I went to bed last night clean, refreshed and with a new plan formed, that would see me claim 21 peaks between now and Sunday. So I woke in a more positive frame of mind and set out round the shops first thing to secure the kit that the whole plan relied upon – a cheap daysack. This would enable me to be free of the elephant on days where I was returning to the same overnight point. Not sure whether I would keep it or simply chuck it, I strapped it to its bigger cousin and headed for the bus.
Just my luck that the bus was late, which meant a further delay in Keswick having missed the connection for the Honister Rambler. I eventually arrived in Buttermere just after midday and spent several minutes looking for the camp site – not being aware that it really was just a field next to the car park. Finding the farmhouse to check in, it was empty, so I went off to pitch anyway. What also hadn’t helped find the site was the fact that there was no one else there – but at least I had my pick of spots. So I chose a spot alongside the fence furthest away from the car park, protected by a scattering of rocks.
I stood there for a while, taking in the views of Red Pike opposite and up the valley to Fleetwith Pike. Eventually I decided that I shouldn’t waste the rest of the day and so would go for a walk. Red Pike was right there, so I decided to climb up there and also aim to go along to High Stile and High Crag too.
With my new daysack on my back, I trudged up stone steps to Bleaberry Tarn and then up onto the saddle between Red Pike and Dodd. Dodd was claimed easily enough and so I turned about and headed for the summit of Ped Pike, clambering up the loose red surface.
Slipping and sliding my way to around 40m below the summit, I looked up and saw it wasn’t going to improve. About I turned and carefully made my way down again. Another failed walk.
Back at the camp site though, I’d been joined by 3 more tents – a group of students obviously.
A cup of tea then a meal in the Bridge Inn helped close out the day. I snuggled down in my tent at the end of the second day of failure in a row.
I reflected on my lack of success so far. Last year I was bagging 8 tops a day, no problem. Were they particularly easy ? Was I just unlucky with my route today ? is the whole trip and the Hewitt challenge jinxed ? Whatever, it’s dead in the water now. I should be on 13-17 in these first two days alone and I’m actually only on 2.
It came to me that I’ve not really enjoyed the last two days of walks, which had been done because they had to be done, which meant that the motivation was missing when they became hard work. Maybe I should be focussing on enjoyment ? Certainly I should put more effort into the planning and plan walks at distances and ascent that I know I can manage, so that they are less likely to feel like a chore.
With all of these thoughts whirling around in my head, I went to sleep…. or rather I tried to.