Cath and I met up at Glenridding car park. We set off at about 10.45 after I’d done some pfaffing about. The car park still costs £7 for the day.
We went up to Hole in the Wall which doesn’t dispense anything and has possibly been filled in as can’t say I even noticed it. This is the point for starting Striding Edge. The first part is a inevitably quite gentle and just starts to ease you in to a bit of exposure, we stayed to the right just under the ridge. We saw a young man in jeans who was clinging to the path and obviously very terrified. We gave some words of encouragement but we didn’t see him later on so I reckon he’d backtracked which would probably have been the right thing to do as he wasn’t in a particularly terrifying spot when we saw him.
Mostly we stayed to the right on the path just below the ridge. At one spot you have to make a move down and most people were just doing this in their stride but we stopped to weigh it up and Cath was getting a bit anxious. Instead of following the crowd I moved to the left and got to a steady spot and I think this encouraged Cath to do the same as she soon followed me. We hadn’t liked the look of the drop to the right. Some guys were being helpful and making suggestions but we didn’t really follow them. We reckoned on making our own decisions and doing what was right for us.
The next tricky spot was soon after where we had to get down a narrow gully. I like doing these but Cath felt a bit less sure so she told me and one of our new friends to stay at the bottom to spot her. Just when her foot was at my eye level I started to move away but she told me and the chap that we were to stay in place, so we did! I told Cath that she had girl balls and this seemed to help!
That was the worst of it and we next took a path that went round the side of the big outcrop that most people were going over. This was a good route and we climbed up easily. After that we were practically at the top. Once we got to the shelter, a man came round and sold us cake for the British Horse Society which I didn’t even know existed. The lemon drizzle cake was just the ticket at that point. It was pretty cold and breezy on the top which meant the photos were a bit bonkers, and no-one there at that time to take one for us.
Next we went down Swirral Edge which seemed nothing like as scary going down it as it had going up it last year. There wasn’t anyone on it this time which helped. Then along and up to Catstye Cam where we were the only people. It’s quite a small summit so this was just as well. Then down off the top and back along a good path all the way to Glenridding via the Youth Hostel which looks great and is in a good location. Cath said it was nice as she’d stayed there with Lee earlier on this year.
We got back at about 5.30, went and had some not so nice cake in the wrong cafe. I’d forgotten Fellbites. But the tea was fine and just what was needed.
A Quality Mountain Day with a fab companion!
Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.