Friday 4th June 2021
Sheila and I met Judith AKA Well 'Ard and fellow blogger of Around the hills, at a lay-by on the A590 leading into Cumbria. After arriving at our destination an hour later we parked the cars at our friends house in Seathwaite Duddon Valley and enjoyed a hot drink and a chat before finally setting off.
Our rucksacks seemed very heavy after such a long layoff from backpacking and also optimising our kit again needed doing. Judith wanted to test out some gear and check on her fitness prior to going on the TGO Challenge again in a couple of weeks. It will be her 12th time.
My plan for this trip was not to do long distances or numerous tops because the last thing we wanted on our first trip out was a pulled muscle or worse.
The weather was superb, calm and sunny and in the high teens temperature wise (C) which for me was a real treat as it usually rains when I head to Cumbria.
Once through the farm of Wallowbarrow with its camping barn we had our first gradient up. Even though the climb is not huge by any stretch, it still seemed hard work and had me wondering if I had made a mistake in choosing Harter Fell to summit with a full pack.
At the watershed we had a brief chat with a guy who was running to Keswick. Wow!
The scenery between the lonely farmhouses of Stonethwaite and Grassguards was beautiful and gave us a brief glimpse of our camp spot for Saturday night up at Seathwaite tarn.
For my sins I picked up a slight sprain of my ankle which hurt quite a bit at the time but it eased up as i walked it off.
The ascent of Harter Fell was tough going in the heat of the day with very little breeze and we stopped regularly to get our breath back. Sheila said her legs were shaking and I said that it wasn't just my legs that were shaking.
A late lunch was had at the summit. We carried water up to the top as I knew there was none to be found around the summit. Water is awful heavy to carry up hill.