readers will have spotted that Bryan has not been out
with us for several weeks now and maybe wondered what
had happened to him. I am pleased to report that
all is well with him, it's our chosen days that have
not fitted in with his domestic schedule.
he has not been inactive. Those with long memories
will recall his intention to complete a Wainwright book
in a month. His initial plan was to tackle the
Eastern Fells and the first part of that attempt was
recorded in BB1213.
Circumstances worked against completion that time
but Bryan is not one to give up on a project.
is his tale of success.
Book In A Month
after our two grandchildren has prevented me getting
out on BOOTboys
walks over the past couple of months. Combine that with
the apathy resulting from the dreadful summer weather
meant I had failed to build on my summer exertions in
the Alps and had gone backwards in terms of fitness.
these circumstances I find I need a challenge to get
in the 80s the fellrunners at Provincial came up with
the idea of running round all the fells in a Wainwright
book in a single day.
"book in a day" was clearly out of the question
but maybe I could do one in a calendar month? I settled
on the 36 Wainwrights that make up Book 2 – The Far
Eastern Fells. What follows is an account of that attempt.
2nd October – Making a start
first free day of the month. I can hear the rain being
blown against the window. Give it a miss? Tempting,
but there’s fells to do. So I set off for Hartsop. The
back road from Ings to Troutbeck was barely passable
with the standing water, and the mist was thick as I
crossed Kirkstone Pass.
was to be a short, sharp day. Not too far but with plenty
of climbing - a circuit of Pasture Beck taking in 4
over Hartsop Dodd I spent much of the day in the clag;
Caudale Moor proving to be particularly interesting
navigation – never had to get the compass out though!
wind was howling as I descended over Gray Crag, and
several times I had to stop and crouch down to avoid
being blown off my feet. But all in all a good start.
miles with 2,649ft of ascent in 3hrs 29mins
9th October – Bring me sunshine
weather had shown signs of improving so Steve, Malcolm
and myself gave the new bikes a 30 mile outing around
the Lakes on the Monday. Returning home feeling a bit
tired Liz tells me Tony Mercer and Stuart Hinton have
both rung asking if I fancied a day on the hills.
an excellent forecast it seemed too good a chance to
miss, so early next morning Tony drove us round to the
church just above Howtown. The mist was low in the valley
and visibility was poor – it looked like we’d picked
the wrong place. But as we climbed our first top – Hallin
Fell – we popped out above the mist into a glorious
descending Hallin Fell we had a steep climb up to Bonscale
Pike, the effort being made a little easier by the tremendous
views created by the mist.
the way to Arthur’s Pike Tony and I encountered a man
with a large aerial sticking out of his haversack. He
told us that he was member of WOTA (Wainwrights On The
Air) and had just been broadcasting from Arthur’s Pike.
are amateur radio enthusiasts. And they have a website
weeks later Liz and I were doing Top O’Selside (an Outlying
Fell above Coniston) when we came across four lads with
even bigger aerials and I could now confidently ask
“Are you with WOTA” and have some understanding of the
rest of the day went pleasantly enough and another 6
W’s were in the bag….
miles with 2,584ft of ascent in 6hrs 6mins
12th October – A Dozen in a Day
is usually my day at the Climbing Wall in winter, but
Dave cried off on Thursday evening. It seemed a shame
to waste the day so I decided on an early start and
see where the mood takes me. I left the car at Church
Bridge in Troutbeck at 8am and headed up towards Sour
Howes and the first W of the day.
was a cool, breezy day with the odd short shower – not
a day conducive to stopping, so I was glad I hadn’t
put my stove in the bag. I made my way to Sallows before
dropping to the Garburn Pass and then traversing the
Yoke; Ill Bell; Froswick trio.
it was the first decision – should I go straight on
to High Street or make the diversion to pick up Mardale
Ill Bell? I opted for the diversion before flogging
back to High Street. Next decision – carry on or go
pressed on and picked up The Knott; Rampsgill Head and
High Raise, all the time conscious that I was getting
ever further away from the car! Remarkably it was not
until High Raise that I encountered any other people
look at Rest Dodd and the Nab from High Raise ruled
them out so I finally turned for home picking up Kidsty
Pike as I went. Then it was back over High Street and
down the Roman Road into Troutbeck. I can now confirm
to Mike and James that it is definitely easier descending
this way than going up it!
