I seem to have started the year off focussing on the negatives – first a post entitled “Failure” about walks that have gone wrong through the weather, navigation or even, cowardice. Then the follow-up, “Despair” got darker still and talked about my worst ever day hillwalking – the day I came closest to chucking it all in.
Continuing the train of thought, I then went through my old website and journal entries and found the rest of the material relating to the trip when the “despair” took place, and have spent the last 24 hours pulling it together and loaded into this site (Despair is now integrated back into the original post). So the full story of my worst ever Lake District trip is now available.
It wasn’t all bad, and there were some memorable moments, but they had receded into the background and been obscured by the memories of the bad days. Whilst I was pulling it together, the memories of the better days – all of which were spent in the North Western fells – came back to me, and an idea for a future walk began to take shape.
It’s coming up for 5 years since I last walked most of these fells, and that’s too long. Although the fells I failed to bag on that trip have now all been avenged, I don’t think the spectre of that trip will truly be lifted until I revisit some of those fells – the successfully bagged ones as well as the failures.
So, at some point I’m going to repeat my disastrous trip of April 2007, and get it right. With much more experience under my belt, many of the lessons learned, and a generally more resilient me, there’s no reason it should go the way the original trip did, and even if it does, I feel I can cope much better with it this time.
Of course, you’d think this would make the planning easy – surely I just repeat the trip as it happened ? But what about the route I’d planned to do, rather than the route I did do ? And should I try to camp the whole trip as I attempted the first time, or should I use my experience since then to make more viable accommodation choices ?
I haven’t worked it all out yet, but what is clear is it is the hills themselves that will drive the planning decisions, not how I spend the overnight hours. And a further thought that is just bubbling up as I write this is: maybe this is how I should end my Wainwright round – by doing these walks again en route to the grand finish on Haystacks ? Maybe having just formed a completion plan this week, I’ll now scrap it and go with this new idea. It’s too early to say.
So you’ll have to watch this space, as I’ve only just had these ideas tonight. But I’ll leave you with a selection of the photos from that 2007 trip which hopefully will help understand why I have to go back. Clearly these are from the better days not the horrors when the weather wasn’t conducive to photography. But even so many of the sights below, I’ve not seen since.