Monday 11 February 2013


This was a trip like no other. Mike and I had agreed upon a few days camping at Duncan Syke above Dentdale. The idea was for a few days of gentle pottering and not really doing much. Being a fixed camp, extra goodies where being packed in, plus more tea, coffee and drinking chocolate. The one slight problem I faced was that as yet I could not get boots on. My Inov8's where hardly winter footwear but they would suffice.
On the Thursday Mike met me off the train at Kirkby Stephen. The previous weekend I had been slightly ill. A   wee bit of flu but by mid week I felt fine. There was a sense of eager anticipation. After around three months of confinement due to surgery and such, I was keen to be out and on the hill. A couple cups of tea and a bit to eat in Kirkby and we headed off to Ribblehead.
Time was getting on as we headed up and we decided to camp before the light went totally. To be honest I was rather pleased that I had managed to haul a heavy pack up the hill without too much difficulty.
Late that night I woke feeling nauseous. Worse still my stomach was churning. Anyone who has winter camped knows of the need to snuggle down deep in the sleeping bag when conditions are freezing and everything is icy. Trying to get out of the sleeping bag and then the tent in the dark was a nightmare. Throughout the night I had constant and violent diarrhea. Not willing to risk getting back in the sleeping bag, it was draped around me, quilt like. By morning I was cold, shivering and generally feeling grim. For breakfast I tried a weak cup of tea and a dry bread roll. Possibly that worsened the situation.  Also I took two Imodeam which had been in the first aid kit. It was a slow plod over to our intended camp spot and unfortunately I was caught short yet again. If anything the situation worsened through Friday. By then I was constantly passing fluids. Another weak cup of tea early afternoon did nothing to help.
By Saturday morning it was obvious I could not survive another night. By now I was badly dehydrated, weakened and not willing to risk taking anything more jn the way of food and drink..Mike in the meantime had picked up a weather forecast indicating bad weather on the Sunday. Thus by mutual agreement it was time to bail out. It was not until I started to pack up that I realised how far gone I was gone.  There was difficulty coordinating anything, I felt faint faint and unable to focus. Struggling to put the rucksack on I promptly keeled over. The first of a few falls. Mike valiantly took my sack for the first mile or so. Clearly I can remember him saying something about the retreat form Moscow! He also coaxed and cajoled me as I struggled along. Things where very close to needing to call the rescue team. A couple of tablets from a woman heading up, certainly helped stabilize things a bit. Mike saw me safely deposited at the hostel in Kirkby and head home over the A66. A few hellish days.