Wainwright walks 38: legging it in Langdale

Hills:Lingmoor Fell
Wainwright: No.80
When: Thursday 12th October
Who: Me and the mountaineering minion
Weather: Overcast but dry; very windy at times
Conditions underfoot: Good paths for most of it with only the odd bit of bog or scree
Hangover factor: Moderate (though could have been a lot worse!)
Post walk drink: Malbec
Post walk watering hole: The White Lion, Ambleside
Mishaps: None to speak of. WTF?

I think it is fair to say that after my last walk, up Whinlatter on the 10th, the post walk drinks were not particularly restrained. The weather forecast for the Wednesday 11th October was, to put it mildly, resembling Noah’s Flood with strong winds accompanied by torrential rain. On waking up that morning with a reasonably sore head I took one look out of the window to see that the forecast had been pretty accurate… and promptly went back to bed. It was a day for pottering about rather than attempting to go anywhere near any sort of hill and the amount of water in the beck was something to see.. and also a bit worrying. It was clear that any subsequent walk was going to have to be carefully planned as everywhere underfoot was likely to be awash.


On the Wednesday evening we had booked to have a meal at Fellinis combined with seeing Coriolanus streamed live from the RSC – so some rather cultural evening entertainment! The (vegetarian) food was pretty good and we accompanied it by a nice bottle of white wine… at Fellinis you can also take wine into the cinema so needless to say more wine got bought and we did. Although we ended up going to bed at a reasonably restrained time the wine consumption had not exactly been that restrained so plans for the Thursday – where the forecast looked potentially walkable but windy – were left fluid. Continue reading

Wainwright walks 30: Glenridding and the hangover from Hell(vellyn)

Hills: Glenridding Dodd
When: Saturday 29 April
Who:Me and the mountaineering minion
Weather: Clear but windy
Bog factor: Zero
Hangover factor: High
Post walk watering hole:Travellers Rest, then the Glenridding Hotel bar later
Post walk drink: Helvellyn Gold ale, then Kendal Mint Cake liqueur
One that got away: Sheffield Pike

Those of you that read my blog on a regular, or even semi regular basis will know that there are usually a few themes that recur with alarming frequency. Obviously there is usually a hill walk of sorts in there somewhere, after all this is a hill walking blog, albeit with added wine. There is often a drink-related foul up of some description and there is equally often a transport related foul up too. This walk had pretty much the lot!

Usually at least some planning goes into a walk. At least in theory although plans often get binned in favour of a plan B, C or D depending on what the weather decides to do and other factors such as general state of knackeredness. I usually book trains well in advance in particular but having booked our accommodation – the Glenridding Hotel – some time ago I hadn’t bothered booking the train as no particular discounts were available. I finally sorted it a few days beforehand then on collecting my tickets realised I didn’t have a seat reservation. A trip to Euston during my lunch break was pretty fruitless: the train was full and we would need to fight for seats in the 2 unreserved carriages that Virgin Trains fortunately puts on every service. Continue reading

Mountains minus Malbec: thoughts on Dry January

To be strictly accurate this post contains no mountains either! No walking since Sandwood Bay, and unlikely to be any for another month or so. I am trying not to get too jealous of all the posts of snowy hills popping up in my Facebook feed – and failing miserably.

As to dry January – I decided to do it largely to try and kick start getting myself back into some sort of decent physical condition. There have been pluses and minuses so far. The pluses – I have lost 4lb; my skin is clearer; I’m generally sleeping better; and my brain seems sharper, I’m definitely getting more done.I have managed to start going swimming again, although not as often as I had hoped. I’ve also spent less than usual, although the price of soft drinks in pubs is pretty shocking. Plus there is the obvious one of no hangovers (which these days take less and less Malbec to induce) Continue reading

Wainwright Walks 7: All over the Place (Fell) in Patterdale

Hills: Place Fell
Wainwrights: ditto
Hewitts: ditto
Who: just me
Time: just under 3 hours
Pre walk drink: Too many glasses of merlot
Weather: urrgh, don’t ask.

The occasion was a walking forum meet, which I had attempted to organise for the last weekend in June. It was a momentous event because it was the first ever meet up for this group which was organised outside of Scotland…. and unfortunately this seemed to put a number of people off despite my entreaties that there is plenty of good walking to be found South of the border! It was ultimately a select group, which was no bad thing as at least we could easily all find a table in the pub. The location was Patterdale, which I had never been to before but I understood was nice with a good selection of hills within easy reach. My target for the weekend – in an ideal world – was to do Helvellyn, but going by the weather forecast, it looked as though that would probably not be an option. To be frank, after doing the CMD Arete in crap weather for a friend’s compleation I did not want to do one of the classic ridges of the Lake District in similar weather not to mention risk getting blown off. This decision was vindicated nearly two years later by doing said ridge in stunning blue sky! Report to follow in due course :)

We had taken the day off to travel North which was probably just as well as it seemed to take an unfeasible amount of time to actually get there – the joys of the M6! We picked our fellow blogger Mountaincoward up in Carnforth at about 3.30 and were in Patterdale about an hour later to check into Patterdale YHA or as it shall henceforth be referred to, Stalag Patterdale. Good points: you can get a beer, a cooked breakfast and for that matter an evening meal if you particularly want to 🙂 Bad points: a small breeze block green painted room with bunk beds that were less than comfortable… and no lock on the ladies loo. 😯 And a bloke in the ladies shower the following morning! 😯 A bit of a shame really as the place is in a good location, it just clearly needs some work. On a bit of a digression I do think that youth hostels have lost the plot a bit re pricing – Patterdale was £46 per night for a 2 person private room and on looking at Glencoe for a potential weekend later in the year it was £56 for a twin – it is even worse now at £59 for a twin in Ambleside. 😯 Okay, dorm beds are still cheap but you do start to wonder whether it is worth just paying extra for a hotel or B&B which at least usually has the benefit of being en suite. Still, at least we weren’t camping, given the general sogginess of the conditions.

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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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