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Written by Alex Atkinson of


I have recently purchased a few new bits of gear for the coming winter months. Firstly the PHD Minimus down jacket, from PHD Mountain Software. The jacket impressed me from the off, very light weight, packs down well and sure does keep you warm. The rating of the Minimus goes down to -5.


The second bit of kit is the Rab Ascent 900 down sleeping bag. After freezing my arse off on Eel Crag in October, I knew it was time to upgrade my down bag to a winter bag, with a better comfort rating. The Ascent 900 has a -11 comfort rating.


The route I took had been planned in the Lake District for some time, it was only after seeing Terrybnd’s camp on Place Fell that the route was brought forward. I kept franticly checking the mountain weather forecast and local forecast’s throughout the week, it looked well so alls I had to do was pack the gear and wait for the weekend.


The weekend soon arrived. I set off for Cumbria from Preston at 8:30am, arriving at Hartsop nr Patterdale just after 10:00am. I grabbed the rucksack out of the boot, tied up the laces of my boots and off I went. The weather to start wasn’t the best, the nearby hills were covered in low cloud. My ascent took me from Hartsop to Hayeswater, from Hayeswater I ascended up to Rest Dodd (696m). During the ascent up to Rest Dodd, I saw four red deer. I wasn’t quick enough to get take my camera lens off, in a matter of moments they had disappeared. After a quick break on Rest Dodd, I made my way back east to my second Wainwright of the day, Brock Crags. As I reached Brock Crags (561m) the views started to appear, looking to Angle Tarn.


I descended Brock Crags to Angle Tarn itself, where in the future I will more than likely do a wild camp. From the tarn, I made my way up to Angletarn Pikes (567m). The views looking east to the Helvellyn range was glorious, I was hoping the views would remain as I reached Place Fell. The descent took me to Boredale

Hause, where one last climb awaited me up to Place Fell. It was hard going,

due to the heavy load on my back. Carrying the extra winter gear didn’t

help, but it would be well worth the effort.


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