Archive for August 1st, 2011

August 1, 2011

From heaven to hell in under a minute

by backpackingbongos

Amongst the rough moors a perfect patch of sheep nibbled grass was found to pitch.  We were above 2000ft and the views across the Eden valley stretched into the Lake District and beyond.  The sun was beating down but we were cooled by a pleasant breeze.  Walking across the parched moors we were lucky to come across a tiny spring less than 10 minutes from camp.  From it we filled our water bottles with ice-cold crystal clear water.  Backpacking does not get much better than that.

I left my friend to enjoy camp whilst I bagged the nearby Murton Fell and returned less than an hour later.  The sun just starting its spectacular display as it made its way to the horizon.  Then suddenly and without warning the breeze dropped, the air completely still.  They rose in great clouds, a biting mass covering exposed skin.  An hour and a half of sheer torment followed, I had no refuge as I had brought an open shelter on its inaugural outing.  The sheer numbers were overwhelming and I could not stand still for more than a few seconds.  The dog was frantic, running up and down with his face to the ground like a snow plough.  Unfortunately the fiery spectacle was wasted on me, a photo snatched, my vision impeded by a headnet.

Rewind 24 hours and it was a completely different story.  I climbed the summit of Tailbridge Hill with Reuben, just in time for the sun to put on a glorious show.  I sat and watched the sun slide slowly towards the horizon.  Reuben sat and watched the sheep.  The sheep stood and watched Reuben.

I’ll get a full trip report up in due course.