Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Hassness Gill (wet, slippy and full of joy)

I was down south for a change this weekend to see some friends for outdoor shenanigans. I picked up Elaina on Friday afternoon and we made our way to Buttermere via Marks&Sparks for food, Oddbins for Booze and Cotswold's to fondle some shiny new gear and replenish supplies of energy gels/bars and nuun. We arrived in the evening to a cooked meal courtesy of Cath, whisky was drunk and plans made for the next day.

With the fun and games directly on our doorstep I had a nice lie in and a leisurely breakfast, the only alpine thing about our start this time was the muesli we ate.

We made our way up a pleasantly wooded track passing albino slugs and foxglove following Hassnesshow beck until the gradient steepened.

It wasn't long before things got 'interesting' and we started to need hands to steady ourselves. The first obstacle was a gap under a large boulder you had to get through. It was tighter than it looks and was the source of much amusement whilst watching others negotiate it.

We made our way up the Gill spotting each other over the more technical obstacles and waterfalls. The rope came out occasionally for some the trickier parts that could result in a larger fall if a slip occurred. I was enjoying this and realised about halfway up that I was almost stress free in comparison to some of the more airy scrambles on Skye a few weeks ago.

When I say stress, I don't mean that I didn't enjoy Skye. Its just that here I found that for the most part I had a certain fluidity of movement that I was enjoying rather than thinking carefully about every hand/foot placement. It felt more natural, almost like walking in fact. I'd like to put this down to an improvement in technical ability but I suspect it had rather more to do with the fact I was enjoying being out with a few mates and that being in the enclosed world of the gill removes most of the exposure.

Using the tried and tested arse thrutching method. When are Haglofs or Montane going to put some sticky rubber inserts on the seat of my pants?

One of the things I liked about being in the Gill was that we were protected from a lot of the weather. It was very green, lush and pleasant in there with all the water, even when it surprised you and ran down your sleeve! An experience that shocks every time! The views looking out once we had gained some height were a delight too.

When we reached the wee spring at the top I must admit I was a little sad as it meant no more scrambling that day unless you count the horrible descent path coming off of Robinson.

I had a really fun weekend away with some great company and a nice easy day scrambling that I doubt I'll forget. I'm even grinning now as I write this!


  1. nice one mate !
    Just goes to prove that even Englanshire has some fun spots !

  2. Aye, it definitely does and we even had it all to ourselves the whole day!

  3. "the only alpine thing about our start this time was the muesli we ate"

    "Using the tried and tested arse thrutching method"

    Great stuff. Made me chuckle. Wish all my work days started so well.

  4. Hi Sandy. This takes me back. Years ago I went camping in Seathwaite. We walked the hills around and camped under Sourmilk Gill. One day the person I was camping with felt poorly so I went off on my own and clambered up the Gill, (we were camped just under it on a farm). I was so hot when I got to the pool that I stripped off to my undies (there was no-one in sight) and bathed in the pool. Bliss. The view was incredible, I will always remember it.

  5. Ach, I spend too much time driving through the Lakes in a hurry. That looks like a cracking spot.


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