A walk around Nether Wasdale

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Greendale to Gosforth

I really didn’t want to go today. The weather forecast was foul and I really didn’t want to crawl out from under the duvet, but I signed up last week and I hadn’t cancelled, and I’m blowed if I’m going to forfeit my fee. So of I went, dressed against the promised arctic blast and reconciled to a valley walk.

As it turned out, it was a glorious spring day, bright and scler enough to see not only the Isle of Man in all its glory but Criffel in Dumfriesshire and, if you screwed up your eyes and used a bit of imagination, Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon). True, a bit of a nip in the wind but there wasn’t much of that. True, the higher fells were swathed in snow, with even a sprinkling on the top of Black Combe, but they are none the worse for that, in the sunshine (see Scafell, above). In fact, the sudden glimpse as the bus entered Lowick Common on the way out, of Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag glistening in the middle distance was the sort of ting that sets the spine a-tingle.

And then, there we were at Greendale, all ready to set off, with the classic view of snowclad Yewbarrow, Great Gable and Lingmell right there, lacking only Wastwater itself. We weren’t to get more than the most fleeting glimpse of the lake all day. In fact, we turned our backs on such grandeur, and headed out of Wasdale towards Gosforth. It was muddy underfoot. There was a bit of a stiff slope at one point, but mostly it was easy going, and very pleasant on a day that warmed up nicely (there were a couple of brief snow flurries but it was never cold enough for gloves.)

And then, since it was Easter Day, there were Pace Eggs at the lunch stop.

Greendale to Gosforth

I haven’t rolled Pace Eggs since I was very little and I thought the practice was extinct, but no, it thrives in these parts. My egg survived until the third round of rolling before it broke.

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4 Responses to “A walk around Nether Wasdale”

  1. gingergeoff Says:

    What on earth are pace eggs? I’ve never come across them… Is it some version of the Gloucestershire cheese rolling ritual?

  2. enitharmon Says:

    Geoff, pace eggs are decorated eggs – traditionally coloured with natural things particularly onion skins but also cochineal, red cabbage and so on. The rolling isn’t like cheeses down a hill, it’s like a cross between marbles and conkers. You stand in a circle and roll your eggs into the centre, and if your egg doesn’t crack then it goes forward to the next round until one uncracked egg remains. Then you eat the eggs.

  3. gingergeoff Says:

    Sounds like you could spend forever decorating your egg only to have it knocked out in the first round if you wern’t careful!

    I had some kind of weird vision of you rolling a decorated egg down Wasdale and the whole of the rambling party chasing it…

    Good to see you enjoyed your walk, I love the photo of the screes on Flickr. Wasdale and Wastwater are my favorite places in the Lakes. We used to stay in a cottage in Santon Bridge when we went up there, the pub was excellent. It was in the Santon Bridge Inn that I had my first pint of real ale – Sneck Lifter I beleive!

  4. enitharmon Says:

    By Jennings of Cockermouth! Although the pub at Santon Bridge is famous for its Biggest Liar competition – so they may have been pulling your leg! 😉


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