2017: a year in review

Wainwrights done in year: 21
Wainwright total at end of year: 82
Munros done in year: 0 😦
Other new classified hills done: 5 (3 Marilyns, an Outlying Wainwright and a Graham)
Repeats: 1 (Arthur’s Seat, for the umpteenth time)
Trips to Scotland: 4 (including for rugby)
Trips to the Lake District: 9 (of varying length)
Hungover walks: 2 (plus a couple more when slightly fuzzy around the edges)
Beer festivals attended: 4 (2 in the Lakes, 2 in Kent)
Transport debacles: Too many
Trouser debacles: Same
Glasses of wine drunk: Don’t ask.

With 2018 fast approaching, I thought it was time to reflect on how 2017 had gone.

Compared to 2016, it was a pretty good year for hill walking: in 2016 I managed 13 new hills and one repeat and numerically this year was a lot better. I managed to add a total of 26 hills to my ‘bag’ of which the vast majority were Wainwrights; I also managed to climb a classified hill of some description every month this year for the first time, although it did require a bit of creativity in a couple of months by way of slightly artificial bagging runs to a couple of South Eastern England Marilyns. However, it was the first year since I took up hill walking that I did no Munros; this was largely a consequence of it having become increasingly more expensive to get to Scotland compared to the Lakes, with the sleeper train having priced itself out of the market under its new ownership (which will most likely only get worse once the new deluxe trains are introduced next year) and flight times having become increasingly inconvenient with Easyjet cutting the late night Friday flight to Glasgow off its summer schedule making weekend mad dashes north of the Border basically impossible. I hope to get back on the Munros at some point in the future, but will have to see what happens. Continue reading

They have hills in South East England too, sort of.. Part 3

Hills: Detling Hill
Classification: Marilyn
When: Saturday 2 December
Weather: dry, cloudy and very cold
Low points: the summit
High points: the ruined castle
Why: read on….

They have hills in South-East England too. Well sort of if you are bagging Marilyns as there are a number on the North Downs Way, South Downs and so forth. I am quite definitely not bagging Marilyns (or Humps, Tumps, trig points etc). So why was I wandering around the pretty flat ‘summit’ area of Detling Hill on a rather cold Saturday at the beginning of December? There was a good reason, at least of sorts…

There will be a full retrospective of 2017 at some point. But the reason, in brief, was due to setting myself an unofficial ‘bucket list’ of things I wanted to do both on and off the hill over the course of the year. As is always the case with these lists my success was mixed! I had not managed to climb a number of specified hills I wanted to do, have a massage at least once a month or lose a stone and a half (although I have managed to lose a stone, so am at least further forward at the end of 2017 than I was at the start of it). But one of the things on the list was to climb a classified hill on some sort of recognised list at least once a month. Continue reading

Wind, waterfalls and Easedale Tarn

Where: Easedale Tarn
When: 12 November
Who: Me and the mountaineering minion
Weather: Glorious sunshine but very windy/ cold
Bog Factor: non-existent
Hangover factor: same
Mishaps: Could have been a disappearing hat. Trouser malfunction (of sorts)
Post walk drink: Cabernet Sauvignon
Post walk watering hole: My local in Bromley… does that count?

After my walk on Saturday 11th – the Borrowdale Bogfest – which had had the benefit of stunning views but had ended with the realisation that my winter walking trousers were far too big, I spent a very relaxed evening having a lovely meal in the Inn at Grasmere and then chilling out with a couple of G&Ts and my book before hitting the pit. I had thrown my sodden boots into the drying room in the hope they just might be usable for a walk on the Sunday, but was in two minds about it – for various reasons.

Firstly, my legs were aching and my back wasn’t brilliant – I am not on top of my game at the moment and a relatively short walk seemed to have taken a lot out of me, although the awful journey on the Friday night had probably had something to do with it (as probably did the degree of bog encountered on said walk). Secondly, the forecast was for cloudless skies but for it to be very cold and also windy. Thirdly, having got back to civilisation (Grasmere, anyway) too late to purchase a belt, I had a serious trouser issue to contend with. There was no way I was going up or down another hill with my trousers trying to fall down the whole way and I had not brought spares. Any walk would have to break the cardinal rule of proper hill walking as I would have to wear my jeans! And finally, it would be quite nice to catch an earlier train and meet up with Stuart after his flight back from Scotland.  Continue reading