The last one.....

The last one.....

Distance: ~22.2km

Ascent: ~1,540m

With: Alone

Conditions: Cold with more cloud than earlier in the week

Route: Seatoller(NT Car Park)-Honister Crag(Black Star)- F_L_E_E_T_W_I_T_H P_I_K_E-Brandreth-Green Gable-(Aaron Slack)-(Sty Head) -(Esk Hause)-Allen Crags-High House Tarn Top-Looking Steads-Glaramara- Thornythwaite Fell-Seatoller(NT Car Park)

Where did it all begin? For me, it all began towards the end of August 2003. After watching Ipswich Town lose 1-0 at Wigan the night before I travelled early from the nearby Travel Inn, close to the M6, and made very good time to park up at Wasdale Head NT Car Park at around 8am. Just over 2 hours later I was standing at the top of Scafell Pike, having scaried myself silly by going straight up to Mickledore. For a seasoned fellwalker, that approach is nothing, however for a complete newbie dressed in Nike trainers and denim shorts it was not easy. By 11:30am I was back to the car and completely elated but my legs didn't appreciate the exercise. My quads and hams were on 'fire'.
So just under five and a half years later I parked up Seatoller NT Car Park and left for Honister at 8:20am. The majority of my fellwalking has been completed during the balmy summer months. I'd completely ovelooked how difficult the higher roads can be in winter. I had planned at parking at Gatescarth but with only a front wheel drive car I didn't fancy my chances. At 9:36am after 'bagging' the Nuttall, Black Star (Honister Crag) my quest was complete. All 214 Wainwright fells had past under my feet. Strangely, given the conditions, I was again clad in shorts but this time covered with Montane Windpants (most excellent!). Also still wearing trainers but this time Nike have been swapped for Inov-8 Mudroc's.
It felt so right to complete my round of Wainwrights, insight of Haystacks, Wainwrights resting place. In fact somebody was smiling on me as when at the summit of Fleetwith Pike the sun came out. But due to the winter sun not being sufficiently high in the sky, Haystacks remained dark and foreboding.
Relieved of any bagging intentions, I ambled across to Brandreth and then onto Green Gable. Not sure why I rejected Great Gable in preference to an enjoyable canter down Aaron Slack. Once at Sty Head I realised my mistake, I was only in possession of OL4, therefore to keep on the map, I made my way to Esk Hause.
The urge to go without appropriate map to Scafell Pike or, even, Great End, was high but instead a gentle amble along the Glaramara ridge back to the car.
The journey has been very enjoyable, meeting numerous people along the way. To name but a few that I've had the pleasure to walk the fells with; Roger (Low Fell & Fellbarrow) & Ann Hiley (& others (Hen Comb)); Peter Burgess (a cold February walk around the Back o' Skidda fells); Andrew Leaney & David Hall (two magical walks from Stonethwaite (Comb Head Round and Eagle/Sargeant's Crag)); Connie & Sean McMahon (Blawith Knott & Tottlebank Heights).
What have I discovered? I've discovered that the even the same fell can be different under differing conditions. To be honest, High Tove in mid-Summer during a wet spell does not appeal to me; however, Ullscarf to Great Crag during a cold snap was utter pleasure. Also just because a certain hill isn't a Wainwright doesn't mean it's not worthy of attention. The view and terrain around Cold Saddle was very pleasureable. It is very easy to see why Wordsworth was at his most creative while living at Dove Cottage. The Lake District is very inspiring but also romantic and initimate.
What next? If I lived closer to Scotland I suppose the Munro's or Corbett's would be a great adventure, however being geographically challenged that appears beyond a short-medium term aspiration. The Welsh mountains always appeal and to 'bag' all the 3,000'-ers (then all the 2,000-ers) is do-able even when based in flatest fenland. However I still have seven Lake District Nuttalls to conquer.
As being exiled in flatest fenland to get that fell 'buzz' I started running in 2006, and completed two marathons this year (London, flm, being torture; Snowdonia being a complete pleasure). Next year I hope to complete two more marathons (Edinburgh (really want to go sub-4 hours) and Isle of Wight (for a bit of fun!). The 'proper' three peaks challenge (Whernside; Penyghent & Ingleborough) may be attempted in the summer; would really like to complete it in around six hours? Finally, some of the long distance challenges tug at the heart, a BGR (Bob Graham Round) really is beyond me, isn't it??????

Return to home page

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional