Sunday, June 14, 2015

Coast to Coast Day 2 – Ennerdale Bridge to Stonethwaite

May 27, 2015

Miles: 16.5

Time: 8:34 - 4:37  
Elevation gain: 2,744'

Year to date miles:  223.3

Hike description:

Our breakfast at our Pub was good. Again, very accommodating to vegans and vegetarians. So far we've been luckier than I expected. We've been emailing all of our accommodations ahead of time to let them know about our diets.

We started out the day with a road walk to Ennerdale Water. I don't mind the road walking portions so far, because of the quaint villages. 

The walk around Ennerdale Water was rocky - more like we are familiar with at home. We were glad it was dry out, because I heard the trail can become a stream/waterfall in wet weather. We tried to keep a good pace today because it was a long day, and we knew it might rain in the afternoon. I wanted to at least be off the mountains by the time it started raining.

Later on in the trip we heard that a Coast to Coast walker had died 2 weeks ago on the trail at Ennerdale Water. We heard they were blown off the trail and fell 60'. There are a number of deaths each year of fell walkers, and hundreds of calls a year out to Mountain Rescue.

Here is a page for the Patterdale region mountain rescue, so you can see examples of their incidents:

After Ennerdale Water, we hiked along a gravel road all the way to Black Sail Youth Hostel - a remote place you can stay at. The views started getting good. We stopped inside the youth hostel and ate our lunch there. 

After the youth hostel, many people take the wrong trail. This is where you get up into the mountains, so you don't want to take a wrong turn. We figured out the correct trail quickly. We passed by some cattle. Mostly we see sheep. At least a thousand sheep and maybe 10 border collies. That's a high sheep to border collie ratio!

The trail after the hostel climbs steeply up stone stairs. My muscles were a little tired but still feeling strong. The views kept getting better and better the higher we went. So different than hiking in the eastern U.S. where so often we are hiking in forest with little or no views. I needed my winter hat, wool insulating layer, wind jacket and gloves as it was cold and windy in the mountains. I'm in love with the Lake District!

We descended down to a slate mine with a popular visitor center. They have a via feratta there which I would have lived to try if we had a free day there.

While we were at the visitor center visiting the restroom and Glen tending to his feet, it started raining steadily. It was a brisk day already and now we had wind and rain. We decided to put on rain gear. The longer we spent there the heavier the rain got. I wore my rain pants and jacket. I wish I had my rain mitts I ordered because my gloves just were soaked and my hands were cold.

I won't tell you all of Glen's layers but I will mention that he was trying his hiking umbrella for the first time. They are supposed to help you not get soaking wet in sweat compared to traditional rain pants and rain jackets. Well - the umbrella flew out of his hand and he went running after it. He lost site of it as it flew into a valley. I wanted to help but I was laughing too hard. All of a sudden the umbrella flew up into the air out of nowhere. Glen ran into position dodging back and forth like a goalie, and it was a save! He managed to catch the airborne umbrella. I couldn't stop laughing.

After that we had a river walk through sheep pastures. We passed a youth hostel where a man was trying to garden. Every 3 minutes or so he'd stop and kick a ball for his border collie. His dog would promptly bring it back and stare at him waiting. Reminds me of me  trying to garden at home. I stopped and played with the dog. Glen didn't throw any balls for the dog.  Meany!

We arrived at our hotel sopping wet. This hotel has a drying room. Basically the room with the boilers and a rack to put your wet clothes on.

Every night we have a pack and luggage explosion. Today is particularly bad as everything is wet. Every surface of our bathroom is covered in wet clothes and gear.

The restaurant at the hotel provided us with a vegan tomato lentil soup and risotto. I also got a sticky toffee pudding which is as good as it sounds. I tried a different beer tonight - Old Peculiar which I really like.

Despite the rain later in the day, it has still been a wonderful adventure!

Night: The Langstrath Hotel

Video best viewed in full screen mode:


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