TWO friends who were determined to enjoy their Cumbrian trip, despite the chaos the un-forecast snow brought them, boarded a £2 open top bus to take in the sights.

35-year-old Alex Renfrew, who lives near Kendal, finally welcomed his friend, Andrew Case, 35, from Warrington, after the pair had been wanting to get together for a while.

Alex, who is a mountain leader in the summer, wanted to show Andrew some of the delights of the Lakes.

The pair had just taken on Helvellyn on Saturday as the snow began to hit. The pair managed to skid through trek with Andrew later finding out he'd fractured his wrist on a fall on the way down.

Warrington Guardian: Alex (left) and Andrew (right) up HelvellynThey left the car at Dunmail Raise and they walked to Grasmere as the snow got heavier. Around around 3pm, they spotted the waiting Stagecoach 599 bus and decided to try and get back to Stavely where Alex lives.

They had a chat to the driver and decided to get the most out of the £2 fare by going straight to the top deck.

Alex, who works in property maintenance, said: "We'd already walked about three miles after the mountain and there were no other buses leaving.

"We chatted to the driver who was in really good spirits, despite the weather, and was happy for us to go on the top.

"He joked saying that when the wind hits right the flurries can blow down the stairwell to the lower deck.

"Once up there, we had a really good laugh and were throwing the snowballs at each other. We on there for around 40 minutes however the snow just got heavier.

"Drivers were spinning around and people were abandoning their cars. The bus had taken the best part of an hour to get to Rydal Road in Ambleside which should take ten minutes.

"We had to get off as we weren't going anywhere. We shook the bus driver's hand and wished him well. He was really cool and I hope he managed to get back safe."

Warrington Guardian: The 599 bus that got evenually got stranded in the snowNow stuck in Ambleside, the pair managed to find Haven Cottage who kindly let them stay in their living quarters.

Upon leaving on Sunday, the pair helped eight stranded drivers push their cars on the long journey uphill back to Dunmail Raise.

After finally getting back to his car, Alex discovered that his car window had been broken and someone had robbed his climbing gear.

Warrington Guardian: Andrew later found out he'd fractured his wrist on Helvellyn

Alex said: "It looks like an opportunist had taken advantage and taken my climbing gear. 

"The chaos didn't stop there either as we dug out Rockery Lakes Cafe car who gave us a lift home as all the trains were canceled.

"Then when I got home, I didn't have any power until Monday.

"It was definitely an adventure of ups and downs but I'm glad we managed to get some positive moments and help people - despite the chaos the snow brought."

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