Wainwright walks 83: Up and down in Wasdale

  • Hills: Middle Fell, Seatallan, Buckbarrow
  • Classification: Wainwrights (155 to 157)
  • When: Thursday 16 September
  • Who: Me and the mountaineering minion
  • Distance: About 7 miles at a guess.
  • Weather: Glorious sunshine for most of it, cloud blowing in and out on Seatallan
  • Post walk drink: Pale ale, followed by Merlot (again)
  • Post walk watering hole: The Strands Inn, Wasdale (again)
  • MAMBA factor: Pretty high. Wasdale can be heaving on a good day but these are some of the lesser frequented hills in the area.
  • Uses of the arse crampon: Still MIA.
  • Mishaps: Does work count? (again..)

I said in my last blog post that one of these days one of my blog posts would not start with a rant. At some point, this might even be true – however once again this is not that post. At least the rant is a bit shorter this time than it was for my last blog post which consisted of more ranting than description of the actual walk! The ratio is at least not quite so skewed as the last time. It is however beginning to occur to me that the rant to walk ratio being skewed seems to be taking the place of either (a) the mishap to walk ratio being skewed or (b) the  time/ distance to get to the hill versus the actual time on the hill being completely skewed as it has been in the past. At least on this walk nothing really went that wrong with no mishaps to speak of on the walk itself, unless the absolute bugger of a steep ascent of Seatallan counts as one!

As regards the rant – once again work managed to get in the way of my supposed time off, although this time the impact was more limited than it had been in the past. This time it consisted of getting a message just as I was getting off the hill asking if there was any way I could be on a conference call over Zoom in an hour’s time. Unfortunately this was something that couldn’t wait till I got back to London so I negotiated an extra 15 minutes to at least allow me time to get back to the hill, get out of hill walking gear and make myself at least vaguely presentable but it was certainly not ideal! Had this not happened I would probably have thought about going for an open water swim, which I did the following day instead. Even going to somewhere with very little mobile signal doesn’t seem to work these days for getting away from work as whilst there is no phone signal in Nether Wasdale there is WiFi in the pub…

After my lovely walk in the Far Eastern Fells the previous day, the forecast was once again excellent and it would have been a good day to do a big walk. However the mix of lockdown related lack of fitness and work induced tiredness meant that an epic was still not an option, plus given parking issues in Wasdale on a previous visit I did not need the stress of worrying about whether I would be able to find a parking space! Going for Middle Fell gave me the option to extend to two other hills if I felt up to it, I knew there was a reasonable amount of parking and the views looked as though they would be great. Decision made in the bar the night before about what walk to do, I had some excellent pub grub at the Inn (portions are huge) and turned in for an early night.  

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