Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
With my final uni deadlines just around the corner it's been a hectic month since I was last in the Lakes over Easter. There's been many presentations to be made, exhibition planning, book designing and not to mention keeping track of all the wedding bookings I've got, so unfortunately I've not had much time to update this blog recently! Now that I've got a spare 10 minutes before the next load of work needs to be started, I though it would be a good idea to update you all with where I'm at with the Wainwright Challenge!
It was about this time last year that I decided to give the challenge a go and see if I could make it up to the summits of all 214 Wainwright fells in the Lake District. I'd already done quite a few when I walked the Kentmere Horseshoe in 2014 and the Fairfield Horseshoe in 2015, so I thought why not try them all! I've been making slow progress and in total I've now done 31 of the fells (32 if I count a brief moment on High Street but not on the summit). I'm really enjoying the challenge so far and can't wait to get uni over and done with so I can move home for good and spend more time up in the fells.
The most recent fells I've managed to get up have been Red Screes, Middle Dodd, Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Pike O' Stickle, Loft Crag & Arnison Crag. Here's a few photos from each walk...
The first walk included the summits of Red Screes and Middle Dodd. I'd been up Red Screes before but a long time ago, so it was good to go up there again. It was quite a cold day but the steep climb soon warmed us up and we got stunning views from the top. We found a partly frozen pond up on Red Screes and a few patches of snow slowly melting, as winter finally began to make its way out of the Lakes! We then headed down from the trigpoint to the lower summit of Middle Dodd where we sat and ate our picnic before heading back down. It was so peaceful with not another person in sight for the entire walk.
The second of my most recent walks was quite a tough one! We decided to walk up to Stickle Tarn which is a walk we've done loads of times - it's quite a steep walk and can be very tiring but it's worth it once you reach the tarn. On the day we'd chosen it was raining and really cloudy on the tops so we decided to head up to the tarn and then decide whether to go on and climb Harrison Stickle, depending on the weather. I'd never done the summits of any of the Langdales before so I was hoping the weather would clear up a bit so we could do at least one of them. Luckily it brightened up once we reached the tarn so we decided to go for it and ended up getting to the tops of Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Pike o' Stickle and Loft Crag! We also managed to fit in Thorn Crag - it's not a Wainwright but we thought we might as well go up there seeing as we were on a roll! Overall a really good day of walking - quite tricky in places where we had to rock climb and the ground was quite slippy in parts, but it felt so good to do so many in one day, and we had some amazing views!
The last walk I did was up Arnison Crag. We parked in Patterdale then headed up the crag, reaching the summit and coming back down again within an hour. We hadn't been out long so looked on the map and decided to walk along a flat path eventually leading to Grisedale Tarn - somewhere I've still never been! We had to abandon the walk after a few hours because it started to rain heavily and just got worse. We also experienced hail and snow along with a freezing cold wind! Normally rain doesn't put us off walking but this time it was just horrible! I was wearing an emergency poncho over myself and my rucksack, aswell as my waterproof coat, but my fleece sleeves still managed to get wet and my gloves were soaked making my hands cold. We were both freezing and miserable and looking on the map we were only just halfway to the tarn! We had a very quick picnic in the snow before giving up and heading back - I was a bit disappointed at the time but I think we made the right decision, especially as I discovered it's time for some new walking boots as mine now have a leak!
I've done some really good walks lately and hopefully there's a lot more still to come. Fingers crossed the weather starts to brighten up soon so the walks are a bit more enjoyable...