Beinn an Dothaidh – an afternoon blast!

Hills: Beinn an Dothaidh
Munros: Ditto
Who: Self & Stuart
When: Saturday 25 April 2015
Unfortunately present: Bog: snow shower: bad case of path erosion: swear words (as a result) bruises (ditto)
Unexpectedly present: Glorious sunshine!
Post walk watering hole: Bridge of Orchy Hotel
Post walk drink: To start with, coke and Bridge of Orchy ale, followed by Malbec
Mishaps: read on…

Yes, I know what the first reaction will be on reading the list of hills done on this walk. What happened to Beinn Dorain? It usually takes about an hour and a half or so to walk between these hills, after all… But not in this case. In this case it took us slightly less than six years. This is not because our walking pace has finally reduced to glacial speed.. but rather because we had done Beinn Dorain way back in May 2009, on a marginal day, and had also been trying to do it by public transport. We were running tight for time to add on Dothaidh as well, and decided that discretion was probably the better part of valour given that the implications for us of missing the train (missing work, not to mention cost of replacement tickets) are quite high!

We’d meant to go back for Dothaidh rather earlier than this but for various reasons it hadn’t happened. It was kind of being kept for a day when we needed a shortish walk which could be done in a morning – or more likely given that we aren’t the earliest risers, an afternoon. It also had the advantage of being something of a known quantity which given the long lay off from being on the Munros – the last ones being the end of August – would be rather welcome.

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Wainwright Walks 13: Walla Crag and Bleaberry Bog (sorry Fell)

Hills: Walla Crag, Bleaberry Fell
Wainwrights: Ditto
Stone circles: Castlerigg
Who: Cast of thousands… well 6 anyway; self, Stuart and 4 mates.
When: Saturday 14 March
Unfortunately present: Bog: unexpected minor scrambly bit; wind (I mean the natural sort produced by weather, not the sort produced by too many baked beans at breakfast!)
Unexpectedly present: Liam
Post walk drink: Merlot and real ale (not in the same glass!)

Finally – after way too long – this report gets the Wainwright walks up to date… at least until the next visit to the Lake District. This report follows on from our ascent of Wansfell the previous day which had seen me, Stuart and Sacha tackle a horrendous bog en route to the true summit which I suspect anyone except Wainwright baggers doesn’t bother with. Of course, I am not actually trying to do all the Wainwrights, or so I keep telling myself, but if the true top of something is within easy reach I am blooming well going to go and tag it… maybe I should blame it on being an auditor and therefore having an inherent mentality which requires ticking things. (A less insulting concept than once being referred to as a ‘glorified abacus’).

This walk was a momentous occasion because we were introducing our friends Kat and Andrew to the joys of hill walking, no doubt after hearing us bang on about it once too often. It was therefore arranged that they would join us on the walking group meet in Keswick and I hit the maps to try and work out a suitable route which would be (a) reasonably straightforward, (b) have decent views, (c) not involve any snow and (d) hopefully not involve any major bog. This was more of an ask than might be expected, given the recent snowfall, and my initial thoughts of doing Blencathra had to be binned as a result. We also needed a walk which could be reached by public transport as it is simply not possible to fit 5 people in my Mini, certainly not with the addition of walking gear. Continue reading

Wainwright Walks 12: Wansfell wanderings with a Mortal Man

Hills: Wansfell
Wainwrights: ditto (Far Eastern Fells this time)
Who: self, Stuart, Sacha
When: Friday 13 March 2015
Bog factor
: zero up to Wansfell Pike – after that pretty high
Weather: overcast with higher tops in clag
Mid walk drink: The Mortal Man pub, Troutbeck

Finally I’ve managed to get up to date enough with my Wainwright walks posts that I’m writing about a walk actually done recently – namely a few weeks ago as part of a walking club meet.

As always with my Wainwright walks, the full Julia Bradbury effect was not in evidence – definitely no embroidered trousers, and rather more in the way of alcohol… However, Stuart had decided to up the Wainwright factor somewhat with a flat cap which replaced the usual choice of headgear (being either a beanie hat or a buff emblazoned with saltires) for the occasion. Thankfully no tweed walking trousers or other antique gear was in evidence with us as usual wearing similar bloody Craghoppers trousers and the usual assortment of Berghaus and Rab gear. (Somehow I doubt however any sponsorship from Craghoppers is forthcoming)

For once there were no transport issues to speak of – the usual ghastly start to get to Stanmore was even ghastlier than usual though as I had a meeting at 8.30 am. The alarm went off at 5 and I resisted the temptation to thump it and go back to sleep. Sufficient caffeine was applied to get me through the day and I met the blokes at Stanmore at about 6.15. We made it to the Travelodge at Burton M6 service station at about 11.30 and had a glass of wine (Rioja) before hitting the pit, a couple of walk options planned for the morning depending on whether the weather decided to play ball. Continue reading