Loadpot Hill

Published 6 September 2017

Loadpot Hill, seen from the path from Bonscale Pike

Loadpot Hill - a stunning looking fell and no mistake

For the first of three days spent in the Patterdale area, I set off from Pooley Bridge and headed to the Far Eastern fells for a walk that would take in four fells around Loadpot Hill and Wether Hill. After starting with Arthur’s Pike, and then visiting Bonscale Pike, it was time to take in the most pottiest fell of the four.

“It’s like rain on your wedding day.
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid.”

Alanis Morrisette there with her “Ironic” song.

“It’s meeting the man of my dreams,
And then meeting his beautiful wife,
And isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?”

We all know it. There’s one problem. Pretty much nothing she mentions in the song can, by most definitions, be described as irony.

Let’s take a look at what the Oxford Dictionaries describe irony as:

The expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

Oxford Dictionaries Online

Now in what context does having rain on your wedding day fit that description? There’s not even a hint of irony there. At best, it’s just bad luck.

Okay, okay, I know what you’re thinking. Andrew, let it go. It’s been 21 years since that song was released. 21 years since it got to number 11 in the UK charts. Really. It’s time Andrew, it really is time, to move on. Let it go. Think about something else.

But how, just how, am I supposed to move on when, if Alanis was stood next to me right now, she’d be busy telling me everything I was experiencing, was ironic?

Yes, if we believe Ms Morrisette, the sheer fact that it was raining heavily on the first day of a three day walking trip that I’d booked several weeks earlier, was ironic.

No! It’s not ironic! Not in the least! Alanis! Just be quiet! This is not your game!

Hallin Fell, seen from Loadpot Hill

Hallin Fell looked much more attractive than where I was.

And it’s certainly not ironic either that if I looked down at the lower hills near Ullswater, I could see they were all rain free. There was even a hint of sun. And given that, why, oh please tell me why, was I walking as fast I could in the opposite direction? Walking towards the bitter, driving rain that was covering Loadpot Hill? No, seriously. Why?

It’s like a Sliding Doors moment (here he goes again with the topical cultural references). If I’d turned right, I would be regaling you with tales of scaling Place Fell in reasonable weather. I may even have put suncream on. But I turned right, so what you get is this:

BLOODY HELL. DOES THAT RAIN STING.

The weather had started to get worse as soon as I’d left the confines of Bonscale Fell. The wind was whipping everything up into a frenzy, and it felt like hailstones were hitting my face, not rain drops.

Still, at least my walk from Bonscale Pike was easy to do. Loadpot Hill is pretty obvious, even in the rain. A hulking lump of ground looming in the foreground. Head to me if you want to lose your sanity, it appeared to say.

A cairn on Loadpot Hill

A mystery cairn

I did just that, striding across wet grassland, until I finally met with the ridge path from nearby Arthur’s Pike. Curiously the ridge path joined up with another path coming in from the side, and a little away from that path stood a rather sizeable cairn. The path was going off in the wrong direction, but something about it made me decide to go to the cairn to see where it went. And I did. Only to find that the path abruptly ended as soon as it got to the cairn. Despite being a path to nowhere, it was a clearly a well travelled route, although what was so special about the place it went to, remained a complete mystery. All very strange indeed.

The cairn did at least provide a vantage point for seeing the trig point at Loadpot Hill’s summit, that had been hidden from the main path.

A few minutes of fighting my way through the wind and rain, and I was stood next to it. Despite the best endeavours of the elements, I’d arrived at my third Wainwright of the day. A celebration clearly was in order.

As it happened, I arrived at the top of Loadpot Hill at the same time as another walker who had been walking along the High Street path. Although he’d come from a different direction, he’d clearly battled the weather as much as I had. As we wearily met, we quietly nodded our greetings, after which he uttered three simple, yet immortal words.

“Lovely weather today.”

Now that’s irony Alanis. That is irony.

Next time, the rain gets even worse, but there’s still time for one more fell. You can see all of my photographs from my three days in Patterdale over on flickr.

Trig point on Loadpot Hill, surrounded by water

You need your wellies on to get to this trig point

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