the day wasn’t yet finished. Troutbeck Tongue was calling
me and so over it I went. A bigger day than I intended
but I felt surprisingly fresh at the end……
with 4,708ft of ascent in 8hrs 12mins
20th October – A Stag Day
up on Saturday morning regretting deciding to have the
last pint the previous evening in the Eagle and Child
– good beer, good atmosphere, good company, bad head!
I was running out of days so I finally got out of bed
and set off, arriving at Bridgend (near Brothers Water)
at 11 o’clock. This was going to be a hard day!
flogged up to the top of Place Fell in the mist feeling
pretty rough most of the way. Today was to be a day
of "out and backs" and lower down I could
look out across to my next top – Beda Fell. It looked
a long way.
I descended I heard the unmistakeable sound of a rutting
stag and sure enough a hundred feet below me were 2
stags and a group of a dozen or so hinds. They disappeared
as quickly as they’d come into view but the rest of
the day was to be accompanied by the seemingly constant
sound of rutting stags in the Martindale Deer Forest
Beda Fell I got the stove out and had a couple of cups
of tea before retracing my steps and heading for Angletarn
Pikes. This was to be my only stop of the day as I started
to become aware of the rapid passing of time. I had
no headtorch and so was mentally calculating cut-off
times for getting back down.
trudge through the peat bogs out to the Nab was worse
than ever following all the rain so I had to pick up
the pace even more. But as I approached Brock Crags
I stopped in my tracks as I saw the classic silhouette
of a stag on the skyline.
pressed on and finally reached the car at 5:40pm with
less than half an hour to spare before dark and another
6 Ws done. A hard day but made better by the rut –
definitely a place to go in late October.
miles with 3,791ft of ascent in 6hrs 32mins
29th October – Little Einsteins
early start today as I park up at Sadgill in Longsleddale
to do the round of the tops above the valley. It turns
out to be a good decision as the early moring mist begins
to break up and the sun comes out for the first couple
of Ws – Grey Crag and Tarn Crag.
thick mist these 2 would be tricky to find but with
the weather clearing I found Grey Crag easily and confidently
strode off to the fence following it towards the column
on top of Tarn Crag. Except when I got there I knew
it wasn’t Tarn Crag it was the cairn on the top of Harrop
across through endless peat bogs recovered the situation
and I was soon trudging along the seemingly endless
stretch from Tran Crag to Branstree and Selside Pike.
As I wandered along I found myself completely unable
to stop singing in my head the tune from a Disney children’s
I did manage to stop it I moved on to the music from
!Special Agent Oso!. This is what happens when you are
child minding two days a week!
desperation I got the ipod out and listened to two episodes
of the Archers Omnibus - some would say I’d be
better off with Little Einsteins!
weather closed in and the rest of the day was spent
in drizzly mist as I returned over the Harter Fell ridge
back to Longsleddale. Another 7 W’s ticked off.
miles with 3,539ft of ascent in 6hrs 24mins
30th October –Reel ‘em in
final fell to do- Wansfell Pike. I had thought of doing
a night ascent but the forecast for the next two days
is poor; or perhaps take one of the grandchildren up
but again the weather wasn’t conducive.
in the end I decided to see how fast I could do it.
parked in the car park near Hayes and set off up the
road alongside Stockghyll. It was half term so there
were a lot of people about and once I started the climb
I began to use them as targets – "reeling ’em in"
as Don calls it.
was on top 42mins after leaving the car and so had finished
all 36 Wainwright’s in the Far Eastern Fells with a
day to spare.
miles with 1,329ft of ascent in 1 hour 16 mins
was a good challenge – 67 miles and 18,600ft in all.
Coupled with 91 miles on the bike plus 2 outings on
the Outlying Fells and I am beginning to feel a bit
30th October 2012
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