Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Day 3 Borrowdale to Patterdale 17 ¾ Miles

Despite reports on trip advisor of the late breakfast at Yew Tree Farm of 8:45am, we asked for an early breakfast for 7:45am which they provided no problems. After our cereal and toast, along with our packed lunch we bought at Yew Tree we were back on the trail for 8:30am.
The water proofs were on from the start, it was a typical Lake District morning, the kind were the fell tops are shrouded in low cloud, with the backs and gills rushing down in to the valleys below. As we left the Borrowdale valley heading up Greenup edge we met Orange and Green coat again, (now known as Dave and Val from here on in), they were heading to Patterdale also. We also met an Australian bloke who was walking the Coast to Coast on his own; who said he was “surprised how hilly the route was”.
As we climbed Green up edge the becks which crossed the paths were becoming wilder and wider the rain fell, and becoming more difficult to cross, it wasn’t long before Sarah got a wet boot whilst attempting to cross. Fortunately we’d experienced this type of day before and packed some spare socks in the backpack, so after a quick change of socks we were happy again.
Once we got to the top of Greenup edge we were faced with the really steep climb up Lining Crag, which today also had a number of rivers flowing down it!  After the long climb up Lining Crag we were plunged into mist with heavy wind and rain, with zero visibility & poor weather we took a compass bearing and followed this until we could recognise Helm Crag in the distance, with the Lion and the Lamb summit stones standing guard over Grasmere, this gave us an unmistakable landmark to resume confidence in our position. 
After taking shelter behind some crags, and a quick chocolate bar we headed off towards Grasmere Common, we could just make out orange and green coat, sorry...Dave and Val in the distance further confirming we were on track.
Once we dropped down from Grasmere Common we fired up the stove for a cup of coffee and a hot chocolate, along with our packed lunch from Yew Tree Farm, very nice. I’d decided to bring my Jet boil stove instead of a flask, which I was now smugly congratulating myself on as I drank my fresh coffee and Sarah had a hot chocolate.  As we sat having lunch the Australian passed us, he told us he’d been to Grasmere to buy some new boots “ouch £££” as his were full of water, welcome to the Lakes!
The walk up to Grisdale tarn then down towards Patterdale is a further 3  - 4 hours, so we headed off after our lunch for about 14:15, we climbed up great tongue, choosing to take the north path rather than the more obvious and walked south path, again this turned out to be a good option as whilst steep, height seems to be more quickly gained. We were soon looking down on other walkers, and looking back towards Helm Crag the views were simply stunning, Helm Crag had a spot light of sun shining down through the clouds which made for fantastic scenery, with views stretching as far as the Langdale Pikes & the Conniston Fells, even on a cloudy day like today stopped us in our tracks to stare.  
Once at Grisdale tarn we had the final (but always long) walk down the valley towards Patterdale, it rained on and off as we trudged the final few miles, and I had some Kendal mint cake to give me a needed boost!
We arrive in Patterdale wet, windswept and dishevelled at 17:30, we were booked to stay at the White Lion Inn and so walked straight into the bar area, avoiding the temptation of a pint we headed to get changed and showered, as well as what now seemed the routine of placing our gear on various radiators to dry out. 
We soon headed down for dinner, I had a huge burger, topped with bacon and cheese along with chips, whilst Sarah enjoyed more chicken!, and a side of onion rings for good measure. After a couple of beers, and a quick call from my dad we headed up to bed for 9:30pm, well and truly knackered!
We watched telly and had a quick brew, having no trouble at all falling asleep instantly, this was despite the general pub noise of laughter and glasses clinking echoing up from the bar below.
And that was day 3, we’d conquered one of Coast to Coasts toughest days!

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