One day FJ and I must go hiking when I’m fit and well…next week maybe. Also, we must go hiking at a time when we can see the top of whatever it is we’re aiming for.
We decided on Helvellyn today, so I, on my five hours sleep and infected with death got up, made sandwiches and quit the house leaving Weasel pretty much dead to the world after his initial cheery ‘good morning’… turn over and zonk. Drove up there in good spirits and soon FJ and I were hiking up to Striding Edge in hot sun, sweating a little and me wondering if that really was snow up there or just a trick of the light (further up and a couple of snowballs later I confirmed it really wasn’t a trick of the light). The walk up from Patterdale was really pretty and Striding Edge I was delighted to discover had some parts of the climb that were hands required (huzzah for actually climbing). Even with the wind non-existant and then suddenly freezing and strong by turns I really enjoyed the Edge, it was my sort of ascent.
Then we got up to the top, a whole lot of snow, swirling cold cloud around us and visibility almost completely dropped. I was very glad for the trangier that FJ pulled out of his bag and the mug of tea he pushed into my hands! After eating sandwiches at the top we decided to head for Swirral Edge, slowly descending into the grey swirls and crossing the snow. We completely missed it and were left devoid of landmarks heading along a path which we were becoming increasingly certain was not the one we intended to be on. It wasn’t. It was at around this point I really felt the lack of a compass. It was also around this point that we admitted we needed help so we pounced a very nice couple, Helen and Glenn from Tunbridge Wells. They had a GPS. We decided to tag along!
The path that we were on wasn’t the one we’d intended but Helen and Glenn informed us that the path we had intended to take was under a reasonable amount of snow and was pretty much impassable without crampons! Oops…must double check weather when going out in February! Anyway this path was headed in mostly the right direction and we’d just have to walk a few extra miles to get back to the car in Patterdale so that was alright. We walked along and nattered…and I’d just gotten to the point in conversation with Helen of establishing that no, we weren’t a couple, I had a boyfriend back in Castle Moon when I slipped on the scree-y path and felt my ankle go out from under me.
Quite a bit of initial ow actually, I could tell from the pain it wasn’t serious ow, but I couldn’t put any weight on it at first and what I really, really wanted to do was have FJ hold me, kiss me a bit and generally make me feel better. As of ten minutes before, I couldn’t. Bugger.
Helen leant me her walking poles to get down the mountain however and we didn’t walk down that far because Glenn went and drove his car up as far as he could to then drive us back to Patterdale – hurray for lovely strangers!
Then I drove home. It wasn’t as bad as I worried, but now I’m really needing to stop moving the ankle, it probably didn’t do it that much good but, it’s ok, admittedly doing the Fairy Field Trip for Pagan Soc this evening may have been a silly idea, but I did get to walk around Williamson Park with my Fuji Stick and a candle for a bit. Which I think looked kind of cool.