El día completo is of course appropriate to rock climbing because it is a multi-person pursuit (unless you are a nerveless devotee of E-grade soloing). Whilst I do enjoy the company of perhaps one or two others on the hills I also have my own version of El día completo.
At 8:45 am today, inspired by Blonde Two's daily post (The Two Blondes) which I regularly devour along with my breakfast, I decided, on a whim to make use of a clear-blue-sky-frosty-morning and depart for the Howgills.
My day-walk rucksack is by habit in the car, and a flask of coffee and some biscuits was all I needed. The car was fuelled, so no need for an irritating pit stop. At The Cross Keys, the setting off point for the eastern Howgills, I bagged the last parking spot in the small lay-by, and I was off following one or two people on the well trodden path to The Calf, the Howgill's highest peak, but before the steep climb started I left the herd and peeled off north ascending steeply on my own on pathless fellside aiming for the col between Ben End and Yarlside, the latter peak being my objective - it is one of my remaining unclimbed Marilyns in Area 35 of Dawson's Relative Hills of Britain which provided the original Marilyn listing. Whilst a chance meeting with fellow fellwalkers is fine it does add to the feeling of remoteness and adventure if you have the terrain to yourself, which I did today, but once above the col I was walking in fresh snow and saw that someone else had been ahead of me, although I saw nobody for the rest of the walk. From Yarlside summit I made an exciting steep descent on snow, and then down to the valley and back on a farm track and a short section of road to make a satisfying circuit. Walking along the road I looked up at the hills from the valley still sunlit, but the tops were wearing clouds with intense blue sky above - it was like an upside down inversion.
I was back home by mid afternoon wallowing in a hot bath and finishing the evening with some half decent tele, a good meal and a glass or two of red.
|The pink route is part of The Dales Highway - today's route = red dots. The scull and cross bones marker on Yarlside is the one I use on Memory Map to identify Marilyns|
|River Rawthey and Brant Fell just after leaving the car|
|Cautley Spout is the deep gash in the hillside - an ice climb venue when frozen where there have been fatal accidents|
|Back to the road running south to Sedbergh - yes that is a road reflecting the sun not the river|
|From Yarlside summit|
|Red dots show my dicey steep descent from Yarlside|