Wainwright Walks 25: unfinished business on Low Pike

Hills:Low Pike
When: 23 September 2016
Who: just me and the mountaineering minion
Why: unfinished business
Weather: overcast but windy
Bog factor: mostly ok but one patch of megabog near the top
Post walk drink: Pinot Grigio
Post walk watering hole: The Golden Rule

It was April 2014 when I did the Fairfield Horseshoe. Well I say ‘did’. I was walking in a big group on a glorious sunny day; we started from Rydal and took in the ridge starting from Nab Scar, breaking the walk by celebrating someone’s birthday on Fairfield itself with some champagne. Mid walk drinks were a bit of a new experience! At the time, I didn’t have a Harveys map of the relevant bit of the Lake District… I did however acquire one a couple of days later, and was horrified to realise that I had bagged only 7 Wainwrights of a possible 8. Why? Because we had dropped off the ridge after High Pike on a path which contoured below the summit of Low Pike, the summit of which is underneath the ridge wall… which at that point we had been nowhere near (as I thought). It therefore became unfinished business, and had been bugging me ever since although on a few subsequent visits to Ambleside I had never quite got round to it. Continue reading

Islay: whisky fuelled wanderings

Cautionary note to readers: this post contains no hills. It also contains no Malbec, or indeed any other form of red wine. Possibly as a result, it also does not contain any transport debacles, unintentional visits to the pub, cases of man (or woman) flu or any of the other type of things that have sometimes meant that a trip North of the Border has gone less than smoothly.

We were trying something different for this trip – a trip to Islay with our friends Kat and Andrew, staying in Port Ellen. Whilst Islay does have some hills – and the neighbouring island of Jura has the rather magnificent Paps (insert innuendo of your choice here) the Islay tick list is something rather different. Distilleries! No less than 8 of them, with an additional one on Jura – and Jura just happens to be my favourite whisky. Indeed, we had far more success with completing this particular tick list than I probably ever will with completing any of the lists of hills. Islay also has some outstanding coastal scenery, and tons of wildlife plus some interesting historical stuff as well. Continue reading