Adventures in Elterwater

This weekend saw the founding members of Team Fourteen Peaks (otherwise known as me, Sarah and Rosie) get together for a weekend of hiking, scrambling and beer.  This time though, we were joined by new team mate Charlie. 

Hi Charlie!

After battling the M6 at 5pm on a Friday evening, we all met up at the Elterwater Hostel and settled in for a good catch up and a few beers before heading to bed around 1am, much to the dismay of the two other women in our six person room.  Other than Charlie dropping her phone charger into a metal bin from the top bunk in the middle of the night, and me falling off the bunk ladder into a tin of flapjack first thing in the morning, we did our best to be considerate room mates…

Outside the Elterwater Hostel – highly recommend, by the way!

Just for the record though, I’m not a fan of the top bunk.  Never again.  I seem unable to navigate the ladder, either way, successfully. 

Our previous weekends of adventure (see here and here for Team Fourteen Peaks adventures) are always a great balance of outdoor fun stuff and sitting in the pub with a beer or two, and this weekend was no exception.

Saturday saw us planning an ambitious hike from the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel to Scafell Pike and back again.  The weather, however, was against us from the start.  Whilst we sat in the pub enjoying a cooked breakfast and coffee, it slowly got darker and darker so by the time we actually made it out to start our hike, it was hammering down with rain.  Undeterred, we got kitted up in waterproofs and headed off down the valley of Mickledon. 

Two hours later, in Rhossett Pass we were soaked through (and discussing the merits of Rosie’s waterproofs – the only one of us who stayed remotely dry) and literally being knocked off our feet by the wind.  Exciting at first, but it quickly lost appeal and we decided that since we were no longer having fun, it was time to turn back and go to the pub for hot chocolate instead.  We made speedy work of the descent and within 90 minutes, we were back at the cars heading to the hostel for hot showers and a change of clothes.  Luckily, there’s a very handy drying room at Elterwater Hostel!  It was so toasty there was some talk of staying in there but we got brave and headed back out and up to the pub.  Good thing too, because it was one popular pub which serves the most amazing steak. Mmm…  steak…Irritatingly though, within an hour of arriving at the pub, the rain stopped, the sun came out and it was a stunning evening! 

Say cheese!

Sunday, the forecast looked better; still windy but dry so the plan was to head to Side Pike for some scrambling action.  Of course, we ended up going via the pub for breakfast again so it was close on midday by the time we were heading up the path towards the crag.

We began our ascent, zig zagging across the hill like lemmings (do lemmings zigzag?) climbing anything we could find.  We had a great couple of hours playing on the crags and once we’d climbed everything in sight, we bunkered down behind a boulder at the top to fuel up on banana maltloaf and sausage rolls (me and Rosie) and trail mix (Charlie and Sarah).  Spot the healthy folk. 

Unfortunately, this is where things took a downturn.  As I turned to talk to Rosie, I put my hand down on the ground and realised it was a bit wet.  I turned to see what I’d put my hand in, and to my absolutely horror I’d put my hand on a worm which was now thrashing about like a mad thing. 

Helminthophobia, scoleciphobia or vermiphobia is the fear of worms, especially parasitic worms. The sight of a worm, or anything that looks like a worm, may cause someone with this phobia to have extreme anxiety or even panic attacks.

No, I didn’t have a panic attack but I did screech my head off and dive pretty much into Rosie’s lap.  Sorry Rosie.

Enjoying the view, right before the worm debacle

Once I’d gathered my wits (and the remains of my dignity) we headed down off the hill, and you guessed it, back to the pub for more hot chocolate before it was time to us all to hit the road and head home. 

All in all, a fabulous weekend (we are all determined to get back up there and complete the hike to Scafell Pike), with great company and lots of intellectual conversation, along the lines of “a snow saw?  You know, it’s a saw, for snow…”

I can’t wait for the next one!

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