rain. Late afternoon there was a knock on the van door. I opened it and there was the (in)famous Gixer and @NEEpps who had recognised my van. After a chat they headed off back to Patterdale. Later that evening the rain returned again in earnest, so I was glad to be ensconced in my cosy van.
    And that, dear friends, is the tale of the ill fated Trek Lite meet and the Gixer weather curse.
    gixer, SafetyThird, Ken T. and 20 others like this.
  2. Munro277

    Munro277 Thru Hiker

    Good stuff Robin
    Robin likes this.
  3. Diddi

    Diddi Thru Hiker

    Very nice report.
    Shame about the weather :(
    Munro277 and Robin like this.
  4. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    We waved in the direction of the beacon from High Raise on Saturday afternoon but I don't think you could see us :)
    Munro277, Teepee and Robin like this.
  5. Baldy

    Baldy Section Hiker

    And the two tramps :asshat:
  6. Mole

    Mole Thru Hiker

    Pity the weather was so bad.

    I recommend to prevent cold turkey to store some Pro-Plus in your FAK.;)
    Munro277 and Robin like this.
  7. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    I had 20 teabags in my pack, couldn't give them away :biggrin:
    Shewie, Mole, edh and 3 others like this.
  8. el manana

    el manana Thru Hiker

    Thanks for posting :thumbsup: Shame the British weather dictates you cant guarantee one half decent weekend for the meet. Compare it to the week before when we were at Auchope Cairn.

    The ''downloaded videos"....quite a vague description...
    WilliamC, Mole, Robin and 2 others like this.
  9. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    Looks lovely :eek:

    I'm not surprised Gixer is quiet; Shewie has banned him :D
    gixer, JKM, Teepee and 4 others like this.
  10. Fair Weather Camper

    Fair Weather Camper Thru Hiker

    Well done chaps - all very character building stuff, and so forth...

    Glad to see some folks aren't scared of a little bit of weather .

    Err, and Robin - when your night comfort bottle is full, you are allowed to empty it under the fly - particularly if it's hissing down .

    Unless your companions are really that fussy :confused:

    Has Gixer gone home already? :( I was seriously considering inviting him here - its nearing drought conditions :eeker:
    gixer and Robin like this.
  11. JKM

    JKM Thru Hiker

    According to the UK weather map he is currently loitering somewhere off the north west coast of Scotland.
    gixer, Baldy, Robin and 4 others like this.
  12. WilliamC

    WilliamC Thru Hiker

    I have some shock news via Facebook; Gixer was tagged in a post 15 hours ago... in the UK...sunbathing!
    gixer, Chris2901, Munro277 and 2 others like this.
  13. gixer

    gixer Thru Hiker

    Was good to meet you Robin, even if it was only for a quick chat
    Munro277 and Robin like this.

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