Tuesday, 19 February 2013

On and Off for 46 Years

1975 with brother Andrew, Carlin Gill in the Howgills.  Andrew with Leeds scarf.

I started with my dad, I think I was around 12.  As far as I know no photos were taken and we climbed Helvellyn via Striding Edge, Pavey ark via Jack's Rake and Scafell Pike from Great Langdale.
I  probably went through the usual teenage years and then started with the odd fell as above in my early 20s.  My dad had been in the Fell and Rock Climbing Club and I was very proud of him.  In those early days he still had the big boots with all the clinker nails in the bottom.

By 26 I was getting keener and went to the Cairngorms in winter with Dawne on a winter hill walking coarse.  That's the Lairig Ghru and the hat was a woolly balaclava, very itchy and the windproof jacket was ventile.

Tris was born and at 9 months old I carried him up Scafell via Lord's Rake, and Dawne carried the nappies.  The view above is descending from Great Gable.
I dabbled with climbing, and as I lived in the north east at the time did a fair amount of climbing on the sandstone cliffs of Northumberland.  I bought a mountain bike and did various routes including the Howgill's skyline.

By 1994 when we climbed Schiehallion  Ailsa, our daughter was an experienced walker.

We went to the Pyrenees in 1998 and did a 3 night backpack during which we climbed Pic Carlit at 2900m the highest hill so far.
It was around now I bought the book:-

This book lists 244 Lakeland Fells, which is a few more than the Wainwrights. (I have his books as well).  Alfred how can a guide to the Lakes not include fells like Caw, 1735 feet, ?

Using this book I finished climbing all 244 in 2000.........33 years after starting.

In 2004, 4 years and 2 months later I celebrated the second round.  Now wearing Goretex.

2006 and we were celebrating Dawne's round of all  the fells on Buckbarrow.  I think Tris and Ailsa have done quite a lot of the fells so hope one day to be celebrating their rounds.

I have now climbed them all 3 times.  Book front shows that some fells have been climbed more than others.  I have 113 to do for a fourth round but am slowing down,  and have no desire to visit hills like  Ponsonby Fell any time soon.
It took 33 years for the first round,  4 for the second, and 8.5 for the third.
I have backpacked, climbed, mountain biked, skied and walked the fells and continue to be inspired by their beauty.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Helvellyn Again

I think I've done more posts on Helvellyn than any other mountain.  Well it's a nice day. Strangely I'm not at work so a high eastern fell might still have snow. Helvellyn it is.

As you come over Dunmail Raise theres a hanging valley to your left with a waterfall.  I've never been up that way.  The ridge is the one above with trees.

It's my lucky day as it's not raining and Dawne is with me.

After the steep bit the ridge broadens out.  Note for the future there are one or two suitable camping spots here.

The summit plateau is very icy and seeing as we brought them we put on our crampons.

I picked up a new rucksack in the sales.  £40 instead of £80.  Seems ok but I find the opening a bit narrow.  Dawne is also modelling the new Iliam Berghaus down jacket.  Yes I know I don't usually buy Berghaus, but they are ahead of the game at the moment as the down is waterproof hydrodown.  I expect more garments will be copying these soon.

Greg also put on his new jacket as it was bloody cold.

The return route along the edge of the corries.

Down the gill to the car.
Booths was visited and cappuccinos were drunk.