A Lakeland Round (2011)

With my career break now over half gone and opportunities for trips disappearing fast, I took an 11 day trip to Cumbria to bag some Wainwrights and Nuttalls.  Having done the majority of the convenient stuff in the easily accessible centre of Lakeland, this was always going to be about knocking off some of the more peripheral fells.  A difficult one to plan as it needed to be put together as a trek from base to base in order to access the target fells.

Planning the Round

When I sketched out the walking I hoped to do during my sabbatical, I’d always expected it would involve more than one Lake District trip, just as my break in 2007 did.  So with an empty slot to fill in July, and a realisation that in every one of the last 5 years I’ve been to the lake District at the end of June or start of July, it seemed clear what I need to do.

But I’m faced with a bit of a planning challenge…Continue reading->


Now just one day until I go, and it feels like a long time since I had a walk.  I’ve not been out on “terrain” for just over a month, and despite best intentions, haven’t done the amount of flat walking I’d hoped to do in preparation for this trip…Continue reading->

Day 1: Monday 4 July – A Quick Leg Stretch
Arriving in the Lakes, time for a quick afternoon leg stretch before the serious walking begins tomorrow.
Dodd and Skiddaw
Dodd and Skiddaw

Travelling up today, meant a short walk in the afternoon, with the only sensible choice being Dodd, an odd leftover fell and within easy range of Keswick. But it turned out to be much harder than planned…Continue reading->

Day 2: Tuesday 5 July – The Whinlatter Fells
A linear walk to pick off the Whinlatter group of fells.

There are few things more annoying than busting a gut to meet a deadline, successfully meeting it, and then finding the deadline moved earlier and no one told you. That’s what happened today…Continue reading->

Day 3: Wednesday 6 July –  Keswick to Buttermere
 A walk through the north western fells to my next 2 night stop in Buttermere.

Contouring around towards Buttermere
Contouring around towards Buttermere

Today was a day of comparisons with past trips, in particular my long Lakes trip during my sabbatical 4 years ago.  After some overnight rain, the day dawned relatively fine, with Skiddaw looking colourful opposite my bedroom window…Continue reading->

Day 4: Thursday 7 July –  A Circuit of Crummock Water
 A day of making it up as I go along.

Mellbreak and Crummock Water
Mellbreak and Crummock Water

Today didn’t turn out as planned, but could prove to be one of the best days of the trip. An overnight weather forecast for strong winds, risk of lightning and the chance of solid rain didn’t bode well on the day that I had my longest walk planned…Continue reading->

Day 5: Friday 8 July – Buttermere to Ennerdale
 And time to head for the next valley.

Starling Dodd and Great Borne
Starling Dodd and Great Borne

After yesterday’s lack of energy, I was worried about the big walk I had to face today – over 1000m of ascent in heavy mode. And with limited escape routes…it was either going to be a triumph or a disaster.…Continue reading->

Day 6: Saturday 9 July –  The Unglamorous End of Ennerdale

Heading down Ennerdale to Crag Fell
Heading down Ennerdale to Crag Fell

Today started slowly and at one point I thought I might not make it to the top of any fells, but ultimately I achieved everything I’d planned…Continue reading->

Day 7: Sunday 10 July – Ennerdale to Wasdale

Greendale Tarn
Greendale Tarn

Just as I thought I’d gained some fitness, it all seemed to desert me today. Or maybe I overdid it yesterday. Or could it have been being woken by a Hungarian at 4:48 this morning…Continue reading->

Day 8: Monday 11 July – Wasdale to Borrowdale

Looking back down into Wasdale
Looking back down into Wasdale

Having weighed up whether to do the walk over Lingmell or chicken out and just take the easier option straight over Sty Head Pass from Wasdale, there was a certain irony in me ending up doing both. Here’s how it happened…Continue reading->

Day 9: Tuesday 12 July – The Final Phase

Lanty's Tarn - apart from the Red Squirrel, a bit disappointing
Lanty’s Tarn – apart from the Red Squirrel, a bit disappointing

After my exertions of yesterday, this morning I laid my maps, route card and bus timetables out in front of me on the bed and worked out what to do.…Continue reading->

Day 10: Wednesday 13 July – Making up for Yesterday

Striding Edge
Striding Edge

Despite me saying last night that I’d do today’s original planned walk and tack yesterday’s omitted walk on the end of it, I never thought I’d actually do it. But I have the aching feet to prove it…Continue reading->

Day 11: Thursday 14 July – Glenridding to Penrith

I feel awful. An early night was a waste of time as I couldn’t get to sleep, and with the 4 bunk dorm full, anytime someone moved on the uncomfortable beds all 4 were aware of it. And the banging and crashing upstairs didn’t help.

I woke with raging hay fever, courtesy of the location and a window wide open all night. Breakfast was pretty bad too, and I’m sitting here not really wanting to get on with the day…Continue reading->

The Statistics
 Some details of the Wainwrights (and other hill lists) bagged, some tarns, the distances and getting a bit carried away with analysing my performance.

Not everyone is interested in the stats, so let’s keep the analysis in a separate post…Continue reading->

 Some thoughts and reflections on the trip.

Helvellyn from Birkhouse Moor
Helvellyn from Birkhouse Moor

This has been a bit of a strange trip, and I have to say after 15 trips to the Lake District, I didn’t expect to still be learning lessons about my walking capabilities…Continue reading->

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