After a busy Christmas and New Year catching up with family and friends we set off to do what we love…hiking up mountains…the destination this time was Borrowdale in the Lake District. We chose the local YHA for its central location and having its own bar was a winner!
Again, we were out to gain more experience and accumulate mountain days for our Mountain Leader qualification. Sometimes it helps by taking people out and guiding them along a route we have chosen, once again Stuart’s parents were willing volunteers! This gave Stuart’s mum her first chance to experience a hostel! She enjoyed it but we aren’t sure how quick she will return to one!
This time of year nobody can guarantee the weather and the day we had set aside to walk with them was awful! Heavy drizzle, 30MPH winds and very poor visibility, roughly about 20-30 metres! But we are not ones to be beaten easily, as our Scotland escapades have proved, so off we ventured out onto Dale Head. Battling the icy wind and rain we powered through a five hour round trip back at the hostel for a welcomed hot chocolate. A solid effort from Team Rodgers! In true English fashion, the next two days were glorious sunshine, excellent visibility and a crisp frost underfoot, just in time for our fellow trainees Sam and Alice to join us.
We spent the sunny days picking out some awesome scrambling routes. The rocky terrain of Green Gable, Great Gable, Kirk Fell and Glaramara offered some exciting moments and the scree slopes left all of us with dusty bottoms! On our final day we had yet another volunteer, this time Stuart’s brother-in-law, Tom. The weather, seemingly knowing of our new arrival, was horrendous! Heavy rain, 40+MPH winds and heavy fog with very poor visibility! We tried not to let the weather get the better of us, so we took off and managed to summit Fleetwith Pike. But when we are getting blown down the hill instead of walking down we knew it was not safe! So with a quick re-route and we dropped down as low as we could and enjoyed a more pleasant walk around Buttermere Lake.
Most people would probably choose to relax, after a week like that but not us! For our final week before we returned to Devon, we chose a slightly different adventure….. #projectvanconversion! Our Toyota Hiace, ex mechanics van, was getting a makeover!
After a lot of research and a lot of ordering on faithful Amazon we ripped out all of the panelling from the van and set about insulating it and trying to make it as warm as possible. Using foil lined Thermawrap and loft insulation, we quickly turned the van into a spaceship! The next step was carpeting all the panels ready to be screwed back on and attempting to cover all the bare metal in the van to avoid condensation. Sounds simple… it was not! But after a few arguments, swearing and a lot of coffee breaks we have managed it! We now have a cosy warm van all that’s left is to try our hand at joinery…. to make our seats/bed/storage units! Wish us luck!
The van looks great so far and we are very proud, we love doing things ourselves and learning new skills, to us that is part of our adventure. It’s amazing what you can do if you just try!
In the coming months we will be releasing more information about our events that will take place once we finish here in Devon. So stay tuned!