The valley of Threshthwaite.

The valley of Threshthwaite. The walk goes around it, starting with Gray Crag on the left.

Walk 163 took place on the mountains that surround the valley of Threshthwaite — pronounced ‘Thresh’et’, before you bring to bear your salva glands too enthusiastically. As the picture shows, it’s an attractive part of the world (and on my first round was where I saw the golden eagle, although sadly that is apparently no longer in residence). Three fells bagged, Gray Crag, Caudale Moor and Hartsop Dodd, the latter having one of the District’s most unsung views, a fantastic panorama.

Joe and Hartsop Dodd

Joe on the way to Hartsop Dodd

I had Joe with me, this being the latest in our tradition of late May walks together: maybe it will be the last, as he leaves school this year and so his holidays may change. Anyway, read more and see more pictures on the walk 163 page. As of today, I have bagged 203 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, so have 127 to go. Next walk in mid-June, hopefully.

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Bluebell meadow

Bluebell meadow and Warnscale Bottom: Fleetwith Pike to the left, Haystacks the right

Another glorious day and an opportunity to make the most of it — lucky me. I finally braved the tortuous transport connections and made it into the Western Fells where some of the best walking in Lakeland can be found, and walk 162 did not disappoint. It bagged me Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks, two very fine fells with plenty of interest not just in walking terms but also for the quarries, old and new. Proof that not all industry has to be ugly.

Spoil heap on Fleetwith

The quarries at the back end of Fleetwith Pike

It would have been an even better walk if it didn’t take so long to get there — ten hours on public transport today for three hours walking. Just about worth it… Anyway, Haystacks has the honour of becoming fell number 200 of the second round — meaning I have 130 to go. Read all the details and see more photos on the walk 162 page if you are interested. Particularly if the good weather holds I certainly intend to get another walk in before May is out.

A very, very Good Friday

April 21, 2019

View back to Fairfield summit

View back to Fairfield summit, from the edge of the crags to the north

A trip abroad has meant a gap of a month in my walking project, but the wait was worth it. Everyone enjoyed a glorious Good Friday on the 19th April, beautiful sunshine and a decent breeze on the tops to stop everything getting overheated. It would have been a crime to ignore it — hence walk 161.

But this walk was not just good for the weather, oh no — it includes spectacular scenery, particularly that of the north side of Fairfield. Many will be familiar with this fell from the famous Fairfield Horseshoe route but that simply avoids all the mountain’s best scenery; doing it from the other side this time was one of the best arguments yet for doing a second round. And there were four other summits bagged on the walk as well, including St. Sunday Crag; so plenty to enjoy. This walk gets five stars and is highly recommended — read all about it and see lots more photos on the walk 161 page.

Cofa Pike and St. Sunday Crag

Climbing Fairfield over Cofa Pike. St. Sunday Crag behind.

It would be great to get in another walk before April ends, particularly if this good weather is going to continue, but let’s see how it goes — I do have some work to do… Anyway, as of today I have done 198 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, so have 132 to go.

 

Borrowdale from Catbells

Borrowdale, from Catbells.

I have been hoping to do two walks a month whilst on sabbatical in 2019, but my first window in March didn’t get used thanks to a combination of crap weather and crap sinuses — you don’t want to know any more about either.

But today, 19th March, things opened up and walk 160 happened, as I was able to head for Borrowdale and bag three summits: High Spy, Maiden Moor and Catbells. The weather was definitely mixed — but this permitted some decent photography and nothing really wet got in my face. This was a very good walk, easy to access and not too strenuous while having magnificent views. I recommend it — so have a look at the further detail on the walk 160 page.

Upper Newlands

Upper Newlands. Hindscarth to right, Blea Crag to the left.

As of today, then, I have bagged 193 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, and therefore have 137 to go. Actually I’ve had a pretty good run recently: in the last 3 months, since 20th December, I’ve bagged 23 summits; prior to that it took me six months to bag the same number. So I’m fulfilling my promise to pick up the pace. But no more for a month now — I can’t do it, I’m away, thousands of miles away. The earliest I’ll get back to the Lakes is around the Easter weekend. But it’ll happen. Of course.

Burn Moor summit

Burn Moor summit cairn

Friday February 22nd saw temperatures round my home in Yorkshire that were ridiculously high for the time of year (20ºC or so). I had to wait until yesterday, Saturday 23rd, to get out on a walk however, and though the sun did continue to shine through the morning, a brisk wind kept the temperature well down, so visions of a fleece-less February walk were unfulfilled. Nevertheless, walk 159 was done in very decent weather for the time of year and this allowed me to rebag five lonely and hard-to-reach summits down in the south-west corner of the District, from the Whit Fell, Stainton Pike and Hesk Fell chapters of volume 8.

View from The Pike

View from the Pike. Caw and the Coniston fells behind the only other walkers seen today.

Worth doing, but a very long walk of some 17 miles, making it the fourth-longest of all the walks described on this blog. Read all about it, and see the usual crop of photos, on the walk 159 page.

