Saturday 6th December
My commenter Gimmer is my oldest friend going back to school and scouting days. He studied chemistry and went to Oxford. I went to work.
Gimmer's penchant for chemistry led us to making bombs based on sodium chlorate, (I think), and also something to do with potassium crystals mixed with ammonia. We roamed the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, camping, walking, rock climbing, and caving, as well as amusing ourselves by turning off the electrical master switch in the village hall where our soppy contemporaries were dancing.
In later years we had forays into Scotland, and G accompanied me on the last week of my GR5 trip (Lake Geneva to Nice). Gimmer lives mainly in the South, but also periodically visits his late parents' house here in The Lakes.
I still have twelve Marilyns unclimbed in The Lakes, so as a means of focus last Saturday, which coincided with my birthday, we made the long drive to Wasdale Head to climb Illgill Head directly above the famous Wastwater screes.
My day was made when, with my recent membership of The National Trust, I saved £4.50 on parking. Unbelievably, ours was the only car there at 10:30am on a Saturday - so much for my frequent grumpy-old-man complaints about the overcrowded Lake District - we met only one lonely fell runner on our round trip.
We visited the traditional and nostalgic Newfield pub in Dunnerdale afterwards, and then back on the LD fringes we had a good birthday meal at The Eagle's Head in Satterthwaite. Almost what some Spanish guys I climbed with would call a dia completo: a café coffee meet in the morning, climbing together during the day, and having a convivial meal together in the evening - we only missed the morning coffee.
|Great Gable identified: location of zoom shot below and a major rock climbing venue including the famous Napes Needle|
|Illgill Head from Wasdale Head car park - the summit is further back. Our route went topside of trees on left|
|Great Gable - zoom to crags below|
|Great Gable famous rock climbing location including Napes Needle. The big scree to the left of the crags is Great Hell Gate|
|On the summit. The pointy one sticking up above the edge is Yewbarrow, one of the steepest ascents in the Lakes.|