Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
Earlier this year I decided I wanted to try and walk all the Wainwrights. Living in the Lake District with the fells all around me, it seemed like the perfect way to really make the most of where I live at the same time as discovering new locations for my landscape photography. I've walked a few of the Wainwrights in the past so over the last few months I've been trying to walk more and more to get on the way to ticking them all off. So far I've walked 21, but there's still a long way to go until I've done all 214 of them! The most recent ones I've done are Helvellyn, the Old Man of Coniston, and Dow Crag. Below are some photos from each...
A few weeks ago I finally decide to walk up Helvellyn - the 3rd highest peak in England. I was really looking forward to it and had planned to walk up Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike on the same day. The day started off cold but dry, but as soon as we parked the car there was a torrential downpour which lasted about 5 minutes - typical! Luckily though the rain quickly cleared as we began making our way up the mountain and we managed to spot a rainbow over Thirlmere as some sun broke through the clouds. As we got closer to the top, thick clouds started to roll in from behind us and before you knew it, we were completely surrounded! We quickly carried on and made it up onto the summit but we only got a view for a few minutes and then the clouds caught up with us! We decided to sit in the small shelter up there and had some dinner to try and wait for the clouds to pass, but unfortunately conditions got worse and it started raining heavily with 50mph winds making it icy cold and feeling very wintery! We finished dinner but the weather was still bad so we abandoned our plans to walk the other 2 pikes and just made our way back down the way we'd come up instead. As we got halfway down the clouds cleared and the sun came out to reveal beautiful blue skies and another rainbow! We were a bit disappointed we hadn't carried on up at the top after all, but we can always go back and do the other fells another time - hopefully in much better weather!
Old Man of Coniston & Dow Crag
Last week was time to walk my 20th Wainwright - Coniston Old Man. For a change, we seemed to have picked a beautiful day and we set off in light fog which was already starting to get burned off by the sun. By the time we got to Coniston blue sky was visible and it was starting to get a bit warmer. There was some low lying clouds over Coniston Water but up on the fells it was all clear! We set off walking up the track and up through the old copper mines, but as the day went on the sun got hotter, making it quite a tough climb in the heat. We stopped to skim some stones over Low Water then carried on up but as usual, as soon as we got close to the summit the clouds started coming up the mountain! By the time we got to the summit cairn and the trig point, we had no view at all - just the usual clouds! We stopped for dinner on the top, and luckily the clouds began to pass over and we got a view of Dow Crag opposite us. Our original plan had been to drop down from the Old Man past Goats Water and back to the car but as the weather began to get better we decided we might as well go on and do a circular route over Dow Crag which is also a Wainwright. So we set off, up and over Dow Crag, Buck Pike, and Brown Pike, then dropped down and walked back along the Walna Scar road which took us right back to the car park.