Simon Davis and I travelled up to the Lakes early on Friday morning, ahead of the rest of the group, so that we could have a walk in the snow. Leaving the car at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, we headed up the Langdale Valley, climbing up the steep Rossett Gill in ever deepening snow up to Angle Tarn. As we came over the lip between Hanging Knots and Rossett Pike the wind hit us hard. From the tarn, we struggled in 70mph gusts to Langdale Combe. The snow was soft and the ground underneath also soft and waterlogged. The streams were running pretty full and twice I took the plunge, the first time doing a face plant in the cool water. The pint(s) that evening were well deserved.
On Saturday the wind seemed to be blowing even harder as, now twenty of us, walked up Easedale in squally showers. As we climbed we met people coming down having abandoned their walk in preference for tea and cakes in the relative warmth of Grasmere. As height was gained, so the wind strengthened and we found ourselves preferring to crawl around on the rocks of Sergeant Man. As we crossed the relatively flat top of High Raise and Low White Stones, the wind now broadsided us, regularly knocking us off balance before we began our descent down Far Easdale. By the time we returned to Burtharlyp Howe Youth Hostel our faces glowed from the wind and pinprick needles of rain and snow. More well earned pints in the evening.
Sunday was a more sedate day with a walk up and around Loughrigg Fell. The weather, while still windy, was much pleasanter and we found a good sunny spot, out of the wind, for our lunch. By mid-afternoon it was time to head south and back home, after a thoroughly exhilarating weekend. K2 should be a breeze after this!