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Trip Report: Keswick Derwent Water and Catbells (9 Miles)

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All week the Met [the British weather forecast] office had rain showers forecast for the northern lake district national park, for Sunday 17th April. Grim.

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All images: Pedro Bobkat

Surprisingly after days of prayers and positive karma I awoke at 6 a.m. to sun, clear skies and frost. Things were looking up! We headed off up the motorway at 8:30 a.m., arriving at 10:30 just outside Keswick. I found a nice car park at the lake side, it was busy, very busy, a chilly westerly breeze that let you know, that despite the sunshine spring was still... springing.

The walk is nine moderate miles around the Derwent, the latter half of the circuit gaining some height to Catbells, 1,480 feet, feeble, really, in terms of altitude but it gives the walker outstanding views, a 360-degree panorama of the Borrowdale.

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It was busy with walkers of all ages around the shore line it was really nice just amble along in my new Oboz Traverse mid bdry boots, this was their first full multi mile test with a day pack. 

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It was apparent that after the recent winter and post Christmas flooding just how high the waters had reached; the frequent jetties for the boating fraternity were damaged and signed unsafe. 

By the time we reached Skelgill Bank it was time to read the map in detail and follow the paths across the boggy terrain to gain access to the main track leading up hill to Catbells. 

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Half way up we spotted buzzards circling on the thermals, a good place to take 15 minutes to refuel, and bask in he lovely sunshine, and soak up the stunning views. Fifteen minutes turned into a good 30+—this was just too nice a day!!!! Yay

By the time we started back out on the final climb to Catbells summit the clouds rolled in. With the sun gone, you could feel the bitter sweet chill in that westerly breeze, time for thin gloves and head wear, it was chilly enough to give me that 'Brain freeze' kind of head achy feeling. 

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The Summit didn't disappoint, although it was very busy the views are stunning.

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The descent is steep, eroded, and rocky, this is where I noticed that Traverse mid boots doing a superb job, awesome traction from rock to tundra. I found my 50-year-old self running and gliding down like a fell runner, confident in the boots’ fit, even on my hi-arch, wide forefoot hobbit feet.

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The trail gave way to tarmack then footpaths back to Keswick. I succumbed to a lovely cafe and Tea, the beverage of champions, hot strong dash of milk and two sugars, always better in a proper Tea pot. 

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Back at the car both Chris Plod and I remarked that it had been a superb day out in some glorious countryside in glorious weather. 

I'd like to thank the Met office for getting the weather totally wrong, thank you. 

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