I could hardly believe that the day had arrived to complete our round of the Wainwrights. For those of you who don’t know what the “Wainwrights” are, they’re a group of 214 Lakeland mountain summits. These are depicted in Wainwrights guides broken down into 7 books each representing an area of the Lake District.
From starting from scratch back on 1st January 2012 with Hallin fell as pictured below. It’s been a walking journey which had taken us to areas of the lakes I didn’t know existed.
For me that has been the fun of exploring the area I call home. There are lots of Wainwright haters out there and I have been subject to people saying “the hills were there before Wainwright”. This is true but I don’t criticise their walking choices, it was a free world last time I checked.
I’d sent a message out and was overwhelmed that 22 people wanted to come and experience our last wainwright. Especially people driving from the Midlands! Daxa and Cath and family.
The difficulty in planning a walk is of course the weather. I really wanted a clear day which the weather gods didn’t let me down and delivered s beautiful day.
We had arranged to meet in the Lanthwaite car park. Parking is limited in this area of the Lakes so this was a good spot. I think we managed to take over the car park!
Ray had been given the ok to drive after his recent operation so came down to meet us and see us off. Then had arranged to meet us in the pub afterwards.
We were getting ready for the off but were missing Mark and David who despite saying they were coming hadn’t arrived. We could wait no longer so set off. Ray said he’d drive down to the Kirkstile and see if they had parked there.
They had!!! Needless to say we did take the mickey out of them! So the group all together we set off. The plan was to ascend Mellbreak up the north face and then walk across to the South top which is the actual official summit. It was such a lovely day and my heart leapt.
I didn’t find the climb up too bad maybe because I have much worse ascents to reference to. As with any big group it slowly disbanded regrouping in stages. My favourite bit was near the summit of the North top. Just off the path is a fantastic view point, taking in views of Crummock water and beyond. The winter light on the hills was amazing.
It felt quite emotional the closer I got to the summit. The last 3 years obsession culminating in this last fell. I waited for Dave so we could summit together. As we approached our friends were waiting and an arch of walking poles greeted us to walk under. A brilliant idea Nick!
Looking up into the heights, the sky blue,
I begin my ascent of the mountain.
With my first step, steady, honest and true,
My heart’s filled with the goal I shall attain.
Though as I reach the higher paths I find
Determination begins to waver.
The rocks and icy winds are so unkind
And erode the courage I did savor.
T’would be easy to give up and go back,
Return to my safe and comforting home.
Then my inner voice cries, “Attack, attack!”
So I grit my teeth and push myself on.
When I reach the summit, see all I’ve gained,
Well worth all the trials, well worth all the pain.
Poem and short speech and was time to break open the bubbly and the brownies.