Monday, 13 July 2009
Ooh big mountain passes, gatesgarth and nan bield, been wanting to do NB for a while and Lowey organised a trip so I just had to tag along. Weather was iffy, it had pissed it down all night and was very overcast. Set off from staveley and the climb up the fell was very damp, summer shoes may have been a bad choice. Descent to sadgill was fun grassy to start then rocky and loose at the bottom. The climb to gatesgarth was not. Loose energy sapping rocks to startlong slow grind then it gradually got steeper and steeper Then switched to grass edged slabs at a stupid steep gradient, it briefly levelled off then got silly again with more loose stuff, my climbing mojo had gone AWOL and I walked most of the last section but DJ, lowey and Jacqui were climbing well. The descent to Haweswater was loose, steep, sketchy, brake boiling, goodness. A spot of lunch then the hard bit, an hour of carrying. It was hard going but I mostly managed to not let it get to me, then 2/3rds of the way up it started to rain, grrr! A quick rest at the top and we set off with a decent gap between us, Ton got about 5 yards before he got off and started to push, jonnie went next and as he passed Ton he made a comment about riding technique, unfortunate as 10 seconds later he was on his face, a step down into a switchback had him off and he smacked his cheekbone dizzying him and got a deep cut on his cheek, lots of blood. Wors patched him up and we picked up his bike, when he was ready to go we got going again, it certainly piles on the pressure when you try to ride a section thats had your mate off and is still splattered with his blood. I made it down all the tricky stuff, sketch-tastic then on the flatter section I suffered a loss of concentration, the trail went left I went right, over a rockfield which had me off and as I went down I saw a rock that my face was heading for - eek! I missed the rock, just bruised shoulder and cut knees, picked myself up and carried on. We had to wait a while for everyone, poor Jacqui and Mel carried their bikes all the way up and most of the way down, I doubt they'll be back to nan bield. A bit more fun up and down and we were back. nice day, crap weather, bit of carnage, think I'll be back in a few weeks to show Mark.