2020 Stats Post/Happy New Year!

31 12 2020

Feel free to add your own stats in the comments below…

More hills this year than ever before I think but no Scottish trips at all – in fact, not many trips at all…

Richard didn’t come up this hill… but he sure kept an eye on me!

Wainwright Reascents: 131
Wainwright Outlying: 16
Other: 13
Hill grand total: 160

Scottish trips: 0
Car Camping trips: none as they had a bloody lockdown in the good weather! 😦
English trips: 4 (all Lake District but just further away)

After-work hills: 36 🙂  and as I shielded for 3 months and it was too dark for 4 months, that’s in the remaining 5 months! 🙂

Gills explored: 5    Gills I got stuck in: 2 (but succeeded later)
Exciting rakes: 2 – both on the craggy face of Bowscale Fell above the tarn

Outdoor climbs: none – I won’t climb during Covid unfortunately 😦

Dog bites on the hill: none this year as the dogs must have been in lockdown!  I did nearly get knocked down by a speeding greyhound yesterday though…

Inactive days for our wonderful local wind farm – around 6 or 7 🙂

As you may see from the above totals, I’m lucky to live and work in amongst the northern and north-western fells so lockdowns and so on didn’t affect my hillwalking at all, in fact, as the hills were less frequented for some of the year, they were far safer than the local lanes.  It did mean, however, that I mostly did a lot of the same hills, e.g. Binsey & Whittas Park 11 times, High Pike 7 times, Blencathra 5 times, Bowscale Fell 8 times, Sale Fell 9 times (my usual after-work hill)…

Bannerdale Crags East Ridge – a highlight of the year

Gill exploration is still my main hobby but I voluntarily gave these up (despite the perfect dry conditions) throughout the lockdown in case I ended up getting stuck (as I did in the gill below in August and had to have a second attempt at it the next month)…

After the first lockdown, the Lake District became totally unworkable with visitors from out of the area who seemed to come and never go home again (they still haven’t).  I suspect those who now ‘work from home’ are actually working from second homes in the Lakes – I bet they’re not paying their dues council-tax wise though…

Even in the week, you couldn’t get parked anywhere to go up a hill until around 1600 hours – it’s just a good job I walk very fast!  Tessa, a friend and fellow blogger, tried two different locations for two different walks before around 0800 and had to abandon her plans as there was nowhere whatsoever to park even that early!

As I didn’t dare go food shopping more than absolutely necessary during the first lockdown (even with a mask), I ended up losing a dramatic amount of weight and clearing my kitchen cupboard stock of food – at one point I was 8 stone 10 – pretty serious for 6 feet tall!  Having said that, it was nice to lose all my visceral fat but unfortunately I’m back to normal now.  I saved a fortune as well!

This year was reasonable weather-wise but the summer ended abruptly on 2nd September and we went straight into winter 😦

Until around August I’d had one of my best years ever, however, this was soon to change dramatically… I was talking to my friend on the phone when she mentioned she’d been to my ageing parents’ house (both in their 90s) and found that they hadn’t paid their council tax all year.  She hurriedly set up a direct debit for them.  So, the next time I visited (soon after), I had a hunt around and found that all the incoming mail had been piled up all over the house and not dealt with at all.  Some of this was 2 years old!  Their house insurance had expired, their car had run out of tax (they weren’t driving it but it was outside on the road) etc. etc…

The upshot of this was that I had to suddenly take over all their mail (I do have power of attorney but you still have huge difficulties proving it to all the different companies).  This has taken all of every evening since then and, apart from insisting on still going up hills, all my spare time for the last few months.  I’m very upset about this as I’d ensured I always had my own affairs in very good order so that I could have a quiet life walking and following my other hobbies and now I have no free time at all 😦

Then, in November, my father died suddenly at home.  That means that now, in addition to all the paperwork (which seems to have increased a hundred-fold), I have to commute weekly to Skipton again to check on my mother.  I have to say I have barely had time to miss my father, let alone grieve for him, as I’ve just been too busy.  My house phone now rings off the hook – and I hate phone calls with a vengeance.  So now, as well as having no time, I’m super-stressed out and ageing rapidly.  I think my immune system is taking quite a dive too.

To further add to the troubles, last week my mother (luckily while I was staying with her) surreptitiously got drunk in her armchair and, when she went up to bed, fell in the bathroom and knocked herself nearly unconscious.  It was a good 10 minutes before she even knew who I was and she ended up having to spend a week in hospital (a very bad place to go during a pandemic when you’re in your 90s! 😮  )  The only amusing thing is that she now has a face which is half black, half white – I told her that, if a burglar comes, he’ll think she’s been ‘done already’ and go away again!  Even she laughed at that one…

So now, I’m having the worst year I’ve ever had in my life and am expecting next year to continue in the same vein!  My mother seems to be coping without my father but she’s quite befuddled so I’m not sure how often she thinks about it really.

Hope you all have a great 2021 and thank you for reading 🙂


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23 responses

3 01 2021
tessapark1969

You managed a lot of hills this year! My tally is less impressive to say the least but not actually my worst year hill wise (that was 2016). The parking situation in summer was nuts. Was better in December (not difficult).

Sorry to hear about your dad and the difficulties with your mum.

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3 01 2021
mountaincoward

Actually, having said I was commuting weekly to see her, I haven’t dared set off for the last week or so due to the weather – we really are in a total deep freeze here now – no sun, really damp, really, really icy and never getting above freezing. The lanes are lethal and I really don’t fancy attempting a 100 mile journey each way so I’ve told her I’m not coming until it’s a bit safer! You even need spikes on Binsey now!

