The Adcote advanced party set off for a National Trust campsite in Langdale Valley, in the heart of the English Lake District, with a car loaded with food and tents for the rest of the group that was leaving later. We had a calm and clear up. As soon as we left the motorway to approach the mountains the clouds gathered and the wind began to rustle the trees.
By the time we arrived at the campsite things were getting decidedly blowy. The camp staff advised us to put our tents up quickly and use all the guy ropes because 50mph winds were coming through the valley that night! We started in shorts and T-shirts but soon progressed to waterproofs.
After two tents were up it got really windy. We nipped off for some food and watched the rain lashing down. We hoped the tents would still be there on our return. They were and we put up the last two before the main party arrived at 10pm.
The morning was clear but blustery. We had breakfast and headed off to the first activity on Coniston Water, some 20 minutes away. We decided to tackle gorge scrambling first with wetsuits, waterproofs (to keep the wind off), helmets and life jackets. We waddled up through the village to the start of the stream. A quick briefing and we were off – first up to out knees, then tummies then complete immersion in the stream as we climbed up waterfalls, jumped into plunge pools, ducked under logs, jumped into plunge pools again.
We all made it back to the base camp, feeling pleased with ourselves, if not a little cold. Lunch and hot chocolate revived us before the next task – raft building with Quackers, our one-legged duck mascot.
The two rafts were soon lashed together, using two different techniques one for Mr Farmer, the other for Ms Nixson. The challenge was to transport these two precious cargoes around a course on the lake. The girls had done such a good job that we made in back to shore all in one piece! We then put on a great show of how to jump off the jetty with flips, splashes and giggles. We were even treated to a fly past of a Tornado GR4 which caused excitement.
Back to the campsite for Spaghetti Bolognese and donuts for supper, hot chocolate, frizby throwing and battles against the midges!
Day two greeted us with clear skies and a light breeze. We took down the camp and packed the car before striking off up the mountain. The target was Stickle Tarn, nesting under the Langdale Pikes. A quick snack at the top and down we came.
A big thank you to all the girls who braved this adventure. They all worked hard. The staff received compliments from people saying how polite the girls were.