Archive for January 4th, 2011

January 4, 2011

A night in a high Pennine freezer

by backpackingbongos

It was late when I got back last night after spotting a good weather window and popping out for a quick two day backpack.

The Scarp1 was pitched high on the Pennines on Sunday night, bang on the 750 metre contour.

A trip report will be forthcoming later on this week, but in the meantime here are some observations that I made in the absence of a warm and cosy house.

1.  Camping in snow when the thermometer is well below freezing is cold.  Yes I know that sounds a bit obvious but it is something that is very easy to overlook when sitting on a comfy sofa planning a trip.  There is the ‘Ooooh its a bit chilly’ when waiting for a bus, which is a bit different from spending two days in sub-zero temperatures.  The ground is as hard as iron and you weep as tent pegs refuse to penetrate the earth, water for cooking and drinking does not remain in a liquid state for more than a few minutes, and your boots freeze.  Then don’t even thinking about putting a wet pan lid on the floor……..

2.  The days are short at this time of year.  Again sitting at home it is easy to be a bit gung-ho with the route planning.  Suddenly it was 3.30pm and I was still miles from my planned destination for the night.  There were mine shafts in the area, not best for nocturnal meanderings.  Actually it was a blessing in disguise as my planned camp for the night was at 890 metres.  It was even colder and the ground more frozen up there!

3.  The nights are very long at this time of year.  There I go stating the obvious once again but 3.30pm is frankly too early to go to bed.  My body clock declares that to be lunch time.  Take a very good book and spend the evening looking at your watch as time refuses to move.  Even with all that time at my disposal I still overslept…………

4.  Don’t camp within sight of a man-sized ‘Currick’ as it gives you a bit of a fright when you pop out of the tent after dark!