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Wainwright’s Favourite Walks – High Street and Harter Fell

Wainwright’s Favourite Walks – High Street and Harter Fell

ROUTE STATS (including map) High Street and Harter Fell Arriving at Haweswater feels like stepping into another world. A world far removed from the trappings of modern life. One where the balance is shifted in favour of nature and where humans aren’t necessarily in charge. Even on the greyest of days, it’s like someone has turned up the intensity dial. The diversity of flora and fauna jumps out with a vivid clarity. You might see deer and red squirrels. The…

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Walking Poles

Walking Poles

I’ve reached a pivotal moment in my life as a hillwalker. After agonising for some time, I couldn’t put it off any longer. I have bought something I never thought I’d want nor need. At the click of a button, I’ve become the proud, if not slightly sceptical, owner of a new set of walking poles. I know I’m a bit late to the party here; it’s hardly a new and innovative bit of kit. Poles are a common sight…

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Motivation

Motivation

I thought staying motivated to work in lockdown would be a breeze. You see I’ve been lucky to work from home for the past three years. I have a decent home office setup. I know that Zoom isn’t just a retro ice-lolly. And I’ve had to make up my own coffee-machine gossip for some time. And that’s meant my lockdown routine has felt strangely, well, normal.  In our pre-Covid world, people would often say to me ‘you must have so…

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Senses: Touch

Senses: Touch

Wash your hands after touching anything. Or better still, don’t touch anything, and then wash your hands anyway. My permitted walks have become an exercise in crossing stiles without making contact. And immediately dousing myself in hand gel if my concentration lapses and I accidentally brush past a leaf. And human contact has stopped altogether. I’m not one for hugging every person I pass in the street but an element of touch does come naturally to us. We shake hands…

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I miss the mountains

I miss the mountains

I miss the mountains. I miss fine-tuning the route. Reading guidebooks. Poring over maps. Checking the weather forecast. I miss packing my rucksack. Sorting my kit. Filling my water bottles. Making a sandwich and deciding how many Mars Bars to take. I miss loading up the car the night before. Laying out my clothes ready. I miss going to bed early. Waking up in the early hours. Sneaking out of bed and wolfing down some breakfast. Creeping around the house…

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You don’t have to be a superhero

You don’t have to be a superhero

Despite a marathon unsubscribing session last year, I’m still on lots of mailing lists. On the whole, this is great. My inbox is filled with (mostly) interesting content, discount codes and ideas. I’ve kept things manageable by being honest about what I actually end up reading. If I find myself deleting e-mails before even opening them, that tells me it’s time to unsubscribe. But despite my e-mail subscription list being pretty lean, I’ve found it hard to keep on top…

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Can not Can’t

Can not Can’t

Writing has taken a back seat these past few weeks. COVID-19 – “The Virus” – has hit and cast a shadow over the world. And writing about the outdoors and work-life balance has felt, well, a little trivial. I’m lucky in that lockdown hasn’t meant too many adjustments for me. My work is largely done from home, I don’t eat out too often and I quite enjoy my family’s company. My friends joke that social distancing is where I excel!…

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Wainwright’s Favourite Walks – Haystacks

Wainwright’s Favourite Walks – Haystacks

ROUTE STATS (including map) Haystacks I became a bit obsessed with the weather in February. Reading different forecasts. Reading between the lines of different forecasts. Trying my best to see the positives in a month of storms battering the mountains. Everyday I hoped for a break in the weather. And one which fell on a day I didn’t have work commitments. But it didn’t come. And I really started to miss the mountains! Just as my patience was starting to…

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Navigation Nuggets

Navigation Nuggets

When it comes to hillwalking, having the right skills is a key component of being adventure smart. And competent navigation in the hills is arguably one of the most important. You might be a human TomTom but there’s always more to learn. And the good news is there’s no substitute for getting outside as much as possible to practise, practise and then practise some more. If you are just starting out then map and compass skills can appear somewhat as…

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Patience

Patience

I reckon we should all try to have a little more patience. I grew up in a time before self-checkouts and online shopping. When sending an e-mail meant plugging a cable in and keeping your fingers crossed someone didn’t try to use the phone as you connected via dial-up. Mobile phones were used to speak to people. Doing a project at school meant heading to the library or, if you were lucky, digging out the Encarta CD-ROM. I remember the…

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