Sunday, October 26

Be Prepared!

The old Boy Scout motto is always worth heeding when it comes to planning for a day's hillwalking.

Torrential rain and viscious winds struck in the Lake District today, with rivers in the Buttermere area bursting their banks after the heavy rains of the last few days.

It is precisely this area that Angela and I were walking in only two months ago. It is an area of great beauty, but when the weather turns it becomes hazardous in the extreme. Hundreds of people were competing in the Original Mountain Marathon (OMM) when the weather broke. Conditions have been so bad organisers have been forced to cancel the event.

Luckily the OMM is an event for runners in pairs, and competitors have to camp out overnight, so all those caught on the hills should be suitably equipped.

We remember the steep descent down Scarth Gap to Gatesgarth Farm. Even in good conditions it requires care and concentration. I hate to imagine what coming down in a gale and torrential rain must be like.

During our stay we had an evening with a member of Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team. He gave us a slide show and explained the work his team of unpaid volunters did. I'm glad to say that our party gave generously when the collection tin went out. Those volunteers have been busy today, and will no doubt still be on the hills tomorrow mopping-up those who were benighted.

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