Showing posts from August, 2014

Skiddaw and a birthday surprise (Lake District)

My recent holiday in the Lake District had been intentionally booked to coincide with my birthday.  And for a special treat I had decided that I would like to climb Scafell Pike.  There was just something that appealed to me about marking the occasion by climbing England's highest mountain.  When the day dawned, however, I had a change of heart.  Two days earlier, whilst climbing Haystacks, I'd managed to injure a toe.  Not enough to prevent me from walking, but nevertheless it was sufficiently painful to make me think twice about attempting an ascent of the rock-strewn Scafell Pike.  What I needed, I decided, was an easier climb to as high an altitude as possible.  Looking out of the bedroom window of our holiday flat, the answer was staring me in the face. Many seasoned fell-walkers look upon Skiddaw with a certain amount of derision.  It may be the fourth highest mountain in the Lakes but, whilst it is a little steep in places, the main route upwards from Keswick is mostly

Haystacks (Lake District)

After our experience on Great Gable, I suppose it would have been sensible to have had a rest the following day.  Not only was I bruised and achy, but also there was the small matter of our saturated boots.  On the way back to our holiday flat we'd helped ourselves to a pile of newspapers from a blue recycling bin and these had been scrunched up, stuffed into our boots until they'd wicked away as much moisture as possible and then the process had been repeated, several times throughout the course of the evening.  Even so, the next morning , whilst Tom's boots were wearable, mine were still far too damp for comfort. I looked out of the window and sighed.  The sky was clear blue and from our balcony a full panorama of cloud-free mountain tops taunted me.  It was too good an opportunity to miss.  But what about my soggy boots?  The answer came to me in a flash of inspiration.  Waterproof socks!  In a recent walking magazine article they'd been recommended for this exact