Joe and Ill Crag

Joe and Ill Crag

Congratulations to Joe, who agreed to acccompany me on yesterday’s walk 146 and thus attained the summit of Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England. It’s not a walk to be underestimated, as anyone who has done it will know — the distance is fairly long and there are some difficult sections, particularly in the last mile or so before one attains the summit. And the full day expedition was done in relative heat and almost constant sunshine — believe it or not. (It really has been a very nice May, one to treasure.)

Rossett Pike and bracken

Rossett Pike, the day’s intensely blue skies, and the year’s early bracken crop

Nevertheless, we made it, his first visit and my second. I will feel no need to rush back to Scafell Pike but so be it, I can live with that. The walk also included neighbouring Lingmell — you can read all about it, as usual, on the relevant walk 146 page.

As of today, then, I have done 147 of the 330 Wainwrights a second time and thus have 183 to go. I hope the next ones will be bagged within the next fortnight although at the moment the availability of functioning rail services in the area is a random factor, but let’s not bring Northern Rail into this…

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Crinkles from Dungeon Ghyll

Crinkle Crags, seen from Dungeon Ghyll

I haven’t been getting out on walks as often as I’d choose this year, as various other things (personal projects, train strikes, the weather, life) have been getting in the way. But yesterday, 12th May, was far too good a forecast to waste so I headed for Great Langdale and exorcised the ghosts of one of my wetter, colder Lakes experiences, namely walk 64 back in August 2012. That walk ensured I would add Crinkle Crags to the list of ‘fells I really needed to go back to in better weather’ — but walk 145 certainly delivered that. A fine, sunny day, but not too hot: ideal for walking and for bagging one of Wainwright’s ‘Top Six Fells’. Do I rank it that highly? Well, have a look at the detailed walk 145 page and see.

View through Mickle Door

View through Mickle Door, the walkers are on the path coming up from Red Tarn.

The logistics of this walk, and others ending at Dungeon Ghyll, have been made easier by a retiming of the buses back from there to Ambleside — there is now a bus at 15.05, instead of there being nothing between 14.05 and 17.05. This is far better for walkers and shows that someone, somewhere, may even be thinking about these things.

As of today, then, I have bagged 145 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, thus have 185 to go. The plan is to return in just over a week, 22nd May — weather permitting but we seem to be in a settled spell at the moment, so fingers crossed. And it’s definitely time I went back to the Western Fells.

Air crash memorial

The air crash memorial on the summit of Great Carrs

The end of February and the beginning of March were characterised by snow and bad weather which while it might have been fun to walk in, made public transport to the Lakes rather a risky proposition. All this put paid to my chances of getting a walk in during this period, as planned. But things opened up, finally, yesterday — 13th March — which, in Great Langdale at least, was a day of glorious spring. The weather did not quite persist with this quality all the way round, but it was still a fine day to be out on walk 143, which took in four summits from The Southern Fells: Pike o’Blisco, Great Carrs, Grey Friar and Swirl How. All over 2,300 feet, which makes a change from other recent walks. Read all about it and see more photos on the walk 143 page.

Subsidiary summit, Pike o'Blisco

Subsidiary summit of Pike o’Blisco, viewed from the main summit. Wetherlam behind.

As of today then, I have bagged 139 of the 330 Wainwrights for a second time, thus have 191 to go. More cold weather is forecast meaning I might not get to follow through with my plan to walk this coming weekend, but if it doesn’t happen, the next walk should be my annual Easter jaunt, and that will hopefully be in the west of the District as I really need to get some more bagged from volume 7.

Sunbeams in Great Langdale

Sunbeams in Great Langdale

I’ve just come back from a week’s holiday in the Lake District during which I managed to do four walks, and bag a total of ten summits over about 45 miles of walking and 12,000 feet of climbing — so these ten summits were hard-earned! Even more so as the weather wasn’t particularly great — there were occasional bursts of sunlight (as on this shot) and no one got a total soaking, but for sure, it was cold and windy all week, at least on the tops of mountains. But I’m not complaining too much. (Just a little bit.)

As ever you can read full details on the walks in their separate pages on this site, which amount to the following:

Joe at the quarry

Joe investigates the quarries of Coniston Old Man on walk 132

Following that week’s exertions then, as of today I have bagged 116 of the 330 Wainwrights in my second round, and have 214 to go. There should be another walk in August, hoping for better weather…

Summit of Allen Crags

Summit cairn, Allen Crags. Ill Crag (part of Scafell Pike) in the background.

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.

Combe Gill

Looking up Combe Gill

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.

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.