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2 01 2021
Alli Templeton

I wouldn’t mind doing the same walks over and over again if I lived up there either! Looking at your stats, it’s good to see how much you did manage to do for such a rotten year. Some views you can never tire of. Sorry you’ve had such a bad year, I think 2020 was probably the worst year ever for all of us, so you’re far from alone. Hope your mum improves, poor lady, and that life becomes easier for you this year. I think you’re right though, it’s going to be a while before things improve significantly. I suppose at least there’s less ahead of us than behind now, so that’s something. Anyway, I wish you all the very, very best for 2021, and lots of great walking. 🙂

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2 01 2021
mountaincoward

Thanks Alli. I am grateful that I have decent hills locally but that is why I moved to the area for my (semi) retirement.

Liked by 1 person

2 01 2021
Alli Templeton

Wise move. Hopefully we won’t be that far behind you. 🙂

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2 01 2021
underswansea

Hi Carol, sorry to hear about your Dad. Overseeing aging parents is very difficult. It is good your Mom has you in her corner. I have enjoyed your past year adventures documented with insight, zeal, humour and wonderful photography and look forward to more in 2021. Take care and put some socks on. 🙂

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2 01 2021
mountaincoward

You had me puzzled with the socks comment and then I saw my photo above. I don’t wear socks in summer as your feet get so wet over here it’s just not worth it and actually feels worse having wet socks in wet boots than wet feet in wet boots do. I’ve been wearing them in winter though. Hasn’t helped as I’ve got my usual winter-long dose of chillblains now (driving me mad) – I think they’re mostly due to my fairly poor circulation, Reynauds Disease and the fact that I just can’t get any footwear to fit my feet without pinching and squashing them!

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7 01 2021
underswansea

I haven’t heard the term ‘chilblains’ since my father, who was from England, passed away. Cold, swollen and itchy feet. I believe, like my father did, to treat your feet and legs good. That means socks and long underwear in cold weather. Of course his adamancy may have been inspired to losing his big toe to frost bite in WWII. All things considered not a bad wound in light of the conflict. 🙂 Take care.

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7 01 2021
mountaincoward

it was warm weather in that photo honest – I only had my coat on because it was severely windy at that summit so I put it on quick. I took it back off again on the way down… I do wrap my feet up in winter as much as I can. I think my main problem though, is that my feet seem to have really grown and all my shoes and boots are pinching me. I’d buy new ones but all the outdoor shops keep closing and I don’t think you can really buy them online as you need to try many in the shop to try to get a good fit.

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1 01 2021
Jim R

Those late year events put much in perspective for my year. Mine was quite good. I hope 2021 improves for you.

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1 01 2021
mountaincoward

Thanks Jim – hope you have a good one!

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1 01 2021
John Bainbridge

Considering everything that’s an amazing tally.

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1 01 2021
mountaincoward

Thanks John. I’m hoping we can move around a bit more some time during next year as I’d really like to do more around Dufton area.

Liked by 1 person

2 01 2021
John Bainbridge

There and Murton are grand (and free) starting points and apart from the 3 Pikes there’s the High Cup Nick.

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2 01 2021
mountaincoward

I’m dying to get back to High Cup Nick – I just get a tantalising glimpse of it each time I go past on the train every week to visit my mother. I think Richard will find the mining areas very interesting too so I think he’ll be keen to come with me. I’m considering staying in Dufton for some of it – do they still have a Youth Hostel? I saw they had a pub and am thinking they might do accommodation.

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3 01 2021
John Bainbridge

Yep the YHA is still there. If you walk up the east side of Dufton Pike and up to the tarn, you can do a circular to the top end of the Nick and then back down the Pennine Way. There are also B and B.

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3 01 2021
mountaincoward

If I’m with Richard it’ll be B&B as he won’t hostel so I’ll see who’s going if we ever get clear of COVID! thanks for the info though… It’s the mining track up into the hills to the east of Dufton Pike I’m wanting to take Richard up – I think he’ll love it!

Liked by 1 person

4 01 2021
John Bainbridge

Very wild country/ We did Cross Fell from Dufton too in a grand 20 mile plus circuit of other tops. I’ve done a couple of blogs on the mining track in the past.

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4 01 2021
mountaincoward

I remember them

Liked by 1 person

1 01 2021
bob

Very impressed with your hill count, especially the after work ones. Decades ago a keen new club member used to phone/pester me up after work eager to do a Scottish munro and I thought he was mad and always said no. I had the same problems with my parents, cancer/dementia etc and it is a major worry, doubly so during covid. I remember thinking in March that I was glad they were not around (both dead 10 years now) to be stuck in care homes with no visits. Hope next year is better for you. Best wishes…. Bob.

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1 01 2021
mountaincoward

If someone was ringing me up all the time pestering me to do Munros, I’d be saying yes! I always pretty much said yes to any trip or scheme anyone came up with.

The after-work hills are great as they’re a slightly different set of fells to my local ones and much more interesting (i.e. rocky and ridgy NW fells instead of the grassier northern fells).

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31 12 2020
KC Redding-Gonzalez

You are still an amazing lady! I kind of thought of caretaking my own mother as a little penance for childhood mischief. And now that she is gone I am grateful for the memories which that time gave me.. 🙂

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1 01 2021
mountaincoward

It’s not the caretaking of my mother which bothers me really – it’s mostly all the paperwork and red tape I’m having to deal with and the long journey to get to my mother’s every week – takes up 2 days of my week and a lot of hours of those days in travelling.

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