Last Friday night, with good weather being heralded for the first time this year there was an evening of firsts!
Regular readers will by now be tired of my "twining" (forgive the attempt at a bit of local dialect) about being too busy to get out in the fells or the weather being too poor. Well to underline the point my first opportunity of 2014 arose on Friday evening! Leaving Wigton at 7:30 I took the short drive via the A595 & A591 to Bewaldeth and set off up Binsey at about 7:50. Leaving the car its digital thermometer was oscillating between 2-3 degC
Now Binsey is far from the best of Wainwright's 214 with probably its only real claim to fame being that it is the most northern of them. Its a bit of a grassy hill really. However, due to its very local position I've visited its summit more times than I can remember: in a heat wave; in the snow; with the dog; with more school groups than I can recall; I've taken communion on the summit; it was George's first Wainwright....... But I've never been up there in the dark, until last Friday.
It was a bright moonlit night and although fully equipped with head torch, map & compass none of them were used for more than a few minutes as natural light and familiarity with the terrain made life straightforward. Along the muddy track; reach the intake wall; diagonal traverse to the disused gravel pit; find West Crags; head for the summit mound.
The summit of Binsey is quite well decorated for such an insignificant summit; carins, shelter, trig point. The views are tremendous on a clear day: The Solway & South West Scotland; Skiddaw & the Northern Fells and South West into the Lake District proper. Even in the dark it was impressive with the lights of Wigton; Anthorn Masts; and numerous smaller Cumbrian settlements.
I attempted some time lapse photography with the GoPro camera but it didn't turn out well - so not many pictures, to compound matters my phone battery ran out!
However, it didn't take long to cook a "Mountain House" potato, ham & eggs meal - it was distinctly average(!) before setting off back down again, the whole venture took only about two hours (not quite matching my best fell running time for this route of just 41 minutes, I know its not great but at least its my record). Anyway, there was still time at the end of the night to call back via Wigton for a curry in Lazeez (good!) & a beer in "The Vic" - also both firsts.