Wainwright Walks 4: One shade of grey on Skiddaw

Hills: Skiddaw, Skiddaw Little Man
Wainwrights (hills listed in AW’s Lakeland Fells guides): Ditto
Hewitts (hills in England and Wales in excess of 2000ft): Ditto
Furth Munros [/b](Hills over 3000ft in the UK outside Scotland): Skiddaw
Date: 22 July 2010
Weather: Pea soup fog. Oh dear!
Who: Just me

I realised after posting my last Wainwright walk that I’d actually got muddled. Crinkle Crags was not actually my 3rd foray into the Lake District.. it was the 4th. I had forgotten about a rather foggy ascent of Skiddaw I had done in July of that year, en route to Scotland for a friend’s Munro compleation. So although this is Wainwright walks 4, it was actually 3….

What would most people describe as ideal preparation for an ascent of Ben Nevis via the CMD arete? I’m fairly sure it would involve a reasonable fitness regime involving (a) climbing smaller hills, (b) going to the gym, (c ) not stuffing your face for a few weeks beforehand , and (d) trying to get a bit of a rest beforehand. Well, I tried to manage a few of these… I did seriously hit the gym for a few weeks before the Ben Nevis walk, not that it did me any good as no gym machine known to Virgin Active involves clinging onto a narrow bit of rain slicked rock whilst trying not to look down or worry about exactly how much one would go ‘splat’ if falling off. Having failed miserably to get a rest though, I opted for plan b… get up a smaller hill. The plan, such as it was, was to ascend a Lake District hill en route up to Scotland. I was very conscious that it had been a long time since I had gone up a 3000ft hill so Skiddaw seemed like a plan.

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Hangover Hill!

Hills: Geal Charn (Drumochter Pass)
Date: 31 July 2009
Weather: Overcast & dull but dry
Who: Self, Stuart, hangovers (x2) bog – thankfully not too vertical
Distance: 4.7 miles (checked the GPS!)
Time: Just over 2 ½ hours

My husband’s suggestion for a walk report – and why he doesn’t get to write them – would have been something along the lines of ‘Had hangover. Chose hill. Walked up hill. Took pics. Walked back down hill. Went back to pub’. This is a little bit more verbose than that but you get the general idea!

This is a hill-walking blog with added wine. Sometimes, a little too much added wine! Sitting on my sofa with a hangover today after sampling the rather tasty Italian wine at a new local bar, seemed an ideal opportunity to catch up with a few blog posts. My hill-walking tends to be punctuated with mishaps, sometimes hangover related but other times due to various travel debacles.. one of the disadvantages of taking up a hobby which it is physically impossible to do near where we live (in South-East London). This was a classic example but also demonstrated that hill walking is actually a rather good hangover cure… if one can drag oneself out of bed to actually go and do the walk that is!

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Wainwright Walks 3: Crinkle Crags

Hills: Pike o’Blisco, Crinkle Crags
Wainwrights: (hills listed in AW’s Lakeland Fells guides): Ditto
Hewitts: (hills in England and Wales over 2000ft): Ditto
Date: 16 October 2010
Weather: Just for once… glorious!
Who: self, Stuart and mates
Time: 6 ½ hours including breaks
Distance: About 8 miles
Ascent: About 1000m, maybe a bit more

Warning – do not adjust your computer screen. This is not a mistake. The sky, hills, valleys etc really did look like that. It was a glorious autumn day – one to savour and quite definitely not one to wreck by being hungover on the way up the hill. With blue sky and everything!

It was a few weeks since we had returned from our last trip to Scotland – which had been characterised by rotten weather and not a single view from a summit – and after a few weeks in the flatlands of London we were getting itchy feet. 😦 A plan was hatched for a return visit to the Lake District along with our mates who we had gone there with in May. It was time for another episode of Wainwright Walks the Malbec way… still with more rioja involved than Julia Bradbury’s version, rather less planning, and definitely less embroidered combat trousers. On that point Craghoppers had clearly made a bob or two out of us for the weekend as we were all sporting the same blooming trousers although at least mine were the womens’ version.

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Wainwright Walks 2: Catbells Classic

Hills: Catbells, Maiden Moor
Date: Sunday 14 March 2010
Weather: A bit windy, otherwise good
Who: Self, Stuart (my husband) and friends
Time: In total 3 ½ hours

Welcome to ‘Wainwright Walks, the Malbec way, part 2: Catbells’ in which I (together with my husband Stuart and various other cohorts) continue my mission to bring our own particular brand of hillwalking (involving amongst other things a detailed scientific experiment to work out the optimum ratio of good evening/rioja/ Glenfarclas pre walk to headache during walk) to the Lake District. Not only were we following in the footsteps of A. Wainwright, Julia Bradbury, and her TV crew, we were following in the footsteps of another luminary of hillwalking and blogging … the one and only Fatdogwalks. (www.wherethefatdogwalks.com) whose post on the same hill we had recently read. I’m not really sure which is the hardest act to follow!

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Wainwright Walks 1: Hungover on Haystacks

Hill: Haystacks
When:13 March 2010
Weather: Generally OK: a fair bit of low cloud but our hill stayed clear (yay!)
Who: Self, husband and two mates
Time: 5 hours, including lunch stops and unscheduled waiting around…
Post walk drink: Merlot for some, real ale for others

Welcome to the first instalment of ‘Walking with Wainwright, the Malbec way’ in which I, accompanied sometimes by my husband and various friends, tackle walks made famous in the Julia Bradbury TV programme… but with rather more swearing, definitely more alcohol, decidedly less camera equipment, and absolutely no embroidered combat trousers!! We’d decided to book a weekend in the Lake District with two mates, one who we’d walked with several times in Scotland and another mate who prior to this weekend hadn’t done anything more hilly than the North Downs Way. It’s important to note at this point (for later reference) that I an English, my husband is Scottish, and one of our mates is from Belfast.

There were a few lessons learned from this trip about how not to plan a hill walking break…
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Welcome to my website 🙂  I’ve started this blog to chronicle my somewhat erratic and mishap prone hill walking.. Not to mention the inevitable post walk drinks! Some nice views and hopefully amusing anecdotes will be thrown in for good measure..

Beinn Ime – how it all began

How it all began..

24 May 2008 was a good day. At 3pm or thereabouts, me and my husband were standing on the summit of Beinn Ime, our first Munro, together with his father who was tackling his first Munro in 30 years. We were all undoubtedly knackered, but happy.

I had realised about half of the way up that it was exactly four years since 24 May 2004. Sounds obvious but on that particular day, I was undergoing surgery on my back to fix a compression fracture of one of my lumbar vertebrae. I had fallen off a horse and landed awkwardly, and although I had been lucky enough not to suffer any spinal cord damage I needed to have two titanium plates and four screws fitted into my back to stabilise it. I also needed 3 months in a back brace, physiotherapy and 6 months off work. I’m fine now (most of the time – my back does play up now and again) but it seemed rather fitting that 4 years on to the day from the op, I had climbed a mountain. 😀
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The Devil made me do it! Cairngorm wild camp

I thought a good first post for my blog would be my favourite walk of 2014, in the Southern Cairngorms. This walk had everything – good weather, a first (first wild camp) a milestone (1/3 of the Munros now done) a few celebratory drinks and a transportation foul up. In short most of the usual elements of one of my walks. The participants other than me were my husband and a friend, and less pleasantly, about 8 billion midges (well it certainly felt like)..

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