Reminiscenses of a Wainwright-Bagger

4 02 2015

Back in July, I was recovering at my caravan in the Lakes from a week of trying to sleep off nights in unusually hot weather and with noisy neighbours and decided to have a read of my logbooks from when I was bagging the Wainwrights. I was so amused by some of the comments – back in the days when I was even a Lake District mountain coward – I thought I’d put out a post with some of them as it’s a quiet time for going out and doing stuff just now ๐Ÿ™‚

(Click on photos for full size/resolution)
I’ll divide the comments into vague sub-headings… First up, some people find some fells exceedingly boring – I generally don’t as I prefer not to get over-excited on my hills but, some of them, even I found boring…

Boring or not?
BONSCALE PIKE Sep ’95
“A very impressive summit with three fine tower cairns and lots of intriguing ridges, humps and banks. A very nice fell.”

Bonscale Pike Man

THUNACARR KNOTT
“I think this is a nice little mound. An easy walk from the main Langdale Pikes, some interesting rocky areas similar to Artle Crags on Branstree and several nicely built mini-tower cairns.”

Mr. Wainwright also comments that “the little tarn has interesting amphibious plant growth”. But then he says: “When fixing the county boundaries between Cumberland and Westmorland, the surveyors decided that the demarcation should make a sharp angle on the top – which is probably the most exciting thing that ever happened to Thunacarr Knott”!

MUNGRISEDALE COMMON June ’95
Even I found this one boring!
“Walked this on my own – who else would do it but a peak bagger? What a boring fell – officially it shouldn’t have been called a ‘Wainwright’ as there is no discernible summit or shape. The most tedious, pointless fell in the Lakes. Good job someone decided where to put a summit cairn – almost made it all seem worthwhile. I think AW only mentioned it for a joke!”

Scary back then
HELVELLYN (via Brown Cove Crags) July ’94
“A very nice walk spoilt by a woman who did Striding & Swirral Edges in pumps and with a handbag, despite her obvious fear, while I quivered above watching and fuming”
(redeemed myself in Sep ’95 though… ๐Ÿ™‚ )

RED SCREES Jan ’95
“A superb view down to Kirkstone Inn – the path up from there looks very steep but may not be impossible”

Red Screes2
The route in question (which I’ve since done) is up the right-hand edge

CONISTON OLD MAN MINERS’ TRACK June ’92
“The tourist route is a frightening hell!”
(this is now one of my favourite winter-walking fells)

DOW CRAG SOUTH RAKE
“Extremely eek!”

Brooding Dow Crag with cloud
The rake is picked out by snow on the left

FLEETWITH PIKE Aug ’93
“Cloudy day but managed to see drop down end (which people walk up! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ ) – worst drop I have ever cowered above but good view of Buttermere valley from a less uneasy point”

Down Fleetwith Nose

Down Fleety

HINDSCARTH – SCOPE END July ’93
“High Crags made me swear and Scope End had me very worried – I descended on my bum and danced a celebratory jig at the bottom”

Scope End & Hindscarth

WHITELESS PIKE July ’94
“On my own – using ‘scree claws’ for descent and swearing all the way…”
(still don’t really like this peak and find the summit airily small)

Whiteless Pike

BEDA FELL (pre-Wainwright-bagging days due to severe asthma)
“A pretty, brackeny fell with interesting outcrops like cocks’ combs on descent ridge. The only scare I had that day was the road up to Martindale – I walked back down! My mother, who was driving, was most offended…”

Funnies
CAUDALE MOOR July ’95
“Walked this on my own in hot sun (in the 90s Fahrenheit) during long drought. A very hard slog up the ridge – the steepness combined with the hot sun made me feel very ill so I stuck my head in a bog and felt much better!”

