It’s been a while hasn’t it? Seems I lost the bug for writing 2,000 words about each walk I went on. In fact I was spending more time typing than I was walking up hills so I decided to knock it on the head for a while. In the last 13 months I have managed to get out a fair bit, so I decided to put up a bit of a retrospective of late 2013/early 2014 in hiking.
At the beginning of August me and a few mates headed into deepest, darkest Glossop to brave the boggy top of Bleaklow. Luckily the weather was kind, but the compass was up to its old tricks and we ended faffing about on the top for a bit longer than necessary after a bit of boulder-based fun. Despite miscalculations in navigation we bagged another Trail 100 with just enough spare daylight to get back to the car.
A three week jaunt to Australia in August put a bit of a spanner in the works when it came to fell walking, but it was the trip of a lifetime! In September me and Michael took on Skiddaw and some of the surrounding Wainwrights on a 19km day hike.
This was followed by a four month hiking hiatus; but the new year played host to a good night walk and wild camp in a derelict bothy in Kielder Forest (where I bunked up alongside four sheep with poor respiratory health). I was away in a manger for the night before heading up onto the snow covered moors to nab Peel Fell on the first of February.
When the Easter weekend rolled around it was time for a two night hike and wild camp. I got to the Lakes late on Friday and after I scratched my new car, I bagged Beda Fell and Hallin Fell, stopping for a bivvy on the latter. The next morning I woke early and drove round to Haweswater to tick off everything between Selside Pike and Angletarn Pikes, stopping to camp at Angle Tarn and dropping back down to the car the next day via High Raise. This was the first of the big trips of the season and gave me a great chance to stretch the legs.
The fine weather of June meant that Michael and I could get out for another epic. We climbed up to Helvellyn via Birkhouse Moor, Catstycam and Swirral Edge, walked down to Dollywagon Pike and then up to Clough Head on day one. Day two took in the Dodds and Sheffield Pike before dropping down into Glenridding. 40km in two days and about 12 Wainwrights made for a really rewarding trip. The only negative was my optimism, perversely. Having packed my bivvy bag instead of a tent the inevitable night time rain showers in camp meant I missed out on sleep, but I’m made of tough stuff and after a strong coffee and a hearty porridge and bacon sandwich breakfast we set off into the sun.
My latest trip was a funny, fragmented one but was really enjoyable. I spent a pleasant evening and morning in Leeds with my good friends Rob and Ana where we watched the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France. I followed up this excitement by driving to Lancashire to climb another Trail 100, Clougha Pike, and similar to Bleaklow above I ended up wandering around a peaty plateau for a while in order to find the summit, just on my own this time. After I was done with the Pike I drove up through the lovely Yorkshire Dales and set about scaling my second Trail 100 of the trip (and my 19th overall), Ingleborough. I camped out just below the summit and bagged it first thing in the morning before hitting the M6 and A69 home. Top job.
And that’s it so far. I need to get a few more trips in the diary before the end of the year but this year’s walking has seen me pass 33% of the Wainwrights, reach a total of almost 20 Trail 100s and increase my love of the outdoors even more. Next time I go, I promise to take you along and not leave it another year!