Following on from the recent blog on losing yourself in the vast hills Back O'Skiddaw, how about making sure you don't lose yourself or the rest of your party when you are out on the fells? This week I walked through Borrowdale in warm sunshine, only to find myself in murky drizzle by the time I reached the halfway point on my intended route. It must be a familiar story to many people holidaying in the Lake District, and potentialy scary when you realise you are quite possibly lost.
I was walking to Wasdale via Sty Head on a very familiar path however thick mist had descended as I climbed higher. On reaching the stretcher box at the top of Styhead Pass, it was drizzling very lightly and the mist thicker than ever. I should have had a wonderful view of Great End and the Corridor route, but instead smoggy dense mist was swirling around me. The next part of the route down into Wasdale was tricky with a drop on one side and sections of path washed away in the recent heavy rain.
So using the stretcher box as a marker, I took a bearing and paced the next half a mile carefully to avoid falling headlong off the sheer drop to my left. The path curved around the side of Great Gable and started to descend, becoming clearer with each step until I reached Wasdale Head.
The view of Wasdale Valley!
Conditions like this are great for testing your navigation skills. Mountain Rescue are called out on countless occasions to rescue folk who have gone astray in poor (and good!) conditions and most of these rescues would be completely avoidable if people knew how to use a map and compass.
There are excellent activity providers all over the Lake District near our self-catering cottages who run navigation courses for all abilities. Whether you have a little knowledge or none, use a map and compass or GPS unit, there is a course for you. Once you know what you are doing, the freedom to stride off into the unknown is immense! Why not book a course to coincide with a stop in one of our lake district cottages? It is a great family activity especially on a wet day! And when you return from a wet day out you can rest assured that our cottages have good modern facilities, tumble dryers, plentiful hanging space and boot rooms. And then there are the cottages with the cosy woodburners to relax in front of, a perfect antidote at the end of a soggy day! Check out our late availability here.