With a trip north for work on Sunday night, it seemed rude not to take a minor detour and visit some hardy MPS souls in the Lake District. I knew they were planning a full weekend of walking, camping at Sprinkling Tarn on Great End, and so I set off from home on Saturday afternoon with the intention of getting up early to meet them on Sunday morning. As the topology of the Lake District slowly revived itself in my memory, the setting sun across Derwent Water gave a lovely start to the trip.
After a night at the Borrowdale Youth Hostel (bringing back memories of at least one Ramsoc trip from a worryingly long time ago), I set off to Seathwaite nice and early to try and catch everyone at Sprinkling Tarn before they struck camp.
I ran up Grains Gill, hitting the first of the snow not long after the little stone bridge. There was no sign of MPS at Sprinkling Tarn, but a chap who was there suggested that he'd seen some lights at Styhead Tarn the previous evening. A quick blast down to the col revealed nothing, so I abandoned any hope of finding them and instead climbed Great Gable.
The descent to Styhead via Windy Gap necessitated the use of axe and crampons, and then I climbed back up to Sprinkling Tarn and Great End. Having seen all the snow on the Scafell range from the summit of Great Gable, I gave in and went for a play on the steep snow up to the bottom of the routes proper. I kept the crampons on for a bit, enjoying the seemingly disproportionate levels of extra security and speed they imparted on the return down Grains Gill.
After a bit of food I snuck in a quick nap in the car whilst I gave MPS a chance to return to their bus. Fortunately they arrived back from what sounded like a very fun overnight trip shortly before I got bored, and we retired to Ben's cottage for tea and cake. Well done the Lake District.