Seeing friends again and making plans.
The sunshine has arrived (and some epic thunderstorms too) and the long awaited lighter nights, finally. Everyone has a sense of freedom again and the mood of the nation suddenly has lifted, if a little cautiously. This past couple of months we have been pretty busy and although we have not had a video uploaded (and thank you to everyone who got in touch to check in on us) we are very much out and about, here's an update of all the recent happenings and future plans.
Derwent Edge Herd Meet
Firstly, a massive thank you to all who joined us on The Herd Walk at Derwent Edge, I know we always say this, but it really was a great day full of belly laughs and great people and some epic scenery. The Herd meet ups are definitely back in action since the lifting of some restrictions and its great to be able to meet up with you guys again and make plans for future walks. The Kinder Scout walk we have planned for August quickly booked up and we have a few on the waiting list. We are hoping to release the places on waiting list if we remain safe to do so nearer the time.
It was a busy June for us personally, both our boys had birthdays this month so we always direct our full attention to spending time with them and using the weekends to celebrate their day. We also had some weekends away, going in opposite directions with Sam in Wales taking in some mountain hiking and Sue taking in the big city and heading to London for partner Allan's birthday. Any time we get chance to spend some outdoors with our kids is a bonus, as they get older its such a sacred time and we love that we get to share a love of the outdoors with them. (Pictured with Sam is Jacob and Holly, Tom is a water baby like his mum!)
The Secret Bothy
We met up in our beloved Peak District and went in search of the secret Peak District Bothy (watch our Bothy video here). We had attempted this at Christmas, but on a miserable, foggy and cold day we gave up on finding it, our second attempt in May proved more rewarding. This little secret gem in the Peaks is a rare find and something most people keep to themselves, once visited you will also feel like being a little protective. After recent footage shown of vandalism, littering and fire damage to our countryside up and down the country, we decided to not promote the whereabouts of this little treasure. If it helps to preserve these rare, wild spaces in the Peaks then we can at least try to do our bit.
Midweek walks are always welcome after the dark nights of winter have finally lifted. The peace you find on the usually busy trails are a treat for those who can escape for an after work bimble. We have utilised these walks to bag a few trigs, ticking them off the list, and also a perfect time to do a recce of upcoming group walks we have planned, working out the best routes.
The midweek evening walks are a time to really take in the quiet and peaceful landscape and apart from the local wildlife that take advantage of the evening calm we usually get these idylic spots to ourselves. No filming for our channel usually takes place, and devices stay mostly on mute. We have reunited with our little band of mid week wanderers a few times and its been great to catch up with the gang. Eating our tea in the hills, putting the world to right and taking in some breath taking sunsets is probably our most favourite time spent in the Peak District.
Sausage and Cider festival cancelled, detour to The Lakes....
A little relieved to be honest that the inevitable news came that the Derby Sausage & Cider Festival would now be postponed due to the delay in the full restrictions being lifted, even though we both are fully vaccinated (yay!), the thought of spending time in a huge crowd didn't have the same appeal this time around. Time for a plan B, the Lakes were calling and we must go.
We had been waiting what seemed like forever to return to the Lake District and we were not disappointed. As per the norm, we arrived with grand plans of tackling Blencathra, we picked a site that was directly below this majestic mountain and we pitched up in its shadow on the Friday night.
As is tradition and the true Backpacks And Bruises way, we start the weekend with a few drinks, which turned into a full on celebration (Sam's divorce was through, it needed celebrating). After a stern telling off from a millenial at 1.30am for being too noisy! we decided to call it a night, although we are amazed we didn't decide to climb it then and there, because we were convinced after copious amounts of vodka that we indeed could move mountains, not only climb them!
So. Did we climb Blencathra? erm no. We decided quickly the next day, that now was not the time and place for heroics, we shall go shopping instead, after we find a full english and Sue takes three coffees with immediate effect.
We recovered enough to make it onto the hills after a late start, slowly summiting Cat Bells in the early afternoon. Beautiful panoramic views, we were pleased we had dragged ourselves up to tick at least one Wainwright this trip (even with a little help from a ferry trip, and a shameless bus ride back into Keswick. The weekend was topped with Sunday on Derwent Water, exploring the islands and wild swimming and soaking in the mountain views from the Lake. It was a relaxed weekend that we realised we were ready for, a much needed timeout to recharge. Perfect.
The Lakes certainly has a pull for us, and our plans to explore Cumbria more can now resume (we shall not be taking the Vodka next time though) Sue returned with her son the following week and has another trip planned in a couple of weeks. But as a duo we have some unfinished (not the Vodka, that thankfully got finished) business at camp Blencathra! Watch this space.
