Black Sail Hut

Present: Richard (organiser), Andy M, Martin, Olga, Louise, Dan, Andy McLay, Keyna, Shaun, Rhoda, Dave W, Paula, Maika

Horrendous traffic and snow around Birmingham meant those in Louise’s car spent 10 hours getting to the Lakes. It was impossible to get over Honister pass in the snow which meant a long drive round to Ennerdale before walking in, in a blizzard.

Meanwhile, having arrived and there being nothing to do in the hut, Richard and Dan decided to walk the short distance from the Black Sail Hut over to Wasdale Head – partly to have a pint and partly because this is where the late arrivals were supposed to be walking in from. They set off from the hut as the sky was finally becoming black and headed up the Sail Beck. Route finding was not too hard, and although the ground was frozen solid they were able to make good time. Once over the pass they had a better trail, but it was now totally dark and headtorches were making little impact in the inky blackness. The lights of Wasdale seemed a long way off.

Eventually they reached the pub. While ordering a drink (or three) and a jacket potato, the barman asked where they were staying. The reply ‘Black Sail Hut’ was suitably mad to be met with a few raised eyebrows. Andy McLay arrived, and they had another pint. Having brought his Sigg bottle over, Dan then managed to get a Southern Comfort & Coke to go.

The others, who they called from the Wasdale public telephone, announced they were coming in via Ennerdale and other alternate routes, so the three of them left to make the 3-mile return journey. The snow meant that what was already a tricky proposition was worse, and the wind blowing down from the pass made it hard to stand at times. In the pass it was a blizzard, and finding the right path down was impossible, so they just headed down, following the Sail Beck (trying to remember where the cliffs were) and were eventually guided in by the lanterns Martin had placed outside the hut. A mini epic.

Coming back from the pub (Dan)

Words to live by (Dan)

In the end, most people arrived around 2 in the morning. Dave H and Emma abandoned all hope of getting there and stopped in Redditch (where you could probably abandon all hope…)

The blizzard continued Saturday morning and over the course of the first hour several people turned back from the walk towards Great Gable. Martin, Olga, Richard, and Andy M did a short walk towards Haystacks. Shaun, Keyna, Dave W, Kiwi Andy, and Louise walked on around Great Gable and got to Wasdale Head Inn for a pint before coming back to the hut communal meal – Flopsy, Mopsy & Cottontail were made into a meat paella by Martin.

On Sunday most of the snow had gone overnight and everyone walked out from the hostel and headed home.

Snow on Saturday morning (Keyna)

The Blue Team (Keyna)

Hard going (Martin)

Martin and the bunny rabbits (Andy)

Andy Miles, Dan Unwin

Related Images:

This entry was posted in Reports. Bookmark the permalink.