Great Door, Yewbarrow (2nd Sept, 9.10am – day 8)
I left Wasdale Head in grey but dry and tolerable weather. As far as Dropping Crag the way was steep but unproblematic. Then everything changed. The cloud came down and the rain started, making the rocks slippery, and the climb just got steeper and harder. It was an unpleasant 90 minutes to say the least. But there was this one dramatic moment, as this huge crack opened up in the world ahead, mist rising up through it like something out of Tolkein. For a moment I did not have to worry about getting down again and could just wonder at the sublime nature of it all. Did it make the horizontal hail on the summit worthwhile? That’s an open question.
Frog on the Dore Head scree-run (1st Sept, 5.45pm – day 7)
Halfway down the torrent of scree which drops a thousand feet from Dore Head to Wasdale, descending by a mixture of precarious clambering and simply sliding down on my butt, this frog hops across the ‘path’ and just sits there, waiting for me to do something. Whatever it was doing up there, only it knew for sure. Perhaps it spends its days hopping up a couple of hundred feet then climbing on a little flat piece of rock and schussing down to the bottom again when no one is watching.