Lakes 29-31 May 2021

We spent the long weekend with Lova in the Lakes. We built a homemade kayak, tested our inflatable kayak on a lake, and did some walking and scrambling. With two cars, we managed to plan a linear trip, with different starting and finishing points.

Thirlmere Lake

Inspired by the ingenuity of "barrister Yegorov", we brought some sticks to build a kayak frame and fixed them with some Duck Tape.

We then wrapped it with several layers of cling film.

We cut a hole for the kayaker and set sail.

The kayak proved surprisingly easy to manoeuvre but there is certainly scope for improvement.

The bamboo sticks snapped and pushed through the cling film. The kayak started leaking and we didn't manage to fix it well.

But this didn't stop us from paddling not too far away from the shores. With the hindsight, we should have made the frame sturdier, and wrapped cling film more carefully. Well, we will have to do it again at some point!

The inflatable kayak was a lot of fun.

We explored all islands on the Thirlmere lake. We were not alone, there were tents on one of the islands.

Bluebells on a desert island.

A pioneer explorer.

The walk and the scramble

The black, blue and red lines show our track on the 29, 30 and 31 May, respectively.

We left the car at a lay-by and climbed a steep slope to reach a plateau. We camped by Wyth Burn.

Lova planned a fairly long walk with some scrambles.


Our camping spot and the lunch break at Stiсkle Tarn.

After a relaxing break by Stiсkle Tarn, we went up. The cliffs on the left is the South-East face of Pavey Ark.

Pike of Stickle is towering above the plateau.

Great Langdale.

Getting ready for a scramble.

Checking our position.

A scramble on the slopes of Loft Crag.

We noticed this unusal criss-cross pattern on a rock.

And here is a stripy rock.

While we were scrambling, a helicopter brought rescuers to help a crashed paraglider.

The visibility was very good. We saw lots of people on the nearby ridges.

Another scramble on Pike of Stickle.

Sonya is climbing.

We scrambled without backpaks, we hid them nearby.

Camping by a tiny tarn. Pike of Stickle is on fire in the sunset.

Great Gable is lurking behind the nearby ridge. We went to find a good spot to enjoy the sunset, and are now returning to the tents.

Day two

The Great Slab of Bow Fell behind Rossett Pike. At first sight it appears that the slab is almost vertical and can only be climbed with ropes.

But actually it is not steep at all and can be walked on, particularly in dry weather.

The wavy rocks resemble seabed.

We have not noticed this slab before, even though we have been here more than once.

We stopped for lunch at Crinkle Gill.

The walk along the gill gradually becomes a scramble.

Bad weather would not be a problem under this roof.

Climbing a waterfall.

We can follow the bulk of our trip: Pike of Stickle is on the right, then our camping spot on a ridge in the centre, then Bow Fell on the left.

Pike of Blisco.

Langdale. Yasha and Lova ran mountain marathon (OMM) here a few years ago.

We are searching for Lova's car.

Map lichen Rhizocarpon geographicum.


On the way back we stopped by Thirlmere again. The big advantage of inflatable kayak compared to the folding one is how quickly we get ready to sail. We inflated it in 7 minutes and it took us the same amount of time to deflate and pack it after paddling. And the weight is below 20 kg, very manageable. The only caveat is that it requires a long and thourough drying process back at home.

This time we recorded our track.

Amazing weather: warm and sunny. Victor and Sonya with Helvellyn in the background.

We visited the "desert island" again.

The bluebells were still there.

With two paddlers, the kayak can move at speed. We only have two paddles, it would be cumbersome (but not impossible) to have three paddlers in this kayak.

Desert island as seen from the water.

Sea kayaking

Next weekend we tested our kayak at sea. We drove to Saltwick Bay and paddled to Whitby and back.

Ready to set sail.

We did not venture too far from the seaside, just in case. Small waves are no problem for the kayak, we paddled pretty quickly.

Into the sea...

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