Fri 8th Jun - Sun 10th Jun, 2018

Lakes Hut 2 Hut

Andy Stratford

Rawhead to Brackenclose return

When placing this meet in the calendar last year I had imagined the usual would hold true: a weekend battering of summer storms and rain, resulting in a challenging two day the event we had the opposite: high temperatures, with such a small amount of wind that sunburn, dehydration and heat exhaustion were the potential issues. In fact, the meet very nearly had to change venue – due to the droubt, the Rawhead water supply from the beck had dried up lower down. Alan the warden closed the hut for a few days until some of the FRCC team had managed to relocate the inlet of the pipe higher up the hill where there was still some flow. One thing was sure – we wouldn’t be walking in gaiters for the weekend!

An early contingent of Steve, Stuart, Dave and Kate made their way up to a very dry Raven’s crag for a couple of late afternoon routes in the sun. Steve and Stuart found their legs on Centipede while Dave led the pitches with Kate on Oak Tree Wall which they then abseiled to the base, eventually arriving at the ODG where hydration was being taken very seriously by Steve and Stuart. Everyone else arrived except Philip who had already arranged to arrive late the morning and walk independently to Brackenclose.

Saturday morning dawned bright and warm at a reasonably quiet Rawhead hut, and we agreed the first section of the outward route - From the Rawhead to NT Car Park then up to Stickle Tarn. Shortly after 9am we set off with many of the team carrying very light packs due to the amazing forecast and the intention of eating at the Wasdale Head Inn. We made good time despite the heat we ascended the Rake before the crowds then onto Pike o Stickle, Stake Pass and Rossett Pike. Here, Kate headed up the front of Bowfell via the grassy rake and scramble SE of Hanging Knots, Bowfell summit then down to three tarns, the Band and back home for a family celebration the next day. The rest of us followed the main track to Esk Hause, then onto the plateau with Steve, Stuart and Joe taking in Great End as well. After descending to the Scafell/broad crag col we dropped to Lingmell coll then down the main path back to Brackenclose.


That evening whilst Jo, Andy, Jim and Geri cooked and chilled out at the superb hut, the others walked the mile or so to the rather busy Wasdale head Inn.

 ‘’There will be a 45 minute wait for your order’’

 Joe was concerned enough to order both his main course and desert at the same time, so as to avoid a second queue – very canny – very specific instructions were issued on ordering that his ice cream should not arrive first.

 45 minutes later Joe’s ice cream arrived, followed half an hour later by his main course as desert. Philip waited nearly an hour and a half and was losing the plot while Dave Shotton gave up and walked back to the hut to eat his emergency rations!


I felt rather pleased with the little extra weight I’d carried......


Sunday morning was sweltering hot by 9am. Steve decided on a different route back up via Styhead, Sprinkling tarn and down Rossett Gill. The rest of the team split aiming to meet on Scafell summit. Andy led Jim, Dave W and Stuart up Lords Rake, the west wall traverse and the top section of Deep Ghyll. For anyone who hasn’t been up Lords Rake recently please be warned it is in a shocking condition – worse than I’ve ever seen it and not a place to be if there is anyone clumsy ascending ahead or coming down from the first col. I’d seriously consider wearing a helmet next time I go up, and the top of Deep Ghyll is also very loose.

We arrived on Scafell summit about 1 hr 45 after leaving Brackenclose, expecting to see the others shortly but it wasn’t until another hour had passed that Joe finally appeared. Andy descended to assist Dave S who was the first (but not the last) of the team that day to really suffer with the heat. After sharing out some of his sac contents and furnishing him with Andy’s poles the team left together for Foxes tarn and then lunch on the way to Cam Spout which was the least spouting ever. Great Moss was bone dry. Amazing for the Lakes perennially wettest marsh. As ever upper Eskdake was stunning and very quiet. After crossing a virtually dry Lingcove beck the team took various lines of ascent to reach the path up the unnamed coombe to reach the three tarns col. The heat of the day was relentless and pretty much everyone was flagging. Eventually at three tarns we split with Andy Jim and Stuart running down the band to the ODG, and Andy walking to collect his car from Rawhead to bring it back to the ODG to save everyone else the walk.  We all ate at the ODG and Dave W opted for an extra night in Rawhead hut and even managed a round of the North Western fells the next day Barf, Lord's Seat, Ullister Hill and Seat How.

Thanks to everyone who came – it was great company, stunning weather, the best scenery and some pretty tough walking. Here’s to next year’s Lakes Hut2Hut!


Andy Stratford

Meet Promo:

Lakes Hut 2 Hut 2018

A walk / scramble weekend with many route options for all possible conditions. Great potential for some stamina training for the Alps meet!

The core idea is a sociable Hut 2 Hut walk departing from Rawhead hut in Langdale early on Saturday 9th June, walking or walk/scrambling to Brackenclose hut in Wasdale for Saturday night the 9th June, then returning to Rawhead on Sunday 10th via a different route.

The shortest and easiest route via passes is around 16-17km and about 700m of ascent. This can be achieved in pretty much any conditions, and is a good Sunday return route option if Saturday has proved really tough. There are many excellent variations over different mountains with several scrambling (or even easy climbing/mountaineering) options at various levels of difficulty in both directions.

For fell runners this meet would provide an excellent pair of linear routes. Food can be obtained from the NT campsite shop in Wasdale head or at the Wasdale Head Inn, if you wish to reduce weight carried.

There are 9 male and 6 female beds available in each hut and interest is already in evidence for several of the places. Hut fees are 2 x £9 = £18 for the weekend (or an additional night on Sunday at Rawhead if you wish). Payment should be made at the time of making a firm commitment to attend.

This will be the first such meet in a planned series of Lakes Hut 2 Huts over the next few years, each one taking a different pair of huts or bothys (or three huts over three days!) and linking them up via interesting and varied routes and terrain.

Initially, bookings can be made by full members and associate members only until 1st April 2018. Any remaining spaces after this date will be available for guests (non-members).

Andy Stratford

Kate seconding "Oak Tree Wall" (Dave Wylie)
Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark over Stickle Tarn (Dave Wylie)
View down Langdale to Windermere from the top of Jack's Rake (Dave Wylie)
Looking up Lord's Rake (Dave Wylie)
Jim and Andy at the start of the West Wall Traverse (Dave Wylie)
Looking up to Mickledore from the top of Cam Spout (Dave Wylie)
The Scafell Massif over Great Moss (Dave Wylie)

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Karabiner Mountaineering Club