The George Starkey hut at Patterdale has got to be one of the best located huts in the Lakes with Hellvellyn and the High Street range virtually on the doorstep. The hut is well-equipped and arriving on Friday night with a forecast of 70 mph winds, heavy rain and thick mist for the whole weekend it was clear that the multifuel stove and large drying room were going to be needed.
Despite the TV behind the bar in one of the local pubs showing a looped video of Lakeland in Summer sunshine the forecast proved accurate with appalling weather on Saturday. One party nevertheless opted for the high(er) route up Grisedale Beck and over Deepdale Hause while the other explored Grisdale Beck past the Ruthwaite Lodge climbing hut up to Grisedale Tarn. The stepping stones at the outlet were just visible under water and we managed a circuit of the tarn before dropping down via Lanty’s Tarn to Glenridding. Signs of the latest flood were still very evident there but fortunately the Fellbites cafe was fully operational. On returning to the hut Julia’s homemade tea-bread was gratefully received before the traditional Gentian three course meal with the odd glass or two of beer or wine.
On Sunday the weather remained very poor and most Gentians dispersed to other parts of the Lakes or homeward while Ted practised his navigation skills by taking the steamer with a small party up to Howtown and then leading back along the shore path (‘keep the lake on the R, Ted’).
Poor weather but walking in good company with some good food at the hut saved the weekend. We even managed to find some daffodils!
Next Gentian meet: Dartmoor at Easter.