Wastwater and Ennerdale – August 2021

Due to holiday commitments it was a small, select group of hardened paddlers that made their way to Wasdale Campsite on the Friday to set up camp. Weather forecast, atrocious.

Saturday morning washed in with no let up from the rain and we kitted up and got on the water already soaked through, with the clouds low on the surrounding mountains and a steady wind blowing in our faces. Pretty dismal.

As soon as we started paddling the sky started to clear, the rain stopped and the clouds slowly started to lift. Surreal and the drama of the mountains and the scree slopes slowly unveiling from the clouds. Amazing. You had to be there.

The initial strategy was to paddle into the wind up the lake and then have it help us back down when we were more tired. Ha! As soon as we reached the one end and turned back down the wind shifted into our faces again.

Half way back down the lake and just starting to look for somewhere to land and have lunch we spotted a small group of 3 walkers who seemed to be in trouble on the scree slopes. On shouting up to them it transpired that a lone walker had fallen and cut her head open and was bleeding copiously. It was inspiring to watch as our trained first aiders and senior coaches moved into action. Firstly climbing ashore to assess the situation then safely belaying the lady down to the water where we had rafted together a pair of canoes in which to transport her safely to the other side of the lake where an ambulance could access the lake shore and take over her care. It turned out that when she had initially seen us paddling up she was praying that we would come to her aid as otherwise she had been considering swimming across the lake.

Drama over we ate a late lunch and completed our circumnavigation of the lake. At no point in the whole paddle did the wind ever get behind us. So pleasantly weary we showered and headed to the Wasdale Inn for a well deserved tea, a few drinks and introduced Mark C TO Pass The Pigs. By now the rain had started again in earnest but we still managed a soggy fir pit and a few drinks under the awning.

Sunday dawned dry and cloudy and have made breakfast, broken camp we all headed off to Ennerdale to meet up with Steve & Conor T who had come up for a days paddle. After faffing around finding suitable parking and a decent yomp to the waters edge we finally got on the water.

What a lovely lake to paddle. Quiet, remote, not as dramatic as Wast Water but startlingly beautiful all the same. The weather was kind and after a pack lunch, a play in a river estuary we made our weary way back to the car park and headed home. Another cracking weekend in the Lake District.