Caudale Moor & tongue

DOVE CRAG Oct ’94
“Surprisingly flat topped and grassy… a grape (red and green) eating sheep lives here…”

Dove Crags from Stangs

SEAT SANDAL Dec ’93
“Me and Mum, both in yellow wellies. Up Raise Beck on hard-packed snow and ice – had to ascend on our knees. Descended to Grasmere in the moonlight.”
(Also ascended Wansfell in Jan ’95 the same way)

Raise Beck fall
Raise Beck

CRAG FELL (Ennerdale) Sep ’95
“From Grike, in thick mist, following fence to corner and then milling around…
There was a man playing bagpipes in the misty forest – very atmospheric!”

LINGMOOR Aug ’95
“Didn’t really enjoy walk – no real path from tarn to summit through deep heather. Quick time though as chased up to summit by a wasp…”

PIKE O’ BLISCO 1988ish
“From Wrynose Fell while looking for Jimmy Page. Companions: on own as no other JP fans around. Sandwich-eating sheep and nice group of lads at summit…”

Lads & Summit Sheet, Pike o' Blisco

RANNERDALE KNOTTS May ’93
“Up side of steep front via very loose scree rake (why? never again, etc.) With Mum & Dad, much heavy panting and wobbly legs on my part which gave my mother, following, both confidence and entertainment”
(now stone pitched)

M&D on Rannerdale Knotts

Miscellaneous
BROCK CRAGS – Nov ’94
“With Mum in snow – saw deer from Martindale Herd – they were stalking us!”

Snow-Gray Crag&High Street
Great views on the ascent though – you can just see the deer on the near slope

Snow-Brock Crags
Me & Mum’s footprints on return from Brock Crags

TARN CRAG Aug ’95
“On my own on a detour from Langdale Pikes walk with Richard. Very hot, sticky and airless – some lucky people with more time were swimming in Codale Tarn…”

BANNERDALE CRAGS June ’94
“On my own in constant heavy rain as no-one else wanted to get that wet!”

GRASMOOR July ’94
“One of the best viewpoints in Lakeland – row upon row of mountains in every direction ๐Ÿ™‚ ”

Grasmoor end
Grasmoor End – incidentally, this is taken from the Rannerdale Knotts route (mentioned above) which scared me so much!

GREAT CARRS, GREY FRIAR & HARD KNOTT Sep ’95
“On own with Richard’s boots”
(I’d forgotten mine so made him wait at the car while I borrowed his – what a rotten bagger!)

GRIKE Sep ’95
“Probably a nice fell but didn’t see either it, or the views from it…”

HAYSTACKS
“Reminds me of a Rupert book or Fairyland”

Haystacks 2 tarns

Haystacks Innominate Tarn

LATRIGG May ’95
“On own – Richard went shopping in Keswick!”
(thought only women did that – I reckon he went to the pub really. He did the same when I did the Bleaberry Fell to High Tove ridge on my birthday)

PILLAR May ’94
“The worst part of walking this mountain is that you can’t see it! The north face from Ennerdale is the best view in Lakeland.”

Pillar N Face

ROSTHWAITE FELL Aug ’95
“On own, very hot and sunny with a clap of thunder at the summit which caused me to descend the whole fell in ten minutes! It then didn’t bother with the thunderstorm…”

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22 responses

12 02 2015
Simon Howlett

Enjoyed reading the comments from your logbooks, Carol. Great photos too.

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12 02 2015
mountaincoward

Thanks Simon – I was actually in 2 minds about putting the post out as I wondered whether it would be thought ‘too trite’ but it seems to have gone down okay ๐Ÿ™‚
Carol.

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11 02 2015
tessapark1969

‘Extremely eek’ LOL!!

Re Scottish dissing of the Lakes, Stuart has called them ‘England trying to do Scotland’. But he must like them as we have 3 trips planned already this year!!

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12 02 2015
mountaincoward

England trying to do Scotland… and succeeding beyond its wildest dreams I’d say! I know the Lakes are popular but it’s justly deserved. I honestly think they’re the most spectacular and scenic area in Britain. I think it helps that there’s so much varied beauty crammed into a small space.

