February 7, 2017
Five weeks had passed since my previous walk, I hadn’t intended to go so long but a combination of too much work, poor weather and dubious health meant that it happened. Yesterday, 6th February, opened up however. The weather was quite pleasant in the morning but did deteriorate, so I chose a walk — walk 124 — that could start and finish fairly early. It took me from Pooley Bridge at the foot of Ullswater, over Dunmallet, Little Mell Fell and Great Mell Fell: not particularly exciting walking, but what I needed, and the views were good.
As of this morning then I have bagged 90 Wainwrights on my second round, thus have 240 to go. I hope the next walk will be on Saturday February 18th, and I need to start getting round to the west edge of the District, as I’ve rebagged hardly any from over there. Meanwhile, please do have a look at the walk 124 page for more details on yesterday’s ramble.
January 3, 2017
Walk 123 opened up for me thanks to 2nd January being a public holiday in the UK and also managing another very good weather forecast. This forecast turned into actuality, with the day being bright and frosty, as you can see from this shot of Allen Crags‘ summit cairn. That, along with Glaramara and Rossett Pike, were the three fells bagged today. Read about my day, and see more photos, on the walk 123 page if you like.
It’s back to work for me now, though — the new (working) year awaits. My next walk is hopefully going to be around 23rd – 24th January: depending on the weather as always, but I’ve been doing well with that for the last few months. As of today then, I have bagged 87 of the 330 Wainwrights in my second round, so have 243 to go.
November 26, 2016
At this time of year, it’s never easy to find a possible day for a walk, particularly outside a weekend, but Friday 25th November was booked in as a day off work weeks ago for various reasons. Even then however, late November is hardly a dependable time for weather — or at least, only insofar as one can depend on it being unpredictable.
And yet…. 25th November 2016 might well have been one of the best late November days of my whole life, with still air and cloudless skies, though also snow and ice. Either way, lucky me for being able to take advantage of it on walk 121 by going up Bowfell, one of Wainwright’s ‘Top Half-Dozen’, and justifiably so. An excellent mountain, rocky and dramatic but not too arduous on the ascent, and with a spectacular view from the summit, one of the best. All a fine way to spend a Friday therefore.
For the details, do read the walk 121 page, which has the usual crop of additional photos. As of today, then, I have bagged 82 of the 330 Wainwright fells for a second time, thus have 248 to go. I might get one more walk in before or just after Christmas, but once again, that depends on the weather. Still, the dice came up all in my favour yesterday, so let’s see if they do so again.
November 6, 2016
Why call my walk 120, completed yesterday (5/11/16), ‘The First Wainwright Walk’?
Because according to Hunter Davies, Wainwright’s biographer, it was on 9th November 1952 that Wainwright ascended Dove Crag via the beautiful valley of Dovedale, and thus began work on the immense 13-year project that was The Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. And pretty much 64 years later to the day, I went up that fell the same way, so the scenes that greeted me cannot have been a great deal different from those Wainwright saw on that day.
11 miles, more or less, between Patterdale and Ambleside saw me bag three fells, adding High Pike and Low Pike to Dove Crag. So as of today, I have bagged 81 of the 330 fells on my second round, and thus have 249 to go. If you would like to hear all about the details, see the walk 120 page.
Next walk? Late November is possible but it really depends on the weather…. still, the last few have been good so hopefully this weather pattern will continue for a little while yet. It’s definitely becoming winter out there though…
September 30, 2016
Some weather is dubious for walking at best, but there are other reasons to welcome a forecast of ‘sunshine and showers’. On walk 118 I was being battered by hail at one point, and this was the windiest walk for some time. However, there were also advantages to it. I was up on the southern side of the Skiddaw range, bagging Carl Side and Dodd, and Wainwright was once seen to mutter (in the Skiddaw Little Man chapter as it happens) that the view south from these fells is the best in the District. I would be inclined to agree with him, as you can see here. There are several other pictures like this up on the walk 118 page.
Two summits bagged takes my total of second round fells to 76 of the 330, thus I have 254 to go. I hope to get my next walk in before October is out but I have only a couple of available dates so it does depend on the weather. But as this walk proved, sometimes it is worth taking a gamble on this kind of thing…
August 17, 2016
A little belatedly, due to going back to work after my summer break, but I have published the walk 116 page, recounting the details of walk I did the other day — up through Thornthwaite Forest, down Whinlatter then up to bag two more Wainwrights on my second round — Hopegill Head and Whiteside. This was a very good walk in its second half. The final climb up to Hopegill Head is excellent, a scramble on bare rock to a superb little peak, and the ridge to Whiteside one of the best short ridges in the District in my opinion. The descent from Whiteside was also enlivened by an absolute carpet of flowering heather, as you can see here.
On the other hand there was frustration in the first half of the work due to disruptions caused by forestry operations, about which I rant (a little) in the commentary (see walk 116). I just wish things didn’t have to get left in such a mess.
After a good recent run of walks I have now bagged 63 of the 330 Wainwrights, thus have 267 to go in my second round. Having gone back to work now I don’t know quite when the next walk will be, but of course when it happens I will update all the information on here. In the mean time, enjoy the rest of the summer…
August 6, 2016
Finally, yesterday (5th August 2016) was a chance for a walk on a sunny day — not constantly, there was cloud around at times, but a lot more than has been seen by me in the Lakes since early March.
So I made the most of it, with walk 115, a walk of just over 15 miles that surely must count as one of the classic Lake District walks. From Hartsop, up over High Street then along the fantastic Ill Bell ridge, one of the best walks in the District.
Last time I came round here, back in spring 2010, I had a walk blighted by low cloud and never saw anything of the dramatic terrain all around, but today was ample compensation. This is an excellent walk, highly recommended, and as the weather was better I am quite happy with my photos of it as well. So please do take a look at the detailed walk 115 page if you are interested.
Seven summits bagged today as well, so it was a productive walk. That means I have now done 61 of the 330 Wainwrights in my second round, so have 269 to go. I hope to get another walk in next week before I have to go back to work.