It would appear that me, my lovely wife and our silly pointer have completed a trilogy of Lake District Lakes over the Christmas and New Year period. First up was Ullswater (read about it here), then we walked Haweswater (read about it here) and today we ran around Wast Water.
Wast Water is the deepest lake in England and was formed during the last ice age. It is also the scene of a gruesome murder. An airline pilot murdered his wife, drove from Surrey to Wast Water and dumped her body in the lake. A search of the lake 7 years later by divers for a different missing person revealed her body, which hadn’t decomposed due to the cold. Her husband initially denied murder, but eventually confessed and was sentenced to four years for manslaughter. FOUR YEARS! How the hell did he only get four years for murder!
My beautiful wife was in total charge of our little adventure, with me not having a clue where we were going until we were almost there. There was a slight change of plan when Helen decided that we should park the car not in the village of Wasdale Head but at the lower end near Nether Wasdale, saving us the drive to the end of the road.
We were both wearing new trail shoes so we were taking it nice and steady, stopping to adjust laces a couple of times. We were running anti-clockwise, with the trail section first before heading back on the road. This turned out to be a good idea for a couple of reasons. It rained quite hard on the way back, and because after a couple of miles of gentle trail running we came to the first of many screes that we had to clamber over.
The photo above doesn’t look too bad, but further on the rocks were much bigger and very slippery, and it probably took us half an hour to cross about 500m of scree. Nelly found it particularly difficult and was as happy as a pointer when we were safely back on the trail. Later, when we were home and had uploaded our runs to Strava, one of Helen’s friends asked if we had crossed the ‘screes of doom’, which is the most apt description ever.
We chatted to a couple of guys walking their dog in the other direction, letting them know how tough both us and Nelly had found it. I don’t think they were planning on walking the whole way round anyway.
Soon we were at the head of the lake where one footpath headed off up Scafell Pike. Not today. Obligatory selfie before starting the homeward leg.
Once on the road our pace quickened and we were amazed to see how short the scree sections appeared to be from the other bank, especially seeing how much we had struggled.
We followed another footpath that ran alongside the River Irt, which Nelly made the most of. She’s always on the lead when we run on a road or near sheep. She’s not interested in chasing sheep, but a farmer doesn’t know that.
One small section on the road again before we made it back to our car. Just over ten miles in total. Another brilliant little adventure, and all of it was ‘running somewhere new’, which isn’t a resolution, more a motto. We will be back there in the summer to run over the tops, which wasn’t really an option for us on a wet and foggy January.
A big thank you to my amazing wife, Helen, for organising today, and tomorrow I’m back to work.