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6 02 2015
chrissiedixie

You could write a book, Carol! Some I’ve done, some I haven’t, all very interesting ๐Ÿ™‚

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7 02 2015
mountaincoward

In my opinion, there are few boring Wainwrights. I think the thing is that, as they’re smaller and quick to do, you don’t seem to be plodding for miles in boring territory and you don’t have time to get bored. I suppose if you lived up there you would get fed up with some of them…

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6 02 2015
bob

A very nice selection there Carol. What walkers find boring or not seems to be as diverse as tastes in music. I’ve been bored stiff on hills that baggers enjoyed yet they were not impressed by my choices. After a long run of semi interesting hills I decided recently to get back to steeper mountains again before I get too old to climb them. It might already be too late!
Personally, I’d be happy with any of those hills. I really love the Lakes.

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6 02 2015
mountaincoward

I’m glad you like the Lakes – there are so many Scottish walkers on forums and suchlike who diss them without ever having been there! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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7 02 2015
mountaincoward

You’re welcome to come with me on some of my top-bagging quests this summer – I have found the tops more interesting than just doing the trade routes up the Munros… but they’ve been much harder in the main!

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5 02 2015
fedup

Some nice memories Carol, thanks for sharing. I always find one fell is never the same on a reascent so I tend to fall in & out of the hills depending on what the last walk was like! I think Mungrisedale Common (which I don’t mind – but you will never hear me say lets go & walk it today) only got included due to its distance from Blencathra. When I walked the South Rake on Dow Crag the dog seemed extra clumsy & dislodged boulders with every step which I had to dive about stopping as there were walkers on the screes below me – vowed never to take the dog up that way again!!

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5 02 2015
mountaincoward

Hell Gully (South Rake) is certainly horribly loose – that’s what I didn’t like about it!

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5 02 2015
smackedpentax

Great shots Carol… every time I read one of your posts it encourages me to get out in the mountains more…which I really must do this year. I am getting very lazy in my old age and take the easy way by walking on the local moors. I must spend more time in the Lakes this year. I must! I must!

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5 02 2015
mountaincoward

I’ve been the other way around a lot. I got off to the Lakes regularly but don’t walk our local moors often enough really.

Liked by 1 person

5 02 2015
stravaigerjohn

I love the climb up Red Screes via Kilnshaw Chimney. Did it on one hot summer day where I basked in the sun for an hour at the top. As I descended it suddenly galed, rained and snowed. In June!

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5 02 2015
mountaincoward

I tend to prefer the long ridge from Ambleside and the Scandale Valley for Red Screes. I’ve only done the steep route once…

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5 02 2015
underswansea

That’s a great post – it had me laughing! Regarding the view – ‘row upon row of mountains in every direction’. My father used to make a similar comment when we stood on mountain tops. It cracked me up every time! I just wanted to let you know I thoroughly enjoyed your excerpts. All the best.

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5 02 2015
mountaincoward

Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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6 02 2015
underswansea

Also wonderful photography!

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7 02 2015
mountaincoward

Thanks again – with it being a post about lots of different mountains, that meant I could generally choose the nicest photo of it that I had ๐Ÿ™‚

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5 02 2015
McEff

That was great, Carol. Some really nice pictures too. Mind you, it was a bit mean taking Richard’s boots!
Funnily enough, no one ever mentions Red Screes in a blog, but only a couple of days ago I converted some slides I took while climbing up the front in the snow back in 1979 with a view to writing a memories piece. You’ve beaten me to it! The South Rake on Dow Crag as well (I should reallly do that again because I can’t remember anything about it except me and my mate were staying at the Coppermines YHA).
Enjoyed that.
Alen

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5 02 2015
mountaincoward

I can remember ALL about the South Rake on Dow Crag – I call it ‘Hell Gully’ (there’s a post on here about how much I liked it!)

You can still write a memories post on Red Screes ๐Ÿ™‚
Carol.

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5 02 2015
McEff

I will write something on Red Screes but I’ve a few more to do before that. I had a very pleasant afternoon converting masses of slides. Ah, misty water-coloured memories . . .

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