Sunday 19 Aug 2017
Leader: John Jones
Photos: John Jones
Leader:- John Jones
Eight walkers and the small faithful dog Bess left the New Dungeon Gill NT car park at just after 9.30 am in light rain, hoping to complete the circuit of The Band, Bowfell, Ore Gap, Angle Tarn, Rosset Gill and Mickleden.
The forecast had been for intermittent showers with sunshine improving in the afternoon, so there was the expectation that the weather would improve as the day progressed. At Stool End farm we encountered the first squally shower, but the rain stopped as we started up The Band. Memories of bad ascents up the band were banished as we ascended the very well pitched modern path, with only a few awkward places over the underlying rock.
About half way up the rain returned in earnest, with steady light rain interspersed with windy squally showers. We found a little shelter for an uncomfortable coffee stop and then continued. The rain did not abate and near the start of the Climbers Traverse we discussed what to do, deciding to continue to Three Tarns hoping for a break in the weather.
At Three Tarns the weather had not eased and the wind felt stronger so we decided to retreat. Just below Three Tarns we found a little shelter below a small crag and stopped for a cold, damp lunch.
After Lunch we carefully retraced our steps down The Band where much of the path was now a stream and the exposed underlying rocks were distinctly slippery. But we reach Stool End again without incident. At this point the weather, of course, improved, and the walk back to the New Dungeon Gill allowed us to dry out a bit.
But as we enjoyed a warming cup of tea sitting outside the New Dungeon Gill Café, the heavens again opened, necessitating a rapid move to shelter! And the rain continued on the journey home until we reach Staveley, somewhat vindicating our retreat.
The intended route was 10 miles with 3000 feet of ascent, we managed 7 miles and 2400 feet of ascent, not bad at all! Many of us vowed to try the route again on a better day in the future - it had been just one of those days!
John Jones 20 Aug 2017