Blog post 8
There be a storm brewing up ahead!
Morning, I’m sat here with a coffee, slightly disappointed at the fact that this weekends storms are preventing me from getting into the mountains. I was due to be in the Lakeland fells this weekend with a friend, but what with the winds that have been coming in, we decided otherwise. We made this decision following the travel disruptions and high winds that had been forecast for the area.
As someone who loves being up in the hills and takes every opportunity to be there, this was a hard decision to make, but deep down I know it is the right one. So, I began planning other trips up that I can enjoy in the coming weekends, when the activities of day to day life relent allowing me to make the short trip to the Lakes. I don’t mind the rain, fog, snow, ice or light winds, as these never ruin my enjoyment of being in the fells, but gale force winds do – they are relentless and put significantly increased risk on your outings, but most of all you have no control over it. These winds are dangerous in summer, but in winter there can be much more severe consequences, with them being that much colder and any accidents have that much more severe repercussions for you.
With the other forms of weather conditions that I mentioned above you have control to some degree, and with the correct skills you can still enjoy your day in the fells and mountains, i.e. with good navigational skills, you can still enjoy the mountains in thick fog, but gale force winds are different. This form of mother nature can knock you off your feet literally, and there is virtually nothing that you can do about it. This poses obvious hazards when out in the mountains, and I can recall one near miss that my friend and I had in 100mph winds, between White Crag and Raven Crag, above the Langdale valley, where we descended down a very steep gully in winter, which was particularly hairy to say the least. I promised that day never to take risks like this again in the fells.
So, I started using these kind of high-wind days for planning my future adventures, which in turn can lead to ten future enjoyable days in the mountains. So, get yourself a brew, your maps and have a trawl through to plan some more future trips, whether day walks, wild camps, or long distance walks. Try and resist that urge to continue up into the fells regardless, potentially putting you and others in danger, unless you know your route and are confident that you will be safe i.e. probably not a day for Striding Edge!
Mountain Rescue, whilst there to help when you are in difficulties can do without being called out for stupid, unavoidable accidents faced by those risk-taking less patient adventurers. Take care and try to make the most of bad weather days, using them to plan your future adventures, as taking risks in bad weather that you have no control over, may mean that you don’t get to do those future walks!