We awoke on day three to find ice covering the outside of our tent. I stepped into the frosty morning in shorts and flip flops to get the tea and porridge on.
As we packed up, the sun rose over the mountains into a clear blue sky and we set off into the Borrowdale Valley and our first of two ascents this day. We followed a beck alongside an imposing Eagle Crag, admiring the many waterfalls and fine views back to the west.
The climb steepened as we reached Lining Crag where we stopped for a well earned chocolate bar. The path continued upward to Calf Crag, before descending through a stunning and peaceful valley towards Grasmere.
In Grasmere we restocked water, flapjack and battery supplies before continuing our journey toward Patterdale. The climb up to Grisedale Pass was steep and draining in the hot afternoon sun, especially when carrying our house, bed, kitchen and wardrobe on our backs.
We stopped for lunch on top of a crag looking back over Grasmere and our mornings climb.
Ruths cheese and chutney sandwich was eaten with aplomb with sounds of delight and procrastination about the excellence of the chutney. My Herdwick pasty was possibly the best ever tasted, with large chunks of lamb, vegetables and a fine pastry crust. It was bliss...
Refuelled we crossed the ridge and descended towards where the route splits giving a direct option and another summiting Helvellyn... We took the direct route.
A slight navigational mishap nearly had us climbing St Sunday's Crag instead but it was quickly corrected and we were back on track. We were following a family whose spaniel had just returned to their crying child's side after having disappeared chasing an ever so tasty Herdwick halfway down the fell, an event for which our wrong turn had given us a front row seat. We smiled and said a friendly "hello" as we overtook them...
Near the bottom of the of the path is Ruthwaite lodge, a bunkhouse now owned by Sheffield University Mountaineering Club. There was a group of students sat outside in the sun selling tea, coffee and cakes for Macmillan. After some gentle persuasion we agreed to some tea and coffee on the proviso that we could take it away. So cake and brew in hand we continued our way to Patterdale.
The days route had been tough on the muscles and wear and tear was beginning to show on the feet. We now had blisters on blisters... I kid not. It didn't help morale when we arrived at the campsite recommended to find it full. So we did what anyone else would do and went to the pub who were nice enough to arrange an alternative camp site for us Noren Bank Farm. We were the only campers there and had use of a great shower in a bunk house across the road. We also had a fine view of the fells and some more sheep for company.
We returned to the pub to join some walkers we had met earlier and get some well earned grub and share walking stories and compare blisters, before turning in for the night.