Although we are far from over in the pandemic there is a great sense that people are finally making plans again, current travel restrictions abroad make booking the remotest of campsite difficult but still, we managed to get on a site in Wales on a hot July weekend where we joined Tony and his Mountain A Month Group and find ourselves in the Snowdonian Mountains once more. We were so excited to be led by Tony, and accompanied by some of our friends from the herd, The plan was we would take a 7.2 mile hike from Nant peris up to Elidir Fawr (923m) then over to Foel Goch (831m) and Y Garn (947m). The soaring temperatures was brutal on the climb up to Elider Fawr and we were both feeling not only the heat, but the pressure to keep up with the crowd, it wasn't long before we ditched the group and did our own thing, a decision we have not regretted, we know our pace, and to spend the day trying to catch up in extreme weather was not a safe option for us, and to be honest not that much fun. We are used to our typical welsh climate of cloudy with a chance of hail, with gusts of winds liable to throw you off a Mountain, and we'll stick with what we know thank you!
The previous night we had been wild swimming at the beautiful Llyn Idwal, Sam had slipped at the waters edge and gained some nasty injuries, she was putting on a brave face but it wasn't helping her on the climb, and for me the heat, and a ridiculously heavy pack was just way too much. We don't know why the Welsh Mountains wants us dead, but it throws something different at us every time.
We got to spend some time with friends on a beautiful camp at the foot of Tryfan at campsite Gwern Gof Uchaf, and we swam in the crystal clear waters looking up towards the Devils Kitchen, we came away happy and determined to tackle Elider Fawr on our own terms. Come on you Welsh Mountains try harder next time, we will not be beaten.
Its all in the planning! - Things we have coming up!
This month we have been planning for a trip next Year. The West Highland Way has been on our radar for the last couple of Years, the maps and guidebook have arrived and plans are in the making. We have yet to set the date, but its definitely a go! we have yet to experience Scotland properly and we think this will be a great introduction to what looks like an amazing first trip. The preparation and training has begun, the packs are getting heavier and the miles are getting longer, even the midges in the Peaks are doing there bit to help us climatise.
Closer to home, we have the Edale Skyline walk on our agenda as well as the nine peaks challenge, all on our doorstep but never given much thought. After being forced to stay away from our playground on and off for a year, you start to appreciate the green space on our doorstep so much more. We can hardly be ambassadors for the Peak District (self titled obviously) if we don't at least try to make a little more effort.
The Hairy Herd Fest!
Its been talked about and pondered over for the past couple of summers, the idea of a weekend of camping and walks and a gathering of people is just our kind of weekend. With the help of Grizzly D Outdoors some background plotting is happening. Grab your tent and festival flags, this summer could be the beginning of something exciting to add to the annual calendar. Save the dates 20th -22nd August 2021 and look out for announcements across our social media platforms. eek!
In safe hands?
Something else we are looking forward to albeit a little later in the Year, we are both booked onto an outdoors first aid course with Will4Adventure, over a two day period we shall cover the basic essentials of rescue and emergency care. It looks to be a really interesting course with lots of hands on practical experience and we hope to share with you how we get on. I mean could you not be in safer hands than us two?
Where's the wildcamps?
The wild camps are a touchy subject in the Peaks at the moment, with reports of wild campers being confronted by land owners and land managers so we have laid low on that front so far this Year. We hope to do some camps before the summer is out, once we spot a remote location and we wont cause any anxiety to anyone. Unfortunately not everyone is educated in the 'leave no trace' ethos and we don't blame landowners fighting back against some sad individuals who have dragged us down with them, so lets hope we can claim back our beautiful countryside from those who don't respect it, and feel no need to nurture it as we do.
Ok, so we think its safe to say we have not disappeared, although there hasn't been much activity on YouTube we are still out there enjoying every ounce of the outdoors. The thing is, we want to do everything, like yesterday, and so when things don't go to plan (like a searing hot Mountain climb) it would be easy to get disheartened, but together we just make a plan to return another time, and it then becomes a mission.
The Mountains are not going to suddenly disappear and there is always a plan B in our heads. We shall return to the Youtube as soon as we have some decent content, we are very proud of our channel and are careful what we upload, we only share the vids if we know it will bring a smile and shows our surroundings to the best of our capabilities.
We are always thankful for your comments on any of our platforms and hope this post gives you an insight as to what we have been doing and what we have planned for the rest of this year.
So yeah you've not got rid of us that easily.
Sam & Sue
P.s Leave us your comments below, what do you reckon to our future plans? Is there anything you think we need to see or get involved in? Tell us how your summer is going? We'd love to hear from you.