Bowfell from the top of the Band

The upper slopes of Bowfell, as seen from the plateau at the top of the Band

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.

The Band

The Band. illuminated by the low afternoon sun. Crinkle Crags is (or are) in the background.

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.


Dovedale, with Dove Crag prominent

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.

High Pike

High Pike from above

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…