Why would anyone want to camp in the clouds?
The view is hidden, and the rain spits in your face, sticking your hair to your chin and dribbling down your sleeve as you cook your questionable dinner. Not to mention your tent shuddering through the night whilst you’re dozing in slight discomfort, having hiked up and defeated a rocky mountain.
The answer is simple: It’s adventurous, and it makes you appreciate what little space you occupy on this planet. The troubles or decisions you have, at least for a moment or two, are put into perspective in the wild.
We had built up a majestic image of Scafell Pike to be a grueling task with enormous panoramic views to reward your summit. It’s the highest peak in England, sitting sturdy at 978 m (3209 feet). This was the first time we wild camped here, but it would definitely not be our last.
Driving over for an evening hike, we had the best weather we could hope for on short notice. The skies were almost clear, and a slight breeze increased with our ascent and kept our soggy sweating to a minimum. We parked the the van at Wasdale Head, and it took us merely three hours to reach our pitch point at the summit. We quickly sprung our tent to life as the clouds covered our tracks, and drizzle set in for the many hours we had ahead of us.
The buffeting weather did not leave us in peace for long, and soon we were pummeled, lying cocooned in what felt like a sail threatening to snatch the wind and fling us into the surrounding fells. Strangely enough it was one of our best night’s sleep in the wilderness.
Zipping reluctantly out of our sleeping bags at 6 am, we found the mountains still shrouded in thick grey vapour. Not the panoramic sights we hoped for but surprisingly just as special.
Sorting our backpacks in record time, we hit the trail and followed the map to summit Lingmell before returning to the luxury of our van.
It didn’t feel like we were 3 hours from civilisation; it felt more like 3 days. Escaping the endlessly distracting Internet and constant work calls is healthy, and the added feeling of isolation was even more liberating. We cannot recommend it enough!
You don’t have to go fast or far to escape. Just go outdoors and adapt to the pace of nature. She will give you the patience to return fresh and ready to meet your next hurdle.