The 8-mile distance of this leg disguises its challenges, illustrated by our taking 7.5 hours to complete it. It started with rain but fortunately that soon cleared up and intermittent blue sky brightened our ascent out of the Borrowdale valley. The recent rain swelled the rivers and filled the waterfalls. Bridges were rare so we crossed many rivers by various forms of rock-hopping and wading. While we appeared to be making good progress towards the top, the volume of water coming over the waterfalls made me suspicious that we had much further to go. Our pleasant hike up the valley suddenly became a lot more serious when we realized we had to hike up a literal waterfall under Lining Crag. The team coped remarkably well, rewarded with a flyover by some RAF jets and lunch. The next challenge was navigating the peat bog at the top of Greenup Edge before starting our descent towards Grasmere.
Here we were faced with the choice of the high route or the low route. Samuel and Bailey took the high route which followed the ridge to Helm Crag and a steep descent into Grasmere. The rest of us took the low route down the valley. While the rivers and waterfalls were beautiful, the path was rocky and the multitude of river crossings got old, and made our bones and muscles feel very old! It seemed to go on forever, but the rough path finally changed to track and then road and finally smooth footpath that took us right to our hotel for the night. Just as we arrived, Samuel and Bailey arrived from the next road over having completed their high route.
Today was very tough which was accentuated by the hardness of the previous day. The weather was kind but the rocky path was not. At least we have a day off in Grasmere tomorrow. The focus will be on recovery and maybe some gingerbread! With a few falls today and bruised Achilles, we are hopeful that the rest will invigorate us for the last two legs in the Lakes (to Patterdale and Shap).
Make sure you check out our 1-minute Relive video which summarizes the day! https://www.relive.cc/view/vMq5E5dPm8q
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