Is it winter yet? Glorious scenes from Wasdale

Buckbarrow Lake District
Buckbarrow at sunset from Whin Rigg, Lake District.

Is it winter yet? I have to ask as the following series of photos from my recent trip to the Lake District appear positively autumnal! I had anticipated cold temperatures and a fair amount of snow up on the high fells. Alas, much of my kit was ‘overkill’ thanks to the prevailing weather conditions.

It all started so well. After spending a night in Keswick ready for a DVD and print signing the following day with my good friend David Powell-Thompson in the local Cotswold Outdoor store, much of the town was draped in soft snow – walking about the backstreets one couldn’t help but put on their best impression of “Bambi on ice”.

After much banter and meeting folks in Cotswold, me and David made our way west to Wasdale where I was going to spend the week relaxing, catching up with friends and wandering about the nearby fells.

The whole trip was a much needed tonic for me and I can’t wait to go back again soon to see in 2015.

Time spent out on the often wet, windy and bitterly cold tops gave me further opportunities to practice with my new Sony A7S camera. Again it passed with flying colours. Most of the photos below were captured on the camera (mobile phone pics will be obvious). I have to say I’ve been rather lazy and not processed them at all in the likes of Photoshop.

All the pics are straight out the camera via WiFi. They’re not full resolution as a result. I’ve compressed them further too to make them more web-friendly. The only image manipulation you may notice (if I may call it that) are the use of Lee filters to balance the exposure of bright skies with dark foregrounds (or vice versa). Either way, I hope you enjoy them!

keswick winter
Dawn the following day in Keswick looked promising before I headed back in guest house for brekkie.

snow keswick
As I was packing my gear, I looked out to see heavy snow descending on the streets.

cotswold outdoor keswick
Me and David signing prints and DVDs in Cotswold Outdoor ©Rachel Kearns
Joss Naylor millenium seat Nether Wasdale
Joss Naylor’s millennium seat in Nether Wasdale.
The Strands Inn and brewery nether wasdale
New Christmas pudding on the menu in The Strands Inn and Brewery, Nether Wasdale.

Some of the top ales to be found from The Strands’ microbrewery on site.

wastwater and yewbarrow
Looking to Yewbarrow in Wasdale on my ascent up to Whin Rigg.

Despite the inclement weather, dramatic views were still in abundance.

Looking over to Eskdale and beyond from Whin Rigg.

Moody views over Upper Eskdale to the Wrynose Pass.

Force 10 MTN 2 tent wild camping
I chose to pitch on the summit of Whin Rigg in high winds to test the new Force Ten MTN 2 tent.

sunset over ravenglass
Sun rays over Muncaster Fell.

whin rigg summit lake district
The summit area of Whin Rigg.

As the cloud lifted, views of the Crinkles unveiled a touch of snow on the very highest ground.

sunset whin rigg lake district
Sunset from Whin Rigg. Winds were strong and very cold. Was tricky standing up taking photos!

sunset wasdale lake district
View to the coast and Irton Pike as the sun did it’s best to cast it’s glorious colour over the land.

sunset wasdale lake district coast
Low clouds with breaks, combined with a setting sun produced glorious scenes from my camp.

buckbarrow wasdale sunset
Buckbarrow – a regular training ground for Wasdale MRT.

WASTWATER wasdale sunset lake district
Wasdale soon began to light up under dramatic dark skies. Superb!!

wild camping lake district f10 mtn tent
Camp on Whin Rigg with Upper Eskdale and the Crinkles for a backdrop.

sunset wild camping force ten mtn 2 tent
Slowly but surely the sun disappeared over the horizon.

yewbarrow and storm
Showers over Dore Head as seen from camp after sunset.
night sky f10 mtn 2 tent
The stars briefly appeared in the night. Otherwise it was blanket cloud.

Just before dawn the following day, things didn’t look to inviting from camp….

Ill Gill Head dawn lake district
As dawn approached, the weather soon improved. Winds dropped, the air was warm….heaven!

Ulpha Fell lake district dawn
Dawn rays breaking over the Ulpha Fells.

Harter Fell dawn lake district
Harter Fell tried it’s best to warm up from the rising sun.

upper eskdale dawn lake DISTRICT
As the sun rose, more and more of it’s golden light crept about the fells nearby.

yewbarrow dawn lake district wasdale
Under brooding skies, superb dawn light reached over Burnmoor to caress Yewbarrow in Wasdale.

wastwater screes dawn wasdale lake district
Looking along the top of the Wastwater Screes.

yewbarrow and ill gill head dawn
Scenes of colour and contrast unfolded all around from camp.

force ten mtn 2 tent wild camping whin rigg
Looks inviting eh? The MTN performed superbly in strong winds. Now it was at rest on this calm day.

I’ll be using the MTN 2 from Force Ten as a basecamping tent this winter when working on the fells.

crinkle crags upper eskdale
Great How under the Crinkle Crags.

scafell and slight side
Scafell and Long Green as seen from the porch of my tent with a brew on the go.

With such superb scenery in abundance, I was very reluctant to break camp!

I never saw a soul, so it was about lunchtime when I chose to pack up and head off.

The Strands Inn and Brewery, Nether Wasdale Lake District
A sight to behold after a wander about the area in dreary weather. Dawn and sunset was the best of the trip weather-wise.

Emerald Pools Wasdale
On another day, I re-visited the Emerald Pools in Wasdale with David Powell-Thompson. We filmed here nearly a year ago.

The Emerald Pools, Wasdale, Lake District
By the original ancient Styhead Pass, you’ll come across the delightful Emerald Pools. A wonderful place!

All in all, a top trip. Ace scenery, good company with old friends and new. The perfect tonic!

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