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The Northern Carneddau and Aber Falls

The Northern Carneddau and Aber Falls

ROUTE STATS (including map) Aber Falls and the Northern Carneddau I’ll admit to feeling a little nervous about heading across the border. Even a casual glance at the headlines in 2020 would have you convinced the entire population of the British Isles could be found jostling for position on the summit of Snowdon / Yr Wyddfa. I certainly don’t want to add to the pressures and become part of the problem. But equally, I’ve learnt that the press is rather…

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Northern Fells Expedition

Northern Fells Expedition

ROUTE STATS (including map) The Northern Fells The light is fading. I am cocooned in my sleeping bag. Alone, yet surrounded by old friends. My belly is full of warm pasta as I lay gazing at the inky-blue sky. I have completed the ritualistic tasks of collecting water, cooking a meal and erecting my shelter. There is nothing more for me to do. My phone is switched off – the only thing requiring power now is my head torch. Everything…

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The Deepdale Round

The Deepdale Round

ROUTE STATS (including map) The Deepdale Round I have never understood potholing. Why anyone would want to head underground in their wellington boots, in the dark, to squeeze through tight passages filled with water is beyond me. I’ve visited a couple of show caves in my time and can appreciate the beauty of a delicate stalactite or stalagmite as much as the next person. But I’d still rather be standing on a lofty ridge knowing I can always get back…

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The Swindale Fells

The Swindale Fells

ROUTE STATS (including map) The Swindale Fells It was all going so well. Two summits in the bag. Two more to go. Despite the fog, cold wind and distinct lack of views, this is my kind of walking. Striding out beside a dry stone wall, I am guided reassuringly through the gloom. My lockdown legs are injected with new life. This is the first walk of 2021 I’ve not had to start from my front door. I inhale the damp…

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2021 Challenge – Quality Mountain Days

2021 Challenge – Quality Mountain Days

Making Plans Making any sort of plans at the moment seems futile. Lockdowns, new variants and ever-changing rules and regulations beat back our objectives with the stick of disappointment. Many of us are resigned to taking each day as it comes, while living our lives takes a back seat. It’s why I’ve held off posting my aspirations for 2021. But despite the potential for knock backs, it’s still important to make plans. Having a focus for when this miserable period…

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Memories of Wainwright’s Favourite Walks

Memories of Wainwright’s Favourite Walks

Like many of us gathered around the wireless on Monday evening, I felt a range of emotions. Despair, sadness, fatigue, fear, anger. This tiny virus certainly seems to have us by the short and curlies with no signs of letting go. I’d ordinarily turn to the mountains to escape. But even they are closed for most of us right now. ‘The hills will still be there waiting when this is all over’, I hear you cry. That’s right, of course,…

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Wainwright’s Favourite Walks: The Fairfield Horseshoe

Wainwright’s Favourite Walks: The Fairfield Horseshoe

ROUTE STATS (including map) The Fairfield Horseshoe It’s not hard to see the appeal of horseshoe walks. After the initial effort of reaching high ground, that’s where you’ll stay all day until it’s time to come down again. Look around and you’ll see the route that’s gone before you, plus what’s on offer later in the day. And whether you are an ardent ticker of hill lists or not, there’s no denying people will be impressed when you tell them…

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Defer your success and never fail again

Defer your success and never fail again

‘The past is history. The future’s a mystery. But today is a gift – that’s why it’s called the present’. Master Oogway, Kung Fu Panda Goals My goal for 2020 was simple: complete 18 classic Lakeland fell walks, each one inspired by Alfred Wainwright’s excellent book, ‘Fellwalking With Wainwright’. By this time last year, I’d read the book from cover to cover, spread maps across the kitchen table, scribbled notes on scraps of paper and formulated a plan. Things didn’t…

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Wainwright’s Favourite Walks – Skiddaw

Wainwright’s Favourite Walks – Skiddaw

ROUTE STATS (including map) Skiddaw Some well-known mountains in the Lake District go by more than one name. Which one you go for could depend on the map you read, the people you talk to, or even just the one you like the sound of. Let’s start with Blencathra. You might know it as the more descriptive (but less poetic) Saddleback. While you’ll still find both names printed on Ordnance Survey maps, Wainwright made his opinions on this very clear,…

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Wainwright’s Favourite Walks – The High Stile Range

Wainwright’s Favourite Walks – The High Stile Range

ROUTE STATS (including map) The High Stile Range November is another month of 2020 we’d all rather forget. A second national lockdown brings challenges and pressures for everyone, be they economic, health, lifestyle or even just the boredom and uncertainty of sitting around at home. On the eve of this difficult month away from the fells, a special walk was definitely called for to get me through. Introducing the High Stile Range. A classic and somewhat underrated route. It has a bit…

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