Armboth Fell summit
The top of Armboth Fell, seen from the ridge — with a walker on it, amazingly.

WALK 185: Armboth Fell (1570′, no. 262), Great Crag (1500′, no. 263). 9.25 miles, 2,100 feet of ascent.

For the first time in seven months I took myself to the Lake District by train and bus, instead of car. And it all went just fine. The mental blocks we place in our minds about what we should and should not be doing can be overcome and if anything I now feel somewhat guilty about not having reverted to this state of affairs earlier on. Though some parts of the District (notably Ullswater and Patterdale) remain effectively out of bounds unless I drive myself there, but that’s another story.

Walk 185 instead saw me brave the swamps of what Wainwright calls ‘the swampiest ridge in the District’, at least for a mile or two, to bag Armboth Fell, and then Great Crag, two of the Central Fells. Inbetween there was the magnificent oasis of Watendlath, an Arcadian idyll which was seeing plenty of visitors on this pleasant day in mid-October. The walk might well have been better had neither summit been visited, but at least now I never need to do Armboth Fell again, at least. For reasons why I say this, along with plenty of photos and extra detail, consult the walk 185 page.

Watendlath Tarn and Great Crag
Watendlath Tarn, with Great Crag behind. A place to forget one’s worries for a while.

As of today, I have bagged 263 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, so have 67 to go. I hope to get back at some point in November, but that really will depend on a largely random coming together of good weather with one of the few available days I will have that month, thanks to work.

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Raise from White Side

Looking back to Raise, from White Side

In the two walks done at the start of November, I was out on the fells (admittedly fairly low ones) without need for an outer fleece or jacket. But not yesterday, 29th November — for as you can see I was up above the snowline in the Helvellyn range. Walk 139 was fairly short, at just 6.5 miles, but there was plenty of climbing needed to bag four fells: Glenridding Dodd, Sheffield Pike, Raise and White Side. The latter two were also done in the snow the first time round, making them the first fells in this project to be bagged twice in snow each time. Which, for White Side, is fairly appropriate I suppose.

Thirlmere

View of Thirlmere on the descent. No zipwires, please (see commentary)

As of today, then, I have bagged 130 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, thus have exactly 200 to go. I hope to get one more in before Christmas, but it does all depend on the weather in the week of the 18th December.

One more thing while you’re here. I’m not against development per se but the idea that the worth of the Thirlmere valley will be enhanced by running zipwires across the lake might be one that, like me, you find faintly ludicrous. If so, it’s probably not a bad idea to register your objection to the scheme before it gets past the planning authorities. See this page from the Friends of the Lake District site for more information about the scheme and how to register your objection. Thank you.