As of today, then, I have bagged 190 of the 330 Wainwrights a second time,  so have 140 to go. The next walk should be in the first two weeks of March, while I am just about still a citizen of the EU.

Ullswater from the Brown Hills

Ullswater from the Brown Hills

I said last time I was hoping to get two walks a month in for most of 2019, but didn’t quite anticipate that January would see me attain this target before it was 10 days old. Nevertheless, the weather yesterday, January 9th, was far too agreeable to waste sat in an office so out I went to Ullswater. Walk 157 bagged me three fells, Gowbarrow Fell, Hart Side (now bagged in excellent weather on both rounds) and Stybarrow Dodd — and the rather good view of Ullswater that you see here. More pictures and a full route description can, as usual, be found on the walk 157 page.

Stybarrow Dodd summit

Stybarrow Dodd summit

Despite this early burst of activity in the year, I don’t really have another good chance to get out now until February, so that’s it for a little while. As of today, I have bagged 181 of the 330 Wainwrights in my second round, thus have 149 to go.

View east from Skiddaw

The view east from Skiddaw. The Little Man to the right, Lonscale Fell in the centre, Blencathra behind.

Well, OK, it wasn’t quite sunny for the whole day, but from 11am until 1.30pm on 2nd January, see for yourself… A stupendous day to be out on the fells, even if I was supposed to be back at work that really wasn’t going to happen. Instead, walk 156 took me from Threlkeld up Lonscale Fell and onto Skiddaw, at 3053 feet above sea level the fourth highest mountain in the Lake District and England. Well worth doing on the day. Read all about it, and see more pictures, on the walk 156 page.

Skiddaw summit

Skiddaw summit

That gets 2019 off to a pleasingly early start in walking terms, anyway. I have set myself a target of 20 walks this year, which as I’m on sabbatical until August, should be achievable. As of today, though, I have bagged 178 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, thus have 152 to go. There’ll be another walk before January is out — particularly if there are any more days like the 2nd.

Brant Fell summit

The summit of Brant Fell, looking south, with Windermere below.

Walk 155 took place yesterday as I type, 20th December, and like all walks done around this time of the Solistice, was grey, damp and rather gloomy. Nevertheless it was good to get out as there was a time when I thought the previous walk, on 2nd November, might end up being the last one of the year. But yesterday I did bag four more summits: the three in the School Knott chapter of the Outlying Fells, and then Brant Fell above Bowness. Read all about it and see more photos on the walk 155 page. The walk mostly took place along the last few miles of the Dales Way, which runs from Yorkshire to Bowness, so another nice feature of it was that there was plenty of good signposting. No one’s going to get lost on this walk.

Dales Way signpost

Follow these: there are plenty of them. This was one of my best-signposted walks.

Almost certainly, that was my last walk of 2018. As of today, I have done 174 of the 330 Wainwrights a second time, meaning I have 156 to go. 2018 contained 15 walks (if the two-day walk 152 is counted as one), and 43 fells were bagged, starting with Latrigg in January and ending with Brant Fell today. This is down on my yearly average for both walks and fells, but never mind. With more time coming up in the new year I hope to pick up the pace a bit. Meanwhile: have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and if you’re out on the mountains, be sensible and stay safe.

Walkers and Windermere

Windermere, and walkers heading off Wansfell for Troutbeck

November 2018 dawned — at least, its second day did — with very fine weather and with Saturdays being unavailable for walking at the moment thanks to an endless run of train strikes, it was fortunate that I was not working on this Friday and able to take advantage of it. The walk I did — walk 154 — had to be an accessible one seeing as I had an event to go to in Lancaster this evening, and so I headed up the Troutbeck valley direct from Windermere station to bag Troutbeck Tongue and Wansfell. Not dramatic fells in themselves but the views could not be faulted. Read all the details and see plenty more photos on the walk 154 page.

Ancient bridge

The ancient clapper-bridge over Trout Beck

Let us not talk about the ineptitude of the train companies any further, merely to note that I had to do this walk rather more quickly than planned. Anyway — it was enjoyable, despite some awkward sections in the middle.

As of today, then, I have done 170 of the 330 Wainwrights on my second round, and have 160 to go.

Sands of Morecambe Bay

The sands of Morecambe Bay, as seen from Grange station

I have calculated that of all the walks done on this project thus far, today’s walk 153 was the one that reached the lowest altitude. Bigland Barrow, the first summit reached on the day, stands at only 630′ above sea level. And that was as high as it got.

Nevertheless this was a very good walk. In advance, I feared that it might be a bracken- or mud-choked agricultural trudge, but in fact it was an easy walk, all done on good paths and was accompanied by some fine views. So if you want a bit of healthy exercise on a fine autumn day, you could do a lot worse. Get all the necessary details plus more photos on the walk 153 page.

Bigland Barrow summit

The summit of Bigland Barrow, with observation post

As of today, then, I have bagged 168 of the Wainwrights on my second round, so have 162 to go.

I’d like to think there’ll be another walk before October is out — but then again it is the longest month of the year. (This is true, even if you do have to think about it…). As is always the case — let’s see how it goes.