Gold D of E Practice in the Lakes

The start of the Easter holiday saw 14 students and 3 staff members heading north up the M6 to the Lake District….

The start of the Easter holiday saw 14 students and 3 staff members heading north up the M6 to the Lake District. After an overnight stop, briefing and orientation at Great Tower Scout Camp, the two groups were bussed to their start point at the top of the Kirkstone Pass.

One group jumped out of the bus, organised themselves and headed in a westerly direction to summit Fairfield, before heading towards Patterdale, at one point tobogganing on a section of snow. TheGold D of E other group seemed a little more reluctant and needed persuading that this was, in fact, their start. They set off in the opposite direction to walk along High Street towards Patterdale.

The weather was extremely kind throughout the expedition, with clear skies and sunshine, although temperatures on the tops of the ridges and in the shadows were below freezing.

Day two and both groups summited Helvellyn, although rather late in the day, missing Mr Reed who had decided to descend before Monty (the dog) froze. The late start, some poor decision making and choice of camp site that evening led to a route march in the dark to find an alternative location for the groups to spend the night.

Day three and another late start as the groups continued westwards before turning south and heading for Watendlath and Blea Tarn for their final wild camp.

With the lure of “home” ringing loud, an early start (relatively!), saw both groups finally arrive in Grasmere where a quick change of clothes was welcomed before the journey back to school, arriving around 9pm.

My thanks to Steve Pidgeon and Dan Reed and Monty for their company and work during this expedition.

Linda Baily

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