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.


Because They're There said...

Bloody hell. I enjoyed that, Greg. But you forgot to list all the cafes and tearooms you've visited over the years.
I reckon that with your 46 years on and off in the Lakes, and my 38 years on and off, we must have nodded to each other once or twice as we passed on some remote fellside somewhere.
Cheers, Alen

Greg said...

Thanks Alen. I forgot about the cafes, but I've probably only started to visit them as we became more affluent! Theres loads of other memories that I have not covered, as you can imagine. If you ever fancy company on a walk and i'm not working give us a shout.

David Lintern said...

Many Congratulations. That's a full life and stil lots more to come. Lovely post, thanks for sharing

Greg said...

Thanks for the kind words David.

Jules said...

A great post! Your love for the hills, and the Lakenland Fells in particular, comes shining through.

My own walking "career" shares similarities with yours - started young with parents, the Lakes featuring strongly, the early use of more basic clothing and equipment, a woolly balaclava hat just like yours (complete with itchiness).

Your story has brought back many memories of my own. For which, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Greg - nice post, some good pictures. How come a lad fom Cumbria supported |Leeds Utd?

Greg said...

Thanks Andrew (anon) we supported Leeds cos our dad was from Yorkshire.

Greg said...

Jules thanks for comment, my mam once bought me a herdwick wool shirt in bright red - it was murder to wear.

markswalkingblog said...

Greg a rather late comment. I have taken a bit of a break in blogging but I back to it now. Great little post. Brings back some memories of backpacking as a teenager in pre Goretex days and my first pack made of canvas! Excellent stuff.

Greg said...

Thanks for the comment Mark. Yes I had a huge Arran type home made sweater that took up most of a rucksack.