A spare day with an excellent weather forecast made me look towards the Lake District for a mountain or two that I hadn't yet done, and I noticed a couple of Wainwrights that I had walked past on numerous occasions but never climbed. It was time to rectify this situation and the two Wainwrights in question were Birkhouse Moor and Catstye Cam.
A quick look at the map and TPE and I could see that the sun would be rising over Ullswater with a potential decent shot from the summit of Birkhouse Moor at sunrise. However with sunrise at 5.00am it would mean a very early start.
At 11.30pm the previous evening I walked past a bemused wife on her way to bed, got my kit together and drove overnight to Glenridding where I set off walking at 3.00am. Using Naismiths rule I calculated it would take me an hour and twenty minutes, in fact I was only 2 minutes out with my planning, and it was also good to practise some night navigation.
I arrived at the summit of Birkhouse Moor with some lovely colours in the sky, and as the sun came up I managed to get some keepers. The sound of the dawn chorus which included Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Cuckoo, Raven and Red Grouse was truly melodic and I wouldn't have been anywhere else. MISSION 1 - SUNRISE SHOT FROM SUMMIT OF BIRKHOUSE MOOR - COMPLETED.
After the colour had gone from the sky, I put the big lens on and headed off towards Red Tarn and up Catstye Cam stopping to grab a few photos of mountain birds on the way, but for whatever reason the images were out of focus to start with but eventually I realised and managed to get a couple of keepers of Meadow Pipit and Wheatear. MISSION 2 - CAPTURE SOME DECENT WILDLIFE SHOTS - COMPLETED.
Eventually after lots of stops I arrived at the summit of Catstye Cam with spectacular views in all directions. MISSION 3 - SUMMIT 2 NEW WAINWRIGHTS - COMPLETED.
After a decent stop to admire the vistas I headed down the steep slope to Brown Cove where I followed Glenridding Beck back to the car.
In all a truly stunning morning out, and not another soul in sight. Another 2 Wainwrights in the bag, managed to capture some semi decent images and even managed to get some night navigation in as well. Highly recommended.