A Wild Camp On Great Dodd
In The Lake District
|Me and Maxine|
It was a Thursday evening when I changed my mind from going into the woodland for a wild camp, I had the woodland planned from the weekend before, a nice bit of beef on the spit no alcohol, the plan was to have a midnight wander around the woodland, mainly looking out for wildlife.
Checking the weather more times than I check facebook (which is alot, which I need to come off but thats another story) it had been changing from lovely to showers for the woodland, so I was good to go. I flicked through my weather app to see Keswick with only a shower too and up high maybe a shower of snow, that was it plans changed and it was time to find a Mountain to go wild camp on.
Checking near Ullswater for a nice hill with views was hard, I just couldn't make my mind up but eventually after watching peoples vids of the summit and checking google images I decided on Great Dodd. Its not the smallest being 19th on the list of highest in England, as me and my partner have been doing some big walks locally we thought it be a good test to do as well for our fitness.
The usual Saturday came weather was still showing snow showers, i was up at the usual time 5:25am and off to work, finishing earlier than expected at 10:30am, we were on a flyer, a quick shower and we were off, bags were already packed the night before just the food and water to put it. My bag all in was 13.1kgs not bad for a winter wild camp and my partners was 10.2kgs.
We set off for the lakes around 11:30am and there for about 1:20pm, once there we got our bags on and headed off on the Old Coach Road towards Great Dodd, the weather was beautiful. A steady pace with a few breaks on the way up, I actually felt much better than the previous hill and it was twice as small.
It did get steep in 2 places but with a couple of stops we got up no bother and I think we took about 2 and half hours to reach the summit with video breaks and picture taking it was a nice time to do it in. There was a very dark cloud hanging over near the summit and it had already dropped a couple of hail stones but just 1 here and there.
Once we reached the summit it was jackets on and then tent pitching it bottom to the wind so to speak, I had took the Lightheart Gear Solong 6 which is a 3 season tent all mesh inside so not so good for the snow but it was only forecast a shower so I thought it would be fine. I also had some walking poles to try with the tent which a good friend of mine let me borrow so a big thanks to Davey Mac.
Once I was happy with the pitch of the tent we climbed in and i cooked us tea as per usual Izzie got her dog food first, priorities and all that lol. Me and Maxine had a steak to share and 2 bags of minty lamb casserole made by me from scratch. I must have just finished warming the 2nd pan of casserole when the snow starting to fall, so I put the tent into storm mode and little did we know it was in for the night.
|Sunrise with dumping of snow|
Tent bound...once the tent was shut the snow and then the winds came stronger the wind picked up at its highest later on around 10 I think it was, the tent with the walking poles was much stronger, I have also made a modification to the ridge pole area, I sewed a pole sleeve for the ridge pole to slot into and that also seemed to help as the velcro fastenings are a bit flimsy.
We got some sleep very early on around 8pm with our bellies full and the weather not so good outside I thought if we have a bit sleep then it might clear up so we can spy the stars. At around midnight I awoke to a very bright light lighting the tent up like a lighthouse would, i could hear voices, the only words I heard was "where is the summit cairn." I had a spy outside incase someone was lost but once I opened the tent door I could see only about 5 foot in front of the tent.
I went back off to sleep to be woken up again at about 2:30am again what sounded like the same voice and the lights lighting the tent right up, I was just about to go out to see what was happening maybe they were lost, then I heard them running past, it was fell runners probably training, hats off to these people/machines they must be super humans.
I eventually went off again and was up at 3:30am the stars were out in full swing so I opened the door and peered out for as long as i could take before retreating back in the tent, I never got the temp or the wind temp but it was freeeeeeezing, so cold my eyes were watering like water falls.
|In the middle of shot is an Inversion|
I tossed and turned a bit and finally got up at around 5:30am the sky was getting light so me and Maxine got out to take some snaps, the view was breathe taking, you could see the temp inversion happening in the distance, it was like a sea, totally worth getting up early for.
We got back in the tent for a warm and a bacon sandwich then started to pack up, I had my Daughter to pick up at 11am so we couldn't stop any longer. Leaving no trace apart from a patch of the summit with no snow on the only patch, we were on our way, taking a different way due to my half asleep not checking the gps or map properly we ended going down the side of Great Dodd towards Little Dodd.
|This doesn't look steep but it was, especially just behind Maxine|
Off the path it was a slow hike down being careful not to slip, lesson learned on this trip micro spikes are a must. We got to the bottom and followed the start of Mosedale Beck and continued along the base of Great Dodd till we got on the Old Coach Road which took us an extra mile to walk, coming in at just over 4 miles.
We both had a great time and the views were amazing making it even more worth while, we had a lovely break even if it was just for one night from the concrete jungle, the mad chaos life we live these days, so fully recharged and ready for the next adventure which should be in 2 weeks time with John.
Thanks for reading any questions feel free to ask, positive ones only please there is enough negative in the world as it is.