A Short Jaunt in the Lakes

This trip had been in the diary for a very long time, ever since the day I signed-up to support Terry Abraham’s Blencathra film in March 2015. With me opting for the VIP premiere tickets package, this meant I knew pretty much what I’d be doing this particular weekend. Hopes of a more extended trip faded as other, art-based, priorities won out leaving me with a Friday to Monday trip. It would be long enough though…

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A night on Madonna’s chest

The taxi dropped me at Grasmere Youth Hostel, my wallet lighter to the tune of a pony. It was either that or a long wait for a bus. A quick check-in and then a squelch around the lawn in the dark to find a suitably dry spot to pitch the tent. Matilda went up relatively speedily, I threw my stuff in as quickly as I could Continue reading “A night on Madonna’s chest”

A Tour of the Tarns with a Damsel in Distress

The creature stepped from the bog, covered in jet black ooze, spread its arms wide and started to lurch in my direction. I took out my secret weapon and brandished it in front of the foul wretch attempting to fend it off… Continue reading “A Tour of the Tarns with a Damsel in Distress”

Sunset at Tarn At Leaves

My first wild camp – Part 2: Tired, Cold and Hungry

All night the wind gusted around the tent, setting off metallic twangs as the crossing poles resonated. I lay shivering in my sleeping bag, barely dozing for much of the seemingly endless night, willing the dawn to come.

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The Jam at Codale Tarn

My first wild camp – Part 1: Jam Packed

Quite literally, in fact…

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Eagle Crag

Favourite Fells – Eagle Crag

As I passed Lining Crag, two guys came towards me, clearly heading down to Stonethwaite.  We stood and exchanged a few words as the wind drove rain in our faces and challenged the waterproofness of our outer layers.  They’d come from Sergeant’s Crag and before that, Eagle Crag, but were now calling it a day due to the conditions.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t as my route would take me over Greenup Edge and an aborted attempt on Ullscarf before descending to Grasmere.

As I trudged up through the wind, rain and low cloud, I reflected on what the guys had told me.  I was aware of the two fells, but to say I knew any more than their names and approximate stature would be a lie.  But clearly these two guys, when they could have been snug in a cosy pub, had chosen to go out in this weather and climb them.  And they seemed perfectly happy with their choice.  So maybe there was something worth investigating…? Continue reading “Favourite Fells – Eagle Crag”

Pavey Ark above Stickle Tarn

Favourite Fells – Pavey Ark

Pavey Ark makes my favourites list for one main reason, and I imagine most people will guess what it is… Continue reading “Favourite Fells – Pavey Ark”

Pike of Stickle from Langdale

Favourite Fells – Pike of Stickle

This has been an incredibly hard post to write.  I’ve been trying to find the words to explain what this fell means to me, and the words that have come just haven’t done it justice.  But I can almost hear some readers asking what all the fuss is about.  After all Pike of Stickle is just a slightly rude-looking bump and many would argue isn’t even separate enough to really count as a fell in its own right.  And you know what, in many respects you’d be right. Continue reading “Favourite Fells – Pike of Stickle”

High Rigg from below Raven Crag

Favourite Fells – High Rigg

Like most of the others, I’ve actually only done High Rigg once, but I enjoyed the day (well couple of hours, really) so much that it’s placed highly on my favourites list.

High Rigg’s Wikipedia entry describes it  as a bit like a model of the Lake District in minature – with “crags, intermediate tops, tarns and even a ‘pass’ crossing the ridge halfway along”.  But it’s not the most statuesque of fells, at 357m high, rather belying its name.   Continue reading “Favourite Fells – High Rigg”

Helm Crag's summit

Favourite Fells – Helm Crag

For some reason I seem to have talked myself into covering a top 20 of fells.  And I was going to cover the lower ranked in the top 20 in batches, so that I could quickly get to eulogising about the very special ones at the top of the list.  But as I sat down to write this first post, I realised that it would take a long time, so I’m going to do each fell separately.  And that’s no less than they deserve.

Helm Crag doesn’t really need much of an introduction, as so many of us have walked it, or at the very least seen it from the A591!  Helm Crag is a magical fell in that the rock formations atop its crest seem to morph into new shapes as you change vantage point.  Home of the Lion and the Lamb, (indeed an alternative name for the fell), and the Howitzer forming the summit of the fell and the only summit that AW never stood atop.

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Failure

Whilst everyone else is starting the New Year with positive thinking (that is apart from the effects of last night’s drinking), I thought I’d take an opposite tack and talk about failure.

In my walking career I’ve notched up a few failures and whilst I’ve not let them get to me too much, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a desire to expunge them from the record.  So I thought I’d start the year with a good positive post about all my failed ascents – whether down to the weather, the terrain or simply running out of time. Continue reading “Failure”