Summer arrives in Wasdale

For our late September working weekend Wasdale was typically bathed in glorious sunshine. A substantial crowd of FTFers made the journey to the sub-tropical haven of Lingmell Gill for the latest stage of path rationalisation.

 The section above 2011's digger built stretch was becoming obsolete due to it's wetness and several alternative routes were developing :


Our task for the weekend was to create one new line on dryer ground and landscape out the old path.

Thus we began rearranging boulders and turf while also collecting "pinnel" -  the fine gravel used to surface the completed path


By the end of the first day much of the new path had taken shape and the crew departed for much needed rehydration :


Sunday was spent creating a few drainage channels on the new path, turning the old path into a reedy hollow and spreading the pinnel on the newly created surface :


(in the arid conditions it was quite a task finding water to test the fluvial efficacy of the drains)


As the day ended it was hard to remember where the original path had been such was the effectiveness of the landscaping.


In the following week or so the team continued in Lingmell gill, the final task being a complete overhaul of the section around the fell gate where the path emerges onto the open fell. This included reconstructing the delapidated kissing gate and tidying up ajoining fences.

As a special treat for ourselves we also spent a week or so on the path ascending Haystacks from Scarth Gap.

Part of the route zigzagging up around bedrock outcrops had collapsed due to water damage and people taking short cuts:


Here you can see where we had to reinforce the outside edge where it was being dangerously eroded.

Some of the pitching on one corner had to be rebuilt, a delicate task to try retain most of the original, built in the 1980's :


Above here a stretch of bedrock had caused some confusion resulting in an alternative route appearing. This was leading people astray from the authentic route which Wainwright would have used (this being his favourite hill). We therefore took the unusual step of actually building (rather than demolishing) a rather attractive little cairn to define the preferred route:




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