Things always seem a good idea at the time don’t they?!! Back in January, Phil from Social hiking put out a tweet asking if anyone fancied doing a 10 in10 challenge. 10 wainwrights in 10 hours. So me and a few others thought this was a good idea and soon team Social Hiking of about 22 was born.
Having done the Brathay marathon a few weeks before and had not been fell walking that much due to marathon training. I was nearly going to back out. I just didn’t feel I was fit enough but thought come on Gina, you can do this so I did.
Camping is not really my thing. Living relatively close by, this allowed me the luxury of sleep in my own bed before the oh my god it’s early start of 5am. Early starts like that are only allowed if an airport and holiday are involved.
The 10 in 10 challenge was set up by Yvonne and Duncan Booth back in June 2012. A brilliant fundraising idea for MS which Duncan was unfortunately diagnosed with in 2010. I has seen it advertised in previous years so after my earlier doubts I was glad that I was doing it. Plus 6 out of the 10 wainwrights were new ones for me to tick off.
The roads were incredibly quiet who’d thought that! We arrived at the start near the Scafell hotel at 6.15. Signed in got our numbers, then waited patiently for the others to arrive. I had met some of the people in the team but was nice to put faces to tweeters. Quick obligatory selfie and we were off.
First hill was Castle Crag, this is a great little hill, the smallest of the 214 Wainwrights. I was here only a few weeks previous completing the North Western Wainwright book.
Paul in the group, I have walked with Paul and his wife Sian a bit over the last 18 months. Their knowledge is amazing due to the amount of time spent being out in the hills. Paul had done a spreadsheet for a realistic time scale to complete the challenge in the 10 hours. As this was the main purpose of the walk. I love his honest evaluation of hills, so you know what’s in front of you and can just head down plod on.
Though early the sun was getting warm and the view from Castle Crag was fantastic.
Quick time check and we were 15 mins ahead of schedule. This was probably down to enthusiastic walking! No hanging about on the summit, onwards to High Spy. A gradual climb up but on this climb we lost Rik, Adrian, Matthew, Tim and Cath due to the pace we were setting. I guess because the majority of the group left walk together on a regular basis, we do walk at quite a quick pace.
High Spy the first check in of the day, all checked in and onto Dale Head. Quite an undulating climb which I remembered from doing the Newlands horseshoe. It was getting warm but thankfully there was a lovely breeze that appeared.
From here was the steep descent down to Honister. Phil and Tim’s wife Christine were waiting to cheer us on and of course dish out the amazing pork pies. The kind marshals had put on squash and biscuits which were a welcomed treat. Looming in front of us was the steep ascent up to Grey Knotts. My heart sank. But onwards and upwards pardon the pun. There was a collective silence as we made our way up, stopping for the important view stops.
It was not as bad as I thought and soon the summit was in sight and another check point. Quick check of the watch and on schedule. Grey Knotts which was a new Wainwright for me. Onto Brandreth, I must have been on auto pilot as I didn’t realise we have done this summit. Halfway done.
From here onwards to Green Gable, the mighty Great Gable looking resplendent in the sunshine. When I did it could hardly see a thing. On the way over, Gary nudged me and said shall we pop up there too?? I cannot publish my answer to him!! Walking towards Gable couldn’t help but smile at it’s beauty.
A relentless climb was in front of us up to Seathwaite Fell. No path just a case of picking the easiest route up. Almost a vertical climb which almost had us all in tears. I was using my pacer poles like life support. Pulling my tired body up with them. Seeing the Marshall was a welcome sight, especially when he said come on it plateaux’s very soon. I wanted to kiss him! He was right it did and summit 7 was done.
For me the next part of the walk was probably my favourite bit. We all had got our breath back. It was a nice undulating walk to the next summit of Allen Crags. Have uninterrupted 360° views of Great End, Great Gable, Derwent water, Windermere and the Langdale pikes.
With the climb up Seathwaite taking it’s toll, we had lost a bit of time but were still on track for 10 hours. The summit of Glaramara seem to take an age to get to the top. The marshals saying only 10 minutes till the top, they lied! As 30 minutes later we were still walking and on about the 7th false summit. Finally summit number 9 and was brownie time. We were all tired. Here I decided that the thought of camping that night was the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted a hot shower and a comfy bed. People were so knackered that no one wanted a selfie with me 😦
On the final summit there was a little girl, who proudly gave her instructions for the route down. Her father reassuringly said it’s about an hour. A collective look at our watches and it was going to be tight to be back in the 10 hours.
The descent seemed to go on forever,body tired and trying to walk as quickly as my legs would carry me. I was starting to feel a bit giddy with the end in sight. Then could see the road, not long to go. We had been walking for 9:40 hours. Pace quickened and could see the tents we had left this morning. Phil was there welcoming us all back. 9:52 the challenge done with 8 minutes to spare!
That was tough but so pleased to have finished it and under the 10 hour challenge. We had definitely earnt our beer!
I for one am very proud to be a part of Team Social Hiking. Thank you Phil for bringing us all together and raising money for such a worthy cause. It was so nice meeting some new faces and look forward to walking with you again.
Thank you to Yvonne and Duncan for organising the challenge. I met Yvonne to deposit brownies but didn’t get chance to meet Duncan. To all the encouraging marshals on the summits.
Another 6 Wainwrights ticked off bringing my total to 154.
I’m glad that we had some amazing weather in contrast to previous years!
So same time next year Team Social hiking???
If you would like to sponsor us here’s the link 🙂
This fantastic capture of the day is pinched from Dean Read. Captures the day perfectly.
This trailer is courtesy of Rik Hubbrick