The Vault Regulars

Friday, June 11, 2021

A short backpack in the Duddon Valley. Day3.

Sunday 6th June 2021. 

Another wonderful nights sleep with the doors open. No rain, no midges. Today's walk was only a short hop. Basically just getting back to Seathwaite.

So, I said to Judith that we didn't need to be up and away anytime soon. I suggested 9.00 o'clock, to which came the reply am or pm. 

We had a couple of brews and then more bad news, first the tent pole and now my gas stove. I was sat next to the stove and I heard a drastic reduction in noise. I still had plenty of gas but the regulator made no difference. I let it cool and then found that I couldn't return the 3 legs into the stowed position and the stove head and body was ill fitting. It looked like the plastic part between the body and head had heat deterioration and had slightly melted. Thankfully it was the last time I would need a stove on this trip.

The stove was my 15yr old Coleman F1. (I checked it upon getting home and it was not repairable, so its now in the bin).  Tip, don't buy a stove with *plastic* parts.

Another lovely camp spot.

Once packed and the site checked to make sure there was no sign of our being there we followed the narrow sheep trod on the north side of the reservoir. 

Judith wanted to have a good look at the Dam workings and check out if any OS benchmarks could be found. We checked out the rain gauges and we found a marker stone with the initials BC carved into it. We thought it might be the last resting place of the great Brian Clough, but actually it stands for Barrow Corporation.

A last look down the length of the reservoir.
Barrow Corporation marker. However we never found an OS mark.
Rain Gauge.
The landrover track from the tarn to Seathwaite is in bad condition. Very rutted. 
However the views down the valley never change and are a delight.

At the bottom of the track where it joins the Walna Scar route over to Coniston, we had our last practice of a break. We had become experts at it.
A lady with a lovely border collie stopped for a chat and it turns out she had run the Duddon Valley fell race yesterday and came in last. Fiona, come back and do it again next year and I'm sure you will be further up the field. 

Passing through Turner Hall Campsite and then down to the valley road we met our hosts Tina and Alan walking the opposite way to meet us. So it was back to their's for coffee and lunch.

Judith wanted to get off and do some buying at Booth's in Ulverston but we were staying for a couple of days so sadly we said our goodbyes. We hope you had a good time and liked what you saw of the Duddon Valley and its friendly people.

Repeating what I said at the beginning of day one. This trip wasn't about distance it was about confidence and gear testing. We had a great time and learned quite a bit. And had 2 wonderful camping spots.

Route Day3.

Sheila and I used the Montane Grand Tour 55. Although I had used this sack a number of times before I found the stiffness of the shoulder straps and the hip belt a bit of a pain. Maybe it was my body not being used to carrying a sack for the best part of 2 yrs I don't know.
The hip belt pockets are almost useless.
The rest of the sack is excellent but does it need all the bells and whistles, it could be made a lot lighter.

Sleeping gear. I used a Rab Summit and a Karrimor x lite mat with a 3mm closed cell foam under the mat. Sheila feels the cold more than me so used a PHD custom bag with a 3/4 length Neo air with a 3mm foam mat under. All worked fine.

Tent. Kuiu Mountain star 2p. Had an Easton advanced carbon fibre pole section breakage. Luckily I sleeved the break and was able to carry on.

Stove. Coleman F1. Failed on the last brew of the trip. 

Trousers. I used a pair of Columbia silver ridge convertibles and the gusset seam came apart. I have had these a while maybe it was down to wear and tear. Sheila wore Decathlon convertibles and these were fine.

Camp shoes. I was trying a very lightweight pair of water shoes with the drain holes sealed up, but I found that the upper material took a long time to dry. So its back to my trusty  Vivo Barefeet.

Socks. X socks, I find these perfect.

Top. I used a Craft cycling top. I find these to have an extra long body so it doesn't ride up with wearing a rucksack. It also wicks sweat away fantastically well. To complement this when it was breezy I used a Black Diamond Alpine Start. A good combination for me.

Shoes. I used an old pair of Ecco boots and Sheila wore an old pair of Carn trainers. Both work well.

Thanks for reading.


Al said...

Hi Alan
I've enjoyed reading abut your trip, and the images are great. Shame about the tentpole in particular. The weather played ball for you as well...
Thanks for sharing your trip.

GeoffC said...

Good to see you in the mountains again, a great backpack and photos.
Seathwaite Tarn is an area we never visited despite being in the south-west corner a few times around the Duddon. Harter Fell is a superb summit.

I never did like the idea of carbon fibre poles despite their supposed strength.

AlanR said...

Hi Alistar, The weather was all we could have wished and more. The tent pole breakage sure was a shock.

AlanR said...

Geoff, Good to hear from you. It's been a while since we were all back in the mountains. Day 1 I wondered why I was putting myself through this but day 2 was just wonderful. Harter was the summit along with Swirl How that Sheila and I marshalled for quite some time during the Duddon Valley Fell race. It is a great top.
re the pole breakage - I can definitely say that if you are doing a long trip don't take carbon fibre poles, they are not fit for purpose, too easily damaged and almost impossible to repair on the go. Use aluminium.

Phreerunner said...

Excellent. You got better weather than we did a couple of weeks earlier.
'BC' = 'Bowland Climber', but not his last resting place unless he is blogging from the grave!
Your trip reminds me of the one I did with you and Sheila a few years ago.

AlanR said...

Cheers Martin, I'm sure BC will appreciate his headstone being where it is. This trip was easy in comparison to our trip with you a few years ago. I'm still aching from that one. ha.

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