A tale of beer, tents, a tripod and the sunrise
The main photo above is in fact the last of the sunset on Friday evening, just before I went off to the pub for dinner. I had planned to get away from work a little earlier and get to the Lakes in better time. However I’d underestimated the length of time to drive all the way down to Langdale, it’d been a while since I been down this way. Still the bail out plan seemed to be working, a pitch at the National Trust site was secured, “anywhere you like”, the Ranger said, “it’s not as if we’re full”. And to be honest the lure of the Old Dungeon Gill and decent food and a pint or two was quite alluring.
Pitching the new tent in the gathering gloom was interesting. This was another factor in my decision, I’d never actually pitched the tent, a Vango Helium 200, before and I didn’t really fancy doing that for the first time in the pitch black on some windy frozen outcrop three quarters up the side of Pike O’Blisco on my own. In the end it’s pretty straightforward to put up, although I never did get it quite as taught and rigid as I’d like.
The sun was setting quite rapidly as I was pitching the ten and I grabbed the camera and tripod to take a few shots of the deep red glow over the Crinkles. A Seaking clattered down the valley appearing from behind Bowfell before turning round and going back again. I never cease to be amazed at what these pilots can and dare do. I also wondered what damage to this service will be done by the Government’s latest plan to privatise the whole of the SAR helicopter service? The light’d gone and so off to the pub in the dark and a pleasant hour or two while’d away over a couple of pints and beef curry in the Old Dungeon Gill.
With not much else to do and nothing to read I set the alarm for 6:00 and settled down to sleep. Noisy neighbours wake me and probably the rest of the campsite at something around 11:00. What does possess someone to seek out the wild and quite places like the Lakes and then play crappy music loudly for all to hear? Next time I’m wild camping!
I’d set the alarm for six but woke well before it went off. Coffee and a dozed for a while, then again and some food. Eventually there’s no postponing it any more, I’m up. Last minute re-packing coping with the change of plan, leaving some things behind should make the pack lighter. It needs to be. I’d given up on the smaler light weight tripod I bought earlier and was coping with my old and trusty but all too heavy Manfrotto 144.
It’s still officially night, sunrise isn’t due for an hour or so but it’s light enough to do without the head torch, the moon and stars lighting the way – as if it was needed a reminder what the sky really looks like at night without the light pollution. The route is fairly familiar, but progress is painfully slow, it’s the weight. I’ve spent the last few years trying to be lighter and faster, all this camera kit is taking me in the opposite direction.
The light is getting brighter, its not clear yet if we’re going to get anything but a watery dawn but then it started to change. Just as I rounded the crest at … the glow hit the Crinkle face and then began to develop all the way along the valley, lighting up the Pikes turning them into orange candles like something from the Alps or South America. It was difficult to concentrate and focus, infront of me the mass of Crinkle Crags and Bowfell, behind the Pikes, as the light changed I switched attention hoping to grab the best of both views.