Wainwright Reflections

It’s that time of year when my Lake District walking is over and all I have left to look forward to is next year, and so start gathering my thoughts.  I’ve also been reading “The World of the Wainwright Bagger” by Chris Stanbury and it’s given me some inspiration too.  Over the coming days and weeks, there’ll be a series of posts covering various aspects of my own Wainwright Bagging, and here’s just a taster of some of the things I’m planning to talk about. Continue reading “Wainwright Reflections”

The Joy of Tarns

“I looked down over the edge of the fell at the tarn below and to my right, glistening and beckoning me down to say hello. After what seemed like a long day, I was tired and knew that once I was at the tarn, all I had to do was follow the path down to New Dungeon Ghyll and the bus back to Ambleside…

I started descending a steep slope, my way becoming increasingly impeded by bracken, rocks and sheep as I progressed. It didn’t look that steep on the map. I persevered and after a rather traumatic descent reached the bottom, found a rock at the side of the tarn, and rested a moment while I took stock….

So I sat at the edge of the tarn and gradually I calmed down as I saw the ridge reflected in the tarn’s still waters, even in these cloudy conditions. I felt the calming influence of the gently lapping water at my feet,….”

Continue reading “The Joy of Tarns”

A Lakeland Round (2011): The Stats

Not everyone is interested in the stats, so let’s keep the analysis in a separate post. Continue reading “A Lakeland Round (2011): The Stats”

A Lakeland Round (2011): Debrief

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 “A Lakeland Round (2011): Debrief”

A Lakeland Round (2011): 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 “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 11 – Thursday 14 July”

Striding Edge

A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 10 – Wednesday 13 July

Making up for yesterday

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 “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 10 – Wednesday 13 July”

Lingmell - today's main objective

A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 8 – Monday 11 July

Wasdale to Borrowdale

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 “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 8 – Monday 11 July”

Contouring around Haycock and heading for Seatallan

A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 7 – Sunday 10 July

Ennerdale to Wasdale

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 “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 7 – Sunday 10 July”

Grike and Crag Fell

A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 6 – Saturday 9 July

The Unglamourous End of Ennerdale

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 “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 6 – Saturday 9 July”

High Stile and High Crag from Buttermere

A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 5 – Friday 8 July

Buttermere to Ennerdale

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 – one at Scarth Gap (before I’d really got anywhere) and one on Red Pike (by which time the walk’s back would have been broken) – it was either going to be a triumph or a disaster. Continue reading “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 5 – Friday 8 July”

Causey Pike, Scar Crags, Sail, Eel Crag and Outerside

A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 3 – Wednesday 6 July

Keswick to Buttermere

Today was a day of comparisons with past trips, in particular my long Lakes trip during my sabbatical 4 years ago. Continue reading “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 3 – Wednesday 6 July”

Dodd and Skiddaw

A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 1 – Monday 4 July

A Quick (?) Leg Stretch

Today I arrived in the Lake District for 11 days of walking, on a mission to mop-up some odds and ends of fells and also to knock off most of the western fells. 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 “A Lakeland Round (2011): Day 1 – Monday 4 July”

A Lakeland Round (2011): Preparation

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.  But I’ve done a couple of longish walks, and even with a break of a few weeks I normally can knock out 10 miles or so without too much trouble.  And it seems to make little difference whether I’m on form or not when it comes to ascent – i.e. slow and ploddy. Continue reading “A Lakeland Round (2011): Preparation”

Planning a Lake District Round (2011)

I’m well over halfway through my career break, and I’d originally planned to be doing the second half of the Cambrian Way at the start of July, having done the first half in early May.  That plan changed when I realised that I didn’t want to do it in two parts, which my Cumbria Way trip helped clarify as I liked the fact that it was a journey between defined start and end points, rather than between some arbitrary and flexible points I’d chosen for scheduling convenience.  At the time I also realised that it was the Snowdonia bit that I was most interested in, so in the end opted to just go to Snowdonia for a week and do day walks there. Coccyx injury aside, it turned out to be a successful trip.

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. Continue reading “Planning a Lake District Round (2011)”

Peakbagging in the Lakes

This week I’ve been updating my hills database as it’s a couple of years since I last did this. This has kicked off a whole flurry of activity.  If you’re not one for hill lists and statistics then look away now, but although this may seem a bit anal, there is a real purpose to maintaining these lists and charts. Continue reading “Peakbagging in the Lakes”