THE weather conditions are bordering on Angry Arctic, so crossing Thunacker Knott and heading for the Langdale Pikes I take the decision to give Pike o’ Stickle a miss. The wind is howling in from some indeterminate direction and lashing me with frozen pellets of snow. I make instead for Harrison Stickle and have considerable trouble getting on the summit because of the frozen snow and sheet ice.
I cross to Pavey Ark, again with considerable difficulty, and have a brew behind some rocks out of the wind. I am joined by a raven, which appears to be particularly tame and croaks and cronks for something to eat. It is very close, about 15ft away, hopping from rock to rock. It is jet black, a real sheen to its plumage, and is a very beautiful and muscular bird.
Because ravens are a bird of Norse mythology, I decide to break up an oatmeal biscuit and toss it some bits, just in case it decides to unleash the wrath of Odin, who sends a wind (like he did for Tony Curtis, only in a helpful manner) and has me frozen to death. It hops about and gobbles them up.
I am satisfied now that my route across the mountains will be safeguarded. Then it crosses my mind that if I do stumble and crack my head on a rock, the raven will probably peck my eyes out. The ungrateful sod.