Black Sail Lake District Winter Hiking Weekend
Organiser – Gary Box
Where – YHA Black Sail Hut, Ennerdale, Cleator, Cumbria CA23 3AY
When – January 10th-12th 2014 (Fri-Sun)
Cost – £77.00 (includes 2 nights accommodation and guided hikes)
This weekend is for the more adventurous who like winter walking and mountain huts. Our accommodation is the famous remote Black Sail hostel, a former shepherd’s bothy which recently underwent a refurbishment which included double glazing to make it a more cosy winter destination. The hut is situated in the Ennerdale Valley with amazing views all around. It’s a real ‘get away from it all’ location that sleeps 16 but unlike most bothies this does have hot showers and comfortable beds. There is a full cooker which we will use to do our Saturday evening group cook and solid fuel stove for that lovely ‘winter fireplace’ feel.
There will be a few London departures on the Friday, one which will depart early. The early departure will carry most of the bags and supplies like food (we will do small kitty for group cooking Saturday night) for the weekend and be allowed to park at YHA Ennerdale for the weekend. They will then be taken by Land Rover along with supplies to YHA Black Sail.
For those leaving London in the evening your walking adventure starts early. Around midnight you will park at Gatesgarth Farm at the southern end of Buttermere, don head torches and hike in 3.5km to the hostel via Scarth Gap Pass.
On Saturday we have planned a full day winter walk. In the event conditions are too extreme we will plan a slightly easier route but the planned walk will be as follows. We will leave Black Sail hut and head to the summit of Great Gable (899m) via Windy Gap. From here we will walk to Sty Head and pick up the Corridor route which will take us to the summit of Scafell Pike (978m). Our descent from Scafell Pike will be the popular route via Brown Tongue down to Wasdale Head and from here we will take the Black Sail pass route back to the hut. The route is 17.4km (10.8 miles) and in winter expect to feel tired at the end of it.
Once we shower and feel human again we will begin the group cook (food to be agreed among group). We will also have plenty of wine and beer to enjoy. For the rest of the evening we can socialise, play board games and enjoy the night sky.
Sunday morning we can sleep in slightly longer before we pack our bags and begin our walk. Our route will be 6km (3.7 miles) and will take us to the summit of Hay Stacks (597m) and past Innominate Tarn before arriving back at most of the cars at Gatesgarth Farm. From here we will drive to YHA Ennerdale to collect the final car before heading back to London.