Into the Dark

Running a 'Developing Night Navigation Skills' workshop for the Mountain Training Association this evening. I had errands to run in Kendal on my way through - but was hoping to arrive in Langdale in time for sunset - but at this time of the year the sun drops behind the mountains really fast - I probably only missed it by ten minutes. But I like the feel that this shot gives, it represents the evening really well.

I was particularly pleased to have 4 of the previous 'beginners' from the October workshop return - especially as they'd worked through the 'homework' I'd set and we're visibly more confident. Less impressive were the 5 people who didn't turn up. The workshop was a 'sellout' (there's no charge to participants) so effectively they just blocked others from attending. 2 bothered to call and say they'd had long days at work (doesn't bode well for 'toughing it out'), 3 didn't get in touch at all.

The remaining 8 of us made our way from easy to increasingly difficult points along Mickledore. Apart from the group the two highlights of the evening were;
The 3 Red deer we startled, they're increasingly common in the Lakes but I've never seen them in the tourist trap of Langdale before - the joy of being out when few others are.
The stars. At a little confluence on the flanks of Pike of Stickle we sat a while, torches off, and simply stared. The high mountains shaded us from any light pollution and the heavens illuminated took our breath away.

The downside of the evening was the discovery that the Stickle Barn Tavern now doesn't open in the evenings mid-week. Shame on you National Trust. A hugely successful iconic walkers pub taken out of private ownership and steadily ruined. Fortunately the New Dungeon Ghyll's walkers bar gave us a warm welcome by the fire and free (left over) sticky toffee pudding :)

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