Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Last weekend Team Lewis ventured out to the Lake District, where, along with some of Shelley's work mates, we climbed England's tallest peak: [cue kettle drums and large Chinese cymbal]


Which wasn't all that tall (only 970-odd-metres).

But it was cold. Oh, how it was cold. To say I was surprised at how cold it was is to say the Japanese were surprised at the U.S response to Pearl Harbor (what did you think was going to happen?).

As you can see, we took a fairly limited arsenal of warm clothing, which did not mix well with the sub-zero, misty morass at the top of the mountain. I lamented my 1 pound purchase of TK-MAX gloves, and was thankful to Helen for spending a lot more on my custom-made beanie. My warm head really lorded it over the rest of my body.

We had some stunning views on the way up the mountain, but alas, once at the peak we saw nothing but white. And the mist can really play tricks with your eyes; believe it or not, this is actually Shelley.

Going down the mountain was a lot more pleasant, particularly seeing as we were heading for what I had fantasised about all day: dinner at The Inn. Shoulder of lamb - delicious - then back to our tent for a warm and comfortable slumber...BOMP-BOW! Wrong; the second part about the slumbering did not happen.

See, I failed to pack a ground mat, so our air mattress cooled down like a slab of marble in an open field. To compound this, I also failed to pack sleeping bags, so as our air mattress sucked the will to live from one side, our thin, synthetic doona gave out free samples of body heat on the other. Well done doona; don't come crying to me next time you need something that doonas need.

Of course, we woke up feeling refreshed, and ready to take on the world. But we are still waiting for that excellent sleep you are supposed to get after climbing a mountain. Maybe it was the universe's way of saying, You can't really call that a mountain.

Special thanks to Bryce Groves for some of the excellent photos we stole from him.


bitingmidge said...

Alas poor Jules, I am currently copping an earbashing because you and I are alike ... apparently.

We have solved the air mattress problem thanks very much. A space blanket underneath, two picnic rugs, a winter weight doona on top of that purchased in the delightful Clare in South Australia when the temperature got UP to nine one day in a fit of forgetfulness, but under the doona and on top of the blankets goes a rubber ground mat for her.

We then pile into our -2° rated sleeping bags, and when she has full thermals and four layers on, she only complains a bit.

Hang on, don't we have to sleep on that thing of yours next month? The one with the heat sapped out of it?


Sweet Olive Press | Helen Evans said...

I TOLD you you'd get cold! I told you to pack warmer things! I believe camping's designed to make us glad we're not pioneers.

Also, do you need another beanie? Have you been wearing the same one all this time?

Shell said...

He did get a new beanie for Christmas, but it got involved in a horrible incident.