The final one

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.

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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!

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We had some newbies join us. It was nice to finally meet Sarah and Alan who though we’ve tweeted lots hadn’t actually met. They had been up on holiday that week and decided to come and join us.

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Also Cath’s friends Sarah and John who had moved to Whitehaven.

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My trusty Scarpas making it to finish the Wainwrights. I bought them in 1998 and have walked 1000’s of miles in them, but the soles are going. The worry is: am I going to get some as good?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Group regroup on North top and a chance to reapply my Lippy. Real hill walking essential!!

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From here it was only a 15/20 minute walk over to our final one.

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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!

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Ray as you’ve read in previous blogs is my poet laureate of the fells. He sent me this poem and I read it out from the summit.
The Mountain

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.

Kathleen Delicato

Poem and short speech and was time to break open the bubbly and the brownies.

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Though it was my last one, it was Cath’s son Ben’s and Oscar, Sarah and Alan’s dogs first one.

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Time to work the self timer on the phone to get a group shot and of course the selfie stick had to make an appearance.

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A few more photos and it was to descend as the weather was coming in.

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A few slips in the group on the way down, some had gone ahead and we hoped they had bagged a table at the Kirkstile.

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The pub was in sight, a look back at a fabulous mountain to end our wainwright journey on.

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We managed to take over the snug in the Kirkstile inn. A pint of Loweswater gold was perfect walkers reward!

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A huge thank you to all that came out to help us celebrate. A thank you to Gary as he has fuelled my obsession and prob done about 70% of the Wainwrights with us.

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Lots of lovely memories and onto more adventures, revisiting favourites, revisiting summits which we didn’t have a view on, venture into the Howgills and beyond.

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Thank you Mark for this lovely photo of the day 🙂

http://www.shareyouradventure.com/map/53972/CumbrianBlondie/4th-January-2015

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4 thoughts on “The final one

  1. It was a wonderful day Gina, I have to confess the way up certainly burnt off breakfast, but the company both new friends and old made the climb fun. Nick’s arch of sticks and the prosecco and brownies set yet another precedent. I can see 2015 deteriorating into a booze and brownie fest for every summit. I think our company of Twitterati provide superb companions for walking and I have enjoyed every minute, long may it last. Until the next time, ‘here’s tae us!!’ Dave B xx (one for Dave too!)

  2. Great effort, well done, I bet you’re sad it’s done, I’ve done the long walks and always wanted to continue at the end. guess you’ll be after bagging the Munro’s now.

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