Thursday, 4 July 2013

The stuff of epics

We successfully completed our longest pub crawl last week. Three pubs over three days meant it wasn't a massively boozy affair, but hey, there was some great scenery.

Starting from Great Langdale the first point we were aiming for was the three tarns by Bowfell. "Shall we go up the band" I said to the Lovely Lisa? "Go to hell" she said, so we did, ascending the path by Hell Gill instead. We were on our way to Boot in Eskdale for the first time in many years, and it gave us the opportunity to tick off a Wainwright with a beery connection along the way: Hardknott.

Despite trying to keep the amount of gear I was lugging around to a minimum I'd brought a bottle of one of Hardknott Dave's delights to celebrate the occasion.

We didn't actually drink it on the summit as the wind was picking up so we waited til we'd got down to Hardknott Castle, a Roman fort which must have been very impressive in its day. 

We were staying at a Youth Hostel, and though I'd been slightly concerned about this before hand it was really good. Perhaps that we got go outside in the sun and wander round their nature reserve helped, but it was a lovely setting and the lack of traffic compared to Great Langdale was another bonus. It was also conveniently close to the Woolpack Inn, which we'd been to once before back when Hardknott Dave's first name was still Woolpack and the brewery was based there.

The new owners have obviously put some money into the place and opened it up so you can get through to the plusher side of the bar.

Innit plush?

Let's see that a little closer...

There were four or five beers on and Continuum was our tipple of choice, until the craving for Sneck Lifter lead us back to the youth hostel so we could get a bottle from their bar.

Next day we were heading over to Wasdale via Scafell, an excellent route but quite possibly the longest 3 1/2 miles I've ever walked, our average speed must have been around the one mile an hour mark. We only saw one other person until we'd nearly reached the summit, I suspect it would have been busier if we'd gone up the neighbouring and 14m higher Scafell Pike though.

The descent into Wasdale was a bit more scree ridden than we'd have liked, but we survived. Refreshment was at the Wasdale Head Inn, another pub that used to have a brewery in it. Plenty of hand pumps, which included Cumbrian Legendary Ale's Langdale and that was enough for us.

It was also enough for us bagging peaks, as after two days of trudging we took the easiest route back to Langdale the next day, going up to Styhead and then onto Esk Hause. The descent down Rossett Ghyll was even more tedious then we'd remembered, and the Old Dungeon Ghyll still seemed a long way off when we finally reached the bottom. But when we got to the pub the Old Peculier we'd set our heart on was waiting for us, and though it wasn't the best pint I've had it certainly did the job and eased our walk back to the hut.

We were in Langdale for the rest of the week and met up with my mountaineering club at the weekend. I even managed to get some climbing in, though we found the first pitch of Mendes, which was meant to be easy, quite a struggle, and certainly harder than the crux pitch. Perhaps if we'd actually climbed the right bit of rock we wouldn't have had so much trouble!


  1. has the brewery in the Wasdale Head gone/closed.
    not been this year,hopefully rectify that in a month or two.

  2. The owner sold the pub but has kept the brewery going at a new location.